Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vacation with the Curse of the Summer Reading

My goal last May was to find a house to rent in Maine for the last week of the summer. Thankfully I found one and am sitting on it's deck looking at the tide rolling into the harbor, feeling the sun on my legs.....

and listening to my daughters bitch about their summer reading.

That's right people. They are STILL doing their summer reading. The one that was assigned to them in June. School starts in 6 days. One in trying to suffer through Island of the Blue Dolphins, while the other is listening to Anne of Green Gables.

Summer reading sucks. Yes, I was a teacher. Yes, I am on the school committee, but my answer is still that assigned summer reading sucks.

Oh, I believe your kids should read during the summer. Reading all the time is fantastic! I love to read. I would hope that they will be life long learners and reading is an important component of learning.

What I do not believe in is forcing kids to read from a set list of books and making them write a paper on it during the summer.

7th grade was a little more open with picking a book and picking another book that was a medal winner. She is WHINING through the medal winner.

For 9th grade they were given the choice of 7 or so books that all had to do with triumph over tragedy. This includes rape, incest, murder, poverty etc. Why do I want my 14 year old reading Angela's Ashes? Especially during the summer when everything is fun and carefree? Yes, it is a life lesson, but seriously, she'll read it when she is interested.

And the kicker is that they have to write about these books and turn it in for their first grade of the semester, so if they don't do it, they are already digging out of the F hole.

Sorry if you live in New England, because I have put in an order for rain on Sunday and Monday so that they will be forced inside to finish this "torturous" (their word, not mine) task.


Heather said...

I completely agree with you- and I think that summer reading programs make kids actually despise reading instead of truly enjoying it. I used to love to read during the summer, and still find that's when I pick up books the most (now and then when I have time!). I never had to read through the summer like that tho and I am SO GLAD!

Jillian said...

Brock read his 7 Habbits of Highly effective Teens, Sophia had boycotted the reading and said she will suffer the consequences... Typical Fifi...
I even feel homework is sucky to, but being married to a teacher this is not up for discusion at the Hines household.
I will be starting back to college in a week so we will all be studying and complaining right along:(

SurprisedMom said...

I completely agree: Summer reading sucks! Teachers who assign summer reading have to know the kids hate it and will put it off until the bitter end. What is the point? Why assign summer reading. Students end up hating reading and isn't that contrary to a teacher's purpose? Aren't you glad you can put up your feet, enjoy a glass of wine and NOT have to do any summer reading you don't want to!

FRANNIE said...

I loathe summer reading. Not the reading itself but the choice of books that were given to my 15 y/o was nothing less than BORING.

The required book was 1984. It was a complete snorefest, I don't care how insightful it was.

The second book was Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. This one my son chose from the 6 books on the list.

He bitched through every chapter of 1984 and wanted to know why he just couldn't choose another Shakespeare play to read.

Melisa Wells said...

I have to say, though I agree with you, I really enjoyed "Island of the Blue Dolphins" when I had to read it for my Children's Literature class in college...