Both of my kids have reading assignments over the summer. Nothing too big - they have two assigned books they need to read and they need to write a 3 page essay comparing the two that is due on the first day of school.
In reality, it's not that big an assignment. I remember having longer required reading lists than that, but I don't recall having to write an essay.
But, here's my question. Are required summer reading lists a good thing or not?
On one hand I can see that making sure students read over the summer is important. Reading is a skill like any other, that always benefits from practice and exercise. Children who don't open a book for the whole summer are doing themselves a disservice.
But is it necessary or desirable to require that specific books be read? Why not let summer be the time when students can explore wherever their interests lead them?
To be fair, for the most part our district simply has a suggested reading list for each grade. It's only the honors English classes that need to do the specific assignment.
But that raises another point: the students in the honors classes are the ones most likely to be reading anyway, why force a specific assignment?
So, what's your take? Should students have summer reading assignments or should they be allowed to simply read whatever catches their interest over the summer?