Folders For Focusing

Helping Children Succeed!

Executive Functioning Skills

It’s a big deal — learning how to focus and pay attention!

All of us need many skills to live our lives successfully, but nobody comes into this world bearing any of these capabilities. Rather, we must learn and develop them as with any skill like walking, talking, listening, throwing a ball, etc. Among the skills most important include a set referred to as Executive Functioning Skills. For children, these include learning to:


Listen & Pay Attention


Initiate Action


Plan & Set Priorities


Follow Directions


Learn A Process






Manage Time


Complete A Task


Improve Memory

From the American Psychological Association

“The strongest predictors of later achievement are school-entry math, reading, and attention skills in that order.”

Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child says . . .

“When children have opportunities to develop executive functioning and self-regulation skills, individuals and society experience lifelong benefits. These skills are critical for learning and development.”

“Providing the support that children need to build these skills … is one of society’s most important responsibilities.”

Researchers at Harvard

Our Discovery

Some years ago when our daughter’s children were 9, 7, 5, and 3 years old, we were visiting and saw the kids seated around the kitchen table getting ready to do their homework (yes, even the 3 year old had something to do). But they weren’t in their seats for even a minute when the seven year old kicked his sister, the littler sister started to cry, and the older boy threw a crayon at his brother the kicker.

But then, our cool-headed daughter set up a little homemade privacy barrier in front of each of her children, and just like that, everything was quiet. Unbelievably quiet. The boys started their homework and did it willingly while the girls were coloring. The change was amazing and we were floored.

During the next few days, I mentioned this story to several friends and one of them, a speech pathologist at an elementary school, expressed great interest and introduced us to this subject known well by educators — Executive Functioning Skills.

So we took our daughters idea and created Folders for Focusing. And not so surprising to us, they really work well in helping many, many kids quiet down, pay attention, and focus.

So Many Challenges

Many children simply do not know how to pay attention and focus and it’s due so much to all of the distractions that exist in their worlds today – TV, games, gadgets, phones, stress, anxiety, autism, ADHD, hunger, and others. We sympathize with these children and their parents and grandparents because the challenges are so major.

Many Uses of
Folders for Focusing:

Classroom Privacy Folders, Sibling Privacy Shields, Personal Work Station, Practice Folder, Language Therapy Tool, Game or Drawing Folder, Process Support Tool, Planning & Time Management Aid, Visible Directions

The Science

Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of Focus for Kids: Enhancing Concentration, Caring, and Calm

“The ability to focus is the hidden driver of excellence. Children who learn how to focus in our fast-paced, distracting world do better in school.”

Dr. Goleman has also said, “Neurologists tell us that [these skills] hinge on the growth of a neural strip in the brain’s prefrontal cortex which connects circuitry that helps manage attention. This circuitry grows with the rest of the brain from birth through childhood and the teen years.

The more a youngster can practice keeping her focus and resist distraction, the stronger and more richly connected the neural real estate becomes. This mental ability is like a muscle — it needs proper exercise to grow strong. One way to help kids is by giving them regular sessions of focusing time, the neural equivalent of workouts in a gym.”

Even Oprah has published research work by Kuman Learning who reported that ...

“Helping children develop self-discipline, effective focus strategies, and concentration skills at an early age is a basis for long-term success in high school, college, and the working world.”

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