Elementary School Executive Function Tutoring

elementary-school

Executive Functioning Skills for Elementary School Students

Does your school-aged child:

  • Get frustrated easily and have trouble managing his/her/their emotions?
  • Struggle with sitting down to begin tasks?
  • Seem to lack perseverance when it comes to completing assignments?

These behaviors are among the signs that a student has executive functioning challenges. The elementary school years are formative, and it’s a period of rapid physical, socio-emotional, cognitive, and motor development in children. By developing core executive functioning skills at this time, students will build the foundation for the higher-order skills they need as they transition to middle school and beyond. At Organizational Tutors, we’ll pair your child with an expert tutor who will provide 1:1 support aimed at helping your child become a confident, independent learner.

Areas We Address

While every student has their own unique challenges, some of the main skills we address with elementary school executive functioning tutoring are:

Task Initiation and Focus

Task Initiation and Focus

The ability to independently begin taking action to execute a task, and filter out distractions to remain on task, are key for academic and life success. We provide coaching to identify obstacles to initiation and focus, and tailored strategies to boost your child’s ability to get started and stay on track without excessive prompting and redirection.

Planning and Prioritizing

Planning and Prioritizing

We teach young children the importance of creating sequential agendas to guide task completion, and determine which tasks should be completed in which order. This key piece becomes increasingly important in the elementary years as expectations for self-direction, time management, self monitoring and independent problem-solving grow. We guide students to set appropriate structures for themselves to increase independence, competence and successful follow-through.

Cognitive Flexibility

Cognitive Flexibility

Cognitive flexibility refers to the ability to shift between different tasks and ideas as needed and to update one’s process when given new information. We introduce targeted skill-building to help your child better process and synthesize information, make connections among different modes of cognition for stronger and more flexible critical thinking, and to improve their ability to hold and manipulate information in their mind to guide successful work.

Self-Regulation

Self-Regulation

We support your child’s ability to monitor and manage their energy, behavior, thoughts, and emotions in ways that are age-appropriate and allow them to be successful in their learning, social interactions and well-being. We implement a growth mindset construct, seeing self-regulation as a skill like any other that can grow through practice and experience, and keeping the focus on effort and progress over time.

Executive Functioning Coaching Toolbox

We determine your child’s unique academic, cognitive, and developmental needs, as well as areas of friction and how they impact the individual and your family. This allows us to create targeted, effective interventions and pair your child with the ideal executive functioning tutor.

The tutor will use a variety of strategies that may include:

1

Using a well-considered and carefully deployed system of rewards to encourage self-motivation. For students who struggle with motivation to complete tasks that don’t offer an immediate reward, we can use an intermediary. For example, use daily report cards or tokens and relate the day-to-day accumulation to a longer-term goal
2

Making learning hands-on with objects that call upon verbal and non-verbal working memory: use magnetic phonics tiles to build words and word tiles to build sentences or use an abacus or colorful linking cubes for counting, addition, and subtraction
3

Taking breaks together that allow for a short pause to refocus and refuel: stretching, mindfulness, jumping jacks
4

Making time concrete and easily visually measurable with clocks, timers (whether physical or in app form)
5

Offering literacy support through a vairety of methods, including reinforcing phonetic concepts and increasing students’ exposure to sight words
6

Making information organized, visual, and accessible: Use posters, lists, journals for reminders, priorities, and goals. Use a system of categorization and color coding (e.g., a large color-coded desk calendar with different colors for academic, household, and social tasks)
7

Developing routines together and devising a system of reminders to keep the student on track
8

Developing a system with the student for organizing their folders and binders and reviewing them together periodically
9

Organizing their learning space

Our goal is to help your child become independent. We don’t want them to rely on a coach long term. Instead, we strive to enable students to develop positive habits that will foster sustainable, ongoing improvement. Studies show executive function skills can be nurtured and strengthened in people of all ages, including young children, for a lifetime of benefits.

Interested in executive functioning tutoring for your child? Connect with a coach today.