Executive Function Strategies Blog

Did You Ask the Teacher? Supporting Students When They Won't Seek Help

Opportunities for learning are everywhere — both inside and outside of the classroom. As parents, coaches, and teachers, we want our students to be able to take advantage of these opportunities. Part of that objective is to support them to be effective advocates for their own learning. My three-year old son is pretty good at this. If he needs help, he will take my hand and lead me somewhere (to the cookie jar), ask for “assistance” (yes, he really uses this word, especially when trying to jump out of his car seat to the ground), or sometimes say, “Momma do it!” (turn on the television). Whatever his method, I understand that he wants help with something.

Interestingly, the easy clarity of asking for help becomes muddy as little ones grow up and enter structured school settings. This is especially true for those I see who struggle with Executive Function skills. Children, teens, and college students who are introverted or have difficulty organizing, planning, and using self-advocacy skills often have so much to gain from 1:1 time with instructors but could benefit from a little exploration of the why and how behind it all. 



5 Key Components to Successful Online Learning

Online courses can be a wonderful way to learn almost anything—from accounting to zoology. It can help to fill skill gaps, earn credits toward a degree, and contribute to personal enrichment. Many options are low-cost or even free and there is no commute! So, everyone should sign up for online classes, right?

Hold on - first consider some of the possible pitfalls before you click to enroll.



Why Does My Child Struggle with Writing? 6 Skills Your Child Needs

Do you have a child who can talk at length on a topic but struggles to get all those great ideas down on paper? Because writing draws upon Executive Function skills such as planning, organizing, time management, attention, working memory, and metacognition — it’s no wonder we Executive Function coaches see many of our students struggle in this area. In fact, writing can feel so difficult that just hearing about that upcoming assignment for a 500 word essay can send chills down a student’s back. (Add emotion regulation to the list of Executive Function skills involved in writing!)



When Anxiety Hurts Academic Performance at College: How Parents Can Help

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Marcia Morris, M.D., a psychiatrist with 20 years of experience working with college students. Please see her full bio below.

If your child is not doing well at college, there could be many reasons why – poor organization, too much partying, challenges with time management – to mention just a few. But did you know that one of the most common causes of poor academic performance is anxiety? In fact, students rated stress and anxiety as the top problems negatively impacting academic performance, according to a 2017 survey by the American College Health Association.