Debra Lambrecht, Founder, Caulbridge Education | January 10, 2017
You may have heard ‘I hate math’ or ‘I’m not good at reading’. Learning is a natural process for children, so when they resist learning they may be telling us something much more significant. They may be letting us know they do not have the executive functioning skills to understand what we’re asking. Dismissing these symptoms as someone who ‘is just not a math person’ would be a disservice and may perpetuate compensation strategies that are likely to cause further problems down the road.
Executive functioning is more than being organized. Executive function skills include the ability to stop and think before acting or impulse control; the ability to regulate or manage one’s emotional life; and the ability to mentally hold a picture and manipulate information or working memory. While these skills are essential for academic success, they are not necessarily developed through academics. Working memory, for example, relies on spatial awareness, balance and imagination. Children with under-developed working memory may appear scattered, have poor motor control, and be drawn to sensory seeking behaviors like fidgeting, pushing or playing rough. When these foundational skills are under-developed, giving a child an organizer, even a beautiful color-coded organizer, is not likely to result in more effective prioritizing or focus. Building proprioceptive capacity also known as spatial awareness in support of working memory however, will in turn support executive functioning and academics.
In an attempt to meet the growing concern of children who are ill-equipped for learning, the education system responds to individual symptoms presented. Caulbridge School recognizes the more pressing need to build a strong foundation that naturally supports future learning.
Caulbridge School intentionally supports the healthy physiological, creative and social development of the child. This becomes a solid foundation for the deeper learning outcomes of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, self-confidence and ethics. Higher thinking, cognitive development and personal resilience are natural products of our developmental model.
Series of interactive sessions that support executive functioning skills for children – learn more
Professional development for teachers – learn more