Summer Homework essay


Institution Affiliation


This paperanalyzes the impact of summer holidays on the performance of thestudents. There have been increased debates on whether givingstudents summer homework is appropriate in enabling the studentsachieve their primary objective. As such, the purpose of this paperis to compare the opinions of educationists and parents indetermining whose opinion with regard to the summer homework is true.In addition to this study, the paper identifies various argumentsfronted by both parties in supporting their opposing stand on theissue. All in all, the study aims at establishing the impact ofsummer homework on the performance of the children.

The researchquestions revolve around the identification of both the positive andnegative impacts of summer homework in reducing learning loss. Inaddition to this, the research questions seek to establish the viewsof both the parents and teachers regarding summer homework. Theresearch adopts a qualitative research method as the most applicableresearch design. An effective sample of 75 subjects is used in thiscase. The data collection method utilized in the study is interviews.The choice of the data collection method is based on the need to usedata from primary sources.

The key findingsindicate the existence of varying opinions on the impact of summerhomework on learning loss. The parents are divided in their responseswith some advocating for the abolishment of the summer learningprograms through homework while the rest of the parents are insupport of the summer homework. However, the conclusions is curtaileddue to the lack of conclusive research to ascertain the impact ofsummer homework on learning loss.


Abstract 2

Introduction 5

Background Information 6

Problem Statement/ Rationale of Research 6

Research Questions 7

Purpose of the Study 8

Significance of the Study 8

Literature Review 9

Methodology 12

Sampling 12

Philosophical Orientation 13

Research Approach 13

Data Collection Methods 13

Data Analysis Methods 14

Documentation of Data 14

Conceptualization, Coding and Categorizing Data 14

Validity and Reliability 15

Ethical Issues 15

Limitations of the Study 16

Methodological Limitations 16

Conclusions 17

Reference 19

Appendices 24


According to theeducation calendar, summertime presents an opportunity for schools togo on recess. During this period, there are no official learningclasses and most of the remedial programs are conducted based onpersonal arrangements. However, various legislations have been passedacross states that provide opportunities for those interested inpursuing their studies during the summer holidays. One organizationthat has been tasked with the management of the summer learningprograms is the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA). It isregarded as the only existing nonprofit national establishment thatis focused on increasing access to high-quality learningopportunities in the summer. It uses the summer learning programs asthe basis of achieving equity and excellence in the education sector.

According to theNLSA, various state actions have been aimed at encouraging summerlearning programs in order to provide high-quality learningopportunities. The State of Arkansas passed the Positive YouthDevelopment Grant Program that provides a competitive grant for bothafterschool and summer learning programs. On the other hand,California initiated the Expanded Learning Enhances Students Successthat was signed into law in 2014. It ensures the streamlining andefficient management of summer learning programs within itsjurisdictions.

Other areas that have taken cue include New Mexico andMassachusetts. The former developed the K-3 plus program which wasconverted from a six-year pilot scheme to a program within the PublicEducation Department. It provides additional study time to studentsfrom the disadvantaged backgrounds in kindergarten till the thirdgrade. This is achieved by extending the school learning period byapproximately 25 instructional days per year. The After-School andOut-of-School Time (ASOST) Quality Enhancement Grant Program wasdeveloped in Massachusetts provides grants for funding afterschooland summer learning programs. Additionally, the program addressesbarriers to the participation in summer learning programs.

Background Information

Over the years,the issue of summer homework has continued to attract dividedopinions from parents and educational stakeholders (Dianis, 2013).Though such assignments have been in existence for a substantialperiod, the biggest problem relates to the quantity of work issued tothe students and how this is likely to affect family vacations andother weekend activities (Landrigan, 2013). The impact of longholidays on students has also been integrated into this debate witheach faction of the conflict fronting its arguments with a view ofbeing heard (Russakoff, 2015). However, research has shown that ittakes students a substantial amount of time to adjust to the learningenvironment following summer vacations (Rees, 2015). On the otherhand, most parents argue that not only is the learning process aboutacademic work, but also extends beyond the classroom situation and assuch, children should be given time to recharge before embarking onanother long and grueling year in school (Smith, 2007). The commonargument fronted by the educationists is that learners are morelikely to benefit from continuous instructions and as such, thesummer season should be used as an opportunity by students to catchup in their class work materials (Holt, 2009).

