Self-management skills, also known as executive functions are the ability to plan and execute, complete tasks, fulfill a long term goal (delayed gratification), while staying emotionally regulated. Today’s challenging educational environment exposes and compounds students’ difficulties in this area. So what does a parent when do when they see their virtual learner struggling to:
- Stay engaged with academics
- Complete assignments and/or grades dropping
- Keep their school work, desk, online resources tidy and organized
- Feel accomplished
Here are a few tips to that may help at home:
1) Modeling – kids watch more than they listen. As parents, we forget the power of leading by example. Watching you work, feeling empowered by completing a single task at a time in a distraction free environment helps. If you have quiet work, ‘heads down’ work, do that in the same room as your learner.
2) Engines are contagious – the more focused you are, the more focused they will be and vice versa;
3) Use classical music as background to help with attention and pacing. If your student tends to complete tasks too quickly, use slower music. If they take a bit long, use a faster beat to keep them on task;
4) Discuss a possible work/break cycle. How long can your student stay on task? A good rule of thumb is 30-45 min but each student is different. Use of the kitchen timer to manage expectations can prevent arguments. Breaks include movement – separation from screen time.
5) Set aside time to get organized together.
Executive Functions are the number one indicator of long term student success.
Need more help? Check our Effective Students Course and coaching. Our online course and academic coaches teach Executive Functioning skills helping students become independent learners and drivers of their own success.