School supplies: mechanical pencils vs wooden ones

Tutoring math, you see the pencils students use. The tutor makes some observations.

I’m a fan of mechanical pencils:

  1. You needn’t sharpen them.
  2. One will last for weeks, months, or even longer, depending on usage.
  3. You can retract the lead when the pencil is not in use.
  4. There are many, many kinds to choose from.

You can buy a nice mechanical pencil and then lead refills for it, but packs of disposable ones can be great. I’ve typically used disposable Bics or Staples ones…there are many other kinds available that have cute features.

Last year, in grade 9, my older son started using mechanical pencils; he prefers them now. My younger son, starting grade 8 this year, still prefers wooden ones. They both share that having your own sharpener, if you use wooden pencils, is preferable.

Wooden pencils have a great feel when they’re sharp. However, they don’t stay sharp on their own. Hence, mechanical pencils seem more practical (to me, anyway).

Starting with a mechanical pencil, a student may be a bit heavy-handed, so a 0.7mm pencil is probably best. However, after getting used to it, the student might try a 0.5mm one – the finer lead appeals to some people.

PS: Although a pencil typcially comes with an eraser on it, a dedicated eraser is needed.

I hope everyone’s enjoying their last day of summer vacation:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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