Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday Backwards Edition

Rock's in My Dryer is hosting a backwards "Works for me Wednesday".

This might sound silly - but it is a problem for me. Pencils. and Pencil Sharpeners.

We homeschool so we go through a lot of pencils. The problem isn't so much that the lead is breaking all the time, but then when I go to sharpen the pencil, it starts getting sharp and then the lead pops out. I might go through this process a couple of times with one pencil before I either give up and throw away the pencil or try a 3rd time and it's fine.

Here is my question - what kind of pencils can I buy that won't keep breaking so easily? I've bought all sorts of different pencils, including mechanical pencils (lead is too thin for the kids - breaks more easily than others), those plastic pencils with the little individual leads that when one gets dull you pull it out and pop it in the top and the next one comes down (works ok for awhile but seems like the little leads end up getting lost or after a few are too dull - then the leads inside are too short for the pencil to work). As well I've bought regular pencils.

Also I've tried a variety of sharpeners...a small hand sharpener, an attached to the wall old school crank handle sharpener, a battery operated sharpener.

It is worth it to invest in one of those sharpeners that you plug in? Any advice is welcome - thanks!


Anonymous said...

Try a mechanical pencil with a .7 lead. Yes, an electric pencil sharpener is a good thing, but NOT for colored pencils- use a little rectangular plain-Jane cheapie for that. Ticonderoga is a fantastic pencil. I have 456 students. I know pencils.

ames said...

Try to avoid dropping pencils, that's what causes the lead to break inside the pencil. It's a huge problem with colored pencils for art supplies, the softer the lead the more fragile it is.

I'm right there with anonymous' comment on electric sharpeners too, use the hand crank ones for colored pencils, it's very easy to snap the tip off when using an electric sharpener.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I love our plug-in electric sharpener that we inherited from Mr. Mordecai's grandmother. It's excellent!

As for lead breaking, I HATE that. I've noticed that some brands do it more than others but I can't remember any specifics. My suggestion is to find a brand that works for you and stick with it. That's kind of obvious, though.

fullheartandhands mama said...

Thanks for the tips on vacuuming the stairs. I'll try the stiff broom soon. I've been wanting a good handheld, so maybe that is in our future.

Go for the electric. They were great when I taught.

I love your site and can't wait until I have more time to read.

Jeni said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I haven't tried any prescription stuff, because we're "trying," if you know what I mean. :-) Thanks for the input!

Edi said...

Thanks for the advice.

I went ahead today and bought an electric sharpener at Walmart for $20. It's working fine for now - but I want to reserve "judgment" on it until I've had it about a month.

The kids think it's cool - though I'm apprehensive about them using it. Not worried about them getting hurt - just don't want it to get broken!

Melanie said...

I have found that the cheaper pencils (yellow or plain brown) sharpen better. The ones with color that have a shiny paint seem to get stuck in the sharpener. Go for the snazzy sharpener! :>)

Dana said...

I am a homeschoolin' Mama myself *smile* The BEST pencils in the world (well my boys think so) are

Dixon Ticonderoga Black Pencil

I buy them at Wal-Mart and they NEVER EVER break =-) You will never go back to those yellow ones again =-)