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greenfields

Sharpening Pencils and Time

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I feel that I'm losing time sharpening pencils and colored pencils - sharpening, breaking graphite, disposing of shavings of dozens upon dozens of pencils.

 

So I ordered 2mm (chunky graphite) mechanical pencils and mechanical colored pencils.

 

Is anyone else feeling like they are losing part of their life sharpening pencils?  I have a packrat spouse who constantly buys these colored pencils and graphite pencils, so it's a crazy mess.

 

Edited by greenfields

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Mechanical pencils don't work for us, but that could just be the age of my kids? 

 

So I keep a few dozen sharpened pencils at the table, so that there's no need to interrupt a lesson with (often-dubious) "sharpening" breaks. (It's a rule, actually... no sharpening during lessons, even if it's your favorite color.) Worn-out pencils are popped into a can set aside for sharpening, and I put one of my children on daily sharpening duty this year (she does it after lunch).  She loves the job, so it's a win-win.  

 

 

 

 

Now if could just catch the teething rascal who keeps biting off the erasers....

 

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That was one of my "since I need to sit beside you while you work anyway, I may as well be doing something with my hands" jobs, along with folding laundry. :-)

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I bought 1.9mm triangular mechanical pencils at the back to school sales this year. I wish I had known about these when my other kids were younger, they are the best! Nice thick leads that don't break very easily (I actually have yet to have one break under normal use and my older boys are the type to write so hard in a notebook that it imprints for several pages after the page they wrote on), replaceable erasers, buying more lead and erasers is inexpensive... I have arthritis and these pencil bodies are nice and thick too and don't make my hands ache as quickly as normal mechanical pencils do.

 

I have a 4 year old that is learning to write his letters and these pencils have been perfect for teaching him to write. He has no trouble at all using these mechanical pencils. I had not thought about looking for colored mechanical pencils with the thicker leads... off to do some shopping now lol.

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Each kid has a nice mechanical pencil, but I have extra regular pencils too. We use these mechanicals. https://www.target.com/p/paper-mate-174-2-mechanical-pencils-with-lead-0-7mm-multicolor-3ct/-/A-14157870?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Seasonal+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Seasonal&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=t&location=9018859&gclid=Cj0KCQjwprbPBRCHARIsAF_7gDbcz_Cz6iHvgNAa6iXXpFzkOkqYSxYg9nV37orxsMekLAHKJIXsfz8aApS8EALw_wcB&gclsrc=

The button to advance the graphite is on the side, which makes it easier for a young kid to use the eraser without messing up the lead. My 4 yo does fine with them. They are a good value: long lasting and inexpensive. I am still using the same one I had in high school and college.

 

We have the twistable colored pencils, but they aren’t as nice in terms of the actual pigment they lay down. Plus, sometimes if you push a little too hard, it will twist back in. I keep a couple sets of the main colors in regular colored pencils. Broken pencils are put aside. At the end of the week I use an electric sharpener on everything that needs it and then I’m done until the next week.

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This is why I pretty much banned pencils as soon as the kids hit the third grade. Third grade was when we were allowed to write in pens in school, third grade is when I insisted the kids use pens.

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Each kid has a nice mechanical pencil, but I have extra regular pencils too. We use these mechanicals. https://www.target.com/p/paper-mate-174-2-mechanical-pencils-with-lead-0-7mm-multicolor-3ct/-/A-14157870?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Seasonal+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Seasonal&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=t&location=9018859&gclid=Cj0KCQjwprbPBRCHARIsAF_7gDbcz_Cz6iHvgNAa6iXXpFzkOkqYSxYg9nV37orxsMekLAHKJIXsfz8aApS8EALw_wcB&gclsrc=

The button to advance the graphite is on the side, which makes it easier for a young kid to use the eraser without messing up the lead. My 4 yo does fine with them. They are a good value: long lasting and inexpensive. I am still using the same one I had in high school and college.

 

We have the twistable colored pencils, but they aren’t as nice in terms of the actual pigment they lay down. Plus, sometimes if you push a little too hard, it will twist back in. I keep a couple sets of the main colors in regular colored pencils. Broken pencils are put aside. At the end of the week I use an electric sharpener on everything that needs it and then I’m done until the next week.

