5 Tips for Completing Summer Homework and Reading

The summer months usher in warmer weather, seemingly unlimited time for relaxation and rest, and increased opportunities for socialization with friends. The very last thing that you may wish to do is summer homework (including summer reading). Unfortunately, there is no way around it, but it is not as terrible as it may at first seem. Here are five tips that can help you complete your summer homework and reading without a great deal of pain:

1. Allow yourself a brief respite before you begin
This suggestion may seem counterintuitive, but after a full school year, you may need a brief break before you delve into your summer assignments. If so, take one--you have earned it. However, first choose the date when you will begin your homework and reading.

2. Select the right start date
Your start date for summer assignments will depend on how much homework you must complete, and on when your school year begins again. When it comes to summer reading, for instance, you should avoid procrastinating until the last week of the summer. However, you may also wish to avoid starting too soon if you are concerned about forgetting each book's content. In this case, you might begin reading four to five weeks before school starts.

3. Consider completing other projects prior to your summer reading
If you have summer assignments like history papers and math problem sets, consider finishing those tasks before you begin your summer reading. In some instances, these projects may have multiple steps, and they may require a greater investment of your time than an assigned biography or novel.

4. Create a schedule, and adhere to it
How often you read or work on projects will depend on your homework load. A general rule of thumb is to commit five hours per week to summer assignments. This is only one hour per weekday. Compare this single hour to your daily schedule during the school year, and this commitment may suddenly feel much easier. Be sure to create a schedule that works for you, as well as one that you can make a priority. If you fall back on the "When I have time..." mindset, you will likely always find reasons to avoid summer homework and summer reading.

5. Maintain a positive mindset
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. While the physical act of completing homework may not be entertaining, improving your performance is worth the effort. Look for small gains--for example, perhaps your understanding of percentages has increased, or perhaps you are now able to read history passages more quickly and more accurately.

As you focus on summer reading, try to enjoy each assigned book. Read outside with a glass of lemonade or water, read in a park, or even read by the pool. Even if you dislike the book, try to appreciate its writing style or character development. Such strategies can help you finish summer assignments to the best of your ability, rather than simply doing them because you must.