The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Let’s Put an End to Summer Homework Assignments

Amber More
Amidst a summer paradise, a student sits in a hammock, burdened by homework instead of enjoying the break.

During spring finals week at Menlo, we students are pushed to our academic limits. We painstakingly review a copious amount of handwritten notes; we go to endless office hours to converse with teachers about complicated topics; we stay up all night to skim through large books and long articles. And then, after M-Term, just when we think it’s all over, when we finally feel like we deserve a long well-earned break, a horrible realization hits: we have summer homework. But summer homework isn’t just exhausting. It’s also completely useless. Why? Summer assignments have little academic merit because many teachers don’t give feedback on the work. 

Time used for summer homework should actually be time for fun, sightseeing and well-earned relaxation –– our time should not be sucked up by boring busywork. Furthermore, there are many other summer activities that are much more tempting than summer assignments, meaning that students will likely not put their full effort or time into their summer homework. Why dole out a piece of homework that you know will not be truly absorbed by students?

Additionally, for many students in the upper school, summer assignments given by teachers are usually not reviewed at the beginning of the school year. Ever since my freshman year, teachers have consistently not gone over the assigned summer material. Sometimes, the teacher provides you with long passages to go over and take notes on, but when the time comes to review the completed assignment, it’s as if they completely forget about this work. They instead move on to other new content that has nothing to do with the summer assignments. 

Some may argue that the purpose of summer homework is to expose students to note-taking strategies and teach them how to read critically. I would like to counter that, as in my experience, I have learned these skills through assignments built-in throughout the school year and don’t see the point of focusing on them even more during the summer. This type of repetition doesn’t help reinforce strong note-taking habits, but rather tires students out by repeating the same tedious thing over and over — especially at a time when they should be doing something enjoyable.

Additionally, many argue that summer homework is important for keeping students’ minds sharp and encouraging them to keep up their work ethic in order to be prepared for their next, more rigorous school year. However, most of us Menlo students already fill up our summers with internships, jobs, volunteer opportunities, standardized test preparation, travel programs or even college applications that require us to keep our brains switched on. Summer homework is just an added stressor on top of the many responsibilities we have even throughout the summer.

Summer vacation is meant for students to have fun, explore the world and try new things. Doing work while you’re on a trip or trying to spend more time outside is extremely exhausting and sucks up a lot of time. Specifically, summer is a time for students to recharge and foster personal growth and development. Thus, forcing us to do assignments not only detracts from our well-deserved rest but also hampers our ability to fully immerse ourselves in enriching experiences. 

Encouraging exploration and curiosity outside the classroom can lead to valuable life lessons and skills that cannot be taught through traditional coursework. Hence, burdening students with unnecessary busywork during their summer break undermines the very essence of what this time should represent: freedom, adventure and self-discovery.

Instead of being consumed by mundane busywork, students’ summer breaks should be dedicated to enjoyment, exploration and much-needed relaxation. Given the reality of student exhaustion and completing summer activities, it’s unrealistic to expect wholehearted dedication to these assignments. Therefore, let’s give students the summer break they deserve and stop assigning summer work.

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About the Contributors
Aaron Widjaja, Copy Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: My favorite part of CoA is being able to express my views through writing.

Interests outside of school: Playing Lacrosse and spending time with friends

Class of 2026

Amber More
Amber More, Creative Director

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 1

Favorite aspect of journalism: watching everything come together from the first draft to print

Interests outside of school: rock climbing, Pop Culture, and Formula 1

Class of 2025

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