Students struggle with pacing assignments in warm weather

Students struggle with pacing assignments in warm weather

Teachers say summer homework serves several purposes, but that doesn’t mean students enjoy doing it.

Most high school students are relieved at the end of the school year and look forward to a homework-free summer. Others, however, don’t have this advantage because they’ve received assignments to complete during the break.

Teachers feel summer homework is justified for some classes and for honors students. And while many students understand that position, it doesn’t mean they enjoy the work or understand how to pace themselves to complete it during the summer.

“Sometimes the amount of homework students receive seems overwhelming. The amount of homework really depends on the class,” said senior Melanie West. “In the past, I had a lot of homework, and I would be busy with summer and spend my entire August doing homework.”

Math Department Chair Scott Mitter said he’s comfortable with the amount of summer homework his department gives to students. “Honors geometry and Algebra II each receive a packet of Algebra I to review over the summer,” said Mitter.

English Department Chair Penni Meyer says she’s also comfortable with the amount of homework assigned. “It really depends on the class for the hours of homework that students have. In English, we feel comfortable with our hours. I feel as if we have just the right amount,” she said.

Although the hours might seem right to some teachers, some students still have trouble pacing themselves. “I didn’t do any of my homework for the entire summer,” said junior Lael Ange. “I had to pack it all in the last week of summer vacation. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”

West agrees that sometimes the amount of homework students receive makes it hard for them to pace it out over the course of summer vacation. “Sometimes I get a lot of homework,” she said. “It’s hard, but it’s also good because I’ve learned on how to pace myself.”

Meyer has a suggestion for students who have trouble with pacing homework over the summer. “We suggest that students read once early in summer and once in August, although most students only read once,” she said.

Mitter also offers some advice to students. “Don’t be that last-minute person; it’s difficult to fit everything in the last week. Do it in chunks. It’s something that could be easily done over the whole course of summer. But it’s something that the kids have to put effort into.”  

Meyer agrees. “We want students to keep up during the summer, for them to read information and not forget. That way, when school starts, we’re all at a common place to start learning the curriculum the first day,” she said.

West says that even though summer homework isn’t the most fun thing to do in the world, she agrees with Meyer to some extent. “It keeps kids thinking,” said West. “It gives them a head start, and it makes sure they don’t forget things.”

In addition to keeping students sharp, summer homework helps teachers understand what their classes need to work on. “The purpose of it all is to know the material. For us, Algebra I is the most important foundation,” said Mitter. “It’s not something you could just survive. You have to know it.”