Summer Homework

These days, lots of kids are given summer homework. In June, my co-author and I published an op-ed in The New York Times, No More Teachers, Lots of Books. It’s reprinted below with permission from The New York Times. Here are some of my favorite responses:

Summer Bummer
How one boy misspent his summer vacation

and an example of a high school in Easton, MA, where the principal lessened AP summer English homework after a student provided him with research on homework overload (Less Summer Homework for Some High School Students).

No More Teachers, Lots of Books
Op-Ed Contributor
Published: June 19, 2006
SCHOOL is letting out for the summer, the final bell signaling the precious, unadulterated joy that comes with months of freedom stretching out ahead. But for many students that feeling will never come. Instead, summer these days often means more textbook reading, papers, exams and projects. It’s called “vacation homework,” an oxymoron that overburdens our children and sends many back to school burnt out and sick of learning.

Last summer, for example, students at one charter school in the Bronx were assigned 10 book reports, a thick math packet, a report on China including a written essay and a handmade doll in authentic costume and a daily log of their activities and the weather. Their parents say they are hoping this summer will be different, but who knows what drudgery will be assigned now that they’ve finished second grade?

An anomaly? Hardly.

Fifth and sixth graders in a Golden, Colo., public middle school are required to keep a journal on a different math topic each week this summer, read three books and complete a written and artistic report on two of them.

And what about high schoolers — just a little light reading to ease teenage angst? One ninth grader we know was assigned a packet of materials on the Holocaust. Another must read a 656-page book on genocide, on top of three chapters of a science textbook followed by a 15-page take-home exam, prepare a 20-slide PowerPoint presentation and complete an English assignment involving three books and essays.

All parents want their children to be happy, healthy and competitive in a highly competitive world. But is year-round homework — or the nightly homework marathons during the school year, for that matter — the way to achieve it?

As adults know, a break from work is a necessary antidote for stress. We need what psychologists call “consolidation,” the time away from a problem when newly learned material is absorbed. Often we return from a break to discover that the pieces have fallen into place. Too many of our children today are denied that consolidation time. And when parents are told that their children’s skills will slip without summer homework, we have to wonder: if those skills are so fragile, what kind of education are they really getting?

In fact, there’s serious doubt about whether homework has any benefit at all. Most studies have found little or no correlation between homework and achievement (meaning grades and test scores) in elementary school or middle school. According to Harris Cooper of Duke University, the nation’s leading researcher on the subject, there is a clear correlation among high school students, but he warns that “overloading them with homework is not associated with higher grades.”

Yet very few teachers have ever taken a course on homework or know what the research shows, and many told us homework assignments are an “afterthought.”

Another claimed benefit of homework — instilling responsibility and self-discipline — is undermined when homework is so overwhelming that parents routinely have to help their children every step of the way.

In fact, most experts believe reading is the most important educational activity. Yet a poll released last week by Scholastic and Yankelovich found that the amount of time youngsters spend reading for fun declines sharply after age 8. The No. 1 reason given by parents: too much homework.

So, what’s a parent to do? While it might be too late to challenge this summer’s assignments, it’s not too early to gather like-minded parents and get a head start on changing next year’s policy. If your children just can’t bear taking that Holocaust folder on vacation, give them permission not to read it and promise you’ll take it up with teachers or school administrators in the fall. Encourage your children to read, play games, write stories and even experience a little boredom. It might just bring out their innate creativity.

In 2000, parents in Arlington, Va., banded together and took complaints about summer homework to the school board, spurring an overhaul of the district’s policy. More parents around the country should stop complaining to each other and let school officials know that they won’t stand by as large parts of our sons and daughters’ childhoods are stolen for no good reason. Our children will grow up happier and healthier — and perhaps even have time to read a good book.

98 thoughts on “Summer Homework

  1. I reckon kids in the holidays should be hanging out with friends and not worrying about school work like i got given 5 different homeworks for all my different teachers and totally forgot so i had to do the home work on the last day of holiday and i was so stressed


  2. I think that there should be alot less homework and it should be limited to two sheets of paper per class (excluding electives and clubs) and the paper should only contain one of each idea that is covered in class.


  3. Honor student or not…the general trend is to do summer homework at the last possible second. When kids aren’t cramming, which is the entire vacation, they are stressing. Either way, they are not being very productive, and nothing gets reinforced.

