Every other student in the class seemed to get the idea, but when the quite intelligent Harold handed in his assignment, he hadn't done what I had asked, so I sent him home to do the music assignment again.
He returned with it next week, but his essay still wasn't answering the question. I felt sorry for him and, in talking with him, felt sure that he knew what was required and couldn't figure out why he wasn't showing that he understood in what he was handing in.
But, third time lucky! At last!
A few days later, I think I found out why it took Harold three times to do an assignment that everyone else did properly the first time. Because when I went to the local library, there were Harold and his sister and mother. Mum was seated at a table with a collection of books, looking very serious. Every so often, she would send Harold and Jemima off to the shelves to get some more books. She looked like she was working hard at doing some library research.
I surmised that the kids would take their homework to Mum, who would supervise them very closely, if not actually do the assignments herself.
Harold was every bit as smart as I had thought. He always took things seriously in class, contributed to discussions and was up with the rest of the class. But when he went home, Mum would take over. She would tell him how to do the assignments and he would have to comply.
Having Mum in charge of the homework might often produce a good result, but there is sometimes a downside ...