Homeschooling in NY and around the globe has been becoming increasingly popular over the years. Homeschool is not just due to families having to school their children virtually. The number of students homeschooling has increased to several million students across the country. Homeschooling families take on all the responsibilities for the education of their students. They are responsible for lesson planning, organizing activities, and field trips. Besides, finding a suitable curriculum and resources, in addition to all usual parental responsibilities, can be time consuming and overwhelming.  If parents are also working full or part-time and have more than one student, the obligations are numerous.

New York Homeschool Laws

The New York State Education Department requires that homeschool parents notify their local school district of their plans to homeschool their children for the upcoming school year. Families must submit a letter of intent within 14 days of beginning to homeschool. For every year of homeschooling, families must resend the notice of intent no later than July 1 of the start of the school year. For example, for the 2021-2022 school year, homeschooling families must submit a letter by July 1, 2021.

The school district is then required to respond and provide families with an individualized home instruction plan (IHIP) that must be signed. Families must also be provided with a copy of the home instruction regulations. Parents must also provide the local school district with information about the chosen curriculum and materials that they are using for the required subjects. Language arts, math, social studies, and science are just some of the subjects that must be covered. To adequately prepare to meet New York homeschooling requirements and regulations, families should take the time to research education law, find resources, and search for legal advice.

Where to Find New York Homeschool Laws

Every New York homeschool law can be accessed by visiting the New York State Education Department website.

New York Homeschool Requirements

The state of New York has precise requirements for homeschooling in NY. Parents must file a notice of intent to homeschool for the upcoming school year within 14 days of starting. New York homeschool laws require that homeschoolers provide an Individualized Home Instruction plan to the district superintendent of the local school district.

New York homeschoolers should also know the lesson subjects for each grade level. Each student must complete the equivalent of 180 days of instruction. This can mean 900 hours for grades 1-6, and 990 hours for grades seven and eight, and through all of high school. Keeping attendance records is a requirement for families who are homeschooling in NY. These should be made available to the local school district at their request.

Quarterly Reports and Annual Assessment

Homeschoolers must provide quarterly reports for each homeschool student. The report must contain a written narrative describing the materials that have been covered in each subject on the IHIP, the number of instructional hours, and either a written narrative that discusses the student’s progress in each subject or a grade.

Homeschooling families must submit an annual assessment at the same time as the submission of the fourth-quarter report. Homeschool law states that this assessment should include a written evaluation or results from a norm-referenced achievement test. This examination should be a commercial test that meets New York homeschool law. There are also alternative methods for assessment for all grade levels. Beginning in fourth grade, students must take a national achievement test on a bi-yearly basis. From 9th through 12th grade, students must be tested every year. The California Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, the Iowa Basics Test, and the PASS Test are all approved to meet the state homeschool requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Families Get Paid to Homeschool in New York?

No. New York State views homeschooling as a private decision. According to the New York State homeschool laws, parents should not be paid to homeschool their children because it is a choice, not considered employment. New York State homeschooling laws for possible deductions, tax credits, or other stipends may be available to New York homeschooling families.

Can Someone Else Homeschool My Child?

The short answer is “yes.” New York parents may employ a tutor to help with instruction for part or all homeschooling time. Parents may also choose to have their children instructed in a group setting with students from other families. However, the New York State Education Department says that if a tutor teaches students are in a group, it will be considered a non-public school operation and not a New York homeschool. The majority of the homeschooling time throughout the year should occur in the child’s home and meet the requirements laid out by the New York State Education Department.

How Much Does Homeschooling in New York Cost?

Costs for homeschooling in NY can vary from state to state, but there are key expenses that parents should consider when planning to homeschool in New York State. The curriculum will be the largest expense when investing in homeschooling—the prices for a curriculum run the range from low to very high. Costs can be kept lower by using free resources that are available on the internet. To keep the cost low, parents can plan visits to the local public library and go on low-cost field trips. All homeschool field trips should be fun and educational. This could be a field trip to museums, local or national parks, or low-cost local plays and performances.

Homeschoolers can also find gently-used educational supplies or curriculum from fellow homeschoolers or homeschool support groups. There are also many available listings on homeschool websites. Some homeschool curriculum, especially complete boxed sets, are generally the most expensive options. There are also online curriculum services that are low or no-cost.

Homeschooling students in high school is generally more costly than for younger students. In addition to the costs of homeschool education, parents must consider the additional expenses incurred. This includes extracurricular sports, music or dance lessons, martial arts, or art courses. Once again, expenses for high school students may be significantly higher. Parents can control how much they can afford and what resources are the best fit for students in all grades.

Simple Steps to Start Homeschooling

At first, families, who will begin homeschooling in New York, should find other homeschooling families and support groups for homeschoolers. The connection to other homeschoolers can provide parents with information and resources. It also connects the homeschool students to other kids who are also homeschooling.

The next step that families should take is researching the state requirements for homeschooling in NY. Key information and resources are available online. Homeschool families should then decide what teaching style will be used. Before investing in one or a variety of curricula, families should know the learning preference that may be best for the child.

Parents should find the best fit for the child’s education with so many options available. Families can find the curriculum and resources either online or through recommendations of other homeschoolers or the local school district. When choosing the curriculum for either a young child or a 12th-grade senior, parents should keep themselves, their child, and their situation in mind. Finally, parents should set up their student or students’ area and begin lesson planning.

To further prepare to homeschool, parents can read highly-rated books on homeschooling, subscribe to a homeschool magazine, connect with a state homeschool group, and find a local support group. Once the family agreed on a curriculum, the homeschool parents should visit their local teacher supply store. These stores are chock-full of helpful resources, charts, posters, craft and science kits, classroom supplies, and many other teachers’ resources.

Last Words

Getting ready for homeschooling in NY may seem intimidating, with all the regulations and requirements. With helpful information available, trustworthy and reliable homeschool support groups, and positive interactions with other homeschoolers, families can see their students grow, learn and prosper. Academic flexibility, meaningful and efficient learning, and time for subjects and activities that may not be possible in a public or private school setting, are all benefits to home education.

While homeschooling may seem like the ideal situation for families looking to educate their children at home, it is sometimes not the solution for every family. There will still be difficult days while homeschooling. It isn’t one-size-fits-all. However, with time spent researching information and helpful resources, families can find ways to succeed in homeschooling. Homeschooling can produce positive benefits, including emotional support, academic achievement, and social growth.