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Summer reading for A.P. classes is a bad idea

 

Summer reading prevents students from enjoying summer vacation. Credit: Lucy Knowles/ The Foothill Dragon Press
Summer reading prevents students from enjoying summer vacation. Credit: Lucy Knowles/ The Foothill Dragon Press

Summer vacation is a time to relax, spend time with friends, or even find a job or work on your community service requirements.

However, if you are planning on taking Advanced Placement English, summer also means reading. The assigned work over the summer will have to meet a certain criteria determined by a subcommittee. This is to make sure students still have a chance to be a part of the courses that require summer assignments.

Summer reading robs students of their summer.

Summer break is what it sounds like. It is during the summer, and students are taking a break from school (unless, of course, you are attending summer school). For starters, kids are more able to work on their community service requirements during the summer. Community service is easily doable during the school year, but it is much easier and much better for the students when they can focus more of their time on their service without worrying about school or homework.

Another thing high school students are intent on having during the summer is a job. Summer is the perfect time to get started on earning money and seeing what the working world is like.

Getting a job would be by choice, but those who do get started on a job during the summer do not need the add on of summer reading. You should be able to learn the ropes of your job without having to worry about school.

Summer is also used to spend time with your family and friends. Speaking from personal experience, I rarely left my room during the last month of summer before my freshman year because I was busy trying to get through “1984,” and that was only one book looming over my head, in contrast to the incoming juniors and seniors who have two books required.

You should not have to sacrifice your summer break for the sake of literature, let alone literature that is almost painful for you to read. The books assigned for summer reading are indeed ‘classics’ and ‘great works of literature,’ but that does not mean you necessarily enjoy these books. Reading them during the school year, where homework is expected and common, is one thing, but not during summer break when you’re getting away from this.

I understand that summer reading is meant to keep our minds sharp so that we are not quite as sheepish when we return to school in August. I also understand that summer reading is important for the English teachers so that they do not have to take a book out of their curriculum, or so that they do not have to rush through a book that should be examined more carefully.

But we need to look at this through the student’s perspective. For about ten months, we have homework, which consumes us and dictates just about everything we do. Then comes summer, a blissful two and a half months where we are free to work, help our community, or enjoy life without the stress and worry of homework looming over our heads like dark rain clouds.

With keeping up summer work, have we really left school for two and a half months?

 

Feel differently? Check out Canela Lopez’s Pro Summer Reading article. 

 

Though summer reading is not as intense as homework received during the school year, it is still overwhelming. Students deserve to have a period of time where we do not have to worry about if we annotated this chapter correctly, or if the body paragraphs for that essay were strong enough to earn an “A.”

That is what summer break is for, but we have forgotten that. Now, if you want to take AP English, summer is about cramming in more homework. Instead of enjoying your time off, you are spending your time reading. You are wasting that time worrying and filling yourself with unnecessary stress.

What do you think?
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  • C

    Confident that APers can do itDec 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

    You have a choice…take AP classes or not. Earn that advanced placement as you are not entitled to it. AP students should be the strongest, fastest readers…two books is child’s play. In this competitive age, learning and work don’t stop because school is out or the work day is over.

     
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