Problem Statement/ Rationale of Research

New Jersey likeseveral other states locations across the nation has been debating onthe consequences of the summer homework. The local problem in thiscase relates to the interference caused by the summer homework onother plans such as vacations by families. Research is not conclusiveon who between the parents and the educationist makes the rightargument on the importance of homework and other forms of learningactivities in the summer. The issue has been magnified since someparents are in support of the summer learning programs (Smith, 2007).Traditionally, the ten-week summer holiday has proven challenging tomost parents as it has become impossible to monitor the activities ofthe little ones and as a result, parents are torn between enrollingtheir children in the summer learning programs or allowing them tostay away from books and prepare for the new academic year(Russakoff, 2015). Conflicting reports also exist among educationistsand psychologists who argue that even though continuity ofinstructions is essential to the intellectual development, more timeshould be created for the younger generations to learn other stuffbesides academic content (Landrigan, 2013).

The major issuetherefore arises on which of the options to be considered by theparents and the learning institutions. This decision is furthercomplicated based on research that indicates the existence ofproblems at a local level in New Jersey (Holt, 2009). According tothe New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) report, theacademic performance of students in the fifth and sixth gradesreduced between 2009 and 2010 respectively. In a study reportprepared by Allington et al. (2010), it was established that moststudents who returned to school after holidays had forgotten basicconcepts in mathematics and reading that were taught in the previousyear academic year (Strahan &amp Rogers, 2012).

Research Questions

The main researchquestions for this study will be the following:

i. What arethe positive impacts of summer homework in reducing learning loss?

ii. What arethe negative impacts of summer homework on the learning process?

iii. What arethe views of parents and teachers about summer homework?

Purpose of the Study

The primary aimof the survey is to establish the impact of summer learning programson the development of children. Additionally, the study seeks todetermine whether the arguments fronted by either the parents or theeducationist are valid by analyzing existing research materials andpersonal experiences of individuals who have participated in thesummer learning programs.

Significance of the Study

This study isexpected to form the basis of future decisions to be made by parentsand learners. The research proposal is aimed at conducting aqualitative analysis and identifying the pros and cons of each of theprocesses discussed. In addition to this, data from past researchwill be used in determining whether summer learning programs andhomework during the summer period is either beneficial ornon-beneficial to students. Therefore, this study is important sinceit will identify the positive impacts of summer homework in reducinglearning loss by ensuring continuity of instructions (Krumwiede,2014). Additionally, it will play an integral part in determining theadverse effects of summer homework on the learning process. Finally,the study will facilitate the analysis of opinions from differentstakeholders. These will include the parents, educators, and theteachers. All in all, a comparison study will be conducted todetermine the arguments as supported by facts.

Literature Review

Literature insupport of and against homework assignments during the summerholidays have been developed over the years. Some of the sourcessupport the concept of encouraging the learning programs to providehomework during the summer learning sessions since it ensurescontinuity in the learning process (Center for Public Education,2013). On the other hand, other arguments demand that children shouldbe afforded time away from the classroom in order to facilitate thedevelopment of the brain. They also argue that this period can beused by the children to learn other skills that go beyond theacademic situations (Landrigan, 2013).

The debate onwhether the holidays are beneficial to the students has continued toattract diverse views. There is no conclusive evidence to indicatethat additional academic programs are helpful to the learners(Krumwiede, 2014). However, recently the debate has been reignited asa result of complaints from families that such arrangementsinterfered with their summer vacation plans thereby denying thechildren an opportunity to interact with others outside the classroomsituation. According to (Kohn 2006 Trautwein and Koller 2003), thedebate on summer homework has been curtailed due to inconclusiveevidence on its effectiveness on the students. As such, there is noproof to substantiate the claims that extra assignments during thesummer results in improved performances. However, better outcomes canonly be achieved under certain circumstances. The conditions mightbe dissimilar depending on the children under consideration sincesome of the students may show different signs thereby affectingconclusions on the importance of homework (Center for PublicEducation, 2013).

Some literarysources indicate that homework may have positive effects onparticular groups of students and as such, should be issued dependingon the specific class of individuals. (Cooper 1989 Hoover-Dempsey etal. 2001 Leone and Richards 1989 Muhlenbruck et al. 2000) coveredthe aspect of age as a determinant of achievement. Relatively olderstudents were likely to perform better when issued with additionalassignments. The younger learners on the other hand, performed poorlydue to their unfavorable study techniques. Distraction was alsoanother factor the authors established to be present among theyounger students since the grown-ups were more focused on theiractivities.

(McDermott,Goldmen and Varenne 1984 Scott-Jones 1984) argue that the level ofbenefit among students will also depend on the income levels of theirhomes. The concept of economic ability was attached to the capacityof the richer families to afford additional learning guides in theform of computers and tutors. However, students from thedisadvantaged backgrounds did not benefit from the luxuries ofcomputers and as such were likely to derive lesser benefits fromhomework during the summer. Additionally, the students from the poorfamilies lack the necessary facilities and are therefore likely notto receive any form of assistance in their quest to learn (Center forPublic Education, 2013). The difficulties undergone by the studentsfrom the low-income families are therefore likely to offer fewerbenefits with regards to the completion of their homework.

