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The Current

The Current

No love for summer homework requirements

Bruins bound for AP classes are navigating challenging but mandatory summer homework. Photo by Alec Hartman

Summer is here, meaning Bruins can relax for a couple of months before returning to school in the fall, dedicating their time to leisure and maybe even a summer job. Not so fast! If a Bruin planned on taking select AP or honors classes next school year, then it’s likely homework is assigned to do over the summer.

AP Literature teacher Toby Barmeyer believes that summer homework helps her students be successful, especially on AP exams.

“[The summer] assignments are designed to help [students] prepare for college and the AP exam, where skills developed by avid reading are essential,” she explained. “Only the well-read student can respond intelligently to the open essay question on the AP exam; therefore, summer reading becomes vital to [student] success.”

Notwithstanding, it’s not surprising that many students do not have a very positive outlook on being assigned work over their break.

Junior Aden Mattson was not too enthusiastic about having summer homework.

“I understand why summer homework exists but I don’t like it,” he stated. “It feels the same as having to do work over Christmas break when they give a lot as well.”

Also annoyed was Junior Sarah Holden, who thought school gave plenty of time to do all the necessary work.

“I go to school to do my work in school,” she said. “Then I have a break. Why would I work over my vacation?”

Junior Rowan Knox generally agreed.

“I don’t think we should have it,” she plainly said.

In order to help students, Ms. Barmeyer offered some tips to make completing the homework feel like a cool, summer-night breeze.

“What could help students do their summer homework is to not procrastinate. I think waiting until the last minute to do the assignments would put them at a disservice in writing quality essays,” she advised.

She furthermore explained that “AP Lit students should look over the assignments first, then read the two books to start, taking notes as they go. Students should give themselves enough time to comprehend these two books and think about the complexities and deeper meanings, then start writing their first essay.”

Still, complaints, critiques, and suggestions have run long from students.

Mattson compared this year’s homework with those in the past, and also pointed out some disparities.

“Last year we didn’t have too much but we have several essays this year along with two books,” he said. “Having strict due dates over summer is really unfair because, oftentimes, I don’t get to decide what I do during summer. I often have to go on trips where I usually don’t have an internet connection, so I could end up having to do something over a week in advance, which sucks because I have less time than those that don’t have anything planned. Many kids also work more during summer or still have a strict schedule, so it’s not fair to just assume they have more free time,” he pointed out.

Holden also shared some concerns.

“People have vacations over the summer where they go somewhere but the teachers just say turn it in before you go which, in many cases, means the student receives much less time to work on their work,” she said. “Additionally, the academic kids take extra classes over the summer, meaning I don’t want to essentially also take Barmeyer’s over break.”

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No love for summer homework requirements