24 May 2013

A Pen Licence

Apparently some homeschooled American kids feel that they're missing out on something by not having a locker. Here in Australia, lockers are simply places to store your books and your lunch, but it seems that lockers are a big deal to those kids in a way that they're not over here. Some mums - or I guess that should be moms- have gone as far as to create special lockers at home just to assuage this loss.

Now Jemimah has no locker envy, and in fact, having never been to school, she may not even know what one is, but there is one thing that she does feel sorry about missing out on, and that is a Pen Licence.

It seems that nowadays, getting your Pen Licence is a big deal in Australia's schools. We didn't have them back in the Dark Ages when I was at school, but apparently you are awarded your licence when you write neatly enough to be allow to write in pen. They're fancy beasts too, these licences. My nieces licences are professionally produced plastic cards with photographs and signatures and the whole shebang. They're desirable enough that my nieces still carry theirs even though they've graduated to high school. A Pen Licence carries Status. Style. Class. They're a rite of passage. Apparently.

Now if she were at school, Jemimah would have her Pen Licence. She actually uses a cartridge pen for her written work, and she started using that at the beginning of AO5. At that time she formed all the letters of the alphabet correctly and neatly, and used letter joins... most of the time. Her grip was good, and her posture was correct. These were the criteria I would have used for awarding a licence if we had them.

I sort of felt sad that my daughter was missing out.

Anyhow, to cut a long, waffley story short - I'm good at those - the other day I googled Pen Licences and I came up with this - a customisable, professional, almost as good as her cousins' Pen Licence.

So I opened the Publisher document, changed the header to blue, my pupil's favourite colour, edited the text, added a scanned signature, reduced the size so it would fit in her wallet, pressed print, and laminated the result.


It is so cool, and I am feeling such a good mummy.

Insert satisfied smile.

Apparently it's going to change her life.



  1. Love it! I am planning on printing school IDs for my kids - not so much because they feel that they are missing out, but in the hopes that it will pass at the museum and movie theater entrances! The younger kids don't get asked, but the high school aged kids still get a discount, and sometimes they really want to see that proof of age, especially when a certain girl gets a sassy short haircut and looks older than her age. Ahem.

    I'm not sure what the locker envy is all about. I don't think they are a big deal at all to the kids who actually use them at school!

  2. Never heard of homeschoolers having locker envy around here. Sounds more like moms reliving their school experience to me, lol! Really disliked the metal boxes myself....

  3. Yes, indeed, you are a good mummy. Use your license to make a licence.

    Really, locker envy!? Even at my age I still have the occasional anxiety dream wherein I have forgotten my locker combination. Our boys had such a desire to ride a school bus that we took the city bus downtown to visit the library. Satisfied. Since we took place in a fine arts co-op last year, they were able to fill their backpack/lunchbox void.

  4. I don't think my kids have even heard of lockers. They do have recess envy, though.

  5. Ha ha good on you Jeanne! I only heard about a pen licence recently and was wondering what it was as I also was at school in the dark ages :) btw I give Rebekah end of term/ year certificates :)

  6. Go you for making Jemimah happy - nice job on the laminating!

    I pulled my kids out after Yr 5. Video Boy says he got one, but his writing is no neater in Yr 8. Wombat Girl said she never got one. She also has awful handwriting.

  7. I can remember when both my boys got their pen licence, they were so excited:)) They rushed home to tell me.

  8. oh no, my kids have lost out too! We don't have lockers in our South African schools, but some schools issue pen licences. I discovered that my younger kids love certificates, stars and happy faces for their work. Despite my choosing not to "do school at home" and leave all those 'teachery' elements out, our first curriculum provided certificates and my kids were utterly thrilled! Go figure? I love your humour!

  9. I am 45 and received a "pen licence" although more like a certificate when I went to school in Brunswick Melbourne! How's that for before it's time.

    I was terribly good at school but had shocking writing so I was in heaven when I finally received one. It meant I could go onto using a pen.

    I did similar for my girls ... but nothing near anywhere as nice as what you produced. Again it was more like a cert.

    My locker was used to store my lunch ... which I often forgot to eat. End of each week I had to throw out mouldy sandwiches ... how embarassing when I look back!

  10. Well. Brunswick was ahead of the times! We started using fountain pens the first day of grade 4. We had to go to the teacher to refill our pen from the big bottle he kept at the front desk. They were terribly prone to big blotches! Then we moved to cartridge pens and then ball points in secondary school. Fun memories. I am older than you, though.

  11. we don't have pen licences, but we have student body cards (in peru and the us), which allow for discounts here in peru. maybe i need to google a template?! :)

  12. I had a pen licence when I was in year 5 at school (but it certainly wasn't as fancy as Jemimah's!). The night before they were going to be given out at school, my mum signed my homework and added a note 'not very neat tonight'. (She didn't normally add comments, and she wasn't aware that it was Pen Licence Eve.) The next day the teacher saw her note and said 'well, it looks like you'll need some more practice then' ... and I had to wait a WHOLE EXTRA WEEK before I got my pen licence. I was the only one and I was MORTIFIED. After that, my homework was always extremely neat, though. And it was a great relief to be handed a pen ... we had ball points.


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