Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Horrible Harridan and History Homework

At the start of half term, Friday evening, I say to son 'I don't want to nag you about homework. I want you to enjoy half term, but it does still need doing.' 'Yes, Mum,' he says.

Tuesday afternoon arrives and nothing has been done, so I say 'When are you planning on doing your homework, son?' 'I thought I'd do it all day tomorrow: a big session, get it all done.'

Tomorrow becomes today. I put the homework printout from the school intranet on his desk so he can see we all know what needs doing. Son arrives in my room, looking emotional 'I can't do this. I don't know anything about the French Revolution. We're doing that next - why has he asked me to do something I don't know anything about?' 'It's so you start learning to do research, son' I say. 'You have this World history book, those Horrible Histories magazines, and the internet. Try the BBC website.' Son stays emotional, becomes stroppy and then gets stubborn: 'It cannot be done.'

So I stop work (I really was working) and I look up the French Revolution and locate the two people, two ideas, three events and three places of interest he needs to research. I cut and paste information for him to put into his own words.

He writes one idea and comes back to my office to say he hasn't got enough information. What, he insinuates, am I going to do about this? I ask him what he as written; I suggest including certain words and phrases. He returns to his room. Half an hour later I pass his bedroom, and he and his (fiction) book are in the loo. I check his pc, he has used 'social and political' like I've suggested. Nothing else has been done. I sigh.

20 minutes later I tell him to get out of the loo. He appears at my desk after another 10 minutes . 'Why have I got to do it all today?' he asks. 'Because yesterday you told me you would. And if you don't finish it today, we have to have this conversation every day until you do. And I'm tired of this, and I have work I want to do.' 'I don't want to do it all today, I want to do a little bit every day.'

Poor chap, I hear you say, what a harridan. But I have had this conversation with him 4 squillion times, and it's always tomorrow... until tomorrow.

Let him get into trouble at school, people say.

What kind of mother leaves him alone to face the music? Not me.

But I've done my homework and I don't want to do his.


Jen said...

Oh dear. I feel for you.

My Number 1 son's cop out phrase is 'but I'm trying...'.

'Yes, bloody trying,' is the (unspoken) response.

The Horrible Harridans Series. Think you might be onto something there?


liz fenwick said...

I refer to myself as Atila the Mum...Right now its not the older boys that's the problem but the seven year old girl with an attitude to die for. I never would have dreamt of having as much sass as this kid does......

Caroline said...

Oooooh. I hate sundays for this reason. One day I will let eldest go to school without his homework being done .... or so I say ... evrey sunday.

My husband is a researcher for Terry Deary - Horrible Histories. Just thought I'd throw in that fact.


JJ said...

Does it EVER get any better? I thought it was slightly better this academic year, but I was disabused of that thought by several of his teachers at parents' evening. Hmmmphhh.

I do wish mine would even pretend to try, Jen.

Thankfully, Liz, my daughter does it without any moaning - but the poor kid gets ignored because of that.

Oooh, my son loves the Horrible Histories - I will tell him. (It probably won't immpress him, nearly as much as it does me!)

Still, there's some peace in the house now he's done two of the nine French Revolution paragraphs!