These pencils help students with the following handwriting issues:
- They use too much force while writing, and the pencil tips break frequently.
- They need more tactile information to achieve and keep a mature pencil grasp.
- They rarely notice that they need to sharpen their pencil to improve legibility.
- Getting up to sharpen a pencil distracts or disorganizes them so much that it extends the time to complete assignments.
I usually do not recommend mechanical pencils for the earliest writers, but that changes after the first half of second grade. Once a child is facing the volume and speed demands of later second grade or above, it is time to be creative and think outside the box.
Working on the physical skills and the sensory processing skills that cause a child to struggle with grading force, perceiving tactile input, and monitoring their performance is still important. They would probably take away my OTR license if I didn’t say that!
The problem is that sometimes life hacks are essential to keep a child functioning and feeling like a success. Having the right equipment is an important and easy life hack for the child that already (at 7!) thinks of himself as a bad writer. Using this pencil can be one of those “low-hanging-fruit” situations where performance improves while skills are developing.
PaperMate hasn’t targeted the kids with low tone, sensory processing, ASD, ADHD, or any other issues, and that is actually a nice thing. Older kids don’t want a “special” anything in the classroom or even at home. They might reject seat cushions and pencil grips that help them because they don’t want to look different or feel different. Well, these are easy to get at office supply stores. There is nothing “special” about them at all, except that they really help kids write neatly.
- The pencils have #2 leads, a good eraser, and come with both extra lead and erasers. We all know that running out of erasers will communicate “I don’t really need to erase that mistake” to a child.
- The colors are appealing to kids, but not infantile.
- Adults know that their handwriting will immediately look better with a fine point writing utensil, but kids do not. Children that have visual-perceptual or executive functioning issues often struggle to accurately assess what is causing their handwriting to look illegible, and then take the appropriate action. They just shrug it off and say that they are simply “bad at writing”.
- The pencil shaft is smooth, but the thick triangular shape adds much more tactile input than a regular pencil. Feeling an edge, rather than a cylinder, is often just enough tactile feedback to remind kids to reposition their fingers without an adult saying “Fix your grip”. Kids get so tired of adults telling them what to do.
- The triangular shape limits how often the pencil rolls away or rolls off the table. For kids with ADHD, that can be enough to derail homework without any drama!
- Finally, mechanical pencils seem more grown-up to children than standard pencils, and you can spin it as such. What a nice opportunity to be positive about handwriting!
What happens when your child makes a mistake and needs to try again? They need the best eraser! Check out Problems With Handwriting? You Need The Best Eraser , because the erasers on these PaperMate pencils are good but not great. Having the best equipment positions your child for success!