I’m so excited to be one of this year’s National Stationery Week bloggers. I don’t really need an excuse to talk stationery. But I’ve had the bonus of trying out a few new products. National Stationery Week offers structure to my blog posts as there are prompts to help everyone join in. Today’s is Pen and Pencil Day, so I thought I’d write about encouraging children to write.
It goes without saying, children are individuals. I may have three children, but they’re half his, so there’s no second guessing them.
CM loves stationery but hates reading books with chapters. I’ve learned to build on what she loves whilst gently reinforcing the wonder that longer books can bring.
Her birthday gifts this year were predominately stationery- pens, pencils, notebooks and colouring books.
B and E love colouring books and printables. Both are not doing as well as they might in school. So there’s a lot to encourage.
Maped make colouring lots of fun. Paperchase keep a good stock, and the boys love the chunky colouring pens. CM and I love the Graph’Mania pens*. Not only are they great to write and colour with, they have fun stencils. I’ve not seen these before, but the triangle style pen is great to use and creates the perfect stand for the stencil.Whilst I don’t have much to worry about with CM and her writing, with the boys it’s another matter.
Dyslexia and ADHD have both been mentioned so there’s an added pressure to make learning fun, and to make it as easy as possible for them.
Again Maped come in with some great accessories, the boys were really taken with their Zenoa eraser* and Croc Croc Inno sharpener*, which meant encouraging them to write was made a little easier. Stabilo have created fantastic products to support learners. Customised to the preferred hand, the EasyGraph pencil* and EasyOriginal pen* have been perfect for responding to the advice of teachers.
Both boys, more especially E, need to work on their fine motor skills. Their correct pencil hold is a key outcome. Whilst we have lots of exercises to support this, I love the pen and pencil for encouraging the boys to think about their hold.
Neither pen nor pencil force a proper hold, I still question the boys as it isn’t their preference, it does allow them to maintain the hold once established.
I particularly like the pencils as the holds are constant and the design means we can sharpen away and there will always be an appropriate hold for the boys to use. I’m also encouraging the boys to use lined yellow paper. The size of B’s writing by choice is quite amazing, and whilst it’s true that the lines can be overlooked, the thought is there.
I love these notebooks from Paperchase as the pages are perforated. This means I can tear the pages out and tape them into the boys’ own learning books so their teachers’ can see their progress.The latest technique I’m attempting with E is to let him write freely. It’s really difficult to understand his writing. I’ve learned as long as you ask as soon as he’s finished writing he can read it back.
I then write it out for him with lines in between for him to copy. I’m hoping that as well as supporting dyslexia that writing on yellow paper does support the memory, then at least as he’s copying it may be sinking in. I struggle supporting the boys when their sister just seemed to ‘get it’ with little support from me. I also have to stop myself being too flippant. I want to believe that with the right support they will both ‘click’ in their own time, as was true for me. But I’m worried. My children are individuals. They’re not the same as me. They’re not the same as each other. Ergo, they’re not the same as anyone. So I just have to have faith.
Disclosure: We received items for review which have been included in this post and indicated by an asterisk (*). All opinions and views contained are my own.