Just because your children are on vacation from school doesn’t mean they stop working on crucial executive function skills. While some skills such as note taking are more geared to school environments, with a little creativity, executive function skills can find their way into normal summer fun.
Give these three tips a try this summer:
- Practice planning together: Have them help plan a summer get together with friends or a Fourth of July family picnic. Make lists. Plan what needs to happen three weeks ahead, two weeks ahead, five days ahead, one day ahead, etc. By organizing timelines, your children are unknowingly working on those skills of time management and organization that can be such a struggle with school related tasks but they’re doing so in a relaxed environment.
- Model organization and routines: If you child has a summer reading list or assignment, use that as an opportunity to organize and time chunk tasks. Make a calendar of dates with milestones to keep them on track. In addition, model this type of organization with your own tasks. Let them see you planning and accomplishing milestones toward completion of a larger task this summer. Routines and organization are contagious! Model them and then help them do the same.
- Games: Card games and speed games are a perfect opportunity to work on improvisation as they require shifting strategies around on the fly. Simpler games such as memory or mazes develop persistence and working memory at a developmentally appropriate level.
If you are interested in a more focused approach to these skills, take a look at our Executive Function and Study Skills Camp as FES. Our counselors help students practice skills such as working memory, improvisation, organization and time management. As one parent has said: “I tried Fick Educational Services to help my son learn how to study and get organization skills. The staff was wonderful working with my son and I saw a drastic change for the better in his study habits and much improved grades. It was well worth the money as it made my son take interest in preparing for his classes and become confident that he could do well in school.”
Attacking executive function skills through play this summer in a non-threatening environment will go a long way in making the transition back to school a bit easier. For more information, check out our website at https://fickeducation.com/summer-camps/.