Summer Reading – Is It Too Much?

By: Sophie Weyn

A lot of people think that summer assignments as a whole should not be a requirement, year after year for HB’s high school students. People say that many students end up not reading their assigned books because they would rather spend the summer resting up for the start of the school year, and they believe the summer should be a much deserving break from the intensity following the end of the previous school year. The frequent pattern of a history book, an English book, and usually a math and/or language packet all being assigned each summer is very overwhelming for many hard working HB students.

Most HB girls have a strong work ethic and strive to do well in all parts of their life- academically, athletically, and socially. So the question becomes- why do students feel like they’re being punished during the 2-3 months where they’re encouraged to rest up and enjoy their time off?

I personally do believe that if you take between 2 and 3 months off, there is no doubt that you become out of practice from your usual capabilities when it comes to school. But that break is necessary if students are expected to give 100% returning back for the next year in August. That being said, I wouldn’t have a problem at all with being assigned one book for English class to keep my reading skills fresh. I think that being expected to read a book and be able to answer some interpretive, analytical questions about it when we come back to school would be reasonable, considering that HB students are expected to dive right into things academically as far as expectations of the new year go. I also think the probability of students actually doing their summer assignment, if it were only one book compared to many, would be much higher, especially if that book was of interest to a wide range of people. However, I think it’s important to find the mix between having to do an assignment or two over the summer, and overwhelming students as they stress over work they’re supposed to complete while on their “break” from their other rigorous, demanding nine months of the year.