We are now entering the last few weeks of the kids being off school (unless you live in Scotland where they have already gone back). It has been a long 6 months with no formal schooling. Despite the things they have been doing at home to keep up with some sort of learning, most people are not teachers (I know I’m not and despite my best efforts will never be as good as a qualified teacher) so it doesn’t go as well as it would in a formal school setting. Teaching isn’t easy but most of us do our best but we are looking forward to the kids going back to school, and the kids are looking forward to just as much.
As they have been off for so long and using the computer and tablet for some of their schooling (using online school systems such as Purple Mash etc.), skills like handwriting have been in decline, so we do need to get some practice in before school starts again.
This year we have been very good and beaten the back to school rush (hopefully), we have already purchased most of their school uniforms. Now we just need the small, but equally important stuff – stationery!
When the children go back to school in September things are going to look different, especially with staggered start and finish times, year group bubbles, and government guidelines stating that there is to be no sharing of stationery. From September, every child will need to bring their own and for their own use only (check with your school exactly what they will need). The guidelines state: “For individual and very frequently used equipment, such as pencils and pens, it is recommended that staff and pupils have their own items that are not shared.“
Do not share pens, pencils or stationery – when the kids go back to school in a couple of weeks they will need to bring their own stationery and not share it will others. Schools will no longer be providing equipment that is deemed as everyday individual use (pen, pencils, erasers etc.) as there wouldn’t be enough time to clean each individual piece between lessons.
We have started to pick up bits of stationery and STABILO kindly sent us their EASY bundle KS1 set to try out with the kids. These sets are available in 3 co-ordinating colours – blue, petrol and pink, available for KS1 and KS2 (the only difference being the pencils in the KS2 set have a finer tip) and both sets are available for left and right handed users.
We a couple of weeks left before the new school year starts we decided to ditch the electronics and go back to pen and paper, and to start with, this meant handwriting practice so that the kids are ready for when they return.
For those going into Reception (EYFS) they will need to practice letter formation, which includes learning to write their name. Key Stage1 (KS1) will include word formation and spacing. Key Stage 2 (KS2) will include working on their cursive. They are lots of free online resources to help with the different stages. STABILO kindly sent us some handwriting practice books with our bundle, but you don’t have to buy handwriting practice books, STABILO have a handy Handwriting Practice Activity Book that you can download for free, or for the younger ones that need something more interesting you can download their Early Writer Activity Sheets.
If you are stuck for ideas or having difficultly encouraging your child to write we found some excellent downloadable modules on STABILO’s website to encourage writing and where the kids can even gain a FREE Pen Licence to congratulate them on their achievement.
The STABILO EASYbundle sets consist of:
1x STABILO EASYoriginal handwriting rollerball pen
- Space for personalisation
- The official pen licence pen
- Every refill has a new tip making it extremely easy to refill with no mess
- Its moulded grip zone is made from non-slip material which helps prevents muscle fatigue
- The STABILO EASYoriginal is the first ergonomic rollerball specially designed for left or right handers
1x STABILO EASYgraph (EASYgraph S in the KS2 bundle) graphite handwriting pencil
- The EASYgraph is the first ergonomic handwriting pencil with versions for right handers and left handers.
- Space for personalisation
- Its triangular shape and moulded grip zones promote children to hold the pencil with the correct grip
- The vanished moulded grip zones along the whole shaft ensure a relaxed hand posture
- The handwriting pencil is available in an HB degree
1x STABILO EASYsharpener
- Especially developed for left and right hander
- Its ergonomic grip ensures a secure hold
- Space for personalisation
- A safety screw is included in the sharpener to prevent injury to children
The STABILO EASYstart bundles have space to write your name on each piece, ensuring that when at school you know exactly what is yours and haven’t accidentally picked up someone else’s pen or pencil.
The STABILO EASYstart sets are an excellent little set for going back to school. The kids found the pencils to be easy to hold and use due to the triangular, not rounded, shape – it promotes the correct use of holding and gripping a pencil in a very simple way.
The EASYstart pencil sharpener is the only pencil sharpener the kids will ever need and it is so comfortable to hold and use. It is a lot bigger than a standard sharpener as it has a collection pot for the shavings. The pot has been ergonomically designed for left and right use with indents for a secure hold. It has three holes for different size pencil nibs, including thin wooden pencils. The blades are secure with a safety screw. This is indeed a fantastic pencil sharpener and one that every child should have in their pencil case.
The EASYoriginal handwriting rollerball pen is a fantastic little pen. Straight away the kids wanted it due to its ergonomic design. Again, this has been designed for left and right handers. It is very easy to hold and use, and is really comfortable to hold with its non-slip construction. It writes well very with no blotting or scratching, due to the rollerball design. It can be refilled easily with fine or medium refills, each with a new pen nib each time.
We have been using the pens and pencils (and the handwriting practice books and downloaded activity books) for the kids to practice their handwriting, mostly writing short stories. Whilst at first the cries of “oh no” and “why” could be heard around the house, once they got into it they enjoyed it. Both kids said that the pen was their favourite as it was nice and comfortable to hold and enabled them to write easily with a comfortable grip with correct hand posture and no hand fatigue.
All the items have space (or a sticker) so that each piece is easily labelled with their name so that there is no argument about whose is what and when then go back to school in two weeks will be very helpful with the non-sharing of equipment.
The quality of the items is excellent. The set may be a bit more than some people would want to pay but the quality is there, they are available for left and right handers (if you think they are the same thing, they aren’t. Having items that work with your hand grip gives a much better outcome, especially with handwriting). They are comfortable to hold and use and the quality of the outcome on the paper is excellent.
Each school may have different rules and advice about stationery, textbooks, uniforms as well as travelling to school (not using public transport if at all possible), so do check your school’s website for information.
Some of the stationery needed when starting back to school (especially high school):
- Writing pens (black or blue)
- Red pen
- Pencil / coloured pencils
- Pencil sharpener
- Scientific calculator
- Pencil case
We have found all the STABILO items we used very good quality and easy to use. Available in both left and right-handed versions is an excellent idea. We will be looking at other STABILO items to fill the kids pencil cases for going back to school.
Good luck to all those returning to school, we hope that you enjoy it.
RRP: £11.49 (EASYbundle KS1) / £10.99 (EASYbundle KS2)
For more information or to buy online, visit www.stabilo.com.