AUGUST 7, 2015, 7:51 PM    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2015, 11:48 PM

The freewheeling summer celebrated in countless songs and poems isn’t so carefree for many students who come home from school in June with hefty homework assignments that span grades and subjects.

Summer homework isn’t a new thing, but it is a big topic year after year, especially when it spills into family vacation and weekend activities. In one high school, students are even petitioning for homework equity, saying it should be given to all students or none at all.

Parents are conflicted, with some pushing back or grudgingly accepting it, while others say the work keeps kids sharp and competitive and makes the school year easier. Yet all parents seem to long for the summers of their youth when they read what they wanted — if they wanted — and didn’t have the stress of schoolwork hanging over their heads.

“What gets lost is the opportunity for a kid to pick up a book and say, ‘I’ve been dying to read this,’” said Randi Asher, a Glen Rock parent and a homework critic. “To have that entire summer to throw yourself into nature and to experience learning in a way that is different from an assignment. It’s not that they don’t have that opportunity. There is the whole summer, but this detracts from that.”