Can I just say how impressed I am that you have a pencil from highschool? I’m pretty old, so that would make my pencil 25+ yrs old if I had one, but seeing as I can’t keep with my “good†pen for a week—well, I’m impressed. [emoji13]

 

 

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We love our electric pencil sharpener with multi size settings. Kids just walk over and sharpen their pencil when they need to. When I was hand sharpening I was pretty sure it was a torture technique in one of Dante's circles of hell.

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We had serious pencil sharpening issues before we started using Ticonderoga pencils. Pencil lead would fall out of the pencils, or would break.

 

Mechanical pencils are a huge click - click - click - oh that's too much lead - click - distraction.

 

Now we just have pencil disappearing problems. 

 

I keep my own pencil case on the shelf next to my desk. It's got some supplies that are mine, and only to be used in my presence (the good wet erase markers, white out, and a few spare pencils).

 

DS has a pencil case too. It's supposed to have 2 pencils in it, but I don't think he got the memo. The pencils keep disappearing when he goes to draw in other rooms, or the baby takes off with a pencil that was left on the desk or floor. 

 

If a pencil must be sharpened during school, I do it, while DS works with a new pencil. Otherwise it just takes too long.

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I bought 1.9mm triangular mechanical pencils at the back to school sales this year. I wish I had known about these when my other kids were younger, they are the best! Nice thick leads that don't break very easily (I actually have yet to have one break under normal use and my older boys are the type to write so hard in a notebook that it imprints for several pages after the page they wrote on), replaceable erasers, buying more lead and erasers is inexpensive... I have arthritis and these pencil bodies are nice and thick too and don't make my hands ache as quickly as normal mechanical pencils do.

 

I have a 4 year old that is learning to write his letters and these pencils have been perfect for teaching him to write. He has no trouble at all using these mechanical pencils. I had not thought about looking for colored mechanical pencils with the thicker leads... off to do some shopping now lol.

Would you mind sharing the brand and where you purchased these?

 

 

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I bought nice mechanical pencils and they have been a lifesaver. I also got the twistables color pencils for coloring, nice art is another matter I guess. Before that I assigned the kids to sharpen a certain number of pencils a week, which worked great when I kept up with it.

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Would you mind sharing the brand and where you purchased these?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I was actually was mistaken, they are 1.3mm not 1.9mm but still, they are the best pencils we've had in a long time. I bought them at Walmart back to school sale and then ordered more from Amazon once we knew we liked them.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Mate-Mechanical-Pencils-Assorted/dp/B00CRGP8B6

 

Those are the ones I ordered. The set I got at Walmart had only 5 pencils I think but had an extra case of leads (which we haven't had to use at all yet) and an extra case of erasers (which we have had to replace a couple the mysteriously disappeared from the tops of a couple of the pencils. I suspect nargles may have ate them.  :rolleyes: ) 

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Thanks for the suggestions!

 

I didn't know about twistable colored pencils which I'll look into.  The pen idea sounds great - no interruptions from clicking or sharpening.

 

Because of the clutter, I want to eliminate more crayons and certain pens.  I'm not fond of pens that smudge (if that makes sense).  There are certain gel-like pens that ooze out wet ink and smudge, and that is driving me nuts, too. 

 

So I often used colored pencils to mark homeschool work because they don't smudge like some pens.

 

 

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Every night I resharpen a jar full of Ticonderoga pencils in our electric sharpener and put them in a jar in our table-top school bin. That's worked well so far, but they do most of their work right at the table, so everything stays put.

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Totally.

 

I just bought a big package of the disposable mechanical pencils several years ago and we're still on it. 

 

The regular pencil sharpener just eats colored pencils, but finally I pulled out my really nice sharpener I bought for an art class ages ago and it works perfectly. I need to figure out where to buy another since ds basically assumed ownership. 

 

Wait - you said mechanical colored pencils?????? Where can I find those??????

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I really hate mechanical pencils. But wasting time due to broken pencils was a problem. This year I solved it. I bought a pack of 24 pencils and sharpened every single one. We have two pencil containers. In one they are point up. These are the sharp ones. If a pencil wears down or breaks it goes into the other container point down. Child grabs a new pencil and continues to work.
At the end of the week we sharpen everything and put them back into the sharpened container.
Since we have a tiny house and everyone works at the kitchen table this worked great. They are always accessible. We have saved so much time and it can no longer be used as a delay tactic.

