Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer reading assignments: Boon or burden?

Jeri Ramsey, a parent at Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Sharon Elementary, poses an interesting question:  Do schools have a right to make assignments over the summer?

Ramsey says no.  What set her off was a PTA notice saying next year's fifth-graders should read two novels related to the social studies curriculum, "A Long Way from Chicago" and "George Washington's Socks," and have two-paragraph summaries ready to hand in when school starts Aug. 25.  Students will take part in class discussion and be given a comprehension test the first week of school, the notice says.

In an email to Principal Cathy Phelan and copied to the Observer, Ramsey says she certainly doesn't object to kids reading, or even to schools recommending books.  But this crosses a line, she wrote.

"Summer is a time for the families.  It is not a time for schools to force specific assignments on children," Ramsey wrote.  "Feel free to give a reading list of suggested reading materials, feel free to give a list of writing activities, feel free to give a list of math activities.  Let families choose what they do or don't do.  You are over stepping your bounds when you start telling parents what students must do on their free time.  Do you want children to hate learning?  That is what you are instilling."


Phelan backed her teachers' assignment:  "I can assure you that the fifth grade team of highly qualified educators have stayed abreast of current professional development.  Therefore, they do not arbitrarily assign work to the students that will not enrich or improve their skills,"  she replied.  "They greatly care for the academic and social growth of all of the children.  They would not develop a summer assignment that would hurt the students.  Students that truly enjoy reading will continue to find the value in all of the novels that they read.  Students that normally are not interested in reading will acquire content from the book that will be useful to them during the school year.  This is the second year that the 5th grade team has implemented the summer assignment.  The assignment proved to be very beneficial this school year to all of the children."

But Ramsey suspects the assignments are a thinly-veiled form of mandatory test prep, tied to the new social studies exams CMS rolled out this spring in an effort to create data that will help kids and rate teachers.  She notes that CMS will add 45 minutes to the elementary school day in 2011-12 and suggests schools use that time for additional reading.

"So now it is the parents job to teach to the test?"  Ramsey wrote.  "Last year you started using Value Added measures with the established EOGs and you knew the Social Studies Summative would be this year.  That is when it was decided to begin this new summer assignment.  It is all a way to teach to the test, improve Social Studies vocabulary and knowledge.  It is not bad to strengthen Social Studies vocabulary and knowledge, just do it in the time designated by the state as instructional days."


Chief Academic Officer Ann Clark, who hadn't seen the exchange, said last week that summer reading assignments are common, and parent complaints rare.  "A lot of parents ask for it,"  she said. "We get requests for summer reading lists."

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey. Do you read? I once read 72 books in one summer. Reading two summer books doesn't seem too onerous for a parent who possibly has higher academic aspirations for her daughter beyond her being able to ask a customer, "Would you like to Biggy Size those fries and drink?"

Jeri Ramsey said...

Yes, I read. In my home we rarely watch television as reading is the activity of choice for my whole family. My children are prolific readers. So why should they need to spend their summer reading even one book required by teachers that are not even on the payroll? My children read what is required and ten times what is not required during the school year. Their summers are for their enjoyment not to be dictated to by teachers that need curriculum covered for a new CMS test.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all sides on the pay for performance controversy. You have apparently made some parents so paranoid that they are suspicious of even the most benign summer reading assignment (which my children, now all grown and gone, participated in for many years in other school systems).
Ms. Ramsey, I suspect your children may be going back to school in the fall with quite a chip on their shoulders.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a conspiracy going on here, where certain educators are trying to improve kids' reading abilities. How dare they?

Anonymous said...

That attitude is why most of the major college scholarships and major academic competitions are generally dominated by children who's parents have immigrated from other countries. Our work ethic is just not the same. So, why not just boycott the requirements and let your daughter refuse to take the tests and let all the parents who want to get as much education as possible for their children gladly participate. Why try to "dumb" standards down? Just tell the teachers and your child that you don't want to participate? I vote for the surprisingly small summer requirement over maybe one or two less trips to Carowinds. Trying to tie your reading complaint into a general complaint against testing in general is ludicrous. You certainly don't speak for me. Sounds like you're a great candidate for home schooling.

Anonymous said...

As if the teachers and principals don't have enough to deal with--they have parents with attitudes like this.

