Requirements for New York State

(this information was last updated: 1998

Note: This information is not intended to replace the NY State Regulations; nor is it legal advice. We urge everyone to obtain a copy of the NYS Regulations and FAQ's. Please see "Step #1" for how to obtain a copy.

We are often asked, "What must I do to begin homeschooling". The first thing to do is to request a copy of the regulations from New York State. The second is to send a "Letter of Intent". We've outlined these and other basic's below.

NOTE: It is often advised that you send correspondences from your family to your district, via return receipt. Also, try to save all envelopes you receive from your district (these have postage dates stamped on them, and may become helpful at some later time.)

At the end of this page, is a Summary

STEP #1:

Obtain "Home Instruction Packet" from NY SED

We urge everyone to not rely solely on our information, or that of any other organization. Contact NY State directly for a packet of "rules & regulation" for home school families. You can contact NY State at:

NY State Education Department
Office for Non-Public Schools
Room 481
Albany, NY 12234

Call or write and ask to receive a "Home Instruction Packet". Learn the regulations, and the FAQ's that are included with the regulations.

We have included a copy of the regulations and the faq's, on this website. PLEASE, still obtain a HARD COPY from the SED! The regulations may be altered, before this site is updated. The regulations sited on this site, were still in effect in 1998.

Return to Regulations Main Page to go to the regulations on this site.

The information we have is as follows:

STEP #2:

Send "Letter of Intent" to school district

If your child turns 6 years of age, on or before December 1st, of the school year, you must notify NY State by July 1st of that upcoming school year of your intent to home school. In other words, if your child will be 6 years of age, on or before, December 1, 1998, you must submit your letter of intent to home educate by July 1, 1998.

If you have missed this requested date, see our FAQ's.

There have been some questions regarding the "letter of intent". The letter of intent is to be very brief and simple. A sample would be as follows:

Dear Superintendent [name of superintendent]:

We intend to home educate our [son/daughter/child], [your childís name], for the 1998-99 school year. [He/She] will be a student in grade ["class" "grade" for child].


[Parents name(s)]


If the school calls and requests a meeting or phone consultation as to your choice to home school, this is NOT regulation. You may politely decline the offer. You are not "required" to meet with your superintendent, in order for you to homeschool.


We advise people to send their letter of intent via return receipt.



Next, NY State regulations state that an IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) is to be sent. The IHIP should be submitted to your superintendents office by August 15th, or 4 weeks after receiving your Superintendent's Packet from your district (whichever is later).

Do NOT let the "paper work" overwhelm you. There are a variety of resources which can assist you.

Also, if you do receive correspondence from your school district, requesting inappropriate information, it may be that your superintendentís office may be unfamiliar with the home schooling procedures/regulations. We have heard many stories of superintendents requesting meetings to ascertain the "capability" of parents to teach. This is NOT regulation, and is a violation of your rights. Also, many times, superintendents request information and paper work, which are, also, NOT regulation. This is not intentional on their part, rather they are ignorant of the rules and regulations.


Quarterly Reports
(as of the writing of this site*)

The regulations site that four (4) reports are to be sent to the superintendent, throughout the school year. In your IHIP, you will outline what dates you intend to submit these "Quarterly Reports." These reports outlines what you would like to inform the district that has been covered that quarter, and includes either a "grade" or verbal assessment.

Some families like to include a simple "Satisfactory"/"Unsatisfactory" evaluation.

Also included in these reports, are attendance of "days in session".



Annual Assessments
(as of the writing of this site*)

For grades k-4, this may be done by way of verbal assessment. See our FAQ's for options on how this may be done; and refer to the NY State regulations for verification.

From grades 4-8, alternating years of "testing" are required by NY State.

From grades 9 and up, NY State requires annual "testing".

For a list of "testing" options, please refer to our FAQ's.



Enjoy these special and precious years with your child!

Don't let this all overwhelm you! Meet other homeschool families. Keep the focus! This are the most important and precious years of your lives!


Once again, do not let any of this overwhelm or frighten you. There are many resources to assist you

Following is a list of procedures and "paper work" which home schooling families in NY State need to become familiar with. .

  1. Obtain a copy of the "Home Instruction Packet" from New York State.
  2. Submit Letter of Intent by July 1st of each school year.
  3. Submit IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan).
  4. Maintain records of attendance (remember YOUR school hours and days need not be the same as your local school districts.) Stick a calendar of the fridge, if it makes you feel better.
  5. File Quarterly Reports.
    (These are reports of progress and include the number of hours of instruction for that quarter.)
  6. File Annual Assessment.
    Remember, testing is NOT mandatory until grades 4-8.
    At that time you may alternate years of testing (i.e.. Test in grades 4, 6 and 8; or test in grades 5 and 7.) Testing is NOT required every year UNTIL grade 9.
  7. Subjects:
    Subjects which are mandatory to cover are as follows:
    Grades K-12
    patriotism and citizenship, traffic safety, fire safety, information regarding substance abuse.
    Grades 1-6
    Arithmetic, Reading, Spelling, Writing, English, Geography, United States History, Science, Health, Music, Visual Arts, and Physical Education.
  8. Hours of Instruction:
    From grades 1-6, NY State "requires" that teaching for the year be equivalent to 180. That is 900 hours per year. Thus, when submitting your "quarterly reports", by year end, the total needs to accumulate to 900 hours of "instruction".

Anyone needing some referrals or emotional support, please feel free to contact us.

* Please note: there has been speculation with regard to potential changes in NY State's regulations for Homeschool families. Again, we urge families to obtain a copy of the regulations, and to carefully become familiar with them.

Home Schooling!

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