All Schoolwork but No Homework

The beach is a mile away, the July sun is shining. But at Beacon Day School in Oakland, Calif., it's the 212th day of classes (only 28 to go before the one-week summer break!), and a group of nine- and ten-year-olds is struggling through a spelling test on parts of the body--lungs, heart, stomach, brain. The afternoon math lesson isn't any easier: How many times does 6 go into 8,342? You might think these were 18th century Puritans. But the kids are all smiles. "School is really fun," says precocious Annie Marcuzzo. "Camps are boring."

Yes, that's right, with no prompting...

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