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My kids used the 1.7 mm mechanical pencils (mentioned above) with great success.

 

Before we found those, sharpening pencils was a classroom job assigned to one of the kids. 

 

Our problem is erasers. ARGH!

Edited by RenaInTexas

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Am I the only one who actually likes sharpening pencils? I do it while listening to history narration, or dictating spelling words and sentences, or giving the kids a hard stare to try to get them to actually do their math workbook. The kids badly want to sharpen their own pencils, but they take too long and make a mess.

 

We have 2 little mason jars for pencils sitting on our school bookshelf, one for tall ones, one for short ones. The shortest pencils move to kids' backpacks.

 

After reading reccomendations here, we have a Carl angel-5 pencil sharpener, and use Mirado and Ticonderoga pencils with Arrowhead eraser caps. We do use other pencils too. We are always getting free pencils at the library, festivals, homeschool conventions... Plus the old pencils my husband and I had, with fresh erasers added.

 

 

I used to love mechanical pencils. Even had a hard time switching to using pen. But I've heard that playing with the leads, taking them apart, and constant clicking are a problem for kids, so we haven't used them yet.

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We love our electric pencil sharpener with multi size settings. Kids just walk over and sharpen their pencil when they need to. When I was hand sharpening I was pretty sure it was a torture technique in one of Dante's circles of hell.

same here :)

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My son likes sharpening pencils with our electric pencil sharpener so much that all our pencils are sharpened.   :thumbup1:

Edited by goldenecho

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I was actually was mistaken, they are 1.3mm not 1.9mm but still, they are the best pencils we've had in a long time. I bought them at Walmart back to school sale and then ordered more from Amazon once we knew we liked them.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Mate-Mechanical-Pencils-Assorted/dp/B00CRGP8B6

 

Those are the ones I ordered. The set I got at Walmart had only 5 pencils I think but had an extra case of leads (which we haven't had to use at all yet) and an extra case of erasers (which we have had to replace a couple the mysteriously disappeared from the tops of a couple of the pencils. I suspect nargles may have ate them.  :rolleyes: ) 

 

Thanks to you, I also got these and they've been great so far. Yes, the clicking might be distracting, but it's way less distracting than constantly breaking other lead or not having it be sharp enough or what not. And everyone down to my 2 year old has used them in the last few weeks, and we've not had a single piece of lead break (yet). I'm seriously impressed, even if I got a bit of sticker shock compared to normal pencils.

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Try Frixion erasable pens. Works great. Blue, black, red, green, purple, pale blue... And they really do erase. Eraser doesn't need replacing and replaceable cartridges for thebink are easy to switch out.

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I was actually was mistaken, they are 1.3mm not 1.9mm but still, they are the best pencils we've had in a long time. I bought them at Walmart back to school sale and then ordered more from Amazon once we knew we liked them.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Mate-Mechanical-Pencils-Assorted/dp/B00CRGP8B6

 

Those are the ones I ordered. The set I got at Walmart had only 5 pencils I think but had an extra case of leads (which we haven't had to use at all yet) and an extra case of erasers (which we have had to replace a couple the mysteriously disappeared from the tops of a couple of the pencils. I suspect nargles may have ate them.  :rolleyes: ) 

 

Yes, these are amazing!  They are all that we use for school now with my 8-year-old and 4-year-old.

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No, not really ever a problem here.

 

I went with a pencil box with about 2 dozen sharpened pencils in it, so if one lead broke, the student just picked up a new pencil. Once every few weeks, we used an electric pencil sharpener and re-sharpened all of the pencils in one 3 minute pencil sharpening session.

 

The one year I tried mechanical pencils, they turned out to be way too much of a "toy" for DSs, what with clicking the lead in and out of the pencil. (Also more expensive as "playing" with the pencils broke the lead and we were always buying replacements.)

 

Switching to typing of papers along about 6th grade helped reduce pencil use at least for writing papers.

 

Also, switching to pens can entirely remove the pencil sharpening issue. Instead of erasing, student can just draw a line through the mistake or the changed answer and write the new answer above/below/next to the original answer.

 

 

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