Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Executive Functioning Tips for Parents



Make sure your child knows how to do the task, as opposed to it being an issue with task initiation

Provide a consistent homework routine, including a time the work needs to be completed by and a space that the work is completed in (i.e. a specific room, a specific table, etc.)

Assist your child in breaking down longer, more complex tasks into smaller, more manageable parts.  Have your child check-in with you after each part is completed

Allow choice in what tasks will be done when

Reflect with your child on what strategies/skills worked or did not work for completing a task


Assist your child with using their agenda/planner to record all assignments. (These can be checked on the teacher websites with your student)

Have your student predict how long assignments will take and then follow up with discussion about how long it actually took and why

Work with your student to prioritize their assignments by doing their most difficult subject first

Use a calendar to help your student plan out long-term assignments, breaking it down into smaller segments with interim check-ins to ensure they are being completed

Have your student, organize and pack their backpack upon completing their homework in the evening so there is no scramble in the mornings to find or remember things


Have consistent expectations about when, where and how homework is to be done

Work with your child on making a plan for completion of the evening’s assignments. It should include the order and time for each assignment

Your child may need breaks and these should be part of the schedule/plan discussed at the start of the homework time

Create a chart or reading log to track/monitor reading time to ensure it is not the “forgotten “ homework list

When your child has to read a complete book, assist them into breaking it into smaller segments and create a schedule such as “one chapter per night or so many pages per night”

Long- term assignments should be broken into smaller tasks and put on the calendar so that both you and your child remember and ensure they are completed.


Model these skills by teaching your child “ EVERYTHING HAS A HOME.”

Help your child to use their backpack effectively, including cleaning it out on a regular basis by putting items where they belong

MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS BRINGING HOME THEIR AGENDA BOOK/PLANNER EACH NIGHT.  Review what they have recorded and if they have not recorded, look to the teacher websites and show them how to record their assignments

Help your child set up a system for filing their papers.  DO NOT DO IT FOR THEM, DO IT WITH THEM TO TEACH THE SKILL

Some children use a two-pocket folder for homework – one pocket TO DO,  and the other DONE TO HAND IN.  Other children effectively use an accordion folder with one pocket for each of their subjects.  Others benefit from color- coding their materials for each subject, notebooks, folders, etc.

****Many students benefit from after school time with subject area teachers to work on the organization of their classroom materials.  Encourage your child to do this if you are unsure of what should be kept and how it should be organized

The following was created by Mrs. Holmes, a member of the Student Services Team at WMS.