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Assigning Summer Stress

Colin Wade, Staff Writer

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School Assignments over the summer are often a subject of controversy among students. Students often don’t understand why they have to do work over the summer.

Sophomore Omar Davila thinks that summer work helps students.

“[We do summer work] so we can get used to the rhythm of school and so we don’t get overwhelmed by it”, Davila said. “Most students understand the core concept of summer work but they might not understand the whole thing.”

The American Psychological Association shows that almost 33% of young adults experienced extreme stress levels during the school year compared to only 13% during the summer. Students doing homework over the summer could cause their stress levels to rise.

All high school English-Language Arts students are required to read a book and do some kind of assignment that goes along with the book. Reading the book and doing the assignment can take days to finish.

Davila thinks students should spend limited time doing assignments over the summer.

“Summer assignments should be a little bit hard, but not too big like a project. Kids should probably spend 1 to 2 days doing summer work on and off,” Davila said. “There should be a reasonable amount of work if they are going to give any.”

A Duke University study showed that there is little to no correlation between doing assignments over the summer and scores on standardized tests.

“Even though it is supposed to help us get used to [the feeling of school] we get used to school fast. It also stresses kids out,” Davila said when asked if he wanted to get rid of summer work.

Davila thinks that summer assignments indeed prepare students for the upcoming year.

“I think it prepares students for the kind of work they are going to get in the next grade,” Davila said. “Sometimes the work between grades can change drastically and I think it would be good to be prepared.”

Sophomore Matthew Clemens has a different opinion on the benefits of summer assignments.

“We do summer assignments because it prepares us for school for the upcoming year.” Clemens said. “It helps me get back into the swing of having to do work.”

A study by Oxford University showed that six weeks in the fall are spent relearning old material to make up for summer learning loss. If students could get a headstart on school work teachers would not have to reteach old material.

A 2014 study of 1000 K-12 students shows that high schoolers could have as much as 17.5 hours of homework a week. This is on top of the existing work students do during the school day.

“[We should spend] three days on and off during the summer,” Clemens said. “Students need time to rest and recover from the past 9 months we spent in school. Going to school can stress a lot of kids out.”

Summer learning loss is the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of the summer holidays. An Oxford study shows that students can lose up to 2.6 months of math skills just from not practicing over the summer.

When given the option between keeping or getting rid of summer assignments, Clemens shook his head.

“We need the work to help us get prepared for the upcoming school year,” Clemens said. “If not we could forget what we learned over the school year.”

Clemens gave some advice to everyone who doesn’t complete summer work.

“You gotta check yourself before you wreck yourself!” Clemens said. “You have to prepare yourself for school or you will fall behind.”

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Assigning Summer Stress