In a recent column, a New York reporter who spent a few months in South Africa, writes about experiencing a school system without homework:
I cannot overstate the feeling of levity that has descended upon my family. [My children] are spending more time playing chess, Boggle, and Scrabble. They are spending more time talking to me at the dinner table. More than anything, though, they are amusing themselves more, by tossing a ball around, building a marble run, making card houses, drawing flags from around the world, reading articles in the newspaper about a new species of leopard discovered in Borneo, or curling up with a book.
In Cape Town, my children have just as many extracurricular activities, if not more, as they do in New York. After school here, just as in the city, they have a tennis lesson, or a play date, or a cricket match â€¦ okay, in New York it would be a soccer match.
But when we arrive home after the sports or the chess or the play date, there isn’t that feeling of dread. Without the deadline of homework looming and without the inevitable struggle that so many parents of young children face, the otherwise-dreaded witching homework hour is downright pleasant.