As a homeschooling mom, one thing I know about is school supplies! As we live on a tight budget, I used to go to the dollar store to pick up pencils and some other essentials. Then I would find myself aggravated all year long as I'm sharpening the pencil over and over again, only to have the lead keep breaking off. I kept thinking it was my sharpener. But after trying multiple types of sharpeners, I realized it was the pencil. Ticonderoga pencils are THE BEST. They sharpen nicely so they last longer. Well worth the price, and they go on sale often at the beginning of the school year. So, don't waste your money on the cheap ones that just keep breaking. Buy yourself some Ticonderoga and you'll see what I mean!