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Executive Function Strategies Blog

How to Organize an Essay: 3 Graphic Organizers for Young Writers

Have you ever listened to your child lament, “I just can’t think of what to write”? Perhaps you have heard your child utter, in the mode of a 19th century Romantic poet, “I’m waiting for inspiration.”  

As a parent, you may find yourself thinking, “My child is smart and articulate, so why are writing assignments so stressful?”

Helping Forgetful Kids: The Case of the Mislaid Novel


“Mom, where’s my backpack?”

“Mom, I can’t find my favorite shirt!”

“Mom, can you help me re-attach my head? It fell off again.”

Chances are, you’ve heard variations on the first two statements, and have probably imagined the third at some point. (Of course, if you’ve actually heard #3 above, you may be reading the wrong blog. Just sayin’...)

Our adult lives are hectic. There are always places to be and tasks to complete. Our kids’ lives are just as fast-paced much of the time. They have 22 minutes from waking until getting to the bus stop. They have 4 minutes in between classes to pop by their lockers and get their science notebook and to jam their sweaty gym clothes into a dark corner. And at the end of the day, with their minds on soccer practice or dance class or the latest gossip about who-said-what-to-whom, is it any surprise that they forget to bring home the paperback novel they’re reading for English homework?

Getting Organized: Minimizing Clutter In 4 Easy Steps

Clutter, now that school is underway, has had a chance to take hold and start growing at a rapid rate. I’ve been a diligent clutter buster for years. In fact, my husband once bought me a magnet that reads “Organized People Are Too Lazy to Look for Things”, in a playfully teasing nod to my tidy ways. (Maybe you can guess why I need to continue my diligence on the home front.)  Whether at home or with clients, when it comes to school work and related items I have discovered 4 easy steps for minimizing clutter and getting organized.

Planning and Prioritizing: A Moving Story from an Executive Function Coach

On August 17th I walked away from the closing table with a single key in my hand that had “41” written in marker on the keychain.  This item would let me into my new home, my FIRST home ever.  And with that realization, I began to panic.

I spend the majority of my career working with students on their Executive Functioning as it relates to academic success. I often share with students the ways in which I’d managed my own executive functioning in school, too.  But the experience of becoming a homeowner was akin to the universe saying, “If you think you’re good at executive functioning, here’s your ultimate test.”  The task of moving from my loft apartment into a house challenged me across multiple executive function domains, including emotional regulation, planning, prioritizing and goal-directed persistence.