Originally Posted by Evan&Anna's_Mom
I do, though, think it is wrong to simply not complete something like a summer assignment, and worse to "lose" it, which to me implies lying to the school about what happened. Work to change the system if you disapprove? Great. But to simply have your child not do something? To me, not right.
And its lovely that you can have "your" instructional time during the summer. I, on the other hand, do not have time to do activities with my kids over the summer. They will spend all all day of all 10 weeks at daycamp while DH and I are at work. They might or might not do activities that will reinforce academic subjects. Well, DS will for at least the 2 weeks of science camp. They will learn things, sure. But it probably won't have anything to do with reading or math.
Gaining the month that most classes seem to spend reviewing last year's work at the beginning of the school year for new material seems worth having them do some reading and math challenges over the summer.
Private school is, of course, very different from public school. I have the privilege of not being formally "at work" over the summer. And I don't want to get into a back-and-forth over whose parenting is more virtuous. Well, I don't want to continue one, and it's not what I meant to start.
I do want to throw in a few further issues I have with summer work:
1. Who grades it? Literally, who collects the work before whatever reward it's supposed to grant and evaluates it for completion, accuracy, and demonstration of retention of skills? Are students getting the work back with feedback from teachers? What's the criteria for homework that is complete enough to get the reward/go to the party?
2. Does it actually save the time that classes use for review at the beginning of the year? I get that it's supposed to, but does it actually mean that teachers can jump right in to new material?
3. Many parents don't have time to do a ton of activities with their kids over the summer. Should they really then be asked to spend what time they and their kids do have on worksheets?
4. If a child has a problem with the summer homework, is there someone on the school staff available to provide guidance and support with the assignment before the due date?
5. Is "losing" an assignment really the worst thing I could do? I could damage my child's love of learning. I could do the assignment myself and let her pass it off as her own. I could (accidentally or intentionally) allow her to turn in poor quality work and learn that no one actually cares about that. I wouldn't lie to the school. I would say we had spent the summer on other activities. I wouldn't lie to my child either. If she happened to be looking for something to do, I would mention the summer assignment as an option. I would mention the reward associated with it (though I imagine she would have heard about it from her teacher). And I would leave it up to her. I'm glad that I'm not in that position, though.
6. If a child's parents are not motivated to find math and reading challenges in everyday life where they are plentiful even for those who don't feel madly creative about such things, are those parents going to have the time, energy, or inclination to enforce summer homework?