For Some IL Students, Summer Means Practicing School Preparedness
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Tasks like packing a suitcase for summer travel may be difficult for some Illinois children.
Experts said parents and caregivers can help kids over the summer with the skills known as "executive functions." Adults can be alert to a child's difficulties with their ability to adjust thinking and stay on task, as well as impulse control.
Katie Gleason, director of children's mental health consultation for the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, said plenty can be done during the summer months to help prepare children for the next school year, not necessarily with assigning homework.
"It's play-based, it's relationships, it's routines," Gleason outlined. "Another thing is making sure we're breaking down big tasks into smaller steps; working on a puzzle, you can help them identify the steps."
Gleason noted rapid growth in executive function skills for children takes place from ages 3 to 5, and then again in adolescence and early adulthood. Gleason said the YWCA is one place to learn more about executive function and what adults can do to encourage these skills.
"An air traffic control system at a busy airport" is how Harvard's Center on the Developing Child refers to executive function skills, and it said they are critical to healthy development.
Gleason agreed, and cautioned parents and caregivers not to blame a child for poor behavior when it may be connected to what is developmentally appropriate.
"If we shift our way of thinking and saying, 'Oh, this child can't do this,'" Gleason urged. "Instead, we need to be thinking as adults, and as education and care systems, 'What are we doing to help the child develop?'"
Reflection Sciences offers a play-based screening tool to assess levels of executive function skills in children. The results can help parents and teachers follow up with strategies tailored to their child's developmental level.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
California's medical aid-in-dying law is back in court. Three patients with disabilities and two doctors are asking to intervene in a lawsuit …
A new federal jobs program aims to mobilize tens of thousands of young Americans to address the growing threats of climate change. The American …
Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago says its student body and campus are growing - and so are its options for people to study in STEM fields…
Health and Wellness
By Nathalia Teixeira for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration…
Maine's new Office of Affordable Health Care holds its first public hearing this week, and people are being strongly encouraged to participate…
The number of children locked behind bars in Alabama has declined, but their advocates said more needs to be done to create alternatives to …
This coming Saturday, North Dakotans will get a chance to see how election workers go to great lengths to ensure a safe and secure voting process…
Scientists at Purdue University have been experimenting to create adhesives designed to be easier on the environment. So many products from …