Individualized Home Instruction Plan, Third Grade

by Sandra Foyt on September 7, 2008

in Home School Resources

back_to_school Hooray! I finally finished drafting our Individualized Home Instruction Plan for the 2008-2009 Academic Year, just a few weeks late and two days after the first day of school.

You’d think it would be easier the second time around. It wasn’t.

Last year, all I had to do to draft an IHIP was to make a list of materials that I planned to use. That was easy enough.

I’d already accumulated lots of resources supplementing my older child’s education. And, I planned to implement a Classical approach, as described in The Well-Trained Mind, to shape our curriculum. Of course, I had a few other ideas up my sleeve as well.

It should’ve been a cinch to just update last year’s IHIP. Perhaps, it’s these “other ideas” that is at the root of my problem.

I’m always coming up with new ideas, subjects, technology, etc., that I want to share with my children. Our learning “plan” evolves as a new question or an idea sends us on completely unforeseen tangents.

For example, I planned to start this year with an author study and poetry unit where my son would read Jack Prelutsky’s poems and learn about the poet.

Well, Alex was having a fine time, ensconced on the comfy chair, reading these poems, when he spotted a copy of Fairytale News. This inspired him to create his own Supernatural News, and now we’re in the midst of brainstorming, writing, and figuring out how to use Microsoft Publisher to publish his newspaper.

As you can see, we embrace learning tangents.

Still, we have to conform to New York Home Instruction Regulations.

That means that there is a Core Curriculum in New York that I have to keep in mind. Not that I, or any NY teacher, is obligated to follow it to the letter. It’s fairly general, and open to wildly different interpretations. Still, I can’t completely ignore it either.

Even if New York allowed me to completely forget about rules and regulations, I don’t think that I could handle being completely unstructured. My family has high academic goals, and I want to ensure that our children have choices.

Personally, I want to see that my children are making steady progress in all key subject areas, even those that don’t interest them yet.

Alex is passionate about reading and science, but he would never write or work through math problems, if he didn’t have to. Of course, he has to practice writing for it to get easier. And, he needs to get through the “boring” math foundation before he can get to the more interesting theoretical material. Obviously, he also needs both math and writing skills for his science projects.

We want Alex to continue to make progress in all his subjects, but I still want to ensure that he loves learning and that he is enjoying life.

So, my challenge this year has been to craft an IHIP which fulfills New York rules, my family’s academic goals, and our most important objective of staying in the Deschooling End Zone.

Here is our 2008-2009 IHIP, in all it’s glory:

Individualized Home Instruction Plan – Grade 3

Name: Alex

Age: 9

Grade Level: Third Grade

Dates for submittal of Quarterly Reports:

  • September 30, 2008
  • December 30, 2008
  • March 31, 2009
  • June 30, 2009

Individual providing instruction: Sandra Foyt


We are creating an integrated, interest-based curriculum using a hands-on, child-centered approach to learning. Materials and activities listed in one subject area may thus apply to other subject areas as well. In addition, we believe that one of the great strengths of homeschooling is the flexibility to individualize the child’s learning experience so that skills and knowledge are learned at the time that the child is most ready and motivated. Thus, the materials we will use may include, but shall not be limited to, those listed below. We provide a rich, varied educational environment at home for Alex, as well as taking advantage of the many library, community, and Internet resources available.

(Although this describes our intent perfectly, it is not my original writing. This was copied from a sample IHIP found on the New York Home Educators’ Network Yahoo Forum.)

Curriculum materials that will be used in each of the required subjects:

General Resources:

Arithmetic: Math tools will be used in various projects, from cooking to science. However, we will use Primary Mathematics 3A & 3B, Singapore Math to cover the math standards for Grade 3 in NY.

Additional Math Resources:

Reading: Alex has already surpassed the requirements of NY’s Grade 3 Reading Core Curriculum. Of course, he will continue to read a wide variety of material for recreation, information, and discussion. I’m sure that he will continue to go beyond NY’s expectation of reading a minimum of 25 books per year across all content areas.

Reading Resources:

Spelling: We will be using targeted spelling practice to promote handwriting and keyboarding skills, while strengthening Spelling Skills.

Spelling Resources:

Writing: Alex will easily meet the expectation of writing an average of 1000 words per month across all content areas. He will be writing to enhance personal relationships (letters, Emails); for creative expression (poems, stories); and for academic development (short answers, essays.) He will also continue to use his blog, Alex and Leperdy’s Learning Adventures, to publish much of his writing.

Writing Resources:

The English Language: Mostly, Alex will work on developing English Language Skills through daily writing. He will also use the following workbooks:

Social Studies: NY’s Social Studies Core Curriculum for Third Grade recommends focusing on the five standards – social, political, geographic, economic, and historic characteristics – in a study of different world communities.

We will implement these standards; however, we will concentrate on one historical period, The Middle Ages, which will infuse all subjects areas this year. I’ve amassed an extensive collection of resources for this subject, but the primary text will be The Story of the World, Volume 2: The Middle Ages. (Wise Bauer, Susan. Peace Hill Press, 2003)

Science: In keeping with the objective of a hands-on and minds-on Elementary Science Core Curriculum, we will be pursuing various projects throughout the year that will encourage observation and analysis while promoting “understanding important relationships, processes, mechanisms, and applications of concepts.”

