The words often and always (and other adverbs of frequency) are not just used with the simple present tense. These words can also be used to say how often things happened in the past. Adverbs of frequency are just used to say how often something happens or happened.
The most common adverbs of frequency are:
- hardly ever
Your homework is a little story about someone when he was young. He is only talking about the past (when he was at school). And in the story he mentions how often various things happened at that (past) time in his life.
Does that help, Mr. Dark Magician?