I don’t like homework as I have seen how it is detrimental to parent child relationships, all that nagging, all that implying that whatever project the kid had in their head is less important than what someone external to the family believes is important… I did get kids to take home stuff they didn’t finish in the allotted time at school which I wouldn’t do now having watched how hard it is for my pedantic perfectionist child to write, especially when it is for an external authority. Recently Helena has been writing me homework, she called it “lockdown homework” (though we are not locked down at the moment) which just shows how much she is influenced by the news on the radio… I have never even mentioned or given home work to her, I don’t think in her 4 week school career she was given homework, and I think she knows I don’t like homework.

My homework started as pages of activity style exercises, matching up, how to draw in steps etc and lots of loving notes. Then I got a whole themed animal activity book. She does these in her bed to the light of a nightlight as she either doesn’t need as much sleep as it says on the tin or has trouble going to sleep- quietning her mind.

Suddenly the notes changed, got more serious. I had to sign up for specific classes at the After Academy (the after having gone to bed)… I had a list of 8 and chose 5. The next thing Helena did was write herself a timetable of what work she would prepare for me on what night! So far I have had Biology and Woodwork.

Biology was awesome- it started with us going for a walk so I could fill in the 4 pages of worksheets: a bingo board of things to look for, a page for leaf rubbings (I had to ‘sort’ the leaves into groups and say why they were a group), a table to fill in of things I found interesting, and then an essay about our walk. I even had a deadline of 2pm and the opportunity to win a prize….

She told me “well done” and but also told me she wouldn’t give me my results.

Then she gave me my woodwork homework…..

The wodwork homework also had several pages of work but it was so highly prescriptive a task that when I said I didn’t want to make a plane Helena decided to do it, well except she didn’t want to fill in the work sheets so I had to do that part… it was totally like school: draw my plan and label it, draw finished project, draw what I did in steps with instructions… and some tips

She is so much better at woodwork than I realised and she asked her grandfather for advice, yay.

Tonight she is starting to write a diary so I guess I get a break….

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