(Cooper and Nye1994 Rosenberg 1989) argued that the study of the impacts of summerlearning programs had to take into considerations the state ofstudents with learning disabilities. For the additional assignmentsto be effective, these students required extensive supervision by thetutors. On the other hand, Keith and Benson (1992) integrated theethnic variable in their study. The results indicated that thestudents of Asian American origin were more likely to benefit fromhomework compared to other ethnic groups (Bennett &amp Kalish,2006). Such findings were based on a study conducted across fiveethnic groups.

(Cooper, Robinsonand Patall 2006 Corno and Xu 2004 Johnson, 1989 Warton 2001)identified the nonacademic benefits of homework to the students. Someof the extracurricular advantages attached to the assignments includelearning the need for additional responsibility as well as effectivetime management techniques. Finally, the student develops more focuson tasks that they have been assigned to work on and a positiveattitude towards achievement (Center for Public Education,2013).

Cooper, Robinson,and Patall (2006) have established that too much homework maydiminish the effectiveness of homework. The optimum amount of timethat children should be allowed to spend on homework should belimited. The best possible level that is recommended by theeducationists is between one and half hours to two and half hours.However, the medium schools should have their limit substantiallyreduced (Crawford, 2016). At such levels, the most productive time tobe spent on homework is less than one hour every night. According tothe authors, when a student is forced to spend beyond these hours onhomework assignments, then the positive relationship between homeworkand achievement effectively diminishes (Bennett &amp Kalish, 2006).

Another issuethat has been discussed by scholars on the effects of homework duringthe summer relates to the quantity of work provided by the tutors(Adely, 2015). However, research has established that there is norelationship between the amount of assignment issued and itscorresponding effectiveness on the students. The determinant in thiscase is the actual portion of the project that is completed by thestudent within the assigned time (Cooper 2001 Cooper, Lindsay, Nye,and Greathouse 1998).

Based on theanalysis of (Cosden, Morrison, Albanese, and Macias 2001James-Burdumy et al. 2005), after-school learning programs tailoredto provide homework assistance to the students are likely to haveadditional effects. Some of the impacts that may arise in this caseinclude improved behaviors, better working habits, and motivation tothe students. However, this may not automatically translate toacademic achievement. Studies have established that the improvementsin the student motivation and habits may have an indirect effect onperformance (Adely, 2015).

Based on theanalysis of literature, it is clear that there are no conclusiveresults on the impact of homework on the performance. The actualoutcomes are vague, and the required results can only be obtainedthrough additional research coupled with the integration ofscientific studies and standardization of the research methodologies(Bennett &amp Kalish, 2006).


Maximum variationsampling will be used in this research. This sampling procedure willbe able to capture a broad range of perspectives within the topic ofstudy in addition to providing identification of common themes in thestudy. By taking into consideration the purpose of the researchquestions, the available time for the research and the resourcesavailable, maximum variation sampling will be the most effectivetechnique in the study. In this case, a qualitative research methodwill be selected in analyzing summer learning loss among students.Small and effective sample groups of 75 subjects will be selectedbased on given characteristics from a large group of teachers andparents from Hackensack Middle School.

Philosophical Orientation

With the use ofthe open-ended and in-depth questionnaires, the research will beasking questions that do not limit the scope of the participants’answers. On the same note, this research will focus on the opinionsforwarded by the parents and educationists and other stakeholders inNew Jersey.

Research Approach

The research is acase study and such it seeks to present a detailed analysis of theimpact of homework on students in New Jersey. It will involve aqualitative analysis of the learning loss among from a sample of 75subjects.

Data Collection Methods

Since thisresearch is qualitative, the information gathered will providein-depth data and information like the emotions, human behavior, andpersonality. This study will use primary data to ensure that theresearch collects firsthand information from all the educationstakeholders in New Jersey.

To gatherindividual’s perspectives and experiences primary sources ofevidence will be collected from in-depth interviews. Unstructuredquestionnaires will be used in this case. The interviews will beconducted on a face-to-face basis thereby giving interviewers time toask for clarifications and make the necessary observations.

Data Analysis MethodsDocumentation of Data

The initialformal step in the analysis of data is the documentation of data.Documentation will include notes that were taken during theinterview, those made during observations of the reactions andbehaviors of participants in the study, the feedback, and commentsreceived from the participants of the survey. Documentation isessential for keeping track of the proceedings of the data collectionand analysis. It also encourages conceptualizing and strategizing.

