READING (CBS) – It’s a big year for Hannah Shapiro, a junior at Reading High School and she’s glad she’s got Laurie Wasserman on her side. Laurie is a coach with Beyond Book Smart, a company that focuses on helping kids improve executive function skills which are critical for managing time and completing tasks.
Hannah’s mom Laura noticed her daughter struggling during her freshman year. “It starts to be the center of your day. Have you done this? Did you do this? When are you going to do that, let’s go” she said recalling her frustrations and concerns.
According to company founder, Michael Delman, executive function skills are particularly important for kids who have learning disabilities.
“But really any student who has a phone and a laptop, they probably could get some benefit out of learning how to manage their time, how to resist distractions and stay focused on priorities,” he explained.
Coaches like Laurie work on strategies to help kids break down tasks to small manageable steps so they don’t end up putting things off until it’s too late.
“A lot of people think that I am a tutor, but I’m not. A coach helps with the big picture, helping kids with organization, helping with tests, with really big projects that have a lot of steps,” she said.
According to Delman, prioritization is a big part of the puzzle. “You can end up spending a lot of time on things that don’t really matter and end up delaying the things that matter quite a bit until it’s too late. It can crush your grades. It can end up with tremendous stress,” he said.
Hannah’s mom says she no longer feels the need to nag, and the coaching has boosted Hannah’s confidence.
“My grades improved a lot, which is really, really good,” Hannah said through a huge smile.
Delman also recently published a new book with information about executive function skills.