A hint for Ms. Ramsey: If you don't want to "force" your child to read these two books (each less than 200 pages), just leave them and a few other books lying around the house in plain view. At some point during the summer your child will probably feel "bored" and might just pick up one of the books and (gasp) actually enjoy reading it. Worked like a charm with my kids.

Anonymous said...

oh for goodness sake, why should any parent WHINE about a summer reading project? Welcome to middle school where pubescent brains rot away quickly if not challenged! My child read her books and completed her assignment the first weekend and was done with it. Trust me, the amount of homework in 6th grade willaverage 1.5 to 2 hrs. a night..so I advise getting it completed ASAP..don't like it? then home school your little angel.

therestofthestory said...

I am still struggling trying to figire our what it is that Ms. Ramsey does not like about a summer reading and writing assignment. I go by the philospohy that the parent is the child's first teacher. We see too much evidence these days of children not taught, exposed, or even communicated much with when they walk into a public school the first day. Yes I do feel the current approach to public education is not building that desire that learning is a lifetime adventure.

Continuing on with the parent as the first teacher, it is also incumbent on the parent to be a "partner" with the teacher during public education. For a parent to simply believe their responsibility is to be sure the child gets to the school each morning is not enough. (Remember Dr. Gorman's exchange with the West Charlotte parent.)

I do not get a sense of what Ms. Ramsey usually "plans" for her children to do over the summer. It seems to me that there are down times due to weather, travel, etc. when it is wise to have some quiet time activity expected of the child. To me, doing this in a collaborative way with the child might shine some light on some talent the child should develop. Do they do a good job sceduling and using their time? Does the child read well enough to read the book out load to other children and pull them into the story? Do they do good enough job or transferring their thoughts to paper? I am always amazed parents do not do more with their kids during the summer that keeps the child well prepared for each upcoming school year.

For example, if your child thrives to be a successful baseball player, you learn quickly from competition that it is a year round program and not just for the spring season. And while you can love and enjoy baseball for just the season, you have low odds for teams desiring your participation at higher levels (high school, college, pro).

So bottom line, I tend to think some effort should occur over the "off season" to keep you tuned and sharp to be a high performer come time to show your stuff.

Wiley Coyote said...

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "could it be Gorman tapping at my chamber door;
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore".....


...and the status quo returns.

If CMS had year-round schools, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Wiley Coyote said...

TROTS,

I wonder how they feel about kids who continue with the school lunch program throughout the summer.

We can feed them, but by God we better not educate them.

We just spent an additional $2 million dollars to extend library hours and hire 42 full time employees.

Seems like we spent the money for nothing.

therestofthestory said...

Yes WC, sometimes I just sit back and wonder how that thought came out of a sane person's mouth. I guess I am getting old enough to realize errors of the past having seen the "unintended consequences". Pareto's 80-20 rule is in full effect. Bernanke is correct when he said the wealth gap was really an education gap.

As for the summer lunch program, can we not breath for these people too because that takes effort and responsibility?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey, why are you so against testing? Do you pine for the good old days when we had little accountability for anyone involved? Just be careful what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

Most of you seem to be complacent with others governing someones free time. Schools may suggest as many assignments and reading lists as they wish during summer time but can they legally require work that will be graded in the next school year? The fact remains that the school calendar clearly states that the children and staff are not in session. The argument is not weather schools can give summer assignments or even if parents reinforce skills during the summer. How can these assignments be required and graded when they have been assigned when school is not in session and the teachers have done nothing to teach to the material?

Anonymous said...

Ok, put it this way, your child has homework due the first day of school. Yes, they can require that. Point to a law that says they can't? I'm with the majority here. I had ASSIGNED reading lists - generally a certain number of books had to be read out of the list, not every one, and when I was in Honors English in high school, I had required summer reading to complete. I'm terribly sorry that the school system might impose some work over the summer for children so that 1. They don't lose the reading comprehension they have worked on for the year, 2. They continue to gain knowledge, 3. They have to actually do something besides play. I have no sympathy for Ms. Ramsey. I don't care how many books her kids read over the summer. It isn't a hardship to read TWO books and write a few paragraphs. Education is wisdom, and wisdom is wealth. She is teaching her children that is ok to slack off and not do what is required. But if it will make her feel better, I guess the work should be due the SECOND day of school - let her kids read all of it by Aug. 26th. Oh, and I read my assigned reading and my suggested reading every summer. And now I have my law degree. Talk about a lot of reading. And to therestofthestory, you are absolutely correct. Parenting and teaching go hand-in-hand. If more parents bothered to be involved with their childrens' education and cared what happened during the school day, and made their children responsible for their actions, rather than expect the teachers to do everything and their kids to do nothing, including behave, then we wouldn't have to worry about testing standards, they'd already be met.

