Saturday, 21 January 2012

How to make tedious homework easier

My husband is a genius.

Son was not a happy bunny. His English homework was long and tedious - in the region of fifty sentences to be written with the correct grammar (using subordinate clauses, in case you are interested). The prospect of sitting down and writing for sooooo long to get that done was likely to kill the poor boy off, and certainly to drive his parents to distraction.

That is where my brilliant husband stepped in.

"When I was your age," he said, "my friends invented characters and used them in the answers to their questions. Everything developed into a great story centred on their made-up characters."

Son looks at him skeptically.

"Think of a name," husband says.

And thus a lengthy conversation took place, as we went through names that we liked or didn't like, and eliminated ones that had already been stolen (Harry and Hermione weren't allowed). It was also preferable to be short - when it comes to writing homework, don't make anything any longer than is strictly necessary.

Eventually they came up with Jack. "Excellent - you can have a girl called Jaq as well. And her name is shorter!" Husband is really quite excited by this project.

"Or he could be called Cam," Son suddenly adds, "short for Cameron."

"Ok: there could be three of them." (I know: JK Rowling has done the '2 boys and a girl trio of superheroes' already, but it still feels right.)

With the help of the dictionary, the final names were chosen. So, if you are an English teacher to my Son in the future, look out for the special adventures of Jack O'Bean (a time-traveller from the early 1600s), Jaq Uzzi (with her machine guns firing jets of water) and their Chinese friend Cam Ping (who puts up tents). Somehow they will save the world again and again.

And save us from miserable English homework.

1 comment:

Working Mum said...

I used a similar technique for 10 years of writing my school's entrance exam! Ooops, my secret is out!

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