Summer homework, or summer school?

Summer homework, or summer school?

Willow Bowen, Reporter

A common trend that is starting to occur more commonly in schools around the country is summer homework. Summer homework is usually assigned to the honors classes that are paced faster than an average class. Honors students and students in general work hard all year just to obtain grades that will keep them satisfied. If teachers are assigning summer homework they might not be thinking about the effect it has on students in the long run. 

Concerningly, the amount of mental health issues that seem to come with school is rising rapidly. According to KVC Kansas research shows that academic stress leads to less well-being and an increased likelihood of developing anxiety or depression. If teachers know that their honors students work hard, why can’t they understand that a break is more than necessary? Another website, Sharecare, states that between 600 to 800 students between the ages of 15 and 24 commit suicide annually. Adding to that a poll of 804 teachers revealed that 73% considered school is far more stressful than education from the previous decade.

One of the worst sayings that a teacher can say is “You knew what you signed up for.” The reason this is so awful is because it invalidates the student’s right to have any sort of tranquility. Apparently taking honors classes means you get almost no life at all. What school is turning into is truly sad. Students who choose to take the honors courses care about their education and challenge themselves to work a bit harder. When teachers start taking advantage of that and assigning summer homework, it tarnishes the perspective kids have on school. It’s discouraging to know that your knowledge has to be challenged in a time that is supposed to be fun. 

Being open with students is really important. If you don’t let them know what they’re getting into, then you can’t expect them to be happy when you surprise them with an unexpected workload. When giving students access to schedule their classes for next year, teachers should be ultimately clear on what the workload will be. Like for example, summer homework. Teachers who plan on assigning summer homework should clarify that before the schedule is even available to the students. When teachers only explain the criteria after the class is irreversible, it’s unfair to students who think it might not be for them. Not to mention, it’s common for schools to force kids into classes they think they can handle based off of their GPA or average grade they passed with for the previous course they were in. So kids who had passing grades in advanced classes will be forced to continue on that path. The problem with this is just because someone might be passing doesn’t mean that the class is fit for them.

For honors students, usually there are assignments posted back to back keeping you constantly on your feet. To teachers, the workload might seem reasonable, but when you combine all of your classes together it starts to weigh on you. Slowly throughout the year kids will get more and more burned out making the motivation to succeed a burden. The only thing that you can look forward to is the two-day break that is barely enough to regain your energy. It’s common for teachers to forget that we have lives, families, and overall that high school students are still children. How are we expected to perform our best if we never get a break? If teachers are going to assign homework over the summer break, then kids are slowly going to become less passionate about bettering their education. For kids to appreciate learning you have to give them a break to take their own life into consideration so that they enjoy coming to school. Summer is for fun, spending time with your family, and overall relaxation. How much of students’ lives go into school work already? Is that not enough? 

There is a difference between what’s reasonable and what’s not. If English teachers want to assign a summer book that you will talk about later in the year, then that is understandable. But sending home summer packets should not be acceptable because it creates unrealistic expectations for young teens. How long before math teachers are sending home math packets for students to complete? If teachers want to give honors students summer homework they should make it flexible. Have it be interesting so students come back passionately talking about what they just read, because a thousand pages of meaningless words aren’t going to make kids excited to learn.