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Executive Function and Organization

Many student begin to find they have trouble when entering college though some might start finding things difficult in high school when it comes to organizing, prioritizing and studying what is important. Most of the time the problems begins appearing when they are asked to write papers for their classes. The trouble begins because our students are not being taught, beginning in grade school, how to use their critical thinking skills. Parents and teachers are prompting the student by telling them what they need to do each step of the way. To help your student begin using the executive functions of their brain, start asking them questions to help them think through a problem and have them talk about it aloud. This is the first step in critical thinking or to think about what they are thinking and why. Suggest different strategies and ask questions to help them think. Have them evaluate their thought process. Once they become comfortable talking aloud and discussing problems, instead of trying to fix it for them prompt them to think of ways they could fix it themselves. Your student will become a better student because they are now depending on their own brains instead of those of their parents and instructors. They will be able to think things out and evaluate if what they are planning is right for them. They will also become more flexible and able to adapt or change their planning if it does not seem to be working for them.