By Allyson Phillips
As a former public school teacher, I have seen the ways in which schools have evolved and changed over the years. I began my teaching journey in 2004 as a High School English teacher, working at a Title I school in Orlando, Florida. The demographic of the school was primarily Hispanic and I was handed a schedule of three separate preps: English I, English II and FCAT Preparation. It became immediately apparent that students who had low test scores were denied electives and forced into remedial reading and math courses. Many of the students I taught were ESOL and it was obvious they would never pass a test written in English with ingrained biases. These tests were used to ‘grade’ schools which influenced real estate prices, teacher evaluations and
pay. I saw the disconnect between education and students and witnessed many students drop out instead of enduring the incessant pressure of testing and their overall disinterest in school.
As I continued my career, I taught all levels of English including Honors, Advanced Placement Literature, Advanced Placement Language, IB Curriculum and AICE. I could see the students needed so much more from the teachers. We were told and directed instead of being empowered to teach and instructional time was lost to mandates created by people who were not in education. Money was thrown at outside testing companies. The overarching issue in public school has been the exorbitant pressure which is put upon teachers while denying their innate creativity in order to reach each student. The expectation of constant diversified instruction with zero diversified assessment makes the equation almost impossible for teachers and students to succeed. The fact that students can work all year, producing daily work, assessments and projects but can still be held back or punished for not passing one test, is unfair and
nonsensical. Libraries have become testing centers, checking out books has become rare and book fairs are dictated by reading levels instead of the interest of a child.
Physical Education, The Arts, Real World Skills, all take a back seat and public schools are failing kids daily. I have researched homeschool for years and I am now experiencing it’s true magic for my own nine year old son. I also now have the joy of creating and teaching curriculum that is extremely meaningful. Homeschool seems almost fanciful for those who have not dedicated any time to researching the process. Homeschooling has grown exponentially
and has the potential to flip the education system upside down. As a college consultant I observe how many public schools do not properly prepare a student for college.
Guidance Counselors are overwhelmed with the number of students they must serve. The agenda and path is narrow in the high schools, with little to no input by the student, and once in college they often lack the skill set that is imperative to be successful. Homeschooling, micro schooling and hybrids give the power back to the student. It celebrates strengths, scaffolds to weaknesses and focuses on mastery without leaving the student behind. Students have a say in their education and their opinion matters.
Homeschooling puts the creativity back in learning as well as teaching and allows for innovative ideas and solutions. Homeschooling truly restores the love of learning and the power of education.
Former Public School Teacher
Current Happy Homeschooling Teacher and Parent