Anonymous said...

In my experience the "grading" of summer reading tests or essays is pretty loose--gives the teacher an idea of how well the students in her new class understand what they have read.

I hardly consider being required to read and respond to two short books any time over ten or eleven weeks as having someone "governing a child's free time". I suspect by around August 1st the child will be looking for something to do.

Anonymous said...

Please point to a law that says a parent has to be totally supportive of their child's education and CMS...and be a good parent. Oh right...that's the problem with a majority of the non-learners in CMS. Wouldn't it be great if all those 10-13 year old kids that caused the Uptown disruptions after the Speed Street events had parents that made them read instead of hanging out at the Transit Center. The question is: what are the standards and what do we value. I totally value education and will wholeheartedly support CMS teachers and administrators when they push children to learn more...even in the summer. Feel free to opt-out.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey might consider that summer reading for 5th graders might have been implemented for the benefit of the students who would not be encouraged to read during the summer. Perhaps the only summer reading these students will do is these two books (and hopefully they will do this reading). Can you imagine the outcry if only low achievers were required to read over the summer.

Anonymous said...

The assignment is generally due at the end of September and is for a test grade which you sure don't want a zero for since it is weighted so heavily. Of course students that read them very early have to re-read the book for literature circle and other assignments that come along with the paper due in late September.

Anonymous said...

Don't do the assignment if you object to it. However, I can assure you reading these two very average books during the summer will have little or no effect on their outcomes on a Summative test the following May. So, teaching to the test is a little bit of a stretch in this case. This is a good introduction to the demands of work in middle and high school. If your child is such a proficient reader, they should be able to knock out this assigment in a day or two. Also, it is a good introduction to "we often have to do things we don't necessarily choose to do." For example, I didn't really want to wait for three hours to get my drivers license renewed, but that's life. Suck it up, read the books, mark it off your list, and move on!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at these comments. I've always felt resentful about my child's summer reading assignments, and I'm grateful to Ms. Ramsey for making an issue over this on my behalf. The thing for me is, the schools OWN my child during the year-loading them down with monotonous meaningless repetitive standardized homework that totally takes up our evenings. Now as if wasting my kid's time during the school year isn't enough, they want to take over her summer as well. For pete's sake-give us a break from your authoritarian one-size-fits-all regime.

Anonymous said...

A free education is "wasting your kid's time?" Wow. Sounds like a great PTA prospect. Kids in Haiti, SE Asia or India would do anything to get the opportunity we have in America, but yet we whine and complain....no wonder CMS has such a hard time with parental support like this.

Anonymous said...

I bet it was Ramsey who posted at 10:58 last night expressing her surprise at 95% of the responses. I bet she really won't like the BIG science research project that has to be done over winter break if she objects to a wee bit of reading over the summer vacation!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey, you ovbiously are miserable with your public school situation so here are a few options for you to consider....Charter School, Private School, Home School. However, they each come with their own set of expectations that you might find offensive as well.

These public school teachers are attempting to prepare their students for the requirements they will face in middle school, high school,college, and beyond. (I never got a summer vacation from reading in my corporate job.) And asking for a written response is hardly teaching to the test.

If your children are the avid readers you describe, it shouldn't be difficult for them to read two books selected by their teachers and discuss/write about what they have read. If students return to school in August with this assignment completed, it will be one tool teachers have to assess their abilities without giving yet another test.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey, you are insane. I imagine you are just one of those people who complain about everything. God bless your poor children.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey, I have just learned from someone at Sharon that you were a CMS elementary school teacher for 10 YEARS! And, this is your attitude toward learning? Something tells me that your email was a teacher's union orchestrated stunt to try to attack CMS's record of testing. This is just what I don't like about teacher's unions. Teachers are unhappy about testing and the new scrutiny they are under so they try to team up to attack those education leaders who are trying so hard to make a difference in every child's life. Did you ever think about how much reading over the summer might help those poor kids with little parental involvement? You may want to consider supporting our education leaders and CMS than try to use politics to tear down the changes and improvements that CMS leaders are trying so hard to implement.

