Studying isn’t just the acquisition of information, it’s the development of skills. With large classrooms, most teachers don’t have the time to impart the study skills that students need to be successful.
Abilities like being organized, staying focused, time management and task initiation are called executive skills. While some students may have an aptitude for these abilities, they are not innate talents, they are learned skills. This means that anyone can learn to be organized, to initiate tasks like studying and homework without being nagged to do so, to be organized and find enough time for all the essential tasks.
What are Executive Skills?
Organization and time management skills are two executive skills that can really be grade changers.
Working memory development helps students to remember instructions and information so that they are able to build the foundation blocks of their knowledge.
Task initiation and self-monitoring enable students to see what needs to be done and get to it without being told to do so or being guided by an adult. They also have a fair idea of how they are doing so they know when they need to put more effort in.
Flexible thinking helps with problem solving and out-of-the-box thinking.
How to teach Executive Skills
So just how do you teach these commutable skills? Well, Tutor Doctor has done much research into this field and they have developed a program called X-skills. This is a step-by-step program that guides students through their day and helps them to plan ahead for the future.
The X-skills program comes with a booklet that shows them how to allot the right amount of time to each assignment and for exam preparation so that there is no last-minute cramming.
The program develops organizational skills so students are able to prioritize tasks and have enough time for studying, homework and sports activities while working around social time.
Start by determining your child’s dominant learning style. If you have a kinesthetic learner, telling them to do their homework will not be the most effective way to communicate. Instead, asking them to get up and move to the homework area, to organize their desk and backpack and to write in their diaries are better ways to get a positive result.
Set goals that are challenging, but attainable. Children are far more committed to achieving goals that they have set themselves. Have long and short-term goals and feel free to sweeten the deal with rewards.
Create a roster or diary that is color coded. Work with the diary every day to ensure that all homework, assignments, events and exams are recorded. The color code will help students to prioritize time and tasks.
Use apps and games to develop working memory and flexible thinking. Guide your student until they get the hang of it, then step back and allow them to develop the skills they need to be great learners for life. If you need help getting started, you can download a FREE sample copy of the X-skills program here.