Should teachers assign homework over the summer?

Yes. It's important that students continue to learn over the summer. Homework allows them to retain what they've learned.
12% (241 votes)
Maybe. Light work, such as traditional summer reading is OK, but teachers should not assign lengthy or rigorous work.
30% (592 votes)
No. Summer is a time for students to take a break from academics. It is unfair to require students to complete homework.
55% (1089 votes)
None of the above. (Comment below.)
3% (54 votes)
Total votes: 1976

Comments (81)

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Coordinator of an NSF GK12 program and an NIH SEPA program, both at USM, ME

summer opportunities

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Giving kids ideas to try out, i.e. some guidance for the free time. It doesn't have to be homework as such. It could be trying out a new game or a musical instrument or studying the history of something or how does something work or how to start a garden or building something or learning to cook a favorite dish. The options are endless and depending on the child's interest can be both fun and a learning opportunity.

As a parent and educator, I

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As a parent and educator, I feel the they should at least get a summer reading and have to do a report, short video, or monologue. One of the main problem with students today is reading and comprehension. The answer to that problem is READING. You don't have read just books. They can read an article in a magazine or newspaper and right a short paragraph on what they read or tell you orally what they read.It doesn't have to be a long drawn out process but, parents can have fun with it. All year round school sounds great to me with certain weeks and holidays off and the month of August off. Most kids are board after being home for a week or two anyway and it is a strain on parents who work and can not afford camps during the summer,

7/8 Drama, Film, Honors & Regular Language Arts

Reading books is the best

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Reading books is the best homework we can assign students. A summer reading list is not work for anyone. It is called the JOY OF READING> And that is a lifelong pleasure.

Technology Teacher in San Jose, CA

Not homework - continued education

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While I don't assign homework, I have in the past given students math packets that can be done over the summer. It was always optional, answers were on the web for them to check and nothing was in the packet that wasn't taught the previous year. Students turned in the packet on the first day of school and received a reward of some kind and a certificate of completion of the math packet. It was all done on their honor and meant to keep their mind fresh on the concepts they learned. The teacher that had these students the following year definitely noticed a difference in their work - they ramped up faster in the new year.

I think that students need to have options to improve themselves. Interventions, lists of websites with math games, reading lists, science experiments, geocaching, etc. are great ways to encourage students to learn over the summer and keep busy. I don't want to grade homework, but I do want students to discover why learning is fun and that it will help them in the long run. Enjoy the summer, but just as I take classes to learn new things in the summer, there is nothing wrong with continuing education over the summer, even if it is a sport, camping, surfing, or swimming.

None of the Above

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I wanted to vote, "Yes", but I know that the students who would need to participate would likely not be the ones who would. Parents of serious students usually ensure that their students are engaged in various kinds of learning experiences all year long. As a retired educator, I have witnessed the loss of learned information when students do not have outlets for reinforcement. When parents view summer learning projects as punishment for both them and their children, the purpose has been defeated before any learning activities take place.

That said, assigning learning the alphabet, colors, arithmetic facts (all four operations, as appropriate) and/or a few words - family names, function words, animal names, familiar objects - might be a compromise for early elementary school children. Further, a parent program during the school year which emphasizes the need for lifelong (including year round) learning might aid in establishing summer homework programs.

Fourth Grade Teacher

My experience in giving

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My experience in giving homework is this: the students who could really use the extra practice don't do it, and the students who don't really need the extra practice do it. Students with all the parental support they need to be successful in school are spending their summers reading about the frogs they catch (science/reading/research), playing basketball (social skills) and traveling with their families (geography/history/math...); while students in poverty and/or without parental support are watching T.V. or running the streets totally unsupervised. I'm afraid summer homework would be impossible to enforce and would probably just push already overburdened parents to feel more resentful toward their local schools. Offering to HELP SUPPORT parents/children by offering fun, project based learning opportunities at school would probably be much more successful and help bridge the gap between socio-economic groups.

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As a teacher of 20 years. I feel that children should have free time. However, if a student has not shown me that they have mastered a skill I will assign homework over a break. It's parents like you that make it hard for us to do our job. You want the best education possible for your child but you are not willing to work with the school and teachers. Your attitude will rub off on your kids and the cycle will perpetuate. Also, it is clear in your rantings that you should have had homework over the summer. You didn't even spell realize correctly.

Dee (not verified)

Summer Homework

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I do not have a problem with some summer reading. What I would like to see is the kids being able to pick the books they will ENJOY reading. Maybe they will gain a love for reading when they can choose books that interest them. I think heavy required and BORING works for educational benefit should be left for the school year.

I have a 15 year old boy going into 10th grade. His required reading this summer along with the required assignments only makes him resent reading and the teacher who assigned them. The books the teacher chose to assign showed no consideration of the students who had to do the reading! Maybe they were books SHE enjoyed, but what 15 year old boy has even the tiniest interest in reading ‘The Joy Luck Club’ and ‘Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant?” Both are books a GIRL might have interest in, but not boys. Getting through the books was hard enough, but the assignment sheet (explaining directions and requirements) was 3 pages long!

The short version of the assignments: A reading log for each of the 2 required books, which students were expected to write a paragraph response or reaction (at least 8 sentences) to a quote in each of the 26 chapters of the books.