Anonymous said...

What CMS planet is this parent living on?

1. Your kid is assigned a book they or you may not like. Get used to it.

2. My children never attended a CMS school (3 total) that factored summer reading assignments into their grade point average. Ever. Why?...

3. With 138,000 students in the system, there are kids revolving in and out of different schools throughout the summer and well into the first month of the school year faster than my hamster can run around his wheel. In fact, CMS doesn't take a final head count of students until the 20th day of school. So, if you find summer reading lists objectionable, fear not and tune into the cartoon channel.

Anonymous said...

(to continue..)

4. I think kids are over tested also to the point my opinion on the subject made the news. However, I certainly don't have a problem with students being assigned summer reading material as it relates to various subject matters taught during the school year.

Now, go do the right thing and find an open library, explore a bookstore or purchase a Kindle/Nookie for Snookie type reading device you can still take to the pool.

Anonymous said...

Agree with poster 12:18. While there is no teacher's union here. there is an advocacy group that does not want the testing issue to die down before the school board elections. They've had great success engaging the press for the past couple of months, but with Dr. Gorman's resignation the press now has another fish to fry. So--gotta somehow link as many complaints as possible to the testing issue and keep everyone stirred up.

Anonymous said...

12:44
I'm part of the advocacy group that does not support 52 additional pay-for-performance standardized tests in every subject area.

However, I have a hard time connecting the dots between summer reading assignments and teaching to the test. Therefore, I think we can agree on the absurdity of trying to link the two topics. I do not agree with Ms. Ramsey's assessment.

Anonymous said...

I am mixed. I see that continuing education is needed, but it is their free time. If I was a teacher, I would make it as an extra-credit assignment that could be used at some point in the year.

Anonymous said...

There seems to definitely be more going on with Mrs. Ramsey. She has been on the school leadership team, and other school committees and recognized by Sharon staff for contributions. I find it very odd and strange she would direct such harsh critique towards the principal now about reading 2 books.

Many of us do not support the 52 summative tests, but that should be directed to the central office staff and not at the principal! Some of us need our principal's time now for important things, so pls Mrs Ramsey state your real issue and not hide behind the summer reading program at Sharon. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey,
I attended all my schooling in CMS and graduated in the class of 2010. You seem to be under the notion that summer reading assignments are a new development to go along with the new CMS testing policies. I can assure you this is not the case. I began having summer reading assignments the summer of 2004, when I was transitioning from fifth to sixth grade. From then on, like clockwork, in the mail came my final report card and my summer reading assignments.
A few words of advice, from someone who has "been there, done that": Have your kids do the assignment and quit the complaining. It is coming every year whether you like it or not and when they get back to school in August I can guarantee there will be a due date provided within the first week of school for the assignment.
Also, this could be used as a learning lesson for your kids. Whining and complaining isn't getting the assignment done, so do it and be done and mark it off your to-do list.

Anonymous said...

As a Sharon parent I would like to inform everyone that Mrs. Ramsey does not have a child that will be affected by this assignment for this summer. This is the second year the assignment has been given, before this pay-for-performance testing occurred. Chill the *&^% out lady!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and a parent!! I HATE SUMMER PROJECTS which are completely and totally different than "summer reading." My son will read many books this summer but to make him do 2 huge projects (projects that he's already done in previous grades btw) is utterly ridiculous. I am an avid reader and will read tons of books this summer, whether it's raining or not, but I do object to it being called "required" and the inclusion of "receive credit" for the projects. Summer is summer!!!

