Ever had these kinds of conversations, typically late on Sunday evenings?
“Dad, do you have three needles, wax paper, an egg and some copper wire?”
“No. I have an egg and some sticky tape, though. Wait... Why?” (Parental alarm bells are going off).
“I need to make a scale model of the Table Mountain Cableway for school”.
“By when?” (I know the answer to this, even as I ask, with that sinking feeling).
The heated discussion which follows reveals that the project was briefed over three weeks previously. By now, the only shops still open are corner cafés which are great for satisfying a late-night ice cream craving, but useless when it comes to theme supplies.
After a quick homework mercy mission to granny’s house (she’s a notorious hoarder), you’ll eventually manage to source the required materials, and all that’s left is to coax your now-weeping child into completing the task. But you do it, because that’s your job, and you’re picturing the humiliation your child will experience if he arrives at school empty-handed.
The homework challenge isn’t just limited to projects:
Just this weekend, my son’s maths homework
defeated me. He’s 12, and his world of formulae and calculations is one I abandoned long ago. The only maths I do is while staring at the bedroom ceiling in the middle of the night, fretting about bills.
In order to get his homework done, we had to take photos of his textbook, send them via cell phone to my girlfriend’s whiz-kid daughter who is at university, ask her to help (without giving the answer), and eventually have her come round (with her baby) to do some impromptu maths teaching.
But he managed to complete it, and we learned something.
I should say that we learned the importance of self-discipline
and communication, but, what we actually picked up was that it’s fun to have family pop around for a catch-up session(and biscuits), and that sometimes even homework can end up bringing us all closer together.
Try to remember that next time you get asked for a tissue box, balloon, peroxide and some bicarbonate of soda, just as the weekend nudges to a close.
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