Union Street Journal

Is summer reading really necessary? No!

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Is summer reading really necessary? No!

Total: 228 polled

Total: 228 polled

Total: 228 polled

Total: 228 polled

Jacob Ginsberg-Margo, Opinions Editor

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What do you do during your summer break? You know, the few months we students get away from the seemingly endless days of school? Some go away to exotic places, others chill in their houses. Some play video games, other go outside everyday to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful sky. 

But the one thing that never excites a student on any of their breaks is homework. Homework, by school policy, is not given to students during winter, fall or spring break. So why is it okay to give students work during summer break? Short answer, it’s not, Long answer, it shouldn’t be.

Summer reading is a hotly debated topic within the student body. Some like it and others despise it. But let’s be honest, it’s the worst. 

I would rather spend the day throwing a ball around with my father, or leaving the house for hours only to return when the sun goes down at 8 pm, only to stay up till 3 am the next morning binging my favorite show, Blue Bloods.

Then after a relaxing weeks, I get reminded by some obscure word that I got a book forced upon me to read. Not to mention that none of the books are interesting. A Separate Peace? That book can be summed up in 16 words: Two kids mess around at a boarding school, one gets jealous and the other one dies.

Even some teachers agree that summer reading is too much. In an article from Education Week, teachers express ideas such as mandatory outside play time, or rather than having mandatory reading help to encourage reading on students own time. Others consider summer homework and reading an overreach of schools into students lives.

None of the books ever explore anything but the monotony of the human experience. Books like “A Separate Peace” or “Cry, The Beloved Country” tend towards a disengaging narrative, and complicated writing styles. None of the books contain humor, action, romance, or any of the things that make books so successful. 

Books like Percy Jackson, The Dark Tower, and Ifunny are interesting because of their unique premise and well-developed story lines.

Even more obscure books like The Inquisitor’s Tale and Ready Player One have done well because of their narratives and story, not in spite of it. If students can’t read good, interesting books, then why force students to read over the summer at all?

Why is it so important that students spend their summer doing something that they do not want to do and does not help them. 

It is stressful to think that even though you are on a long awaited break from the slow march of school, you have to prepare strenuously for the next year. 

It is stressful to think that for the first week of school you will have a test.

Now, more than ever relaxation, and stress-free time for students is important. Putting students in stressful situations all year round won’t encourage learning nor a love for furthering their knowledge, but rather stifle anyone who wanted to spend their summer learning a new skill or simply enjoying themselves for a few weeks a year. 

Summer should be a time for relaxation and fun, not stress and forced reading.

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