Point/Counter Point: Should Students have Summer Assignments?


Emily Thomas, Opinion Editor; Evelyn Henry, Staff Writer

Emily Thomas and Evelyn Henry

“Everyone needs a break from stress, and to be fresh and ready to start the next year’s learning, time away can ensure we aren’t burnt out before we start.”

Emily Thomas, Opinion Editor

  It’s finally nearing the end of school, and staff and students are looking forward to enjoying a relaxing summer break. However, for many students, summer is becoming only slightly less stressful than the actual school year. With an abundance of summer assignments rolling in for next year’s classes, the line between work and break is becoming blurred. What everyone really needs over summer break is exactly that – a break.

   First of all, as someone who has taken almost all honors and AP classes every year, the workload throughout the year is virtually never ending. There is always something hanging over your head, whether it be textbook reading for class the following day, or the ever-looming AP exams that you feel you should constantly be preparing for. Mix that with all of the highly recommended extracurriculars to get into college, finding time to manage school and social life becomes impossible. For lots, the thought of reaching summer provides some hope of relief from the daily demands of school. Unfortunately, this hope has been diminished as now we also have math homework and several books to read over a span of two months.

   Not only are we being given work over the one period made for no work, but the workload is also almost greater than that of the average school day. If I recall correctly, for my English assignment going into sophomore year, I was supposed to read three books. If I also remember right, this is more books than I got through pretty much the entire year. Why is it that we are expected to get through several books in a few months when we do a book about every other month while school is in session?

   For someone who generally enjoys reading, it’s not like I plan to avoid every book over the summer. In fact, I’ve been accumulating a stack of books that I want to read, but I haven’t touched any of them in years because I feel obligated to read for school assignments. Personally, I am much more likely to get something out of a book when it is something I choose and find interesting. There are countless themes and ideas I’d love to explore in fiction and non-fiction books, but these interests are always cast aside when I’m worrying about grades for a year that hasn’t even started yet.

   As someone who has also changed schools multiple times, figuring out assignments for a school you know nothing of is not always the easiest. I’ve known countless people who show up on their first day at a new school to find out there was an assignment they missed. These students then start the year off strong with a zero in the class.

   Of course, there is the excuse that serves to justify just about every stressful event in high school – this will prepare you for college. But guess what – college students don’t have work over breaks! Once they hand in their exams, they are done. No more menial assignments designed to keep your brain “fresh;” just pure freedom. And, expanding on the “fresh” brain idea, I don’t think a summer assignment, especially one for math, has ever made me feel less confused on my first day back than I would have already been.

   Especially for the rising seniors, myself included, it’s not like we’ll be completely void of educational practice – this summer, we get to write our college essays! Not only are these essays unlike anything we have ever been taught to write, but they are also probably some of the most important ones we will ever have to write.

   All-in-all, the last thing anyone wants or needs is to have school assignments during the one time we are supposed to be guaranteed a break. Students have enough assignments during the school year, and I know the last thing teachers want is to have 150 packets to be grad-ed the first day back. Summer is supposed to be a time to relax and have fun, but with summer assignments, I feel already tired of work come the first day of school. Everyone needs a break from stress, and to be fresh and ready to start the next year’s learning, time away can ensure we aren’t burnt out before we start. 


“Just because we are on break does not mean we should not learn.”

Evelyn Henry, Staff Writer

  The start of summer is quickly approaching. During this break, high school students enjoy the fun of vacation while also preparing for the next school year. For honors and Advanced Placement, or AP, classes, students tend to receive assignments to complete over the summer to gain familiarity with the workload they will take on in the upcoming year. Summer assignments benefit students and should be utilized by teachers.

   Just because we are on break does not mean we should not learn. Books can teach us anything and everything. It could enable us to simply learn new words or inspire us to pick up a new book.

   While summer work can be a burden to most highschoolers, there are many reasons and benefits to summer work. Summer assignments are critical for students to learn and retain knowledge from the previous school year. The workload also gives the students an opportunity to practice skills they will need for their class next year.

   In 2010 the ALA council adopted the resolution on Ensuring Summer Programs for all Children and Teens, urging library directors, Trustees, School Board Masters and supervising government bodies to ensure that their libraries provided adequate funding for the summer reading program. Summer reading helps students of all ages hold information and continue their learning journeys during the summer.

   When given the opportunity, many kids say they thoroughly enjoy summer reading. Which is why it is so important to get kids to read at an early age and summer reading can be very beneficial in that case.

   Summer break is typically two to three months long. The 10-week break is a large gap to not learn and retain information. Summer also gives us so much time to exercise our minds and even causes students to excel in the next school year.

   On the first day of school, students are expected to have completed their summer assignments. If a student has not done so, they are dropped from the class. This action is necessary, as that student may not be prepared for the remainder of the workload for the school year.

   Summer assignments are not completed for no reason. Usually, during the first few weeks of school, teachers go over the book or math problems to see what students learned from them and what the class needs to focus on that school year.

   For example, if multiple students have issues with a certain topic, then the teacher will give out practice work for the students to focus more on it and gain a strong understanding of the topic. Summer assignments are essential for preparation and knowledge. Although summer is widely viewed as a fun break from schoolwork, the season is a great time to keep up the studying habits gained during the school year.

   If a student cannot complete their summer assignments or finds them unnecessary, then they should not be enrolled for harder classes in the first place.

   Students, take classes that you know you can handle and do not forget to complete your summer work. It will be beneficial for you during the school year and for the rest of your life.