Executive Function Coaching Helps!

May 29, 2013 
Many, if not all, parents have heard something like the following from a child: “I forgot my books at school.” “I didn’t know I had an assignment.” “I did study, I just didn’t know how.” “I don’t have time to finish my work.” “I can’t do it.”

Many of these students are experiencing difficulties with academic coachingtheir executive functioning, our mental systems that deal with planning, getting things done, regulating behavior, organization, and time management.

A child’s stage of brain development may have a lot to do with his or her executive functioning, according to research by Harvard neurologist Francis Jensen.

The front of the brain is responsible for executive functioning. In an interview with National Public Radio, Jensen said,”It’s the part of the brain that says: ‘Is this a good idea? What is the consequence of this action?'”

However, the brain develops back to front. Consequently, executive functioning skills develop later than many other skills. Because the brain’s frontal lobe has not completely developed by adolescence, some teenagers need tips for keeping track of things, or Executive Function coaching on a regular basis, says Dan Ascher, President of A+ Test Prep and Tutoring.

Learning disabilities can worsen the problem. Students with learning disabilities may have even more difficulty organizing, planning the steps to get something done, or managing time.

One in seven Americans, or 15 percent of the population, suffers from some type of learning disability, according to the Disabilities Association of America. Around 5.2 million, or 8.4% of U.S. children between ages 3 and 17, are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), statistics from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reveal.

Executive Function Coaching is a method for providing students with the skills and organizational help they need to enhance their productivity and succeed in the classroom.

The following are some of the areas that Executive Function coaching focuses on:

  1. Organization
    Setting up a study area–creating and designating a clean, organized spot to complete work. Developing systems for keeping track of study materials and assignments.
  2. Time Management
    Overcoming procrastination, planning out assignments, managing time, setting deadlines, and breaking work into smaller pieces.
  3. Goal Setting
    Determining long- and short-term goals, and figuring out what action is needed in order to accomplish those goals.
  4. Note Taking
    Learning how to effectively and efficiently take notes in class, and while reading textbooks. Making use of active listening and active reading strategies.
  5. Study Habits and Skills
    Using class notes as a study aid: reorganize, rewrite, and reread before each class. Thoroughly review notes before tests.
  6. Test Preparation
    Determining effective ways to study for a test, creating a game plan for the test situation, reviewing directions and methods for taking different types of tests, using old tests as a study tool.

Executive Function coaching can help students of any age, not just middle and high school students. A study by the Stanford University School of Education determined that Executive Function coaching contributes to higher college graduation rates.

Since each child is different, A+ Test Prep and Tutoring creates a customized coaching plan for each of our students. If you’d like more information on Executive Function coaching and tips for helping your student succeed and overcome his or her learning disability, please contact us at 215.886.9188.


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