Mathematics homework is an activity done by large numbers of students across the world. However, it is not without controversy with concerns being raised about its academic value and whether parents have the appropriate resources to actively support or teach their children. In this article, we use the narratives of two, ten year old girls to consider how emotional and mathematical trauma can arise from doing mathematics homework with family help. This is often the undiscussed outcome of homework interactions but one that can have profound implications for relationships between children, their parents, the school and mathematics as a discipline. The way that the children described their and other participants' actions in the narratives provided information about the children's agency whilst doing school mathematics in the home. We discuss the opportunities and constraints on children doing homework as a consequence of the social and institutional relations that they operate within. The constraining influence of schooling over the opportunities provided within the home situations was the main determiner of the emotional and mathematical trauma experienced by the children.