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Summer reading lists for school: Should vacation be vacation, or if you think reading lists are a good thing, how much is reasonable for a teacher to require?

Asked by jca (29282 points ) July 26th, 2012

I have not so fond memories of being made to read certain books over summer vacation and write reports on them. I was an avid reader anyway, and disliked being made to read certain books, and especially disliked having to do reports on my summer vacation.

I have a friend whose daughter has to do 8 books with reports over vacation. That seems a lot to me, considering it is supposed to be vacation. Over an approximate 9 week vacation, almost one book per week. Others may feel it’s a reasonable amount. I remember having to do about 5 over vacation.

Do you think summer reading lists are a good thing? How many books would be too many, in your opinion? If you like the idea of reading lists, should the books be totally optional, any books of the kid’s choosing (let’s say, at or above their grade level, obviously not a baby book)? Or should they have to choose from a list of books the teacher feels are good candidates?

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