Maestro of the Brain: Executive Functioning

Executive functioning skills are key to success.

It’s the night before your child has a big project due and panic has set in. Deadlines have been missed and now your child has a mountain of work to complete. As you hunker down to help, a thought continually buzzes through your head:

How did we get here?

The answer is complicated but often tracks back to a core set of skills known as ‘Executive Functioning’. EF includes planning, working memory, impulse control, focus, and goal setting. Think of Executive Functioning as the Maestro of the Brain.

A partial list of Executive Functioning Skills:

  • self monitoring:  the ability to control impulsivity, actions and words
  • pivoting:  the ability to move smoothly from one situation to another and to think flexibly in order to respond to the new information
  • emotional control:  the ability to control anger, frustration
  • working memory:  the capacity to hld information in the mind for the purpose of completing steps
  • planning and organization:  planning current and future task demands

Students of all ages may need extra help to develop EF. Checklists, setting time limits, graphic organizers, lists, calendars, planners and other tools are invaluable in assisting with executive functioning. This isn’t a short-term fix — getting ‘organized’ is an on-going process which includes finding the best method(s) for you and for your child.

Help with Homework Routine

Students who are frustrated in math frequently need a set routine.

Interesting articles if you want more!

Help with turning in Homework

Executive Functioning Fact Sheet