I was recently in touch with Alvaro Fernandez of SharpBrains.com. He was providing feedback on a guest blog post I had written, and he suggested I include a comment about executive function.
A quick search on my own blog showed me I’ve only written three posts that mention “frontal lobes” and just two that mention “executive function”. Hmm, for an area and function that are rather important, they have not received adequate treatment here! (You might question my planning, which happens to be an executive function skill managed in the frontal lobes.)
Something I know about myself is that during the school year, when an external schedule is imposed me, I am very efficient at managing my time, making plans and carrying them out. During the summer, when everyday is an open day waiting for me to make my mark upon it, I have to work at putting some structure in place so that the day doesn’t disappear.
While the relaxed pace surely rejuvenates my body, my brain could just as easily turn to mush if I didn’t work at providing stimulation for it. Hence, since mornings find me most refreshed, I try to write every morning.
I’m planning to write more about executive function throughout the summer. Meanwhile, below are some sites to help you start thinking about our frontal lobes and what they do.
- Centre for Neuro Skills page on Frontal Lobe Function
- The National Center for Learning Disabilities Executive Function Fact Sheet
- Mind Matters column by Wray Herbert, Newsweek, June 4, 2008 – Is EF the New IQ?
- npr, Morning Edition, February 28, 2008 – Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control
This may seem counterintuitive to what many of us consider child’s play. The students at this early childhood centre are asked to write or draw out their plans prior to engaging in make believe play. The goal of this program, Tools of the Mind, is to teach the children “how to regulate their behavior and emotions.” The plan is to help the children build and strengthen their own executive function.
As for me, I’ve planned for several days now to get out and start walking each morning, and this morning I will finally go and do it! By the way, as hoped for on my June 19th post, I started swimming 3/4 of a mile as of yesterday. 🙂