Summer Vacation?

Michael Patullo, Staff Writer

This past summer, all teachers of honors and advanced placement classes were required to give their students a summer homework assignment.  That means if you’re a good student, you  most likely had four to five summer homework assignments that each took a significant amount of time. I believe this is unfair, and it should be changed.

I find this unfair for multiple reasons.  I feel summer homework for honor students doesn’t make sense; they are getting more work in the summer, yet they work harder than most of the students in other classes during the year.  This is not an insult towards the students in average classes either, but I have multiple friends who aren’t in honors classes who said to me over the summer, “It really pays off not to be ‘smart’.”  Is this the attitude we want Hawthorne students to have?  Summer homework is discouraging students from wanting to be in honors classes.

I also feel summer assignments are wrong because no student should have to do homework during their summer.  It is called summer “vacation” because that’s what it is, a vacation; it’s a time for students to relax, not for them to be doing more work.  With the amount of work we get, you can’t even call it a vacation.  This past summer, many students and I had a lot of summer work.  We had a physics assignment defining Newton’s Laws and answering questions, a math assignment doing a whole packet of mathematical equations, an English assignment reading a book and writing a research paper about it, a history assignment outlining two chapters and reading a book, and a Spanish assignment taking over 100 tests and quizzes after teaching ourselves the lessons.  It was like we never left school.

I understand the school can not drop all summer homework assignments, but I feel I have a reasonable compromise.  I think the school should assign only English summer homework assignments; it’s the only one that makes sense.  That is how it always was my first two years of high school.  The other classes’ summer homework assignments are not helpful to students because they’re just teaching material that students aren’t really grasping and will most likely forget until the teacher teaches it.  At least by writing a paper for English, the teacher can analyze the writing, so he/she knows what to expect for the rest of the year.

Ultimately, I find it only fair that honor students don’t have to do summer homework just as the students in average classes don’t have to.  I feel I speak for my fellow classmates when I say that just an English summer assignment would strengthen important reading and writing skills, and that is a lot to gain on a summer vacation.