High School Executive Function Coaching
Self-Management Skills for High School Students
Parents often see their child’s Executive Function challenges in high school when they face increased demands for self-management.
Parents and teachers may notice:
- Organizational challenges - the student has difficulties organizing class materials, keeping track of and turning in homework, or approaching writing assignments and long-term projects
- Behavior or emotion management challenges - the student may have poor relationships with teachers, be unable to resist distractions, have difficulty settling down to do work, or give up easily on challenging or tedious tasks
- Time management challenges - the student leaves work until the last minute, causing panic and stress at home, may be overscheduled and stressed
- Academic challenges - the student lacks persistence or often does not complete or even start assignments, may do poorly on tests due to ineffective study habits, may lose credit for late assignments, may not know how to take notes in class
In high school, students must adapt to the expectations of many different teachers at once, who may schedule project due dates and tests on the same day. Teens have to be productive amidst the distractions of phones and computers. Developmentally, parents see that their high school students may insist on managing their academics independently when they are unequipped to do so. By 12th grade, Executive Function skills are needed for a smooth transition to college, where heightened school demands compete with new freedoms and extracurriculars.
What Executive Function Skills are Expected in High School?
High School is an important time for the continued development of Executive Function skills. These include:
- Self-regulation - managing strong emotions and inhibiting impulsive behaviors
- Attention - sustaining focus, especially for lengthy or challenging tasks
- Task Initiation - starting a non-preferred task
- Organization - keeping track of materials at home and in school, organizing ideas and information for essays and research papers, managing digital data and files
- Planning and Prioritizing - mapping out multi- step tasks such as long-term class projects, and tackling assignments in order of importance
- Time Management - allocating time for work and other commitments
- Cognitive Flexibility - taking the perspective of teachers and peers and formulating different solutions to problems
While some students seem to develop these skills seamlessly, many struggle and benefit from a level of direct 1:1 instruction and support that is often unavailable in most high schools.
How Executive Function Coaches Help High School Students
Our coaches work with high school students to:
- Learn and practice methods to cope with strong emotions and stress
- Learn and apply strategies to stay on task and maintain attention
- Learn how to get work started and persist with challenging work
- Develop personalized systems to organize materials and work areas
- Develop systems to start and complete writing assignments
- Learn how to break assignments into smaller parts and plan when to do work
- Develop self-reflection skills to help students take ownership of new habits
- Identify and use technology that improves their productivity
- Learn how to study and take tests effectively
- Gain insight about what motivates them, and use that knowledge to be productive
- Learn how to advocate for themselves with teachers
- Prepare for a successful transition to college
Find out how Executive Function coaching can benefit your high school student.