Aug 17, 2016

Ballpoint Pens.

Drastic times call for drastic measures.

The word 'assorted' on a product's packaging always makes me think of chocolate..  Thought for another day.

I splashed out on this $5 carton of assorted coloured ink ball point pens yesterday.

SSG Manor is the Bermuda Triangle of biros.  I had this system of attaching a pen to the little clipboard that I use for writing shopping lists in the kitchen but there was something about those pens being clipped like that because it made them all disappear off the kitchen table.  Then I hid a few biros on a nearby bookcase but the effort of getting up from the table to find a pen to write my list has already defeated me.

Enough was enough and after one too many trips to the supermarket that have ended with vital things not coming home with me, I wrote 'cheap box of biros' on my list in super legible writing and voila, 50 new biros to find homes for in my life.

About 45 of the biros are in the pantry in the kitchen...

another two are in my handbag.  I've decided writing new developments in blue makes them stand out on a page of black and white print outs and the regulation black ink we need to write in at work.  One new box of ball points, so much inspiration to improve my current work practice!

Oh, there were some other biros in my bag after all.  Weren't there when I needed them during a phone call yesterday...

And four red ones have come to work because despite the collection of pens already on my desk,

I don't have any red ones that are easy to write with.

This expensive Japanese number has an ultra fine point that makes chicken scratchings across the page whenever I try to write with it.  For some strange reason, this frustrates me the most with red ball points.  The Woolworths ball points write smoothly with solid colour for a bargain price.

Speaking of writing, the teachers at daycare have put me onto an app that's working really well for Preschooler SSG and his classmates right now.  It's called ABC Writing and there's both a free and paid version (costs $2.19 from memory).  The teachers were commenting that it's an especially useful app because the strokes for each letter are numbered and the children need to follow the order of numbers on the screen accurately with their writing finger to be able to progress to the next letter stroke.  I tried it yesterday and it's harder than it looks.  I like to think that the app creators are sticklers for precise technique and that the reason I struggled is because of this rather than any fault on my part like routinely combining cursive and printing in the same word....

Tell me everything.  What it the ballpoint pen situation in your household like at the moment? Do you have a favourite brand of ballpoint?   Ever been unexpectedly impressed with cheapo or free biros?

Any tips for helping a preschooler learn to write when your own script is a bit shocking?  I've been doing dotted letters in words that Preschooler SSG can then 'write' over with his own pencil.


  1. I personally can't stand biros and have to have gel pens which is unfortunately my expensive habit :(

  2. I'd love to hear of some good educational apps. The ones I've found are either buggy or just plain boring!

  3. I love a good pen. I have a mug full of random ones in a shelf next to my shopping list and it makes such a difference if I happen to pick a good one.

  4. Many moons ago when kids at pre- school, best resources like stencils you mentioned were free and I just printed them off the net.
    BOSTES (Board of Studies Teaching & Educational Standards NSW) has many free resources available and it provides curriculum etc from K-12. .
    Just check app is Australian as different countries have different styles ( speaking em from experience).

    Wouldn't worry too much about writing though, as last week at study skills seminar run by Prue Salter, a guru who runs seminars for high school kids she said it is highly likely that current year 7 students will be the first to complete their final year 12 exams on computer. No hand writing anymore!!! Can't describe soon to be teen excitement! Interestingly, she spoke about writing aids and pen grips for high school students.
    Teen & pre teen both like different birds. Personally I love kilometric blue bird pens. Never enough birds in our home. Den xx

  5. I have heard good things about that app! Writing is a little while off for use yet, although we are working on counting as toddler T loves to count things. He just needs to improve his pronounciation a bit!

    I know what you mean about pens too, I can never find one when I need one, no idea where they go off to!

  6. being a teacher i need to have many pens at a time with me and trust me it is a tough job to have them for long because they just disappear when i need them reading you is making me to have a useful idea to keep them safe and sound though

  7. Losing pens. Don't start me. At the chalkface I know the moment I loan a pen... I never see it again. Always too embarrassed to ask for it back! Mr Fascinata has used the one Montblanc pen for 20 plus years in his profession. As if!!!!!!
    Interesting too, in QLD students in Senior will no longer write their end of year finals. Changing times. I find the littlies come to high school with pretty good writing - big credit to the Primary school teachers.


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