    As a student, I am conditioned to feel stressed. Even when I have nothing due, my brain triggers a sense of guilt for “not working”. This is not healthy, and this is certainly not helpful.

    The least thing we want is our children to feel “worn out” even before they begin the school year!


  4. As adults know, a break from work is a necessary antidote for stress. We need what psychologists call “consolidation


    1. Students are not working
    2. Studies have shown regression over summer months
    3. No classes is enough of a break
    4. Kids do sports all year round why not academics!?

    From an AP chem teacher


  5. what happened to spending your summers at summer camp?? When I was a kid it was 6 weeks of summer camp and I loved it.learned much more than if i stayed at home doing homework or nothing


  6. Summer homework sucks! They expect us to read more over ten weeks than what we read in school ALL YEAR!!!! It’s absolutely ridiculous. I find that when I read a book that interests me I learn more from that than the numerous books that is forced upon us not only during the summer but during the year. The books we read should be interesting to us because that’s what will help us learn the most, especially during the summer. We go to school more than nine months in a year and forcing us to do more homework over our break is ridiculous. The teachers don’t have to write the assignments they give us and so we shouldn’t have to either. Ever since going into middle school I have not had a true vacation and I’m now going into 10th grade. I always get b+ and a’s on my report card in honors classes and I do sports year round. I tend to do more of them over the summer but I had to quit one this summer because this project was stressing me out. I still don’t see why I have more work over this summer than the kids that get c’s and d’s and get one book and no reports this summer. IT’S SOOOOOOO UNFAIR TO THE KIDS THAT ACTUALLY TRY IN SCHOOL. THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IS CORRUPT AND OUR PRESIDENT HASN’T DONE ANYTHING TO HELP IT. AND PEOPLE WONDER WHY AMERICA’S SO FAT. IT’S BECAUSE THE YOUTH IS TRAPPED INSIDE DOING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS AND GETTING STRESSED OUT BY THEM!!!!! I ABSOLUTELY HATE SCHOOL EVEN THOUGH I’M GOOD AT IT BECAUSE IT ALWAYS MAKES ME STRESSED. I’VE HAD MANY A TIME WHERE I’M UP UNTILL 11 PM DOING HOMEWORK AND GET VERY LITTLE SLEEP. ALL THIS HOMEWORK KILLS ME AND IN HONESTY MOST OF IT DOESN’T EVEN HELP. I USUALLY GET WHAT WE LEARN AND DO NOT NEED THE HOMEWORK. WHAT KIDS NEED IS AN AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND OR SPECIAL HELP FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND. DO NOT KILL US ALL BECAUSE OF THE KIDS WHOM DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I HATE THE FUCKING SCHOOL SYSTEM AND ALL THEIR BULLSHIT. IT’S GOING TO TAKE SOME KID KILLING THEMSELVES OVER THIS FOR THE SCHOOLS TO FUCKING CHANGE THEIR WAYS. DO IT NOW BEFORE THEY MAKE THIS CHOICE YOU FUCKING RETARDS.


  7. To all the teachers that say their middle school aged student can’t do 1/2 of 50 that’s usually a reflection on the teacher not the student. If they can’t do that then the teacher before didn’t teach him that well enough and so it’s usually not the students fault. Piling on homework and problems is not the answer. Going back and reteaching the student is. He needs to be taught this. By giving him more homework all you are doing is stressing out the student and that never helps.


  8. to Julius:

    Well I’m sorry that you don’t know the stress that homework over our break brings us. So until your kids have this kind of summer homework and you are CONSTANTLY nagging at them and getting frustrated about yelling at your kids do us all a kind favor and SHUT THE FUCK UP! This is a fucking post about summer homework what do you expect to be up here, some comments about politics! You got to be a fucking idiot. You came to the wrong post dude so back the fuck out.


  9. Summer homework is a in my opinion a bad idea. Seroiusly its not vacation if there is work invovled. We worked hard all year and we just ask for a break. What is healthier reading moby dick or swimming. Use common sense, we learn when its time to learn and we chill when its time to chill.So to all those teachers your adults you have to work. We don’t have to, its not our responsibility. So don’t give summer homework just because your jealous that you have to work. And for those people who say learning is good it is… during the school year. We need break so instead of going ughhh when school starts we’ll be ready to learn. copy and paste if u agree


  10. Its called summer VACATION. VACATION. Not moving a pencil while its 80 degrees out sun is shining and you live by a lake and lookig out the window watching people tube, waterski, and wakeboard. screw summer homework and to the retard who came up with the idea. “ooohhh students wont know anything when school starts…” i think we would remember after 3/4 of a year we are bored out of our mind listening to teachers who think we really give a shit. FUCK YOU i think they should actually start thinking instead teaching things they read out of a book. thanks for taking away most my summer VACATION fucking retarrted teachers.