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Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you as well but the teachers did not see the summative so it is very hard to "teach to the test." Summer reading is something that CMS has implemented since I was in school and I graduated high school in CMS in 2000. I remember reading a book every summer and that is where I encountered some of the best books ever! Guess what, colleges also require it so you may as well have your child start it now instead of complain because I PROMISE THE COLLEGE WON'T LISTEN TO IT! I'M NOT SURE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS CARE EITHER. The Elementary ones are trying to be helpful so you don't chew us out daily. I am now teaching in CMS as well. Can you please, for once cut the teachers some slack and trust us. There are so many parents upset with what we are doing but what are you doing as a parent. Are you making excuses for your child to not complete assignments and thinking your child is too good for everything that happens in the classroom? Teachers are asking your child to read 1-2 books over 2 months. It's not an impossible task and if you take an interested instead of getting upset, it will show your child that they should enjoy the book, not get all mad and act the way you are. We need to think about our actions and whats it teaching our kids. Think about how you are enabling them to be "whinners" and only do what they want to do. It's a shame!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Ramsey is absolutely correct to be upset. The school year is August to June. If the teachers can't teach what they need to in that length of time, then they have a problem. Summer is summer. It is for family time and free time. During the school year, you can't have "family time" because you spend every night and every weekend doing school work. If you want to have summer homework, then there should only be year round schooling, otherwise, give the summer to the families. It's no wonder the world is becoming the way it is because there's no time left to teach family values once you finish with all the homework. If you choose to read in the summer, that's your decision. By no means should a summer assignment be graded and weighed so much. For those of you talking about the kids whose parents don't have them read in the summer...they aren't doing the assignment anyway because those are the same kids whose parents don't give a crap all school year too. Duh! All anyone wants is for their kids to learn and be smart and I think 9 months in school is plenty. Let the parents worry about what their children learn in the summer. A teacher is off in the summer, so let the kids have the same. And for those of you saying teachers are never off, they picked that career, knew what is involved with it, and are getting paid to do that. You have to work your whole life after school, let the kids have a kids life for 3 months a year. Believe me, reading a book in the summer isn't getting you into a better college, so get a grip!

Anonymous said...

"Think about how you are enabling them to be "whinners" and only do what they want to do. It's a shame!"

Give me a break with these ridiculous claims. I'm a senior in high school this year, who's planning to go to college for software engineering, and I've been doing summer reading assignments for quite a while now. I agree entirely with Ms. Ramsey. Now before I get bashing comments saying I'm like any teenager who just wants to be lazy and do whatever I want, I want to say save it, because that's hardly the case. I take pride in my efforts in school, I'm a 4.1 average student, I'm in National Honors Society, I've never been in trouble in school, and I get along very well with my teachers and other faculty members. Also, my parents love to read and they encourage that I do so on my own time, but they too agree with Ms. Ramsey and myself.
I can honestly say that I have never found reading enjoyable and certainly don't like being forced to do it during a time that was established to be a break from school. You can say it's just a few books and it's not going to kill you to do it, but that's not the point. The point is that I've never found summer reading to be even the least bit beneficial and it's doing the exact opposite of making me want to read. Moreover, I can guarantee you this isn't just my view on the subject considering all I hear from most students is, "Sparknotes!" I personally, have always read the books despite how I feel about it, but why don't we just keep the school work for during the "school year".

Anonymous said...

The DoE's reach into our private lives is getting out of hand, as are most federal agencies. For that reason, I also detest the summer reading assignments. You're not even in their grasp yet and they're telling what to read. The book selections may be ok for now, but down the road, will they be assigning "Mein Kampf", and "Dreams from my Father"? The National Education Assoc is already recommending that children read "Rules for Radicals"!!!
My advice: HOMESCHOOL, HOMESCHOOL, HOMESCHOOL!

Jorrylin said...

I completely agree that summer reading assignments should be eliminated. My son, who enjoyed reading, did not mind the assingments and it was not an issue. However, for my daughter who does NOT enjoy reading, having summer reading assignments does NOT improve her skills, nor does it force her to actually enjoy it. All it does is frustrate her. She doesn't get a mental "break" that she desperately needs over the summer.

Bob said...

Ms Ramsey is 100% correct. Teachers and Schools do NOT have the authority to assign summer work. Any teacher/administrator that thinks otherwise needs to do their jobs and stop trying to tell parents how to do theirs. And by the way, my wife and I do encourage our daughters to read and did read to them while they were young. That is not the point. Ms Ramsey, please don't cower to these over-reaching administrators.

Anonymous said...

I am a student and i dont like to do summer reading. Summer is a time to have fun and injoy nature. it is called summer vacation, not summer reading vacation !!! Do you think kids want to read a book during the summer? I dont think so. Summer vacation is a vacation from school. NO MORE SUMMER READING !!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah. No more summer reading!

