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What is Executive Function?

Executive function is a set of mental skills that we use every day. Some of the fundamentals include working memory, self-control, flexible thinking, among others. All students have the potential to develop these skills but not all students develop them at the same rate!  For some students, this can make staying on task, harnessing emotions, and managing overall daily life much more difficult. Some students may require intervention and instructional support in order to help them succeed. Students of all academic levels can struggle with executive function. Regardless, every student must develop strong executive functioning skills in order to survive and thrive as they progress through higher levels of education and beyond.

The three main areas of executive function are: working memory, cognitive flexibility, and self-control, all of which enable students to develop the ability to pay attention, to plan, start and stay focused on tasks, understand different points of view, manage emotions, and self-regulate.


How do I know if my child could benefit from Executive Function support? 

Students who struggle with Executive Function may have difficulty with:

  • Starting and/or completing tasks
  • Prioritizing tasks
  • Following directions
  • Remembering what someone just told them
  • Responding to a change in routine
  • Switching between tasks
  • Handling emotions and/or over-fixating on certain problems
  • Managing their belongings, time, and expectations


How Executive Function coaching can help: 

Our Executive Function and Academic Support coaches can help students every step of the way. While sometimes cognitive difficulties present themselves when students are younger, they can also be triggered at any time by life events such as moving, transitions between schools and/or college, family situations, and more.

At Carnegie Prep, we work one-on-one with students to assess strengths and weaknesses and create a customized plan. Our passion lies in unlocking the potential in each individual student and allowing them to gain the skills and confidence needed to see themselves as good students and test takers.

Our experts ensure that students not only thrive in their current intellectual and academic pursuits, but further develop the habits and skills needed for future success. We work on all of the skills listed above through exercises and projects that utilize students’ attention, working memory, organizational skills, concept and idea generation, and more, depending on what a given student needs most.  The form below allows you to provide all the details we need to match you with your perfect tutor. If you have any questions or would like to speak directly with one of our advisors, please call us at 203.352.3500 or email us at [email protected].


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