A quick Google search showed me something that I hadn’t thought much about because we haven’t reached this stage with Ty, who will be in kindergarten this year.
At one high school, the advanced placement English class must read “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck and “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer and then study essays that other people wrote about those books.
Another high school assigned “Lord of the Flies” to sophomores, “The Scarlet Letter” to juniors and Aristotle’s “Poetics” – have they made a movie of that? – to juniors and “King Lear” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to seniors. In addition, the students were expected to write lengthy answers to questions about the books and journal about them, providing “reactions, analysis, and interpretations of your reading.”
Another school assigned two books to students in the regular English classes and told the AP students that they must read those two in addition to their other reading.
I’ve always read a lot, which pleased my mom, who was a teacher, but I probably didn’t read anything other than the sports section during my summers in high school. I couldn’t have given you a reaction, analysis or interpretation of anything other than reruns of “Hogan’s Heroes” or “Gilligan’s Island.”
Most of my friends tore up their notebooks and left the pieces on the bus on the last day of class.
I didn’t take AP classes in high school, but knew plenty of kids who did and don’t remember them ever having to read anything on summer break. Theresa, who is several years younger than me, said she had to read books over the summer for her AP world history classes.
I think it’s ridiculous to ask kids to assign kids to read over their summer break. What do you think?
Is it limited to AP classes, or do other students have to read all summer?
Are your kids doing their assigned summer reading? What are they reading?
Do you think it’s fair that they are expected to read during their so-called summer break?
What did you have to read over the summer when you were in school?
- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog