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As a parent, you want nothing but the best for your child. You want them to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. However, despite their best efforts (and yours!), they may struggle with school, and you may wonder why.
Many parents assume that when their child struggles academically, it’s because they lack motivation, are lazy, or simply not cut out for school. However, these assumptions are often misguided. The reality is that academic success is not just about intelligence but also about the strength of your child’s executive function skills.
Executive functions skills work in collaboration like a series of gears in your child’s brain
Executive function skills are a set of mental processes we need to succeed academically and in life. These skills are responsible for our ability to plan, organize, set goals, focus, control impulses, and manage time. They also include cognitive processes such as working memory, which allows us to hold information in our minds while we perform other tasks.
When executive function skills are functioning well, they collaborate like a series of gears, and things run smoothly. However, when one gear stops working, there’s an impact on everything your child is trying to accomplish. When a student has executive dysfunctions, it makes it really difficult for them to succeed academically.
On the flip side, when everything is working together, school achievement improves, grades go up, participation goes up, and the student’s confidence increases. Those negative feelings start to go away. Students become more willing to engage in academics, negative behaviors are reduced, and they stop withdrawing. Once they learn what’s been going on with them and learn tools for handling the stress, their emotional and physical health improves as well.
Academics are changing and taxing your child’s executive functioning skills
Academics are changing, and so should the way we approach them. In the past, most of the curriculum involved handing out worksheets and assignments that students could complete in a matter of hours. However, today’s curriculum involves more long-term projects, like group research, videos, and multi-step projects that can take weeks to complete. While this may be great for some students, those with executive function skill issues find it challenging.
Long-term projects with no clear deadlines or structure can be a nightmare for students with executive function issues! When a student knows how to break down tasks into smaller chunks, prioritize, and manage their time, they can thrive with today’s academic demands.
Summer executive function coaching can bridge the gap between school years
To boost your child’s academic success next school year, create a bridge between the end of this school year and the fall. One of the best ways to do this is by providing executive function coaching or academic assistance over the summer.
Summer EF coaching and tutoring can be used for remediation, enrichment, closing skill gaps, and preventing that dreaded “summer slide,” where students forget much of what they learned the year before.
Through summer EF sessions, students learn practical life skills to help them stay on a schedule and get organized, making the transition back to school in August or September that much easier.
How summer coaching can help get your child’s gears in motion for the new school year
Executive function coaching is a different dynamic than teaching. Parents often tell us they’ve tried everything, but their child still struggles.
It’s not that parents aren’t capable! The truth is students are much more receptive to a third party since their coach is not grading or disciplining them. Students are much more willing to engage in a student-coach relationship because it’s a safe space where they get the help they need without fear of judgment.
Our virtual EF coaches use a research-based curriculum and tailor each session to your child’s individual needs and goals. You can learn more about our program for elementary students here and for middle and high school students here.
We are here to help get your child’s gears in motion this summer. We invite you to schedule a call with one of our Executive Function Program Specialists.