So... I am getting what are basically temper tantrums and refusals over this work. I've talked with friends with kids of similar ages. Yes, a few thought I was pushing, and others didn't think it was unreasonable to expect a modest amount of "homework" and daily reading from kids in the summer months. Please keep in mind that my son is an advanced reader for his age who has shown the ability to sit still for nearly two hours running with a book.
I don't want to battle with my son, or harm his natural motivation amd enjoyment of learning. I just want him to learn good habits and see the benefits of regular effort. Part of me thinks I need to back off completely and another part feels like it's okay and good parenting to demand a small amount of daily accountability. He has said in the past that he likes seeing how his work makes him better at things.
I don't want him to fall into the trap of thinking things are easy - then not having the maturity to rise to the challenge when inevitably, subjects become harder. I figured if I started a bit each day with challenging learning (I.e. he is on the verge of mastering long multiplication) when he is young maybe he would learn to work through his frustrations.