Recently I was asked, what was my worst homework nightmare? Trawling through the distant remnants of my school past, I was suddenly struck by a memory. Copying Maths homework – of which I was a master. I found Maths easy until I hit GCSE level and tried to apply creative interpretation to the subject. ‘But sir, why is there a golden ratio?’

So what did I do?  I copied my homework. And for this story, we’ll call my accomplice Becky.  She was a genius at Maths. She had the right opportunities; her parents were teachers and were involved in home learning.  She had a seemingly natural ability in all subjects. As for my parents, I told them I could do the work. Why? Because I could never admit I was a failure! No self respecting teenager would ever do that!

I was one of those students whose brain fizzled out once I didn’t comprehend. I’d drift off and think of David Bowie never to return, so when the homework was set, I was already disaffected by the session and I’d just scrawl it illegibly on a scrap of paper.

Why did I do this? I discussed this dilemma with my son who’s in secondary education and it hasn’t changed in 25 years. (I know what you’re thinking; it’s been a long time). At the end of class, the teacher asks ‘Are there any questions?’  In a learning environment I need repetition and peer pressure made it so I couldn’t ask the question again. I didn’t want to seem too keen or too dumb. See my predicament?

So there I was scribbling down Becky’s answers, changing them a little, thinking I was very clever. Little did I know, my form tutor had witnessed my crime and was saving me for later.  I’ll never forget it! Sat bright red (I’d blush at someone saying hello) in front of my Maths class , my mates sniggering at the fact I’d been caught out. What I tried to avoid had become a self fulfilling prophecy!

Copying Becky’s answers wasn’t the solution for me.  Kids still need help from time to time with his homework, they looks online first, as the last thing they want to do is ask their parents.

Not every internet sites is reliable, so a website where you can get help from people who really know their stuff would really help. Now isn’t that where Superprof comes in?


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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.