Summer break has changed since I was young. I remember riding my bike around the neighborhood, hanging out with my friends and doing anything that wasn’t school related. In high school we had to read a couple of books over the summer, maybe 2 or 3, but that was it. The rest of the time was for us. Some kids went on vacation over the summer, others stuck around the neighborhood. Nobody took lessons, almost nobody went to camp and the school sure as hell wasn’t sending around flyers regarding “enrichment programs”.
My oldest is currently in her first “summer break”. Fresh out of kindergarten, both she and I were in need of a break from the tedious routine of waking up, getting dressed, eating, making lunch, making sure all necessary homework, permissions slips or “extras” for school were packed in the backpack, catching the bus, waiting for the bus to come home, doing homework, etc.
I thought our summer break would consist of playing in the backyard, going to the park and maybe scheduling a play date or 2.
Summer break is more like homeschool these days. First, I got a letter in the mail – my daughter apparently was selected by her teacher as “needing help” with math, so they wanted her to attend an enrichment program. That means “camp” with math tutoring… for 3 weeks. For 5 days a week. No transportation. Camp is across town (about 30 minutes). Wonderful! There goes July.
Next up, I get a little packet from school. The literacy specialist wants all kindergarteners to read a minimum of 10 books of their choosing over the summer. We have to write the name and author and rate the books on a scale of 1-10. I have to initial this, as if my kindergartener (well, technically 1st grader now, right?) would know how to forge such a document. In addition, the school has created an account for each student using a particular literacy app. We need to download the app on the tablet of our choice and then log-in with the credentials supplied. There are individualized assignments for students based on their assessment levels. The app automatically tracks how much they do each day and what they’ve completed and have yet to complete.
I also got a little packet from the math specialist. There was a workbook with about 90 pages that each incoming first grader must do over the summer, plus 2 blank calendar pages. I have to practice math facts with my daughter every day or do some type of math activity for approximately 15 minutes (aside from the workbook) and initial each day of the calendar saying it was done. Weekends too.
We also got a packet from her first grade teacher. The packet contained 3 journal pages. She needs to write 3 short stories (1-2 paragraphs) about something she did this summer and draw a picture to correspond to the picture.
Am I the only one that thinks all of that is excessive for a child entering first grade?! What does your school do for summer homework for young children?