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Executive Functioning

These skills are fundamental to the learning process but are easy to overlook.

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 function coaching?

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 does executive function coaching focus on?

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, click here.

How does executive function coaching work?

During the school year, tutors coach executive functioning skills through your child's 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 function coaching is typically followed by school year coaching 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 coaching?

It's not uncommon for students who need help improving executive functioning skills to be resistant to coaching. That's why we put such careful consideration into finding just the right tutor for your child. Your child's coach 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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  • 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