An informal survey of seven parents of school age children revealed the following results.
- 5 of the 7 parents said their children were assinged summer work by their local school district.
- 4 of those 5 said they felt the schoosl’ assignments were poorly designed.
- 3 of the 5 called the schools’ assignments “not worthwhile”.
- Only 1 of the 7 parents said they planned to have their students do any formal academic work beyond the summer assignments given by their local school district.
Apparently families are not buying into the “use it or lose it” mantra when it comes to academics.
Unfortunately, there is little consequence for taking the summer “off” or not coming into school at your peak form. Most schools spend quite a bit of time shaking the rust off, and all it takes is a small group of unprepared students to hold the whole class back.
Educators we spoke to mentioned concerns about trying to enforce summer work, and several said they were required by their districts to provide an adequate amount of September time for students to complete any required summer work. Still others say they are told not to grade the quality of the work, only whether it is completed or not.
We wrote earlier about the wasted time at the end of the school year. Here too, we are seeing a chance to improve student understanding and achievement that is not being well utilized.
There has to be a better way.
What were your experiences with summer work? Please share your thoughts below.