Summer learning

The planning for summer classes begins with summer coming up, but is it worth the time spent over a break?

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A student displays their pile of homework due during the week.

Danielle Blyn, Sports Editor

Summer is approaching, and with that comes summer planning and classes that many students take to graduate on time. However, most of the time, these classes take up the one break that many students get before heading back for another school year. Therein lies the question: should summer classes be required for students who failed, or should they be moved to the next school year? 

Summer classes are often seen as an extra thing for kids who do not need to retake classes as a way to graduate. When this is the case, kids can find classes that they enjoy and will keep them learning during the off months. This allows them to stay motivated and return to school, not having taken three whole months off.

For students who are required to take summer classes to graduate, the fight to stay on task is much more challenging. They are taking classes that might not be as interesting as something they chose themselves. Students who are taking required classes are also spending more time learning material again, which makes boredom easier. 

However, the question remains: are these classes beneficial, or are they causing more stress to students? Many students often describe themselves as feeling constantly stressed. In contrast, the average stress level for high school students lies at six out of ten, two whole levels higher than adults, according to the American Psychology Association. Students are already stressed for nine months out of the year; now, kids with summer classes end up without a break. 

The thought arises that these classes could be squeezed into a schedule rather than during breaks. Many students end up having free periods that could be used wisely for a class that would not necessarily add to the stress level as much as a summer class would. This way, students would still get their work done while also getting to have a break over the summer to reset from a long school year. 

With summer learning, there is less time for kids to have fun and enjoy themselves. Instead, they are spending more time in classrooms, having to relearn things they have already learned. Sometimes, this can be beneficial for a student if they want to remain on track or not have to add another class to an already packed schedule. 

However, if students are being forced into taking the summer class when there are other options, it could be more harmful to their overall learning path. They are being given less time to de-stress after a long school year and are going almost directly from a week of finals into continued learning for the summer. 

While summer learning can still carry benefits for some students, not all can get the same benefits by learning the same way. That’s why it’s important to keep options open when looking at school plans. While still useful for students who need it, summer learning can cause more issues with students who can move their schedules around in other ways to avoid it.