Setting: A Math lesson on Ratio where two homeschool students sit either side of their mother, all three working on the same Math problems.
Brother A: Hey, stop him. He can’t start before me.
Brother B: (Delights in rushing further ahead of his brother)
Brother A: (Frantically organises himself so he can get started too – growling at his brother as he slams things and makes the most noise possible dragging his chair into position).
Brother B: (Makes it obvious to all that he’s finished the first problem)
Brother A: WHAT! He can’t be finished! Check him! He must be cheating!
Brother B: (Starts his next problem with the vigor of a brother who is highly skilled in tormenting his brother).
Brother A: (Losing the plot and can’t think straight to finish his own problem. Stabs at his Math booklet with his pen) I can’t work with him in the room!!
Brother B: (Finishes the next problem and holds it up behind his mother’s back to make sure his brother knows he’s onto problem three and makes dramatic gestures as he turns the page)
Brother A: (Growls furiously at his brother) Punish him! He’s doing it on purpose!
Poor tormented Mother: If you focused on your own work, you wouldn’t notice what your brother was doing. (Turning to other child) You know that what you are doing isn’t helping.
…..and on and on it went until Math was over.
Some days………school looks really, really good.