  11. I kinda like summer homework. it keeps my mind sharp, gives me something to do and helps me look forward to the new year.

    So can everyone stop bitching?

    i mean honestly. if you don’t want AP summer homework, the don’t fucking take AP classes!

    As for the parents, i see where you’re coming from. Everyone wants family time. but if your child is efficient enough, then they shouldn’t have to spend their ENTIRE summer break doing homework. I had AP summer homework last year. one of the assignments was to create a time management log. I didn’t stick to it as best i could but it definitely helped to give yourself a “due date” for certain assignments.

    Consider this:
    -Your child will most likely need access to the internet for their assignment.

    Now ask yourself one thing: what is ON the internet?

    Answer? Facebook, YouTube, Google, Yahoo, Games and god knows what else!

    Final point: if your child is complaining about how they work all day long, all summer, then they aren’t telling you the whole truth are they?

    While i admit there are some assignments that require an immense amount of time, a SINGLE assignment, let alone multiple assignments shouldn’t take you TWO months to complete.

    If they do, Then i worry for you.
    You should get that checked out.

    Peace out sukkaaass!


  12. Yeah…summer homework is “great” and all…but seriously, the summer is OUR *the kids* relaxation time. Its what we’ve been working for for 10 MONTHS! And we don’t even get to enjoy it because we’re too busy working on essays and papers! I don’t see the teachers doing that! Reading is one thing, having it cause you to have anxiety over it AND having to write not one, not two, but 6 INDIVIDUAL ESSAYS on FOUR BOOKS is QUITE another issue. Summer homework should be BANNED! Then maybe students will actually branch out on their own and read and write things on their own. Sorry teachers, we like you, but not enough to have you come into our summers, sorry.


  13. I hate summer reading…and people wonder why a) america’s fat and lazy and b) why kids hate school. While the answer to the first one is a variety of answers, one of these answers could quite possibly be that they are stuck inside the house doing reading assignments during the summer when they should be outside playing. To those who say that summer reading shouldn’t take more than two months to complete let me tell you that the work is growing while the summer is shortening. I haven’t had a real vacation all year. Every school-planned vacation (I.e. Winter break, etc..) I’ve had at least two assignments. Not to mention the fact that for English this year I have to read four books and write a dialogue, and then in history had to read arguably the most time consuming 248 page book ever ( the print was about this size, wide ruled, read 140 pages in 1 day but I spent 12 hours reading it nonstop because I was forced to) and take notes about specific themes in the book, all in about 8 weeks. All this while other kids only had to read one very well written book (the hunger games, a book that actually peaked my interest rather than this shit) and take no notes and will have absolutely no assignments on it whatsoever. Basically they got to do what people from an age long ago (not really) liked to call reading, while I bust my ass while trying to find time for sports and time with my friends. I actually had to stop doing a basketball class with my friends because I realized that if I had I would have never finished my summer reading. I also did some community service over the summer. This summer is regarded as one of the worst in my life. I haven’t gotten out as much as I would have liked to and I partially attribute that to my summer reading. But anyways back to my second point. Why would you like school if it basically controlled ever waking second of your life for 12 to 20 years of your life. Especially when in most cases the reading they force upon you in the summer of fifth grade (I kid thee not, that happens in my school system) will have no part in what they do when they graduate from high school or college. Plain in simple I don’t hate summer reading, I hate the enormous amounts of reading and homework they expect us to do in about 8 weeks that is supposed to be known as a vacation.


  14. I remember taking AP classes in the 90s. Often I would spend all afternoon (starting from about 3pm) until the wee hours of the night (1am, 2am, sometimes 3am…) doing homework for English, History, Physics, Calculus… I can’t imagine having homework in the summer after a year of that. Seems like overkill to me.


  15. Homework over the summer should NOT required. It gives kids a LOT of stress. It’ll make their summer MORE boring. Summer is to take a break from school, not to keep on doing school.


