Saturday, August 09, 2008

Summer Often Spells No Vacation From Homework

Some Educators Rethinking Workload

By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 5, 2008; Page A01

Issie Griffith conquered two novels and a 100-page math packet on a recent summer break. So this year, the 12-year-old was ready for her latest load of vacation homework: four books to read, each with written summaries, preparation for the rigors of sixth grade.

Now it is just a matter of finishing it up as the days of summer dwindle.

"I have a lot to go," said Issie, who spent many hours this summer at the pool, with friends, and at tennis and acting camps. Still, she said, "I know I'm going to get it done."

For Issie and many other students across the Washington region, summer homework is as familiar as fireworks in July and back-to-school shopping in August. Often, it goes far beyond the summer reading list that some of their parents remember from childhood. First-graders solve math problems. Middle schoolers create plot summaries. High school students pore over Shakespeare, Dickens and Twain.

Lately this modern rite of the season is under increased scrutiny as many educators rethink how much summer homework students should get, whether it should be required, and how it is related to classroom lessons.

Read more HERE

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