Students who have trouble with executive function often don't understand how to learn and how to manage their time well. They might have trouble going over assignments, planning ahead, organizing tasks and projects, or even making decisions.
That's why it's important for parents and teachers to give students tools to help them deal with these problems.
Here are some strategies to consider:
Create a daily routine and stick to it.
A daily routine can be a great way to help students who struggle with executive function. Students who have trouble remembering things or following through on tasks may benefit from having a set of instructions that they can read and follow.
The routine should be written down, posted in an area where the student can see it, and re-read when needed (like at the start of each day) so they don't forget what needs to be done each day.
The important thing here is that it's simple enough for them but detailed enough for you as their parent or caretaker!
Use a planner
A planner is an excellent tool to help children stay focused and on schedule. Students who use planners are more likely to remember what needs to be done and how much time they have left in the day.
By keeping track of all the necessary tasks that need to be completed throughout the week or month, they can stay organized on tasks such as homework assignments, tests, appointments, and midterm exams.
Checklists are one of the best ways to help students with executive functions. They can be used for schoolwork and homework, as well as daily routines and organization. Checklists can help students stay organized and make sure that everything is done on time so that nothing is forgotten.
This makes them suitable for anyone who struggles with executive functions. By reviewing the list, they know exactly what has been done and what’s left to be done.
Set time limits.
Set a time limit for each activity. Use a timer or alarm to alert them when the task is complete, and then reward them with some relaxation time! This can be done through your phone (e.g., an app), but it's also possible to use paper and pencils if you don't have access to an app on your phone.
Make sure that students understand what they're supposed to do before they start working.
Establish a supportive environment.
To teach students executive function skills, it is important to create an environment where they feel safe, supported, and at ease. It's important that the rules and expectations in your classroom are clear and that everyone on the team follows them.
This can be as simple as having classroom management practices in place before school starts or allowing students to work on assignments outside of class time if they need more time than what's allotted for homework or projects. Include reminders about how to act throughout the day so that everyone knows what is expected of them at all times.
Explore different ways of learning.
One of the best ways to support students who struggle with executive function is to explore different ways of learning. There are many different types of learning styles, and it's important that you know how your child learns best. Try not only asking them what they like to do but also how they learn best; this will help you determine if there's anything that needs tweaking in their education or school work.
Give encouragement when a student does well, but know when to push.
It's important to recognize when a student does well and offer encouragement. Be sure that you are giving praise for the right reasons, though. For example, if a student is struggling with an assignment because they have trouble comprehending what has been explained in class, don't say anything like, "You're doing great! You'll get it next time."
Instead, ask them questions about their understanding of the material so that you can help them understand it better. This will keep them motivated while also making sure they feel like they are being understood by their teacher—and this is exactly what we want from our students!
Remember, when it comes to supporting struggling students, a lot can be done. You can give your child more power and help them do well in school by using these and other strategies.