Helpful Tips and Ideas:
- Create a quiet work space: Make sure your teen has a quiet, well-lit, distraction-free place to study. It should be away from distractions like TVs, ringing phones, and video games.
- Monitor computer use: If your teen needs a computer for assignments, try to set it up in a common space, not in a bedroom, to discourage playing video games, chatting with or emailing friends, or surfing the Internet for fun during study time.
- Plan ahead and establish routines. Send the message that school work is the top priority! Create a regular homework time for your student to complete work. If they do not have homework that night, have them read a book during that time instead.
- Instill organization skills. Organizational skills are learned over time and need to be practiced like any other skill. Help your student develop these skills. Show your student examples of how you stay organized (calendars, phone/computer apps, and reminder notes). Reinforce the importance of staying organized by checking their assignment notebooks.
How Does Executive Function Affect Learning?
(below information was taken from http://www.ncld.org/)
In school, at home or in the workplace, we’re called on all day, every day, to self-regulate behavior. Executive function allows us to:
- Make plans
- Keep track of time and finish work on time
- Keep track of more than one thing at once
- Meaningfully include past knowledge in discussions
- Evaluate ideas and reflect on our work
- Change our minds and make mid-course corrections while thinking, reading and writing
- Ask for help or seek more information when we need it
- Engage in group dynamics
- Wait to speak until we’re called on
What Are Some Strategies to Help?
There are many effective strategies to help with the problem of executive function challenges. Here are some methods to try:
- Take step-by-step approaches to work; rely on visual organizational aids.
- Use tools like time organizers, computers or watches with alarms.
- Prepare visual schedules and review them several times a day.
- Ask for written directions with oral instructions whenever possible.
- Plan and structure transition times and shifts in activities.
- Create checklists and “to do” lists, estimating how long tasks will take.
- Break long assignments into chunks and assign time frames for completing each chunk.
- Use visual calendars at to keep track of long term assignments, due dates, chores and activities.
- Use management software such as the Franklin Day Planner, Palm Pilot or Lotus Organizer.
- Be sure to write the due date on top of each assignment.
Managing Space and Materials
- Organize work space
- Minimize clutter.
- Consider having separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities.
- Schedule a weekly time to clean and organize the work space.
- Make a checklist for getting through assignments. For example, a student’s checklist could include such items as: get out pencil and paper; put name on paper; put due date on paper; read directions; etc.
- Meet with a teacher or supervisor on a regular basis to review work; troubleshoot problems.