Executive Function Coaching

Executive skills are brain based skills required for humans to perform, or execute, tasks. Most of us have a spectrum of executive skills strengths as well as weaknesses. The goal of this program is to implement and design interventions to address specifically identified weaknesses.  

     In neuroscience terminology, there are eleven separate skills included within the definition of Executive Function:

  • response inhibition (thinking before you act)
  • working memory (holding information in memory while performing complex tasks)
  • emotional control (managing emotions to achieve goals and tasks and direct behavior)
  • sustained attention (paying attention despite distractions, fatigue, and boredom)
  • task initiation (beginning projects without procrastinating)
  • planning/prioritization (creating steps to complete a task knowing what is important and what is not)
  • organization (creating and maintaining systems to keep track of information or items)
  • time management (estimating how much time there is, how to allocate it, and knowing that time is important)
  • goal-directed persistence (identifying a goal and following through to completion without distraction from competing interests)
  • flexibility (revising plans as conditions change)
  • metacognition (self-monitoring, and self-evaluating).

Smart But Scattered, Dawson and Guare (2009), 16-17.

     Increasingly research has demonstrated the correlation between academic and social success in school and competency in Executive Function skills. 2005 Psychological Science, Duckworth and Siegelman, 939.  Specifically it has been found that self discipline is a greater predictor of academic performance than IQ scores. Id.  Conversely, poor performance in Executive Function skills is associated with high dropout rates, drug use, and crime. High School Executive Functions, Rush Neurobehavioral Center, ii. .Eighty-eight percent of college students studied said that time management was the greatest challenge in college; eighty-seven percent said that overall organizational skills were their greatest obstacle to achieving better grades.  Greenfield Online (2006). 

     Rush Neurobehavioral Center (RNBC) conducts trainings for educators in which implementation strategies are demonstrated so as to achieve mastery of executive functions in the classroom. RNBC believes that these skills must be incorporated into the educational setting and into lesson plans. I attended this training, and have implemented their curriculum in my home education setting for the last five academic years.  The lessons taught through RNBC are pure gold, and have radically changed the outcome of my students' school journey not only in terms of academic performance, but also, and more importantly,  in self esteem.

      If you are wondering where to begin for your student, I would suggest the Program to Thrive Academic Planner.  It is NOT ESSENTIAL to my coaching that you have this planner.  But I wholeheartedly believe that this planner is a springboard to success. 

     The two things that make this planner effective are first, the procedure, and second, the follow through.  Please take the time to read the subsequent information on the planner and/or view the video for more information. 

     Thank you for the time you are investing in your student!  It will pay in dividends throughout their lives. 


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Executive Function Coaching

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