With school, homework, and most extracurricular activities on pause, summer is the ideal time for enrichment, remediation, and skill-building. With fewer items on your child’s to do list, you may be wondering what type of academic support you can squeeze in during this precious downtime. While it’s common to envision summer programs in math, reading, and writing, it’s also the perfect time to address executive function weaknesses.
You may be asking yourself, “How can my child work on executive function skill building without school assignments?” Since there are no traditional school tasks to be used as a base, clearly identified goals must be established. We also recommend using personal appointments, vacations, summer reading assignments, or other school deliverables to support students with calendaring and task management. Students generalize executive function skills more swiftly when given the opportunity to apply the strategies to real life events.
Hayutin & Associates provides year-round executive function coaching to support students with essential skills for academic success. Our executive function program is individualized for each student and generally targets the following skills:
Calendaring, time and task management
Physical and digital organization
Initiation, self-monitoring, and follow-through
Contextualized study skills (i.e. annotation, active reading strategies, note-taking, exam prep)
Short and long-term goal setting (SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound)
In addition to in-person executive function coaching, there are curriculum materials available to provide a structure for support in executive function and study skills. The following curricula are favorites among our associates for a self-contained executive function and study skills program. These materials can be used independently by the student or as part of a structured program with 1:1 tutoring support.
1. iRYZE The iRYZE curriculum was developed by Dr. Jason Stein to offer tools and workbooks to help students create success. Topics covered in the base module include organizing binders and the backpack, managing school and family calendars, organizing a work space, time management, and study skills. Advanced modules also address responsibility, reflection, problem solving, and more.
Learning on Purpose is a guide designed to aid in the development of study skills. It is centered on what the authors have identified as the four factors of studying: yourself as a learner, understanding what you are learning, study conditions, and study methods. The workbook takes a very personalized approach to learning, covering topics such as identifying and overcoming obstacles, structuring study time, and applying study skills within the school environments, and includes numerous worksheets and activities at the end of each chapter.
Developed by ResearchILD, this online curriculum is designed to be taught over nine months and teaches students executive function strategies. Content is delivered via videos, PowerPoint presentations, and strategy reflection sheets. Topics covered include goal setting, cognitive flexibility, organizing and prioritizing, self-monitoring, and accessing working memory.
~Courtney Wittner, M.Ed
Director, Hayutin & Associates