Summer homework and reading assignments should be avoided altogether, as this is a break students have earned from spending their days reading books and solving equations for the rest of the year. There are many adverse effects from giving students homework over the summer, such as causing stress and adding more burdens to students. It also prevents them from spending time with their family or friends and gaining more knowledge about different cultures through traveling. Homework assigned over the summer often does not receive the same level of care or attention as work during the year, defeating the purpose of giving it.
First of all, students need to take a break from education, which is the whole summer vacation point anyway. School is an essential part of growing up, but without that break, students can become burned out, and subsequently, they will not be able to focus as well when the school year begins. It is beneficial for students to be able to take their minds off school and school work. Students can become easily distracted, but short breaks can help them focus, increase their productivity, and reduce stress. Intervals increase their productivity and provide them with opportunities to develop creativity and social skills.
“I believe that summer work should not exist,” senior Annika Dean said. “Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation where we have the chance to spend time with friends and loved ones. Having summer work would take that aspect away from most students.”
Another reason to avoid summer homework is the amount of stress it can place on a student. If students don’t have the structure or support at home to fulfill these assignments on time, the pressure can negatively affect the student. Seniors are also starting to work on college applications over the summer and should not have the added burden of schoolwork. Throughout the school year, students are under a tremendous amount of stress to get good grades and perform well in extracurricular activities. Students are exhausted by the end of the week; therefore, after nine months of that cycle, a long rest could be healthier in the long run. The Mayo Clinic reports stress increases feelings of irritability and anger. These emotions then increase the likelihood of outbursts and social withdrawal. Students who are under a lot of stress also have unhealthy sleep patterns and worse grades. When a student is stressed, it takes over their ability to focus during class and study. The 2010 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment reported that more than 25 percent of students felt that stress lowered their grades.
“The whole point of summer break is to get away from school, give students a mental break, and relax. Summer break is not meant to still complete schoolwork and has students stress out over due-dates and stuff like that,” senior Jackson Smith said. “If the teachers want to give homework over the summer, then we might as well do year-round school. The summer work defeats the whole purpose of the break.”
In ways, work over summer break can help students for their next semester. Summer homework gives students a chance to brush up on their knowledge, as it would also be a waste of a year to forget everything you learned over the two-month break. While there are some excellent reasons students have work over the summer, the negatives outweigh the positives of working during the holiday. The education system’s main reason to justify summer work or summer reading is that it can allow students to reinforce what they have learned the previous year. Many believe it can also make it easier for the student to get back into the school routine if they had assignments throughout the summer. Educators also state that summer homework provides an opportunity for parents to participate in their child’s education. Although these are good points, the stress and laziness that often comes with summer homework makes it inefficient. Today’s students are more stressed than ever. The American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment found that 85.6 percent of students had felt overwhelmed in the past year, and some of that pressure comes from getting good grades and completing homework.
“I think we should have summer homework to stay on top of school work, but it should be in increments to try and prevent students from doing it all at once,” senior Daniella Streety said. “Doing work in small bits will help everyone not be so stressed at the end of the summer.”
While many people are divided on this topic, summer homework has adverse effects on the students and makes the work all together useless. They could quickly look up their answers and move on with their summer, making the work pointless. There tends to be little value in the homework done over the break, especially due to the inability for teachers to make sure students are doing the work properly. As a learning tool, summer homework is not sufficient and doesn’t build students’ knowledge for the next semester.