Tips & Activities to Build Executive Functioning Skills

Tips & Activities to Build Executive Functioning Skills

Time management. Self-control. Perseverance. It’s never too early to instill essential life skills and build fruitful habits. Here at RCDS, we’re 100% committed to helping your children succeed in all facets. That’s why we incorporate specialized executive functioning education into our N-8 programs, providing a firm foundation that carries children into adulthood.

And now we’re excited to announce our new FREE executive functioning e-book! This easy-to-follow intro guide features useful tips and interactive activities you can try at home with your kids right away. Together, we can empower your children by laying the groundwork they need now. We also understand that learning doesn’t just end when the bell rings — and kids often learn best when it’s fun. From board games and logic puzzles to cooking recipes and making wish-lists, our downloadable e-book offers a selection of entertaining, brain-boosting suggestions for children of all ages, including those with language-based learning differences. (You’ll love playing along too!)

In 2018, researchers at Penn State and the University of California, Irvine published the results of an in-depth study titled “Executive Functions Deficits in Kindergarten Predict Repeated Academic Difficulties Across Elementary School.” They followed over 11,000 students who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The 74 reported, “The survey assessed students’ proficiency in math, reading, and science, as well as their development of the three EF skills [working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control] in both spring and fall of the years between kindergarten and third grade.” During this period, the researchers found a strong correlation between executive functioning difficulties in early childhood and poor academic performance.

According to The Hechinger Report, “Troubles with executive function can put children on a low and sluggish learning curve that they are unlikely to break out of … Regardless of race, income and early childhood academic abilities, the researchers found that kids who had executive function problems were more likely to struggle academically in subsequent years.” 

Executive functioning is key to accomplishing goals and comprises the following cognitive processes:

·       Planning
·       Organization
·       Time Management
·       Task Initiation
·       Working Memory
·       Metacognition
·       Self-Control
·       Sustained Attention
·       Flexibility
·       Perseverance

“These 10 fundamentals are all connected,” says Natalie Diehl, Director of Student Services and The Jayne S. Carmody School at RCDS. “They are never developed in isolation. In order for a student to be able to plan, they have to have self-control. Perseverance depends on metacognition, self-control, and sustained attention. The Executive Functioning Program at RCDS is intentionally designed to develop all these skills in our students.”

Get a head start on your child’s future. Teaching them productive patterns while they’re still young will set the stage for high school, college, and beyond. Learn more here and download your FREE e-book today!

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