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This term has become a buzzword in schools and with individuals with neurodivergence in the last few years. However, the concept and theory behind the practice are not new at all! 

According to the Center of the Developing Child at Havard University, “Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.”

Why are these skills important to learn? Because children need to utilize them in school with information processed there, but also in everyday life. These skills sometimes need to be developed or taught to individuals with nuero-differences as they do not come “naturally” to them.

Let’s break down each of these mental processes considered within these skills sets.

  1. Planning – planning ahead for school aged children could be seen as time management skills, knowing when a project is due, or planning times to complete homework.
  2. Focus Attention – For children, and even adults, it is a skill that we put into practice to give our attention to a certain task or activity. Sometimes this means teaching children to remove distractions, set timers, or to provide reminders & prompts to attend to a task. 
  3. Remembering Instructions – once again for children and adults, remembering a series of instructions is a skill set that can be taught. Whether through taking notes, discovering your learning style, receiving instructions through multiple modalities or presenting them in different formats. 
  4. Multi-tasking – this is something that is often tackled in every day life. For example, I am a work-from-home mom of 3 littles. I multitask at this point without even realizing it! However, multitasking for some individuals can be extremely overwhelming and paralyzing. Ways to effectively multitask and break down a task list into smaller attainable goals/tasks is a strategy that can be taught. 

Executive Functioning skills can be taught at any age. They are just as important for elementary aged children as high schoolers, and adults alike! 

How can I equip my students?

Great news! You don’t have to do this alone! Teacher Time To Go provides individualized tutoring to help support and teach these vital Executive Functioning Skills. We also provide an online small group workshop several times a year for students in upper elementary through high school. Each week of the workshop is broken down into a different skill set to equip and strengthen your student. Our fall session sign-up is LIVE right now, so don’t miss your chance! 

Questions about Executive Functioning? We’d love to hear them! Drop a comment below with any questions 🙂 

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. 💜