  16. My daughter is presently studying in the 8th grade and the school is in the process of applying to become an IB school. Does IB prescribe summer vacation homework.


  17. Sure, give us summer homework. But why so much? I have to read 3 books (I don’t even like) and do book reports and an exam on all of them. Give us our time for a break! Or at least assign us a book that is at least a little bit interesting. What happend to summer vacation? I like school and I don’t mind getting homework during the year. But summer homework? C’mon! It’s just a waste of our time and the worlds trees.


  18. summer homework should be against the law because teachers are stealing our brake when i have children of my own i will tell them not to do summer homework summer should be a free time for kids to unwind


  19. I think summer homework is extremely ridiculous. I can’t even stand using the two in the same sentence. Summer IS NOT meant as a time to give more textbooks to us. After finals, out brains are so fried.
    I’m a straight A student, in hard high ranking schools, and have been for the past 4 years. Thankfully, I can see through the crap. I finished a dumb 13 page essay and 2 awful books the first week of summer so I could actually enjoy myself.
    Sadly, us students try to care for our assignments and it just doesn’t work. Honestly, these students don’t care. xD
    If only my teachers knew what I really thought of the crap they try to shove at us. (And to think my “counselors” were trying to shove more AP classes at me too! Yeah right LOL!)
    SOOOO much more to life than this short term homework. Plus, all this weighted crap, THERE ARE WEIGHTED AND UNWEIGHTED GPAs. People can tell when stuff is inflated, Lol.


  20. It seems to me that we are living in a hedonistic age where children are addicted to pleasure and expect to be having it all the time. I agree that summer homework can be a pain, however children that do no homework or reading over the summer holiday often come back to school in September at a lower level than they were when the holidays began. The brain needs regular stimulation in order to grow. It seems to me that there are a lot of lazy parents and children who can’t be bothered to stimulate their brains and just want to sit back for 6-8 weeks doing nothing or only what they want. Many are trying to make out that they have to spend their whole holidays working. If this is the case then you really are slow. Sort yourselves out and stop complaining. Additionally, as a teacher you want children to have that natural curiousity to want to learn for themselves. If it was up to the children they would do nothing all holiday and spend much of their time in front of their games consels and televsions. It would be nice to see parents take responsibility for their children’s learning as well but so many are inept morans who have no idea and then post their complaints to websites because they have to moan at their children to do their work. Instill discipline and good working ethics from an early age then you’ll avoid this problem.


  21. #74, above, writes: “I agree that summer homework can be a pain, however children that do no homework or reading over the summer holiday often come back to school in September at a lower level than they were when the holidays began.”

    Why do you automatically conclude that summer without homework equals a summer without reading? In fact, busy summer homework gets in the way of deep involved voluminous reading. Surely you know this!

    Allow me to present a typical snapshot of one 3-day week in the summer. Let’s pick a year out of the hat. Let’s get that time turner and just go back to age 9, for example. Here’s how that week would have gone. It’s a week when we’re home, and yes, we have a shoestring budget so you’re not going to hear about expensive piano and ice skating lessons. It’s just the child, the parents and the immediate world:

    Monday: Library where she takes out 25 books. She’s deep in one even before the car pulls into the parking spot. Math puzzles. Working on her k’nex creation. Geometry problems over lunch. Friend comes over for dinner and the two girls work on their novel together. Sleepover that includes tons of reading and playing.

    Tuesday: Day trip to Air and Space Museum. Three hours of late afternoon reading. Sunset family walk after dinner where we discuss the book she’s reading.

    Wednesday: Free noontime lecture at The Library of Congress. Long walk in Washington where we talk about cardinal directions and learn math while mastering the city street grids. Afternoon at the National Gallery of Art. Dinner in Chinatown where we discuss Asian history.

    Thursday: Day hike in a national park where we also learn about flora and fauna. Bedtime reading before exhausted child collapses into sleep.

    Friday: Five hours of free reading (classical literature). Walk in the park with parents. Two hours of drawing followed by more reading.

    I’ll stop there. The important thing here is that all these activities are not prescribed. They are simply events that happen because we have raised our daughter in an environment where learning is loved and revered. We are not rich. We do this on a shoestring budget, taking advantage of free museums, outdoor classical concerts, lectures and field trips.

