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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
“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!
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.
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.
I did my very first report in the 5th grade. My son did 5 reports in fifth grade. Now in 6th grade my son needs a scientific calculator, a calculator I didn't need until college. How did our generation ever manage to grow up and survive!!?? More and more pressure is put on our children today to learn more and faster. Now summer has to be taken away too? My son has no responsibility to his school during summer vacation. This homework is unfair and absurd. There are times when kids need to be just kids. Their emotional health is more important than homework.
I am a teacher and a mom. Summer homework is ridiculous. Teachers in general have become lazier and put more on the students to cover for their lack of teaching. I have seen wonderful new concepts such as peer editing. Teachers extol this as a great learning tool, but we know it really means the kids do the correcting so the teacher does not need to take it home and correct each one individually. Now a days, students just pass their assignments across the aisle and learning time is now used to correct each other's assignments, in other words doing the teacher's job. They give homework over the summer, but if you ask one to help with it you get the arrogant answer like the teacher above. Newsflash my fellow teachers: we are hired and paid to TEACH. Assigning summer assignments and telling them to figure it out themselves is not teaching. Assigning summer work and then disappearing to do whatever you have planned for your summer uninterrupted by your students is not teaching. You call it tutoring and demand to get paid when kids need your help in the summer. I say, students fight the lazy teachers. You have legal grounds. A teacher's contract does not include summer months. The number of days a student must attend is too much if you include summer. And that teacher does not officially become your teacher until that first day of class. Have you ever tried to get one of us to work just one extra day outside of our contract? We howl like babies and threaten to contact the Union!
I agree that kids do need something to exercise their minds during the summer but come on! I am 15 and going into 10th grade. My teachers expect me to read a book during the summer. Normally I wouldn't mind because i love reading, but I also have to do 5 character map, analyze 6 quotations per major character in the book and do a 2 page analysis and plot summary. Then, I have 60 math problems, most of them so hard I had to look on the internet for help. I also have to do a 3-5 page report on Mesopotamia and what we know based on prehistoric archaeologists, physical antropologists and cultural anthropologists. AND..... I have to memorize the ENTIRE periodic table of elements. There will be a test when we go back to ensure we have done our homework and we have to present our study method.
This is too much for us to do during the summer. Although we have about 2 months off, I spend time with my family and friends. I expect to go on VACATION....where I thought we were supposed to relax ourselves so we can go back to school stress-free. But this adds on to my stress, espeacially since im expecting to be graded on this. I don't see how stressing us out can help us do better during the school year.