Anonymous said...

I am a mother and i dont like that my kids have to do summer reading.They tell me they dont like it and that they rather be outside playing and injoying the summer. :) I felt bad for my kids :(

Anonymous said...

My kids did not do their summer reading so when they went to school the teacher calle them bad students and said they are not going to be anyone in life.

Connie said...

I read all the time, even at red lights. I took books to the hospital and read to my children from the day they were born. Two of my children are, or were, voracious readers. Their summer reading, from 6-12th grade, consists of choosing one book from each of three categories (fiction, non-fiction, and drama) and then filling our a 4 page graphic organizer for each. If they don't hand it in on the first day of school they get a zero as a test grade for each book they didn't do. Then they have to write an essay about I don't remember how many of them. Now, the older of my sons never, and I mean never, reads. The younger, who I sent to camp a couple of years ago with a few books totaling over 600 pages wrote me after a week asking me to send more. Now he's losing his enjoyment of reading as well.
The boys go to an advanced studies school and work incredibly hard during the school year. I strongly feel they need a complete break during the summer. That's not to say that they wouldn't read for enjoyment, had they not found their summer reading so unpalatable (my 13 year old's words). I really look forward to the summer because we can all use the break but a small part of me approaches it with dread because of all the complaining and battles summer reading engenders.

Connie said...

I read all the time, even at red lights. I took books to the hospital and read to my children from the day they were born. Two of my children are, or were, voracious readers. Their summer reading, from 6-12th grade, consists of choosing one book from each of three categories (fiction, non-fiction, and drama) and then filling our a 4 page graphic organizer for each. If they don't hand it in on the first day of school they get a zero as a test grade for each book they didn't do. Then they have to write an essay about I don't remember how many of them. Now, the older of my sons never, and I mean never, reads. The younger, who I sent to camp a couple of years ago with a few books totaling over 600 pages wrote me after a week asking me to send more. Now he's losing his enjoyment of reading as well.
The boys go to an advanced studies school and work incredibly hard during the school year. I strongly feel they need a complete break during the summer. That's not to say that they wouldn't read for enjoyment, had they not found their summer reading so unpalatable (my 13 year old's words). I really look forward to the summer because we can all use the break but a small part of me approaches it with dread because of all the complaining and battles summer reading engenders.

Anonymous said...

This summer I have 7 books to read. A college application to write, a play to review, journals on all of my books, and a test on these books the first day of school in two different classes. I understand that teachers enjoy expanding children's minds even while on break, but it is called a break. I love learning and reading, however; I hate being forced. I enjoy just being able to listen to the news and think about issues in the world and how to solve them, or just picking up a book of my choice and reading it. It can be a classic novel or a cotton candy teenage girl book, as long as I am expanding my mind in some way. I think it is also funny how when you get into more advance classes, they require you to do a lot more during the summer. I understand that is the whole point, but don't you think that if the student is willing to challenge themselves for most of their school career they deserve some time to relax?

Ava Wolfie said...

I'm a kid. A 9 year old kid faced with the burden of summer reading projects. Isn't that a little too young to have to write a full essay on a five-hundred page book? Of course, Going into 4th grade I read on a six grade reading level and read for fun all the time, but it's not the reading part that bothers me. It's the actually the project part. We, as kids, deserve more time to relax instead of devoting all of our time to school. I mean, going to forth grade! I went to the beach for 3 weeks and as soon as I got back I had to type a 6 page essay on a book I read the first week of summer. That is too much project, not enough reading!

concernedforkids said...

It's funny how so many people are fine with giving kids mandatory work to do during the summer. Maybe you forget what it's like to be a kid. "School's out for summer." It's vacation time, time to play, do things with the family...
If you give the kids work during the summer, then...who needs teachers? Just give them assignments for the year.

Anonymous said...

I believe that kids have enough work to do over the school year than at home. Kids who do work 24/7 usualy are tired and worn down. Summer is supposed to be fun! A time to relax and no homework. Kids can get active if they don't have reading lists. I'm not saying it bad to read, I just think kids shouldn't be forced to do it. Reading lists help kids achieve more by reading but people need to understand that kids are smart! We'll find time to read! But books like MOBY DICK and other big huge novels wauste quality family time. Kids should have freedom to choose thier own summer time activities.