Our School Pen

23 Apr

Years ago I listened to an audio by Andrew Pudewa and he made what I thought was a startling statement,

“Convert to pens!”.

I thought he’d gone mad.

Everyone knows children have to write in pencil until they are at least ten…don’t they?  I’m guessing it’s the ‘developmentally appropriate’ thing to do.  It’s probably written in blood in the National Curriculum or something.  You certainly won’t see children in the younger grades at school writing in pen…GASP!

But Mr Pudewa got me thinking…he tends to do that.

Kids do waste a lot of time sharpening pencils.

Maybe there is a kinesthetic and tactile reason for preferring pens.  I always grab a pen over a pencil.  I also prefer a nice smooth ink flow in my pens.

Don’t we all hate writing with a blunt pencil. I find it somehow more tiring.  I thought it was all in my head.  But maybe not.

Actually I’m not a fan of a ‘too sharp’, scratchy pencil either.  Writing with a mechanical pencil, for me, is like scratching your fingers down a blackboard.

It’s certainly easier to see a pen mark on the page than a pencil mark.

Perhaps all these things explain why children are just itching to be allowed to write in pen.

Maybe there is something ‘easier’ and more pleasant about writing in pen.

So we converted to pens.

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I have to confess though.  I’m not a total convert to Mr Pudewa’s pen philosophy.

He does not allow erasing.  I don’t have a problem with it.

In fact, I like having the option of erasing or not,

which is why I searched high and low for a good erasable pen.

I found “Pilot’s Erasable Frixion Pens”.

They’re our favourite now.

The retractable sort are our preference.  They write more smoothly I think.

But I only seem to be able to find the retractable version in blue.

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I also like how well these erase.  Other erasable pens we’ve tried always left a mark.  These erase better than pencils!

And you can’t lose the eraser as it’s on the end of your pen.  Nor does it break and crumble.  The eraser is firm and works through friction.  As the ink heats up through rubbing, it disappears.

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The only caution with these pens is that the ink is not permanent and may disappear at high temperatures.  Personally we’ve never experienced this.  We’ve left written work in the car all day to return and find it still intact.  However, we are careful not to use these pens for really important reasons.

The kids, however, have enjoyed experimenting with the pens’ invisibility – erasing text and then placing it in the freezer to watch it return.

So the pens are fun as well as pleasurable to write with.

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I tell you, homeschooling turns your world upside down from all angles.

First we abandon the school system, and now pencils.

What a revolutionary life we lead!



Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Resources and Organising


8 responses to “Our School Pen

  1. sarah

    April 23, 2014 at 9:41 am

    You’ve just made me buy another thing. Found them on ebay, so that saves me a trip to Officeworks.

  2. Jen C

    April 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

    They look awesome! Off to Officeworks tomorrow 😀 Hope I don’t get distracted and spend too much 😀 Some women go crazy for shoes and handbags. Me, it’s office supplies, books and Bunnings 😀

  3. Tracey

    April 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I buy mine from Woolworths.

    I’m off to Officeworks tomorrow too. I’m going for laminating sheets though…and probably a half a dozen other things I see and decide I ‘need’.

    Shoes and handbags! What a waste of money!

  4. Lisa

    April 24, 2014 at 12:10 am

    My girls were dying to use pens so I made them get their “pen licence”. Corny I know but I remember doing it at school and they just loved the idea. Once they completed a certain level in their handwriting books they got them awarded. We have pens like that but only for “spy work” … lol

  5. Petra

    April 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Was drooling at Officeworks the other day! It’s kind of a big thing to leave the pencil behind – I still like using it myself 🙂 However, I really must introduce the pen and you’ve inspired me to do so 😀

  6. Sheryll

    April 25, 2014 at 11:44 am

    We use these also! I got every colour when they were on sale during back-to-school season. But I didn’t see the retractable ones at my Woolie’s, I’ll have to look again. My kids love using these, it makes their schoolwork so much more colourful without having to scribble out mistakes.

    We’ve had problems with the grey erasers leaving marks, though. Annoying.

    • Tracey

      April 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      You don’t get the marks with the retractable ones. Their ‘eraser’ is a little more flexible or rubbery or something and erases better.

  7. Heidi Wilson

    April 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I am glad to see I can find these pens at Woolies and Officeworks so I won’t have trouble finding them when my boys are ready to use pens! And if they come in different colours all the better!! 🙂


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