Academic Tutoring vs. Executive Functioning for Sophomores

Melissa Pluchos
August 6, 2023
min read

10th graders are also known as sophomores, a term taken from the Greek to mean clever or wise ('sophos') and foolish ('moros'), or put together: “wisefools”. Does that sound about right?

They feel they know all about how to navigate high school (so they may not be the ones to actively study our (Transition to High School Checklist)! Plus, many have interpreted their challenges from 9th grade as lessons learned; in other words, 10th-grade classes… they’ve got this!

Familiar? As a former university academic advisor, I heard this quite a bit from my college sophomores at the start of the year.

As an IEC, knowing your students and their habits, you may want to push for more formal outside support regardless of your sophomores’ confidence. For my college sophomores, the mid-term warning grades would often arrive a little late to make most effective changes. Planning for support should start early and it can take a number of different forms:

Academic tutoring typically starts up in a subject where the grade from the previous year may indicate a challenge in the 10th-grade year. Like finding the best-fit college, there is no one-size-fits-all for the various forms that tutoring can take:
Weekly or biweekly sessions from the start in a subject matter that is cumulative like math or a foreign language.
Occasional support as needed, especially approaching deadlines, larger assignments, research projects, or writing pieces. Planning ahead with an on-demand tutor like this can be critical when needed during the academic year, to ensure availability.
More frequent sessions during the 2nd semester approaching end of grade tests and AP exams.
Executive Function coaching—where the focus is less on academic content and instead on planning, attention, organization, flexibility, self-advocacy and self-management—can be applied across classes and become impactful for the entire high school career.

Wondering how to identify candidates and suggest to families that they dig in a little deeper about what can be learned from last year’s challenges? Our EF Quiz is one to share with your class of sophomores. Here’s to promoting greater wisdom during the 10th-grade year!

Students can take our EF Quiz here.

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