I had a pause button, aka a 3-month, Adele-addicted, divorce fog hiatus. (And I tell my students not to go overboard writing odd strings of adjectives!)
Along with brand new students and a brand new home/work space and brand new ways of greeting the mornings solo sans husband, who, despite reading the iconic book, "I Don't Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret of Male Depression", slid into a shadow of grief and shred of his former self in the last year and finally said he could not "engage" anymore.
For over a decade he was a pillar of, model of, paragon of support, affection and representation of what men were capable of being: vulnerable, yet he could also fix an electrical short or a roof. But after losing his parents, then other losses toppling over the multi-layered mountain, he closed his nerves, eyes, heart, and sensitivities and became like my rusty stereotyped view of men!
So... in my private practice, in a much smaller office but an extremely organized space with lots of baskets and a downsized collection of books, I change brains and habits.
I have those boys who would rather be doing anything but writing, girls who have magnificent ideas but forget what they were when they put pen to paper, and everything in between. I said no to summer clients who wanted their children to spell better in first drafts, be able to write essays like the Common Core Standards criteria in 3rd grade, and more. I explained that I am not that kind of learning specialist.
I keep coming back to the 5 W's, sentence-level work, Show Don't Tell drills, and just creating topic sentences and titles practice, to build the Main Idea concept, and learn the six formulas for Topic Sentences so well that they can then go on and make their own templates.
Joyed to hear one student say that he was reading to find good sentences instead of just reading for blood and guts, (tends to read graphic novels with graphic horror).
For your summer reading, here is my article on Handwriting Tips for Parents, in the recent issue of ADDitude.
Next BLOG will be meat-ier, in August.