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Executive Functioning

Some of the most important skills your child needs to succeed are not taught in school!

What is executive functioning?

It’s likely you’ve heard about executive functioning (we like to call it EF), but maybe you don’t really know what it’s all about. Basically, it’s the actions we take to follow through and complete tasks. EF skills help us organize our physical (and digital!) materials, manage our time, plan activities, prepare for tests, and regulate our emotions and mindset.

For all of our wishing and hoping, children don’t wake up one day with fully developed EF skills. Instead, they need to be explicitly taught, one step at a time, across various assignments. A Nurturing Wisdom tutoring director and tutor will take the time to get to know your child’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses so that they can effectively learn these skills and gain independence.

Would my child benefit from executive functioning tutoring?

Executive functioning skills enable students to be truly independent. If you find yourself nagging your child to clean out their book bag, turn in their homework on time, or study for tests, they may need explicit instruction about how to do these things!

But even if your child isn't struggling, they can probably benefit from some explicit instruction on their organization, time management, or study skills. Many students simply need help working more efficiently so that they have time for activities they love.

What skills do you work on in executive functioning tutoring?

Our students typically work with their tutors on four main areas:

  • Organization: Students learn how to set up a physical and digital organizational systems to manage their notes, assignments, and handouts for school.
  • Time and Assignment Management: Students learn how to work productively, stay focused, and maximize their time.
  • Study Skills and Note Taking: Students learn effective study habits such as note-taking, annotation, and study techniques.
  • Anxiety, Self Advocacy, and Mindset: Students learn how to manage their thought processes and emotions to better handle their school work.

If you'd like to learn more about how we approach these skills in tutoring, click here.

How does executive functioning tutoring work?

During the school year, tutors teach your child executive functioning skills through their school work. We choose one to two classes to focus on more heavily, helping your child improve both their content knowledge and executive functioning skills. During each session, we use homework, project work, and upcoming tests and quizzes to teach a variety of executive functioning skills. This authentic practice helps students take ownership of their work and gain independence!

Tutors tailor the length and frequency of sessions to each child's needs and learning profile. For example, for an eighth grader focusing on completing and turning in assignments on time, it might be most effective to meet for one-hour sessions twice per week. For a sophomore learning study skills and self-advocacy strategies, once a week ninety-minute sessions might be the way to go. Often, students supplement their regular meetings with shorter check-in times once or twice a week to keep on track.

Can we work on executive functioning skills during the summer?

Yes! During the summer, we can lay the foundation of executive skills that your child will need to be successful during the school year. Our summer executive functioning tutoring is typically followed by school year tutoring so that your child can be supported by their tutor as they transition skills to their school work.

What if my child is resistant to tutoring?

It's not uncommon for students who need help improving executive functioning skills to be resistant to tutoring. That's why we put such careful consideration into finding just the right tutor for your child. Finding a tutor who your child connects with and respects can make a world of difference! Your child's tutor will also work with them to make decisions about which executive functioning strategies to implement and when. The more ownership your child has, the more likely it is that they will buy into getting help!

Want to learn more?

Contact us today so that we can put together a customized executive functioning plan for your child!

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  • Katie, parent of a 4th grader
    We had a wonderful tutoring experience. Our tutor worked with our son, John, for most of the school year. It didn’t take long for them to form a nice “working” relationship that developed into a bond. He made progress with everything she presented to him. He was so eager to impress her that we’d hear him talking to himself as he fell asleep about the things they worked on. Clearly she motivated him and knew how to get the best from him. She was flexible with scheduling, prompt and worked hard to accommodate John’s specific challenges and needs.
    Katie, parent of a 4th grader
  • Jennifer, parent of a 7th grader
    Our tutor is extremely responsive. She quickly figured out my daughter's strengths and weaknesses and built a plan that supported her needs. She is very engaging, organized, and friendly. And keeps me very informed.
    Jennifer, parent of a 7th grader
  • Virginia, parent of a 6th grader
    Here are the pros of online tutoring: Not having to go anywhere - just sit at the computer at home! He doesn't depend solely on me - I get a break! Watching the tutor get his agreement on actions, then writing out goals and faithfully addressing these at each session. His tutor is young, fun, and keeps him focused without the "mom factor." So far, Matthew has improved his grades from C's, D's, and F's to A's, B's and C's!
    Virginia, parent of a 6th grader
  • Karen, parent of sophomore
    Our tutor was a wonderful. She knew just how to encourage my daughter, always had the right words. She was patient and very supportive. She worked WITH my daughter, didn't merely tell her what to do. Very kind and knowledgeable. She and my daughter accomplished the goals they set. Very pleased with the whole experience! Thank you!
    Karen, parent of sophomore