Homeschooling in New York

This is not legal advice. As someone who lives in a state that is highly regulated, I cannot emphasize enough the need for you to advocate for yourself and make a point to know your state laws. While the school district will most likely provide you with a printed copy of the laws and regulations for home schooling, a local home schooling group can be a valuable asset when it comes to navigating your way through the system.

As you likely know if you’ve read my blogs, this is where we are from. New York state has quite extensive regulations for homeschoolers. In order to homeschool in New York State you must:

1) Submit a letter of intent to the district superintendent by July 1st or within 14 days of the beginning of your home instruction program.

2) Submit an IHIP (individualized home instruction program). The IHIP must include syllabi, list of textbooks being used or plan of instruction; dates for submission of quarterly reports (parents choose their own dates evenly spaced throughout the year); and name of persons who are giving instruction.

3) Maintain attendance records. (See attendance requirements below.)

4) File, four times per year, quarterly reports which must contain: a) the total hours of instruction given for the quarter, b) a description of the material covered in each subject, c) a grade or narrative evaluation of each subject

5) File an annual assessment. In grades K-3 the assessment can be either a standardized test or a narrative evaluation or a peer review panel or an assessment done by a certified teacher. In grades 4-8 the annual assessment MUST be a standardized test every other year. Starting in grade 9, students must be evaluated yearly with a standardized test. The child’s composite score must be above the 33rd percentile.

Compulsory Attendance: A child that is 6 on or before December 1st in any school year is under compulsory attendance until the end of the school year in which he turns 16 or until he graduates.

Required Days of Instruction: 180 days; 900 hours in 1st through 6th grade and 990 hours in 7th-12th grade.

Required Subjects: Grades K-12: patriotism and citizenship, substance abuse, traffic safety and fire safety. Grades 1-6: arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, English, geography, U.S. history, science, health, music, visual arts, and physical education. At least once in the first 8 grades: U.S. and New York State history and constitutions. Grades 9-12: English, social studies, participation in government, economics, math, science and art or music, health, physical education, and electives.

Teacher Qualifications: A teacher must be competent. A parent is deemed a competent teacher if he/she submit’s the appropriate paper work. Parents do not need to be certified.

Standardized Tests: A parent can choose one of five approved standardized tests. (See above regarding annual assessments.

Helpful Resources:


A to Z Homeschooling

Related Articles:

Why You Should Keep Good Records, Even If You Don’t Have To

Educational Neglect: What You Should Know

Empirical Evidence That Homeschooling Works!