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Thread: Pencil SOS

  1. #1

    Default Pencil SOS

    Is there a quality brand of pencils?

    I hate traditional pencils! I have tried sharpener after sharpener -manual, the kind you turn around, and electric, even sharpening with a knife. If I get a nice point, the pencil lead breaks. My aunt got the kids halloween pencils and I cant even get 2 out of 24 to sharpen. I tried USA gold, the cheap no. 2 pencils, ones from the teacher supply store, on and on and on - ugh!

    Are there any quality brands that sharpen easily and don't break every 2 seconds?

    Should I just try eraseable pens?
    My DS (1st grade) still pushes his pencil down way too hard, so I haven't tried mechanical pencils.

    I like to have around 20 sharpened pencils at the ready so that we can just throw down any that break and get another, but my hands hurt from sharpening so many broken ones at the end of everyday. Help!

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  3. #2

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    Id just go to pens, skip the erasable pens too because they write like crap. DS11 only uses pencils for math.... DS5 uses markers still because he doesnt have the pressure to write properly with pencils.

    Maybe you are trying to make the pencils too sharp? We have used everything from Party City’s Pokemon flavored pencils to Office Depots pretentious adult-grade pencils, and havent noticed any appreciable difference.

    When I use a mechanical pencil, I prefer the very thick lined one .9 I think, so that it doesnt break.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3

    Default

    I don't know how helpful this would be, but you might want to try various pencil grips. My youngest is dysgraphic and also applies too much pressure and has a poor grip on the pencil. His occupational therapists have tried many different grips with him, and certain shapes (they sort of look like silly putty with two indentations) really seem to help him. It might be worth a try for your son. Otherwise, I agree with Alexsmom - stick to pens. Good luck!

  5. #4

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    We have never even used pencils. My kids love their sparkly pens, and gel pens (and markers) are much easier to write with (less pressure needed)...and, personally, I hate the erasable things - first, there is so much time wasted on erasing something that can be just crossed out in 1 second and rewritten; second, the little shreds of the eraser make such a mess! Could never understand the thing about using pencils.
    mom to 3 girls: DD9, DD8, DD5

  6. #5

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    I like pencils. I don't know why. Something about them is just nice to write with, the feeling or the sound they make on the paper.

    Anyway, I totally understand your frustration. I hate pencil leads that break in poor quality pencils! At my daughter's public school they had to buy staedtler ones. I find they are pretty good for the leads not breaking either when sharpening or when writing.

    I recently got my kids a Stabilo EasyErgo mechanical pencil each, and they really like them. They come with a thicker lead than a regular mechanical pencil, a super thick lead for little kids and a moderately thick one for older kids.

    We also have Faber Castell colored pencils that I like and have had no issues with breakages. I also have a bunch of black lead ones I used to use when I did art and graphics. They mainly do art stuff but have the black lead pencils in HB, which are good for writing.

    Edited to add: for erasing, I like the Faber Castell dust free erasers. They don't make lots of little bits.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 10-25-2017 at 04:40 PM.

  7. #6

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    Dixon Ticonderogas are the best brand by far in most ratings. But be sure to get the traditional yellow or black ones. Some of the others are made differently.

    (Well, Palominos are really better... but don't bother for a kid. They're expensive.)

    For the sharpener, I have read reviews and been in these conversations before... there are a couple of good ones worth the money for colored pencils, but as a former classroom teacher who went through a million of them, I think the most important thing is that it be a plug in sharpener and not a battery or crank one. Right now we have the iPoint from Westcott. I think we're on our second, but it's a fine sharpener. Not bad. But there are others.

    Honestly, you want him to stop pressing too hard though... a mechanical pencil is one way to break him. It will be a hard week when you do it, but he'll probably learn from it. A fountain pen is another potential way to break him from pressing too hard - they also won't tolerate it. You can get a decent disposable fountain pen now as well, but I forget what the two good brands are (obviously I am more of pencil person!).
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  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_Mama View Post
    I like pencils. I don't know why. Something about them is just nice to write with, the feeling or the sound they make on the paper.

    Anyway, I totally understand your frustration. I hate pencil leads that break in poor quality pencils! At my daughter's public school they had to buy staedtler ones. I find they are pretty good for the leads not breaking either when sharpening or when writing.

    I recently got my kids a Stabilo EasyErgo mechanical pencil each, and they really like them. They come with a thicker lead than a regular mechanical pencil, a super thick lead for little kids and a moderately thick one for older kids.

    We also have Faber Castell colored pencils that I like and have had no issues with breakages. I also have a bunch of black lead ones I used to use when I did art and graphics. They mainly do art stuff but have the black lead pencils in HB, which are good for writing.

    Edited to add: for erasing, I like the Faber Castell dust free erasers. They don't make lots of little bits.
    Thanks for responding! I was starting to feel like the only person with this problem. I'm off to amazon to order some Staedtler pencils.
    Last edited by NewMommy6111; 10-25-2017 at 04:58 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farrarwilliams View Post
    Dixon Ticonderogas are the best brand by far in most ratings. But be sure to get the traditional yellow or black ones. Some of the others are made differently.

    (Well, Palominos are really better... but don't bother for a kid. They're expensive.)

    For the sharpener, I have read reviews and been in these conversations before... there are a couple of good ones worth the money for colored pencils, but as a former classroom teacher who went through a million of them, I think the most important thing is that it be a plug in sharpener and not a battery or crank one. Right now we have the iPoint from Westcott. I think we're on our second, but it's a fine sharpener. Not bad. But there are others.

    Honestly, you want him to stop pressing too hard though... a mechanical pencil is one way to break him. It will be a hard week when you do it, but he'll probably learn from it. A fountain pen is another potential way to break him from pressing too hard - they also won't tolerate it. You can get a decent disposable fountain pen now as well, but I forget what the two good brands are (obviously I am more of pencil person!).
    I have been trying to break him of the habit. He was in OT for about a year, working on his pencil grasp and some sensory issues. He still has some struggle with fine motor tasks, but no longer qualifies for OT unfortunately.

    I think he pushes hard with the pencil to compensate for some of the weakness in his hand. We practice handwriting on the dry erase board and he has to use the markers gently.

    At our house pencils are mostly for drawing whatever the kids want to draw. DS likes to be able to erase when drawing. But he also writes for his math (where erasing is essential) and ETC sheets (I just pick a few from every lesson, and never the handwriting ones because that is too much for him right now).

    Thanks for your recommendations! What makes the differnce between battery-operated and plug-in sharpeners?

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewMommy6111 View Post
    Thanks for responding! I was starting to feel like the only person with this problem. I'm off to amazon to order some Staedtler pencils.
    We use the red and black ones (edited to add: called ' staedtler tradition'). Hope they help.

    The thick lead on the Stabilo EasyErgo 3.15 seems to be pretty resistant to breaking for a mechanical pencil too. My 4.5 year old does not go easy on it. It comes with its own sharpener.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 10-25-2017 at 05:09 PM.

  11. #10

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    My DS15 with autism likes to chew on pencils so we go through them like crazy. Costco had the ticonderago pencils in bulk and I bought them. They are definitely the best for staying sharp and writing well even with pressure issues with kids with OT issues. Nothing is perfect, but they are my favorite of the #2 wooden kind. Alternatively we love the sumo pencils 9 mm. They have a soft grip. I get them off of amazon. My only issue with them is that DS15 can use them when doing work, but I have to remember to take them the minute he is done so that they don't get chewed. They do not survive that and at 3$ a pop, I don't want them broken.

    I also have an iPoint but it says Axis and it works very well. I think I got it at Target.
    Beth
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

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Pencil SOS