How Executive Functioning Can Help in Distance Learning

Wednesday, December 2, 2020
A young mother is teaching a daughter to do homework at the wood

Executive functioning is a term developed by psychologists to explain how humans are able to think, feel, act, and make decisions based on a set of learned skills. As children slowly transition from physical classes to online education, the importance of executive functioning for distance learning can’t be ignored. This is what allows children to adapt to their new environment, complete the daily tasks provided by their teachers, and motivates them to achieve their goals.

Even at a young age, children are already equipped with executive functioning, whether they’re aware of it or not. This is what subconsciously drives them to make choices, strategize, and act accordingly based on sensory evidence. Continue reading to learn more.


Helps Children Adapt

Executive functioning may not come naturally to children who are experiencing neurodevelopmental issues, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be trained. Especially now that COVID-19 has forced all classes to go online, adapting might be part of a parent’s number one priority.

With this developmental skill, children are able to successfully fit well in the new learning environment. They aren’t too overwhelmed with the change in location — i.e. the typical blackboard and teacher setup. Instead, they’re still able to do their homework, stay attentive to lessons, and study on their own time with little difficulty.

Even if there is a change in the tools and materials used, your child will eventually get used to this new style of learning.


Aids in Completing Tasks

It’s amazing what children can do once they set their mind on something. You may think that this is the a result of something extraordinary, but it can actually easily be traced back to your child’s executive functioning.

Your child’s teachers may require them do a number of tasks for the week. With your adequate guidance, executive functioning allows your child to organize their activities, prioritize homework, and satisfactorily move on to the next task.

This is because your child may be equipped with the mental drive to make sure that they only focus on the task at hand and that they don’t get easily distracted.


Provides Internal Motivation

You’ve probably heard of the saying “motivation is overrated” and it oftentimes is. Think about it this way: As a parent, you may be keen on motivating your child to do better in their studies. But if they don’t have this internal drive or motivation within them, then your efforts would eventually be useful.

In many ways, executive functioning helps develop your child’s discipline. This is the factor that enables them to start and complete an activity, even if they may not feel like doing it at all.

Even at such a young age, executive functioning can help your child develop lifelong skills that will assist them in the future when they’re faced with far more challenging situations.


Improves Children’s Concentration

For most parents and children, distance learning presents many challenges. Parents might be trying their best to make sure that their home is conducive to their children’s education. This is usually accomplished by eliminating distractions like toys, gadgets, loud noises, and other things that might divert the child’s attention during online classes.

If executive functioning is well developed in your child, they won’t have difficulty in trying to concentrate during lectures. They’re also able to focus on what their instructors are teaching them, and subsequently retain the information for future use.


Key Takeaway

One child development theory that was formulated by child psychologists is executive functioning. For distance learning, this set of skills and know-how is essential because it helps the children to stay focused, avoid distractions, complete tasks, adapt, and retain information without experiencing difficulties.

Not all children will have the same pace or learning capabilities, but this doesn’t mean that nothing can be done about it. Parents just need to make sure that they’re doing their part to make things more manageable for their children.


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