When I began working on Viinko my first stop was research. I spoke with dozens of people and read hundreds of articles to better understand both the problem I had identified and the solutions I thought might help.
One thing I quickly discovered was that what I referred to as disorganized and overwhelmed actually fell within the neuroscience term executive functioning. I have since become very familiar with this term, but the interchangeable use of phrases was confusing when I first began this adventure.
Therefore, I wanted to take a moment to provide a brief breakdown of what executive functioning means and how Viinko aims to address some of the developmental processes that fall within this term.
Executive functioning skills are “the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.”1
Some of the key components of executive functioning include:
- Task Initiation
- Time Management
- Working Memory
All of these behaviors must be taught. Some children develop these skills easily while others do not. While all of these skills are essential to daily life, Viinko focuses on supporting the development of the first four components – planning, organization, task initiation, and time management.
Even though Viinko is focused on certain components of executive functioning, all of the skills listed above are crucial for development and highly interrelated. It is no surprise that strengthening a student’s approach to planning also tests their perseverance or that working on task initiation strengthens a child’s attention.
At Viinko, we provide tools and resources that address the interconnected nature of these skills. Our goal is to provide a place where you child can get organized and in so doing improve all aspects of their executive functioning skills.