    If we are guilty of creating a pleasurable learning environment, I stand guilty as charged. You’ll counter that most families don’t do this. You are probably wrong. And even if, for the sake of argument, you were right, so what? What gives the school the right to legislate our free time because of suspicions that no child would do a single productive thing unless ordered to do so by the schools!

    When I send my child to school, I expect that my tax dollars will pay for her education. When she is at home, my husband and I continue that education. But now it’s on our time and there is no one better to tailor a learning experience to the unique needs of our child than we. Life is short. We should not have to beg to create that enriching experience. My home, my child, my rules.


  22. “The brain needs regular stimulation in order to grow. It seems to me that there are a lot of lazy parents and children who can’t be bothered to stimulate their brains and just want to sit back for 6-8 weeks doing nothing or only what they want.”

    I used to comment a lot here so if you go back, you’ll see a great deal of my writings. Which lazy parents exactly are you addressing here? I’m not going to expect you to read everything we’ve written here. But if the regulars talk about creating an enriching environment at home, yearning to spend far more time with their children, stressed over homework overload and what it does to their child’s imagination, motivation and creativity, how on earth do you conclude that we are all lazy? I can’t imagine wanting to kick back for 8 weeks and do absolutely nothing to stimulate my child’s brain!

    If you’ve read what I’ve written, all the things we did with our child, how I homeschooled for one year, and you still conclude that the likes of me are lazy and just want our children to vegetate, then we are truly going in circles. What more can I say to convince you otherwise?

    On related posts, there is a newcomer here I respect because she (I think she’s a she) has produced thoughtful comments. I don’t agree with much of it, though. She posits that teachers know best and if they routinely assign tons of homework, it’s for the child’s own good. After all, they are professionals so we just cede to them and assume they know what they’re doing. Lofty aspirations. I wouldn’t want to burst that bubble.

    But my experience has taught me that’s not always the case. More often not. Many afternoons the homework almost screamed, “Ooops, I forgot to get anything done today so I think I’ll send it all home to the family. Ha! Let them deal with it!”


  23. Anonymous says:

    … children who can’t be bothered to stimulate their brains and just want to sit back for 6-8 weeks doing nothing or only what they want. If it was up to the children they would do nothing all holiday and spend much of their time in front of their games consels and televsions.

    What part of “holiday” do you not understand?


  24. Today I’m stuck doing summer homework. I really need a new bag for my books so I don’t drop them all in the hallway (considering that the five books together weigh at least 12 pounds) and I’d really like to sew one, since It’s cheaper, but I don’t have the time, or energy. I have other projects that I can’t finish because I have to work on a math packet. Did I mention that my summer break was literally only six weeks long? I was forced into a summer school class so that I could be in a high level math class, when I know that I need to take a better look at some of the things from last year (none of which are covered in my flippin math packet, go figure) which took two weeks and four days, we let out in June, and I start this week. I had to bring it to family reunions just to keep myself at a good place, and I’m still behind. I don’t see how this is fair, especially not the reading and notes I have to do on a stupid book. If I wanted to hear about all the bad things that happened to the depressed girl in high school, I’d turn the TV on and watch the news at any hour of the day. If you’re going to give out summer reading, how about making it something we can relate to (without thinking “Hey! that’s like so and so that was on the news today, I hope they catch that #%@$@) I mean, seriously.


  25. Well, You need to understand that even if there is summer or not all kids and families do is try to have fun. These days, kids cry for what they want and parents give it to them. Summer homework is making it easier for your child. My younger brother, who struggles in school, benefits from summer homework. Last year we went to India and he never did his summer packet or really anything. The first half of the year was filled with phone calls from the teacher telling us that he didnt remember anything from the previous year. If the school didnt give any summer homework parents wouldnt make their children do anything either. The emphasis on education has gone down immensely. Todays parents do nothing but complaian. Some think school is a bad idea, homework is a bad idea, summer homework is a bad idea. How do expect your child to have a career if they dont have an education.


  26. As you grow older the amount of homework you have to do grows, but that can be a good thing because older kids then have to work on their time management and responsibilities. All of these high school assignments are there to prepare you for college.


  27. Parents should stop coming in between their kids and their responsibilities.Learning is very important and I understand that everyone wants to have fun but you need to incorporate learning which I know that most parents would never do so that is most likely why the school stepped in.


