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Summer reading should be abolished

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Summer reading. BORING! I am a junior and ever since I’ve been going to school and have been receiving summer reading assignments, I have thought them a waste of my time. Summer vacation should be a time to rest and not do any academic related things. It’s the time to hang out with friends go to the beach or go out of state or to work if you have a summer job. I remember getting the book from the library and throwing it somewhere in my house. When there were about 4 more days left for school, I read the book all day and all night. I would fall asleep while reading the book; I don’t know how I managed to finish so quickly. Being stomped on by a bunch of books to read and then to write about them is not the most exciting thing for me during the summer vacation. Summer reading assignment should be abolished.

In the past the school’s summer reading policy was like many other schools where students chose which book they wanted to read and then completed an assignment, but this year the summer reading assignment consisted of one book per grade. The teachers decided on the one book that all the students for certain grades had to read during the summer. After reading the assigned book, students had to complete an assignment and write an overview of the book, if they liked it or not and if they would recommend the book to someone.

According to Francine Prose, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read, when teachers do discuss books they are often “Taught for reasons that have nothing to do with how well a book is written.” Prose’s point is that when students are given the summer reading assignment they are not being taught the true value of the book. When we don’t discuss, we aren’t taught the reasons for the word choices of the author, the reasons for the breaking down of ideas, the usage of literary devices to enhance writing because the books read over the summer are barely mentioned in class. When I returned to school after reading In Cold Blood we never even talked about the book in class. We started doing assignments that were totally not related to the book. I felt like I should have watched the movie instead of wasting all the time reading the book for no reason.

Movies are also efficient in teaching us. We are an economic society and what we mainly care about is money. People would rather watch the news on television and get updated on what’s going on than spend $1.75 everyday to buy the New York Times to read the news. Visual aids are more effective for the immigrants who do not know how to read. Media gives us the same amount or even more information than we get from reading. From my personal experience my mom, who does not know how to read and write in English, watches television to find out about what’s going on so she could be somewhat updated.

Our school wants us to believe reading is essential even though some of our nation’s top officials don’t read. According to the website Politico 44, “People were shaken into a new state of awareness when people talked about the size of the stimulus bill and the fact that, in all probability, no member of Congress or senator had read the bill,” said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring. Many bills have been passes without some members of Congress reading them and they are still helping to run the country. I believe that since we don’t really use reading in our life that much we should get rid of the summer reading assignment.
I agree with the idea that reading helps the mind develop and expands our minds. But are we really expanding our ideas when we are in a rush to finish our summer reading assignment so we can go and do more interesting things? Are we really developing our minds when we are just reading words off the pages not knowing what they truly stand for? We should spend more time understanding the techniques author’s use to right and how they make their works effective so that it persuades and appeals to the reader.
Summing up, I believe reading takes more time than teaching us. I would prefer learning in class than reading over the summer. Summer reading assignments should not exist since we have no real good use for them. Students should be able to enjoy their vacation and not worry about finishing a reading assignment. Books have become movies so that they can seem more interesting they have the same main points. We are a society of increasing status, and we cannot hold back because of reading.





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Hannah S said...
Nov. 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm
Hi Ashia!
I absolutely agree with all of your article! I'm a freshman in highschool and I'm writing a paper on abolishing summer reading. I would love to reach out to you by email so that you and I can discuss more of your ideas to be rid of required reading so that I can use your own quotes in my writing.
Please let me know if you are interested!
 
enter username here said...
Aug. 26, 2014 at 10:06 pm
I believe everything in this arrticle. matter of fact, I'm supposed to be doing my project right now. I dont like summer reading.
 
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