Executive Function Strategies Blog

Inside a Master's Mind: How Chess Builds Executive Function Skills

2020 was a year filled with discovering (or rediscovering) new activities to keep us occupied in a COVID world: the joy of baking banana bread, learning a new instrument, decluttering long-neglected areas of our homes - and, more recently, the mental workout of playing chess. Thanks to the popular Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. And unlike the extra pounds you may be carrying from those kitchen endeavors, it turns out that chess is one of those “good for you” activities - especially when it comes to building Executive Function skills.



When Your Technology Fails: 6 Tips for Calm Solutions

Imagine this - it’s the day of your World History exam. You’ve studied all week and are feeling confident. Your workspace is cleared and ready to go. Five minutes before the start time you attempt to log on to the main classroom page. A screen that says “no internet connection” is staring back at you. No, this can’t be happening! There are only four minutes left until everyone else will be starting their exams. At this point, the rest of the house has noticed. Dad is missing an important business call and your sister was logged out of Zoom in the middle of her class. Everyone is frantically running around the house unplugging routers and flipping switches, but nothing is working. The seconds are ticking away that should be spent on your exam and you can’t even send a quick email to your teacher pleading for help or extended time. 



Metacognition: The Power Behind Problem Solving

Meta is a Greek word indicating something that is beyond or after. Cognition is the act of thinking and comprehending. Together, the word connotes a complex experience whereby we can think about our thinking. It is a more conscious act than passively daydreaming, and more active than simply reflecting.  



Can Supermoms Help Children Develop Executive Function Skills?

Here’s the thing: as parents we all want to make our kids’ lives easier and not have to see them struggle. At some point we do have to take a step back and let them try. They may not succeed the first time or even the second or thirteenth time, but I think what is important is to help children develop Executive Function skills such as problem solving strategies and to teach children to advocate for themselves.

While doing this we may need to be helping them learn how to regulate their emotions too. As most of us know, it can be mega frustrating when things do not go right, especially when we are doing something difficult or new.