  28. I find it very interesting how the teachers hate the idea of extending the school year but can assign a packet of math review which is equal to or greater than the homework my 11 year old gets per week day during the school year. My child loves learning new things but has a great deal of trouble in focusing on tedious review assignments. It’s the worst scenario for my child – no new learning but lot’s of work that is repetitive and old. For a mom of gifted kid with ADD this sucks. I want to tow the line but spending hours of what should be a break trying to find a way to get your child motivated. I can’t say I’m having much luck – mostly I’m getting angry and stressing out my child- feeling unsure if the punishments I’ve been dolling out are even fair. it is a struggle managing my anger over summer homework – it’s very sad. I can feel my child suffering thought this and my heart is breaking knowing that she would have the same test score as not doing the homework – it feels so pointless but the school counts it toward the next years grade and she would get the advanced placement without it even though she can test into it. It’s so stressful. I’m in tears just writing this note. I’m suffering. PS- I’ve got nothing against a suggested summer reading list – at least half the books are great that we have had.


  29. hey i understand how stressed kids can be having a million assignments in each subject. but reading a book over summer will help your knowledge. Summer is for fun so dont waste it. Keep smart!


  30. I can’t stand to hear teachers complain how some student is “so far behind!” Loading the student with more work and projects is NOT the answer, it’s not the student who should be punished with loads of homework, it’s not the student’s fault your fellow educators & the school let the student slip through the cracks in the first place!!
    Homework does not help, my kids spend 3 hours doing 25 equations all wrong, knowing they have to write a paper after wasting their evening on the equations. I would eagerly choose a rootcanal over my kids having homework anyday!


  31. I have absolutely no problem with the standard chose 3 books off this list and write a one page summary of each kind of thing (I did this frequently throughout school as the article says, reading declines because there is no time so the idea was to encourage it in the summer.) The grading on these were pass/fail either you did it or you didn’t. But actual meaty homework in the summer is bizarre unless you are actually taking a summer school class. I was one of those straight A students that fizzled out from too much overload. I think more emphasis should be put on the end goal. What do we need students to be able to do/exposed to when they are heading off to college and work from that (not teach to the test but teach to the goal of balanced educated young men and women.) and get rid of the busy work. I hated projects in school. I could draw decently but the other stuff, building models and crap, was so hard for me and I still don’t see what the point when I could take a test and know everything they wanted me to know. School has become busy work and there are so many cooks in the kitchen I don’t think anyone has a good grasp on why they do what they do. I used to beg my mother to let me be homeschooled but she didn’t feel comfortable teaching me so I survived the public school system but I was conscious even as far back as elementary school how much time was wasted. If there was more one on one teaching school would be over in half the time and there would be time for nature walks, reading, and being a whole person not a learning machine. okay rant over 🙂


  32. Summer homework is one of the worst things I have ever heard of. I’m in school still, and it just isn’t fair. The school rules are that if you want to stay in a honors class, you have to to the summer project for that class. As of now, I am in honors English and history, and if I want to have a good record, then I will have to stay in it and do the project. This is terrible, and I am seriously considering dropping the honors classes. The reason that I don’t want to do the summer project is because it is not fair. We have summer vacation for a reason, so that we can have a break from schoolwork and homework. With these ridiculous and lengthy summer projects, summer isn’t fun anymore. Schools need to stop this burden and let kids look forward to summer again.


  33. To Sara Bennett, keep it up! And for those who think that abolishing summer homework is enabling the “summer learning loss”/”summer slide,” there’s a lot more to learning during summer holidays than just reading some novel and doing a book report on it.

    Dancers often go to things called “summer intensives,” when they attend dance school in the summer. DANCE. SCHOOL. IN. THE. SUMMER. And some kids go to camps that are to their interests, like space camp and music camp. And how about the school-age piano students who are interested in organ music and attend the Pipe Organ Encounters and the Pedals, Pipes, and Pizzas, eh?

    I went to Asheville, NC in my sophomore year before entering my junior year. Besides reading my novel from the limited choice of books from the reading lists, I went to the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Chimney Rock, Biltmore House, and a mining shack in Franklin where one pans for gemstones. I’m learning the things I learned in geography, American history, geology, and even music beyond those textbooks.