THEN write an essay on one of the required books following the teachers essay rubric. Not a simple essay. It had to be a well thought out “thesis’ explaining text and quotes from the book.

THEN, that wasn’t enough. They had to pick a fiction book from a list and complete a ‘literary terms’ assignment which came with another 2 pages explaining the requirements of the assignment!

THAT still wasn’t enough so they were also required to complete a 20 page ‘Parts of Speech worksheet packet & test’! (It took him 4 hours just to get halfway through it!)

NOW add to this, that if it is not turned the first day of school, they receive a ZERO, severely affecting their first term grade. No late work will be accepted. Guess what? If the child happens to be sick the first day, the student (parent) is expected to make sure it is turned in the first day to receive credit!

This was just the work for one subject! Too much for any kid, but add to it that my son has ADD and imagine what our summer was like, especially the last 2 weeks! I RESENT THAT TEACHER for stealing our summer time. Assigning about 100 hours of work in one subject is absurd! Wonder what she was able to do over the summer? I’m sure it was more enjoyable than ours!

SUMMER WORK HAS GOTTEN COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL!

As for the teacher who wrote…
Well, first of all, maybe if you had a better attitude about homework, you would be able to spell "ridiculous" and wouldn't feel the need to write with such vulgar language.
EVER HEAR OF A TYPO? I AGREE HER CHOICE OF WORDS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER, BUT I CAN UNERSTAND HER FRUSTRATION.

Secondly, at 17 years old, I would hope that you have a little initiative and a few skills that you can apply to figure out your assignment by yourself, without your teacher holding your hand.

MY SON’S ASSIGNMENTS IN ONE SUBJECT TOOK 5 PAGES TO EXPLAIN! IT WAS VERY COMPLICATED AND MIGHT HAVE NEEDED SOME CLARIFICATION. (THE TEACHER SAID SHE MIGHT OCCASIONALLY CHECK HER EMAIL IF THEY HAD QUESTIONS.)

Today's students expect to be spoon fed everything and don't want to work on anything that is "hard".

NOW IF THAT’S NOT A BLATANT GENERALIZATION!!! SHAME ON YOU! IF THAT IS YOUR OPINION OF STUDENTS, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T BE TEACHING!

Kudos to your teachers for having high standards and helping you to meet them.

HELPING THEM HOW! WERE YOU ON THE BEACH ENJOYING YOUR SUMMER?

I hope you find a way to truly learn from your homework assignment and make it into a valuable experience that builds on your education and opens your eyes to new ways of viewing the world.

WITH TEACHERS LIKE YOU HELPING TO “OPEN THEIR EYES” I CAN SEE HOW THESE ASSIGNMENTS ARE GIVING THEM A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD EDUCATION.

I AGREE LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE OF IT. WE MAKE OUR KIDS DO WHAT THEY HAVE TO EVEN WHEN WE DON’T AGREE WITH IT, BUT IT IS NOT EASY TO KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IF THE TEACHER JUST GIVES THEM MOUNTAINS OF OVERWHELMING ASSIGNMENTS AND SAYS, “ENJOY YOUR SUMMER, SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER!” WHAT’S LEFT TO ENJOY? KIDS NEED TO BE KIDS TOO!

Sincerely,
A teacher

“A TEACHER” ????

We have been lucky to have a few teachers that will go the extra mile and enjoy teaching, but more and more we see teachers who don’t seem to enjoy TEACHING. They should not be teaching and find something else they can enjoy doing! I know teachers don’t have it easy in today’s classroom, but assigning this much work over the summer to jumpstart the school year is too much. Unfortunately it seems like not a lot of teaching is actually happening in the classroom. A lot of assignments are given and students are left to figure out much of it on their own.

Is there any way to stop this ridiculousness?!!! It just is getting worse and worse!

Samantha (not verified)

I really liked your comment

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I really liked your comment and was wondering if i could use part of it in a letter a friend and I were thinking of possibly sending to our Board of Education leaders.
I'm asking because I thought it would sound more credible if we could show that you were a teacher and if we could show your real name. If you prefered that we didnt use your name, that would be fine too.

Mary (not verified)

this was a bit harsh. I too

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this was a bit harsh. I too have summerwork to do and hand in the first day. Im 16 and over the summer i enjoy reading novels on my own without 50 questions and an essay attached. This summer my soon to be teacher assigned Water Ship Down with the 50Q and essay. There is also a Nortan sampler which is very confusing to read with another 50Q and an essay. Finally on top of that i have a practice regents with about 80 multiple choice questions, short answers and an essay. I have already had to do summer work to get into AP euro which was just as hard. this had to be done by august first. But i top of this in the summer i have a part time job as a lifeguard, volunteer at the local library and sometimes babysit from 7 in the morning to 6 at night. Most teachers think that the students will sit in front of the tv all summer but do they think of the kids who dont and all the stress it puts on them to do all the other they want to do over the summer. i dont even want to mention a vacation but i go on one for a week and a half with my family every year which i love. So i ask you a teacher when am i supposed to get this work done and earn my own money. Finally arent extra curricular important on college apps too.
Sincerely Stressed out.

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