I’m a teacher and a mother. In my high school all grades are required to do some form of reading assignment over the summer vacation. I think in light of this being the digital era, it’s important that our children know that, well, “reading is fundamental”. We are teaching our kids to continue learning in all areas of their lives, including summer vacation. I don’t think that is asking too much at all, and was not in the least surprised when my daughter was given a book for her summer reading assignment and will be given a writing test during these first few weeks of school. It teaches them responsibility also, I think you did your son’s teacher a huge disservice by ignoring a class requirement. Once a teacher loses a student’s respect it is nearly impossible to get it back, and then he can only look at you and say, “Well, you said it wasn’t important and pointless.” I don’t see how wanting our students more prepared for their futures is pointless. Again on the high school level I see what happens to those kids that grow up thinking “I’m smart, what do I need school for?” and then when they get out into the real world they are ill prepared because their parents didn’t think reading one book over the course of their summer wasn’t important. This is how it starts.
Sorry. I feel so strongly about this because I see it first hand how these turn out. Just my opinion.
September 8th, 2010 at 11:45 pm
@Chocolate Mom, I hear you, but I’m definitely not teaching him that school itself is pointless or that he’s too smart to need school. Just summer homework. The more I think about this, the more I think that my big mistake was in basically making the decision for him, tucking the homework away.
There’s something to be said for consciously refusing to do something on principal and then suffering the consequences. I don’t want him to suffer consequences for something I did, and based on his first day he won’t be – he said the summer homework wasn’t mentioned at all (further convincing me that it’s just given out to satisfy those parents who clamor for more homework during the school year too). So maybe next summer I’ll make sure that he’s a willing conspirator if the homework gets skipped again.
He works hard during the school year. He gets summer off. That’s his reward for getting amazing scores on those stupid high-stakes tests I also think are pointless.
I’m surprised nobody has sued about this. Maybe they have, I should check. Again, I don’t like actively ignoring something the school sends home, but I don’t like blindly following stupid requests either. And making a comment like “I don’t see how wanted [sic] our students more prepared for their futures as [sic] pointless” is commenting on something that I didn’t say. Being prepared for the future is important. I just don’t think summer homework gets my son there.
Chocolate Mom Reply:
September 9th, 2010 at 12:02 am
Fair enough. I wasn’t quoting you per se, I was talking in general about many parents thinking that not just summer assignments but those state tests or certain subject areas are pointless (I couldn’t agree with you more about the state tests). I was coming from an English teacher’s point of view of not being supportive of your son’s teacher. Reading is a huge deal, and while some kids will say that they’re going to read over the summer, the majority of them don’t. That’s one of the main reasons most educational departments started summer reading projects in the first place. While you may think it’s just a pointless summer assignment, it starts a kid’s thought process of “if my parents don’t think I need it, then I don’t”, you know? Thus the huge drop off in respect for education and teachers in general. We have the responsibility of shaping our future lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists, etc., but how can we if we can’t get our parents to support us for something as simple as a summer reading assignment?
Parents? Teachers? What are your thoughts on this?