I think summer assignments are essential, especially for AP or Honors classes. I think they keep brains active and allow the upper level students to come to school ready and prepared for their advanced classes. It’s important for these students to keep their brains active so they are capable of the critical thinking these classes require. It’s also important for these brains to rest so I don’t think these assignments should be too lengthy.
The majority of kids taking AP English read anyway so asking them to read a book is not pushing it. Things Fall Apart, read over the summer for Honors English 10, was a book better suited to be read in class. There was a lot of culture shock associated with the book and I think it would’ve been more enjoyable for certain people if they had a better grasp on the culture before hand. Personally, I wish summer English assignments could just be reading, but I do understand that teachers need to know if student have done them. I thought there was a little too much work associated with Fahrenheit 451, read for AP English 11.
I’ve only ever done a summer assignment for English, however, I’ve seen the Chemistry packets and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s simply stuff Ms. Barker expect students to know and there weren’t that many pages. As far as calculous I don’t think that there is an official assignment but there is stuff Mr. Ratliff expects students to know and that’s a reasonable expectation.