Is Summer Work Beneficial?

Every summer students are eager for relaxation and the time to refresh before the next school year, but for many, these dreams are not possible. AP and honors classes often assign work for the break, and usually those who take these classes don’t just take one. All this work is actually harming students.

Many argue that students forget what they have learned over the summer, and need extra work to review and remember the lessons of the previous year. However, many of these summer assignments are not review. Students are required to learn new material on their own before the start of school. These studies usually end in a test the first day or week of school. This summer work might be helping classes get ahead on learning to have enough time for the rest of the learning before AP tests, but teachers usually go over this work in the first weeks of school anyway. What is the point of making students learn the material on their own if teachers are going to reteach it? There is none.

Some of the classes in which work was assigned over the summer for AP students include AP Language and Composition, AP U.S. History 2, AP Economics, AP Physics, AP Bio, and AP Psychology. Assigned for AP Lang was reading the three books Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, On Writing by Stephen King, and What the Internet is doing to our Brains. Two essays, “Case for working with your hands” and “Serving in Florida”, were to be read, and an essay written about them due in the middle of August. For AP History, students were required to read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. An essay on the book was given in the first week of school. AP Econ students had to read the first two chapters in the textbook and answer questions. On the first day of school they were given a test on what they read. Students who are taking AP Physics had to complete a four page test over the summer. The work for AP Bio included reading the first four chapters of the textbook, and a quiz on the first day of school. AP Psych had students watch videos and fill out worksheets. Like most AP classes, they too had to take a test within the first week of school. 

We’re going to overwork our minds.”

That is quite a lot of work to do, especially in only three months or less. If a student only takes one or two of these classes, the workload doesn’t seem as intimidating, but most kids will take multiple, with some kids even taking all of these classes at once, filling their summer with nothing but work. Can you imagine having to do all those assignments? How does one balance all this work, and still enjoy their summer and get time to relax before being thrown back into nine months of school? He/she does not.

Swimmers taper off before a big event. They rest their bodies instead of overexerting themselves. This helps them perform at their best in the big event. Why shouldn’t we give our minds a break like this before starting school again? We’re going to overwork our minds. Anxiety and stress build up over the school year, and with no summer break to relieve it, students can feel anxiety ridden all year. Kids need a break from work over the summer to reset their bodies and minds.

Some schools such as Kelly Elementary School, are banning homework all together. If they can have no homework during the school year, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for to have no work during summer break.