Executive function skills are crucial for academic success.
As a whole, they allow us to set goals; plan how to complete a project; prioritize tasks; organize time, materials, and information; shift approaches flexibly; and focus on the task at hand. No matter how brilliant a child may be, without executive function skills, he will always struggle in school. For this reason, in addition to strategy instruction for individual assignments, every Smarten Up tutoring session begins with an organizational check-in:
We begin by tackling the black hole inside the backpack! Students take out loose papers, school supplies, clothes, and other odds and ends so we can create order amidst chaos and lighten their load.
Next, we look at graded work in order to learn from experience, good and bad. We help students reflect on their efforts so that they can replicate their successes and make minor changes to avoid repeating the same mistake twice.
Finally, we help students learn how to manage their time by effectively using a planner or calendar, in tandem with their online portal, in order to create a plan of attack for assignments large and small.