By R. Brady
It’s only a few days into summer, and many students have already received the dreaded email about summer assignments. With schedules already filling up with vacations and camps, students have no idea how they are going to complete AP assignments and read multiple assigned books. Every year without fail, I find myself cramming the assigned reading the night before school starts. Students would benefit altogether if summer reading was cut from their summer assignments.
The goal of summer vacation is to allow students a break from the stress and monotonous daily routine of school and homework. Adding school assignments to this break annuls the idea of an anxiety-free vacation. Though schools say that summer vacation is a time where the pressure of homework and studying are nonexistent, adding summer reading assignments demonstrates the opposite of this claim.
Although I do often read many books over the summer, the idea that I will be tested on the material of the summer reading books results in me avoiding the assignment until the very last possible day. Schools may argue that summer books are a good way to keep students reading over the summer. However, I personally read enough over the summer on my own without having to read assigned books as well. The fact that I will have to thoroughly study and annotate the books while I’m reading them makes the whole experience of reading less enjoyable and more about simply completing schoolwork.
I encourage students to read for pleasure over the summer. However, I dislike having to carefully annotate and study a book that is assigned to me. Knowing that it is a graded assignment adds stress to my summer. Getting rid of summer assignments such as summer reading will help students achieve the stress-free vacation they need while also allowing a much needed break from homework.