Avoid the Last Minute Summer Reading Cramming

July 29th, 2011

I remember when I was a Mira Costa high School student, summer just starting, tried to forget about school as much as I could.  This behavior is quite common among high school student.  This ultimately would result with most of my friends and I spending the last weeks of summer reading non-stop all of our assigned summer reading books.  As my family usually chooses to go on our family summer vacation during those weeks, my memory of those vacations is marred with memories of: If Beagle Street Could Talk, The Crucible, An Affair to Remember, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, and the other books our teachers said we needed to read.

Looking back I wished I started reading those books earlier in the summer.  There was no real need to wait so long.  I have heard kids make the excuse that if they start reading early in the summer they won’t remember the details and promptly fail the “rigorous” summer reading tests.  While that line of reasoning seems quite logical, it’s also been accounted for by the Mira Costa English teachers.  The summer reading tests are very simple short multiple choice exams, asking easy basic plot questions; the point is to just make sure that the taker simply had read the book.   Over the first few weeks class time is spent reviewing the summer reading books preparing the students for a more involved analytical essay.   So there is no advantage of cramming all the reading in the last weeks of summer.  Instead, start those books right now.  Read when you can.  Find your-self with a spare hour or two at home with no plans?  Spend some of that time on your summer reading.  By reading a few hours at a time throughout the whole summer you can easily avoid cramming them all at the end.  And in my case, I could have enjoyed my summer vacations much more.