Science Projects:

  • Observing Mealworms & Earthworms – Through hands-on investigation and observations Alex will learn that the behaviors of off-spring are inherited from the parent organism.
  • Crime Lab Chemistry – Using paper chromatography and fingerprinting, we will learn about classification systems while investigating forensic science.
  • Sound – Investigate properties of sound and discover emerging science research field of Biomusic.
  • Plant Growth and Development – We’ll grow seedlings, ex. Brassica Rapa, to observe impact of different variables.
  • Worm Composting – We’ll learn about decomposers and soil health while producing compost for our gardens.

Science Resources:

Health Education: NY’s Health Education Guidance Document lists the following content areas: Self-Management, Relationship Management, Stress Management, Communication, Planning and Goal Setting, Decision Making, and Advocacy.

Mostly, we will cover these through day-to-day work and discussion. Some are fostered through play dates, and various out-of-the-home programs. Many are covered through participation in Cub Scouts.

Music: Alex has decided to take a break from piano lessons; instead, we’ll be concentrating on Music Appreciation. We will be immersing ourselves in a variety of musical genres, with a special focus on music from The Middle Ages.

Music Resources:

  • Understanding Music (Tatchell, Judy. Usborne, 1992)
  • A Young Person’s Guide to Music (Ardley, Neil. Dorling Kindersley, 2004)

Visual Arts: Pottery class at Liz Vigoda Studio, Art Omi Homeschool class, museum visits, art projects at home, and digital photography are just a few of the items on our menu this year. Of course, we’ll include a special focus on the art of The Middle Ages.

Physical Education: Daily outdoor play, dog walks, seasonal activities (Tennis, Swimming, Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Ice Skating), and weekly lessons in Gymnastics and Fencing.

Spanish (Not required):

  • Teach Them Spanish! Grade 3 (Waltzer-Hackett, Winnie. McGraw-Hill, MI, 1999)

Technology (Not required): The National Educational Technology Standards for Students in Grades 3-5, suggests a list of activities that relate to the following indicators: Creativity and Innovation; Communication and Collaboration; Research and Information Fluency; Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making; Digital Citizenship; and Technology Operations and Concepts.

We’ll be generating a variety of projects throughout the year, but we’ve already determined that, at a minimum, we’ll do the following:

  • Blogging – Book and Game Reviews, Stories, Poems, Advocacy
  • Ipod/Itunes – We’ll use this for audiobooks as well as for organizing Alex’s music collection.
  • Digital Photography – Introduction to digital photography and photo editing.

Technology Resources:

  • 80 Internet Mini-Scavenger Hunts (Robinette, Michelle. Scholastic, 2003)
  • Language Arts Activities on the Computer (Reum, Debby. Evan-Moor, 1999)
  • Climbing Your Family Tree: Online and Off-Line Genealogy for Kids (Wolfman, Ira. Workman Publishing, NY, 2002)

The following courses, required once in his academic career, will not be covered this year:

  • Before 9th Grade: US history, NY State history, and the Constitutions of the United States and NY State.
  • During K-12th Grade: Health Education regarding alcohol, drug and tobacco misuse.
  • Some courses continue to be covered within Cub Scouts: Patriotism and citizenship; Highway safety and traffic regulation, including bicycle safety; and fire and arson preventions and safety.

As always, I’m open to any suggestions. If you have any other ideas for our learning plans this year, I’d love to hear them!

Would you like to receive free articles from On Living By Learning by Email? (Click this link. Fill out the form. Don’t forget to click on your verification Email. Look for this in your mailbox.) You can also click here to receive updates on a RSS Feed Reader.

Technorati Tags: NY Home School
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

auntlee September 10, 2008 at 9:19 am

Keyboarding is an important skill for children — that’s why I created a website with typing games for my after-school group to use.

Over the years it’s grown and now has over 50 typing games! It’s a kid-safe site — I work hard to ensure that when links go to outside pages, those pages don’t have inappropriate ads or links to non-educational games, and I update the site regularly.

Also, I just put up a unit on internet safety, with instructional video and an online quiz,

Thanks for your time,

homeschool NY Mom October 2, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Thanks this helped me a lot! Please keep in touch, we are dealing with a new superintendent in our area and I did not understand how to writeit all down!! Appreciate your website…..Homeschool Lover in NY

Robin December 21, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Thus, the materials we will use may include, but shall not be limited to, those listed below. We provide a rich, varied educational environment at home for Alex, as well as taking advantage of the many library, community, and Internet resources available.

Jenna January 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Thank you so very much for supplying your IHIP! This was so helpful to me, as I’m just beginning to homeschool my daughter. Your info is very appreciated!

Stephanie Cudmore January 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Wow – a bit intimidating – fall of 2011 will be our first year homeschooling. Do the IHIP forms always need to be so extensive? Or just because we are in NY State?


Sandra Foyt January 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Stephanie – Not all states require an IHIP. However, even in NY, you have a lot of leeway in exactly how you fill out the form. This is just what worked for us!
Sandra Foyt´s last blog post ..Lose the Bulk with Omni-Heat

Amy October 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

I am just going to start homeschooling my 3rd grader and we livei n upstate NY. If I buy one of the 3rd grade full curriculum packages from the online stores is this all I need to complete the year? I am so confused on how to start this process, any info is apprecaited, thank you!!!

Mickela December 6, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Amy….Fall 2012 will be our first year of homeschool (only because my son’s tuition is already paid in full for this year). I have found a lot of resources that say you do not need to purchase a whole curriculum package if you do not want to. I fyou choose to do so make sure that it follows all of NY Regulations (not all do, some come from different states). Best of luck to you!! is a free site you may want to check out.

Safiye January 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

Thank you so much for all the time and effort that you put into this. I truly appreciate you sharing your world with us. We are Unschooling and loving it.

Previous post:

Next post: