How to Teach Executive Functions for Homeschoolers and Distance Learners
We now have a nation of homeschoolers. Prior to March 2020, only about 4% of parents were choosing to homeschool their children, while a recent poll by Outschool indicated that more than 60% of parents are uncomfortable sending their children back to school this academic year. Additionally, 40% of parents surveyed reported that they were considering homeschooling their children during the 2020/2021 school year. Many parents are beginning to realize how difficult homeschooling their children can be and are beginning to look for resources to make homeschooling successful. Organizations such as the Home school Legal Defense Association, National Home School Association, and the HomeSchool Mom have been providing advice to homeschoolers for years and are now advising the COVID-19 generation of homeschooling parents. While our team at LearningWorks has always considered the needs of homeschooled students to master executive functioning skills, there is a new urgency for teaching these skills to children who are engaged in distance learning for the first time. Through our LW4K Live classes and parent webinars, we can demonstrate how to teach executive functions for homeschoolers and distance learners.
LearningWorks for Kids is an educational technology company that advises parents, educators, and clinicians on using popular screen-based technologies to improve executive-functioning and social-emotional learning (SEL) skills. Our LW4K Live programs are ideal for teaching skills such as time management, prioritization, sustained focus, and task initiation that are crucial to kids learning from home. Our programs and parent training focus on improving executive functioning and social-emotional learning skills while using games and apps to practice and support these skills. We help homeschooling parents transform their children’s fascination with playing Minecraft, Fortnite creative mode, and Roblox into skills such as planning, organization, and time management. Our game-based programs offer children an opportunity to take a break in their studies and help them to develop skills that make them into better and more efficient learners.
We also advise homeschooling parents about many home-based strategies they can use to improve their children’s executive-functioning and SEL skills. While homeschooling and distance learning parents have many resources available to them for teaching traditional academic skills, soft skills such as cognitive flexibility, self-control, working memory, and self-awareness are not typically found in traditional homeschooling curriculum.
We have begun to offer small-group, online classes,to teach executive-functioning skills on Outschool.com, where many homeschoolers have sought educational programming. LearningWorks for Kids classes are fun for kids because we use popular video games as teaching tools. These low-cost classes also provide parents with ongoing suggestions to practice these skills outside of the class. We offer webinars, parent consultation, a subscription service, and small group executive function technology training through our website.
To get started on improving your child’s executive functioning skills for remote, distance learning check out the following articles:
- What Are Executive Functions? The Importance of Working Memory This post describes the crucial skill of working memory for learning.
- 4 Executive Functions Improved by Learning to Dictate. This post helps kids learn how to use dictation to help with planning and organizing their written work.
- Three Activities for Homeschoolers to Improve Executive Functions This post describes the importance of task initiation for homeschoolers.