    For instance, I have read books about residence pipe organs, but seeing the one at Biltmore House’s banquet hall (an 1916 Skinner, revised and restored by J. Allen Farmer in 1995 – via proved how real it was! And having heard years of praise band and piano accompaniments at Catholic Masses in my own church (the old electronic organ was seldom used), I treated my ears to the Estey pipe organ at St. Larry’s Basilica.

    To the trolls who think we summer homework opponents are enabling the increase of the “summer learning loss”/”summer slide,” we’re not the lazy students and parents (and former students) that you see. And I’m for summer reading and I believe that teachers should ditch the summer reading lists.

    I’m not against summer reading, but they really should take a cue from one Italian teacher’s summer homework assignment ( if they want to encourage it: Read as much as you possibly can. But not because you have to. Read because summers inspire adventures and dreams, and when you read you’ll feel like swallows in flight. Read because it’s the best form of rebellion you have.

    And if I were a teacher who had to assign a nonfiction book to high schoolers, Mrs. Bennett, your anti-homework book would be, indeed, “the best form of rebellion disgruntled students have.”


  34. I HATE SUMMER READING!!!!!!!! I think it is completely pointless & a waste of time. I don’t c how this is supposed 2 b beneficial 4 us whatsoever. Especially if the teacher chooses the book(s) 4 u. Teachers say that they want us 2 ‘foster a love 4 reading & a thirst 4 knowledge’ but students r not gonna wanna read or learn if teachers choose boring books. If students chose the books they were interested in they r more likely 2 read them. This is summer vacation. VAY CAY SHUN. We should b relaxing , hanging with friends, going 2 the beach, going on vacation, seeing family, etc. Not stressing over homework. Summer is 4 RELAXING. If teachers wanna give out homework, they shouldn’t make it mandatory. They should make it as an extra credit assignment.

    I mean, I kinda understand that reading helps u 2 learn new vocabulary & whatnot but I don’t understand how writing essays or book reports or doing other projects (ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER DURING VACATION) is gonna help us whatsoever.

    Last year I had 2 do it & the teacher didn’t even collect it until my dad called the school (this was 4 8th grade). & my 7th grade teacher said it was MANDATORY!!!!!!

    Another time I was enjoying my summer (@ the time summer was like 70% over) & I checked my school website because something didn’t feel right 2 me. I found out that I had 2 read 5 BOOKS & do an assignment 4 each. I was up literally all night doing it because I didn’t want 2 waste any more time by procrastinating. The best part was that the teacher never collected it (or mentioned it)! & the teacher from the year before (when I was in 6th grade) didn’t tell the class either. I held onto it 4 like 2 weeks & after they didn’t collect it I threw it away. I was SO done (this was the homework 4 7th grade).

    This year the summer reading is not as much as I had in the past (I have 2 read a book of my choice {I chose Twilight ?? so I don’t have 2 worry about reading a boring book this year} & I have 2 do a project on it & fill out a book critique worksheet. As easy as it sounds I still don’t wanna do it (even if it’s TWILIGHT & that I’m already about 2/3 done with the book). I don’t wanna waste my time doing summer reading.

    In conclusion students should b relaxing & not stressing. Students (myself included) have been in school 4 about 9-10 months doing work & trying really hard so we should have @ least summer vacation 2 b able 2 not do work. I’m not saying we shouldn’t b reading I’m saying that teachers shouldn’t make us read. We should read whenever we want & whatever we want.

    Although it is helpful 2 review if I were 2 review in the summer I would do it @ least once a week 4 like 20 minutes. We shouldn’t b up all night doing summer reading. Nobody’s got time 4 it. We have lives 2 live so we don’t wanna waste our (social) lives reading & doing homework.


  35. honestly summer homework is here for a reason. BUT 4 LONG BOOKS AND 30 MATH QUESTIONS?! Honestly, I think summer homework took it to a whole new level of stressfulness!


  36. Summer homework is just…NO. First off, they shouldn’t call it “summer break” or “summer vacation” if in that “break” you STILL have to do work. And that work WILL be checked. I personally don’t think summer homework is necessary and it should be optional not mandatory. I admit at the beginning of the next school year I might be a little rusty, it’s fine. We’re humans not machines. Whoever came up with summer homework clearly never had to do it. As a student I would like teachers to see this comment and do something about it because after a whole school year, I have to spend my vacation on work that I’m not going to learn anything from anyways because I learned everything during the school year. So yeah.


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