Summer Executive Function Intensives

A growing number of students of all ages struggle with executive functions, a wide-ranging category of fundamental study strategies and approaches critical for academic success. Students who struggle with executive functions frequently have difficulty completing a number of essential tasks, including:

  • Organizing time
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Remaining focused on homework assignments
  • Taking adequate notes
  • Studying for exams
  • Organizing papers
  • Shifting between subjects and assignments
  • Monitoring progress
  • Setting goals
  • Balancing academic work with socialization
  • Responding productively to confusion
  • Responding to negative feedback or poor grades
  • Advocating for themselves

Frequently, executive function skills are not taught in schools, leaving children and young adults with the difficult task of developing them on their own. As students transition from elementary school through high school, college and beyond, the demands for enhanced executive function ability increase exponentially. Students who struggle with executive functions at younger ages are therefore more likely to experience significant difficulties later in their academic careers. As a result, unaddressed executive function difficulties may simultaneously jeopardize both a student’s enjoyment of learning as well as his or her performance in class, causing diminished self-esteem.

Individual U.’s Summer Executive Function Intensives are designed to address each student’s unique executive function strengths and challenges. Following a review of past student work, discussions with parents, and Eye-to-IU sessions with the student, Individual U. mentors create remediation programs designed to address underlying gaps in the student’s executive function abilities. Students work one-on-one with our mentoring team, studying global executive function approaches in addition to subject-specific applications of these approaches. A typical program, for example, might include dedicated executive function support in conjunction with mentored sessions covering executive function skills as they apply to writing an expository paper, mastering biology, conducting historical research or studying for geometry exams. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for integrated subject-specific executive function work to draw from the content material students will cover in the subsequent fall semester. As a result, these intensives may incorporate certain “pre-teaching” elements.

The length of Summer Executive Function Intensives is determined based upon each student’s unique needs. However, typically students will enroll in two-week, four-week or eight-week programs, which may be comprised of half-day or full-day sessions several times per week. In designing summer programs, we collaborate with students and families to ensure that students have adequate time to rest and enjoy the summer. In some cases, the student’s relationship with Individual U. continues into the fall, with mentors working with him or her to implement strategies developed over the summer. Longer and more intensive programs that extend over a year present the opportunity for rewiring of executive function circuitry and, in essence, remediation or even repair of executive function deficits.

As with all Individual U. programs, opportunities exist to individualize Executive Function Intensives to include sports, athletic training, chi channeling arts, dance, fine arts and other areas in which enriched study is desired.