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Summer homework challenges high-achieving Bruins

English Teacher Sara Noah, pictured with her students, says summer homework is a good way to demonstrate “Bruin Grit.” Photo by Morgan Ham

Bruins vary on their summer homework habits, between getting write to it, or waiting until the last second.

For students in especially rigorous classes, such as X (Accelerated), H (Honors), or AP (Advanced Placement), they are often required to read a book, make flashcards, write a research essay, or so something of the sort over the summer. According to teachers, there are many reasons why this is necessary.

English Teacher Toby Barmeyer related her rationale.

“Reasons for a summer assignment include time constraints during the school year — there just isn’t enough time to read all the material necessary to adequately prepare for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam and the need for continuous brain exercise during the summer months,” she said.

English Teacher Sheryln Reafsnyder explained why she thinks that it’s worth it to take these classes despite the extra effort required.

“There are higher expectations,” she said. “More rigorous and challenging work and, a better education.”

Sophomore Helen Sands said that she doesn’t mind the work and that she agrees that it helps to keep her mind fresh.

“I think summer homework definitely keeps your mind ready for next year,” Sands said. “I also think it’s really helpful so you know what to be prepared for the upcoming school year.”

She said that she likes to get on top of the assignment from the start.

“I like to start my summer homework as soon as I get out of school, just so I don’t get out of the habit of doing daily school work,” she said.

Junior Dominique Peter said that she has a similar method.

“For me, I do the work over the whole summer period of time,” she said. “I think summer homework … helps us get a little bit ahead for the challenging class.”

Senior Asa O’Callaghan described his opposite approach to the situation.

“I’ve had to do summer homework for English 2X, 3H, 4AP, and AP Biology,” O’Callaghan said. “I usually do the work the day it’s due when the stress is consuming my sanity faster than a black hole.”

He did say that he sees the benefits of having homework over summer vacation, including its role in weeding out underachievers, but he still doesn’t think that it’s crucial, especially because in most cases students taking advanced classes are already very hardworking.

“Summer homework is often just a nuisance,” he said. “It simply puts unnecessary pressure on people who already have more than enough work to handle.”

Junior Justin Roberts said that he thinks that, if you sign up for one of these accelerated courses, you should expect a much larger time commitment from the start.

“I expected from each class a bunch of work, homework, and dedication through time management, studying and paying attention at all times,” Roberts said.

Peter said that she solidly believes that these assignments are used to ensure everyone is prepared to put in the work required of them.

“I definitely think it is a good idea to weed out the people who do not put in the work,” she said. “If you won’t do the work, you don’t deserve to be in the class.”

English Teacher Sara Noah related the classes to Bear River’s Core Values.

They are challenging, to be sure, but a great place to show off that Bruin Grit!” she said. 

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Summer homework challenges high-achieving Bruins