Conceptualization, Coding and Categorizing Data

Conceptualizationis the second step in data analysis. It begins with a simpleobservation that is then directly interpreted then analyzed. Codingof data will involve defining the components of the data beinganalyzed. The researcher will identify passages of texts and applylabels to them thereby indicating that they have thematic ideas.Categorizing data will involve grouping of data into differentcategories to establish a framework or thematic ideas.

According toCreswell the qualitative design of research is designed to beutilized in offering broad explanations for attitudes (Creswell,2009). As such, it is complemented with variables, constructs andhypotheses. As such, research is more inclined towards the use oftheoretical perspectives in the case of qualitative research. Suchconcepts are used to analyze the important issues within a researchcontext (Creswell, 2009). It also integrates the inductive approachwhereby researcher begins by gathering information throughinterviewed and observations (Creswell, 2009). Thereafter, analysisof data is accomplished and themes established and the relevanttheories attached to the study. Finally, the researcher should posetheories from past experiences (Creswell, 2009).

Validity and Reliability

This researchwill conduct a pre-study reliability and validity test. This will beto ensure that the actual face of the research is highly validatedand reliable. This study will make sure that the external validity ismaintained by obtaining the accurate representation of the populationunder study. The internal validity, on the other hand, will beconducted to ensure that the questionnaires accurately assess thecore objective of the study.

Ethical Issues

There will be nointrusion of privacy for all the individuals involved in this study.Proper guarding of collected information will ensure that originalityand authenticity are maintained. The researchers will also negotiatewith participants on the appropriate approaches that will ensureprivacy and confidentiality.

The researcherswill require that members suppress any delicate piece of informationgathered unless the information does not pose a threat to theparticipant. This study will ensure that the field notes, or anygiven data collected are owned by the regular members or personnel atall times.

Action will betaken in case of any inappropriate or misuse of the results obtainedfrom this study. The research will not proceed unless informed andvoluntary consent of any involved party is gained. It will owe it toall the parties involved in the study that there is strict adherenceto analysis methods believed to produce authentic information.Finally, other ethical issues in the study include approval from theschool management and social research risks such as privacy, falsedata

Limitations of the StudyMethodological Limitations

This study is likely to be faced with the following constraints:

1. Thisresearch is likely to suffer from financial difficulties. There mightbe a need for too much cost incurrence from this investigation asstaff members, and people will be required to conduct all proceedingsat all steps.

2. Thisresearch likely to face financial constraints as the researchers willbe forced to perform several interviews over multiple areas.

3. Theinterview for this study will be administered on paper hence, therewill be an increase in cost and expenses.

4. Since thequality of data being collected is dependent on the abilities of theinterviewer, the researcher might collect data of poor quality. Atthe same time some interviewers are likely to collect biased data.

5. Analysisand interpretation process is likely to be time-consuming due to themassive amount of data that will be collected.

6. Responsesgiven by respondents may not be genuine due to the presence of theresearcher during the gathering of data.


Insufficientresearch has been done to determine the existing connections betweenparticular kinds of homework and the corresponding level of studentachievement. This is because in most instances the teachersadminister the homework to reinforce what the students have learnedin class or preparation for new materials (Holt, 2009). Therefore, itis hard to establish the impact of additional summer learningprograms on the development of students.

Those in supportof the summer homework argue that this step would play a great rolein stopping the summer slide (Belkin, 2011). As such, the long summerbreaks do not favor the students. Most students experiencesignificant challenges in adjusting to the academic calendars sincecontinuity in learning has been disrupted by the summer breaks(Center for Public Education, 2013). The parents have conflicted onthe need for the summer learning programs. While others agree thatthe additional class work during the summer will keep the childrensharp and competitive, the other group argues that the vacations arecompromised since such work spill over to the weekends (Belkin,2011). Moreover, the social life of the children is massivelyaffected since there is no time to meet up with other playmates. Thechildren are engrossed in their books to the point that thedevelopments of core life skills are extensively curtailed. However,the nature of policies on summer homework depends on individualschools since they establish the guidelines on the same (Crawford,2016).


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Note: You are allowed to provide additionalinformation



Home Location:

1. What is your understanding of summer homework?

2. Has summer homework interfered with your vacation plans before?

3. Do you believe summer planning contributes positively to learningloss?

Give a reason for your answer.

4. Do you believe the current summer learning programs are effectivein the academic development of children?

5. Given a chance, what changes would you bring to the current summerhomework programs?

6. Are the parents challenging the learning arrangements during thesummer right?

Give a reason for your answer

7. What solutions can you suggest to the existing debate on theimpact of summer homework on the students?

Thank you for your participation

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