Thelarger body of research available now confirms that the long summervacation results in learning loss among the students especially thosein middle school. The significance of summer homework in the learningprocess can be investigated using a particular research subject. Thestudy will investigate whether summer homework reduces hearing lossbetween fourth, fifth, and 6th grade. In conducting this research,the following questions will serve as a guide. Similarly, the paperlooks at the positive and negative effects of summer homework in thereduction of learning loss. It also explores the attitudes ofparents, students, teachers, and scholars concerning the summerhomework.
Accordingto Entwisle et al. (2000), during the summer students are engaged innon-academic activities, which often diminish their learningcapacities. The authors content that for decades, scholars haveobserved that the period during summer vacation is the time whenstudents’ academic development declines significantly to the schoolyear. Similarly, most children’s academic skills decline during themonths of summer, and Entwisle et al. relates the decline is academicskills to the family socioeconomic status (Entwisle et al. 2000).However, while some studies suggests that students may havedifficulties integrating classroom concepts at the begging of theschool term. Some educators are skeptical about summer homeworkarguing that they add no value to the learning process (Sun, 2011).Most proponents of summer vacation assert that due to students’developmental stage, summer vacations are very essential to studentsin fourth, fifth, and 6th grade. Moreover, about 66% of the academicachievement gap in language and reading among high school students isattributable to the summer vacation months (Entwisle et al. 2000).
Accordingto Graves, J. (2010) parental attitudes towards summer homework willinfluence the role of parents in promoting summer learning.Similarly, parents have diverse views on summer homework. The issueis, therefore, a controversial topic affecting the modern educationsystem (Graves 2010). Some parents with children in Year RoundSchools (YRS) feel that their children have shown a significantimprovement and a consistent good performance in their academic workis evident (Bemis 1999). Similarly, most students in a study toinvestigate their attitudes on YRS showed positives attitudes for RYSand observed that summer vacation has an adverse effect on academicperformance. Moreover, parents whose children are in the YRS believethat the calendar is more balanced than those students who have theclassic school calendar (Bemis 1999).
Previousstudies indicate that while some teachers and parents support summerhomework, others are against the program. It is because most studentsdo not study during summer vacation and only embarks on theassignment in less than a week or two to the end of the summervacation (Holzman 1971). Therefore, most parents support the YRSprogram arguing that it would reduce the loss of summer vacation onthe students’ academic performance. Similarly, it takes intoaccount that students need time to play and rest, as well (Holzman1971). However, Iceland (2003) retaliates by asserting that studentsmay still have their summer vacation but schools should establish asystem whereby students finish their summer vacation homework on acomputer online. Under the system, Iceland argues that parentsbelieve that students will get immediate grading. It is opposed towhere they have to wait until summer is over, and work on theassignment on the last week of resuming school.
Evidenceof the Problem at the Local Level
Asper New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK)`s date,students’ performance within middle school reduced as compared tothe performance at the end of academic year 2009-2010. With that inmind, instructional group score for Language Arts Literacy 4th gradeand above 2011 was 70.0% general education (United States &United States 2011). Further scores in the same subject area in 2012were 66.0% for public education. Moreover, grade four Mathematics andabove by instructional group score for 2011 was 79.3% generaleducation. In 2012, the scores for mathematics general educationstudents were 77.4% (United States & United States 2011).
Theimpact of a long summer vacation on the learning process amongelementary and middle school children is a controversial issue amongthe stakeholder education sector. It is because the school calendarin the United States provides an extended summer break, which reducesthe number of days students spend in school to around 180 days peracademic year. It is relatively lower than other industrializedcountries like Japan where students spend approximately 240 days inschool per academic year.
Thisresearch would assist the schools to come up better policies andchange the schedule to suit the educational needs of the contemporarystudent. If the state adopts the suggestion by Iceland (2003) thatstudents may do their work using the online system, even when theyare in their summer vacation. The classic school calendar wouldachieve more academic excellence that the YRS calendar. The programwould ensure that it reminds students of their academics from time totime so they may remember what they learned.
Bemis,P. (1999). "Alternative Calendars: Extended Learning andYear-Round Programs,". Universityof Minnesota, Center for Applied Research and EducationalImprovement.
Entwisle,D., Alexander, K., & Olson, L. 2000. “Summer Learning and HomeEnvironment.” In R. Kahlenberg Ed., A Notion at Risk: PreservingPublic Education as an Engine for Social Mobility pp. 9-30. New York:Century Foundation Press.
Graves,Jennifer (2010). "The academic impact of multi-track year-roundcalendars: A response to school overcrowding". Journalof Urban Economics67(3): 378–391.
Holzman,Seymour (1971). Year-RoundSchool: Districts Develop Successful Programs.EducationU.S.A.:1–64.
Iceland,J. (2003). Povertyin America. Berkeley:University of California Press
UnitedStates., & United States. (2011). TheUnited States government manual, 2011.Washington, D.C: Office of the Federal Register, National Archivesand Records Service Administration for sale by the Supt. of Docs.,U.S. G.P.O.