Homeschooling in New York requires adhering to many New York homeschooling laws, rules and guidelines. Schools in New York may require homeschooling your children for the best education, especially in New York City, homeschooling may be required.
New York is one of the toughest states to homeschool in. However, this isn’t something that should scare you. Instead, simply look at these New York homeschooling laws as hoops that you must jump in order to homeschool in NY state.
Filing A Notice Of Intention To Homeschool In New York
You must file a “notice of intention” to homeschool. This has to be submitted to your local school district before the school year starts or within 14 days after you start to homeschool within the school district. The school district will then sends you forms with explicit instructions that you must follow.
You are given four weeks in which to to submit the completed IHIP (individualized home instruction plan) to your local school district. They will then either approve of it or demand changes and give you another deadline with which you must comply.
You can also appeal any such final school district determination within 30 days after receiving this determination. In the end, you can still be denied the right to homeschool though. The best way in which to avoid the hassle of being denied you should consult with other homeschoolers who have passed this approval stage and have them help you.
Maintaining Attendance Records For NY Homeschooling
You must maintain attendance records and be able to provide them your local school district upon request. If you do not comply with this, you could get into trouble for having a truant child. The best way around this is to purchase a simple notebook for each child and keep attendance records in it. Each child must get an equivalent of 180 days of instruction per school year.
New York Home School Quarterly Reports
Quarterly reports must be turned in to your local school district on or before the dates specified within your IHIP. Herein you must:
- State the number of hours of instruction that occurred during that quarter
- Describe the material that was covered in each subject that was listed in the IHIP
- Either a grade for the child in each subject or a written narrative evaluating the child’s progress
- A written explanation if less than 80% of the amount of the course materials that were set out in the IHIP were covered that quarter in any subject
This can make it difficult on a family who chooses the wrong curriculum for their child. Therefore, you will need to carefully choose which curriculum to use. You also don’t want to make up your own programs or use an unproven program. It may also be worth considering using a charter school.
Assessment Testing – NY Homeschooling
You must provide the results of an assessment test that is a commercially published norm-referenced achievement test. Your choices here include:
- The Iowa Test of Basic Skills
- The California Achievement Test
- The Stanford Achievement Test
- The Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills
- The Metropolitan Achievement Test
- A State Education Department test
Regardless of which test you choose a New York State-certified teacher must administer and score it in one of the following settings:
- By the public school
- At a registered nonpublic school
- At a non-registered nonpublic school
- At the parents’ home
If your child’s test score is determined to be inadequate, the homeschool program will be placed on probation. This is why it is so important to spend time preparing your child for standardized testing. You can also appeal the test results to the Commissioner of Education within 30 days of receipt of the board’s final determination.
Why New York States Homeschool Laws Are So Controlling
There is a reason why New York homeschooling laws are so controlling. They haven’t changed in 18 years. Therefore, they are considered to be outdated. Fortunately, a Homeschool Freedom Bill has been introduced. Its intent is to give parents more flexibility in homeschooling. They would like to see the following things occur:
- The elimination of the IHIP, quarterly reports, required subjects, consent from a local superintendent and home visits
- Allowing for alternative methods of evaluation
- Permission for parents to administer nationally-normed testing
- Lower the minimum standardized test score
More than likely not all of these things will be granted, but homeschoolers hope that most of it will pass. If they do, New York Homeschool laws will be a little more relaxed and parent friendly.
Approved Websites To Help With Homeschooling Your Children In The State Of New York
Whenever you are planning your homeschool program, you should take some time to look through the websites that the New York State Department of Education recommends. These include:
- New York A&E Classroom http://www.aetv.com/class/
- Awesome Library http://www.neat-schoolhouse.org
- Blue Web’N http://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/bluewebn/
- Community Learning Network http://www.cln.org/
- Discovery School http://school.discovery.com/
- EDsitement http://edsitement.neh.gov/default.asp
- Education Index http://www.educationindex.com/
- Education Virtual Library http://www.csu.edu.au/education/library.html
- Education World http://www.education-world.com/
- Educator’s Reference Desk http://www.eduref.org
- EduHound http://www.eduhound.com
- Fun Brain http://www.funbrain.com/
- HomeworkNYC.org http://www.homeworknyc.org/
- Kids Identifying and Discovering Sites (KIDS) Report http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/tnl/detectives/
- Learners Online http://www.learnersonline.com/
- Marco Polo http://marcopolo.mci.com/home.aspx
- New York Times Learning Network http://www.nytimes.com/learning/
- PBS Teacher Source http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/
- Scholastic http://www.scholastic.com/
- Thinkbright http://www.thinkbright.org/
- What Works Clearinghouse http://www.w-w-c.org
- World Almanac for Kids http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/index.html
In Conclusion To Homeschooling In New York
The most important thing that you can do whenever you are homeschooling in New York is to stay informed. Make sure that you know if any laws change, whether this be in your favor or not. You should also connect with other New York homeschooling parents so that you will have someone to share ideas and tips with.