Quick Guide: NYS Homeschooling
IF you are considering Homeschooling, here are a few tips
STEP 1: Decide One of the most important things veteran homeschoolers told me to do is know WHY I want to homeschool. It has been invaluable advice to me!
Make the list and keep the list and then in the tough times go back and read the WHYS! it has kept me going many a time when I was ready to throw in the towel of this so far 18-year journey.
Why do you want to homeschool?
I want to homeschool because... or we think homeschooling is best because...
Be honest about this... this is personal, this is about your core values! What is best for you, your child(ren) and family?
I believe in true school choice, homeschooling is not right for everyone, even though I promote it and think it is, the truth is every child and family is different. I believe that homeschooling is the best option and gives children the best chance at success, for a myriad of reasons I will not get into here... BUT This is about YOU and your child(ren)
I now have one who is a senior in college, a 10th grader and an 11th grader. IT goes fast. It is a sacrifie, it is tough and challanging and rewarding. I would not change it for the world. NOW to see how they feel when they are older : lol
STEP 2: So you chose to homeschool: File Your Letter of Intent
In NYS you have to send in a letter of intent.... we can't just pull our kids out of public school and begin educating them without following the states' policies, as if the kids are theirs VS ours. NY is one of the most regulated homeschool state in the country! If it is the beginning of the year your letter of intent is due on July 1, otherwise send it in, within 14 days of when you know you will homeschool. You can techinally start homeschooling anytime during the year... It generally takes the state 10 to 14 days to get back to you.
STEP 3: Submit Your Individualized Home Instruction Plan or IHIP I send in my IHIP when I send in the Letter of intent. It makes things smoother and go quicker IMHO. Either way, they will mail you an IHIP form and that form usually asks you for WAY MORE information that is legally required, so find a veteran homeschooler and ONLY GIVE THEM the information that is required and NOTHING MORE! Also join NCLL or HLSDA ( I suggest joining one either way!!) The IHIP is due 4 weeks from the day you get it. The IHIP form requires you to submit:
The name of whoever is giving the instruction,
Your child’s name, age, and grade level
A list of your syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, OR plan of instruction. Choose the plan of instruction.
You also have to put your dates for submission of quarterly reports, some people choose to report 3 times a year or 4 times a year. You can choose to follow the public school schedule or make your own.
You can also choose to school year-round.
IT may sound like a lot but really it is not and Not to worry, there's a template for that. If you need examples please contact us.
STEP 4: Know the rules / attendance requirements Each student is required to meet the "substantial equivalent" of 180 days of school per year. There are many templates to help you keep track of attendance records. USE ONE! The records are only required upon request by the Superintendent, but you do not want to need them and not have them. Plus it makes us all look good :D
The hourly attendance requirements for homeschooled students :
Grades 1–6 must meet for 900 hours of schooling a year. Approx. 225 hours per quarter
Grades 7-12 are required to meet for 990 hours of school per year. Approx. 249 hours per quarter Subject requirements by grade level are:
History and geography
Mathematics (2 credits)
English (4 credits)
Social studies, including American history, participation in government, and economics (4 credits)
Science (2 credits)
Art or music (1 credit)
Health (½ credit)
Physical education (2 credits)
Electives (3 credits)
STEP 5: Quartly Reports / Submit Assessments: Sent to District Office/ Superintendent Basically a report Card and they can look like a traditional report card or something more creative. As long as they include the number of hours of instruction during the quarter, a description of the material covered in each subject, and a grade or narrative evaluation in each subject. Again there are example reports all over or contacts us or an example.
Annual assessments: An annual assessment is required every year.
Grades 1–3, can take a standardized test or you can choose to submit a written narrative evaluation for your student. I usually submit a written narrative BUT I tested every year, just so I knew where they were. BUT I do not submit the tests :) until required to.
Grades 4- 8: Standardized testing is required every other year for students in grades 4–8. The years you do not use a standardized testing option you must supply a written narrative evaluation. So, for example, you could use a written narrative evaluation in grade 4 but would need to use a standardized test in grade 5, and so on.
High school students must take a standardized test every year.
Standardized tests can be administered at home, by a New York–certified teacher, by a registered nonpublic school, local co-ops who administer them, the local public school, or a registered nonpublic school. A test can also be administered at any other reasonable location, or by another qualified person (including the student’s parent) with the consent of the superintendent. You can obtain consent by simply notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report what test you will be using and who will be administering it.
To demonstrate satisfactory progress, your student’s composite score must be above the 33rd percentile, or the score must reflect one academic year of growth compared to a test administered the prior school year.
You may choose one of the following tests:
the PASS test: Personalized Achievement Summary System - can be given 1-8th grade ( see Hewitt Homeschooling)
Iowa Test of Basic Skills,
the California Achievement Test,
the Stanford Achievement Test,
the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills,
a State Education Department Test, or
another test approved by the State Education Department
Written narrative evaluations may be conducted by a certified teacher, a home instruction peer group review panel, or another person with the consent of the local superintendent. When you submit your IHIP you let them know which one you are doing and if the IHIP is accepted you have been granted consent OR by notifying the superintendent in your third quarterly report that you will be submitting a written narrative evaluation and by whom it will be prepared.
That is the Basics....
Now choosing a curriculum that is the hard and fun part! I have gotten a lot of used Curriculum HERE over the years :)
Some people choose a full curriculum, some people piece mail different curriculums, some people unschool... Me? Oh I like the Classical Education Model and I generally hodgodge/piece mail everything.. to best cater to who learns what best... sometimes we start with one type of curriculum and end completely different BUT I try to keep the Classical Education Modle always at the forefront.
I love Andrew Kern - Well and so many others... Leave a comment or question and I will try to answer if I can.
Chaplain Ayesha Kreutz
Kreutzacademy @ gmail dot com