Homework ‘help’ is a battle of wills

HOMEWORK is a perennial problem in our house. Only a few weeks into term and they’ve all got their issues.

The elder two have to be threatened with a full-scale schoolbag search every other day in order to get them motivated, but eventually get on with it and get detentions when they don’t.

Meanwhile eight-year old Billy is fretting about getting more homework than he’s ever had to cope with before.

Previously his homework involved times tables, spellings and reading. Now it’s also ‘proper’ homework, worksheets and deadlines, for literacy and numeracy (that’s English and Maths to you and me).

And like his brothers, he’s finding brainwork clashes with his sport and social life. We have to sit him down and stop him getting distracted. (And getting distracted is his Special Skill). He’s not helped by the ‘help’ he gets from me either, as they seem to do sums in a far more complicated way than I ever remember and he ends up teaching me.

There is one person in the house who is delighted to hear the familiar cry of “do your homework.”

Bonnie drops everything and scurries off to collect paper and her crayon box and sits opposite Billy at the kitchen table, talking aloud about the flower that needs to be drawn.

She goes out of her way to distract Billy as much as she possibly can before having to be bribed away with promises of uninterrupted Cbeebies.

Someone needs to remind her about this early enthusiasm in a few years’ time, when she has to do homework for real.

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