Not a fan. At all. I understand the purpose, I can even appreciate the purpose, but I don't think it should be "required." The kids work so hard all year, fulfilling all the requirements for schoolwork, homework, tests, reports, projects ... they need a break. Parents need a break. And I don't see anything wrong with needing a break. Kids dream of summer break ... no school, no homework, staying up late, and sleeping in. And they should. It's the only time of your life you can get away with it!
I carry around enough guilt about (needing) to work full time that my children don't enjoy the lazy carefree summers that I enjoyed as a kid, I don't need more stress of making sure they complete the summer reading they have no interest in completing.
I wish they enjoyed reading, I really do. I read to them all the time when they were younger and loved when my older son enjoyed reading to his younger brother. But as his reading level increased, his desire to read greatly decreased. The same thing happened to my other son too. Chapter books can be very daunting to a kid. I can't count how many times I've heard, "It has how many pages?? I'll never finish!"
I have yet to figure out a way around this ... even reading on a Kindle hasn't lessened the task of reading a grade-level book. "If you read a chapter a day, you'll be done in 12 days! Or two chapters a day, you'll be done in 6 days!" And they stare at me, eyes glazed over.
I've heard many people say you're failing at parenting if you don't force your child to do the summer homework because there are many things in life that aren't fun that you have to do and other arguments along those lines ... okay true but you know what? If not completing the summer homework is the only thing I don't force them to do during their schooling years, is that really a parenting fail?
No, it's not.
My boys both read and completed the report on 1 book this summer, which was half of the required reading. It was such a struggle just to finish that. It will have to suffice. I'm betting I won't hear one word about it!