I never planned to homeschool my children. When my youngest was just two days old, we moved into a lovely neighborhood in an award-winning school district of New York’s Capital Region. The elementary school looked like something out of a Normal Rockwell illustration of a bygone America, and when my children entered the school, it proved to be just as welcoming and community-driven as I had imagined.

The public school was great, but it wasn’t a good fit for my children. We tried.  Both kids attended the elementary school for several years, and my daughter went all the way. But when she transitioned into middle school, we sent her to a private school and gave homeshooling a whirl with my son.

We had a good run, homeschooling Alex from 2nd-5th Grade. It’s over now. For middle school, my son insisted on following his sister to the small, alternative private school.

That’s alright. It was wonderful while it lasted, and the entire family has benefited from this experience. Alex is becoming a confident, engaged life-long learner who has had the opportunity to explore interests without limitations. His transition into traditional schooling was easy, and midyear reports were uniformly glowing. I was particularly pleased with the number of adults who described my son as a very polite young man.

We must have done something right.

On The Journey Mom, I kept a journal of our homeschool adventures, as well as a record of all the documents that we were required to file to homeschool in our school district. New York homeschool regulations are extensive and very demanding, but there is still much room for individual interpretation. I’ve posted our documents so that readers can see how we did it, but please bear in mind that the beauty of homeschooling is that you CAN do it your own way.

Read the Warning Label! This by no means is the only way to home school in New York, and be aware that due to the “fuzziness” of the language, some of the requirements are open to interpretation.  When in doubt, refer to Section 100.10 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  You may also want to refer to New York State Education Department’s General Q& A and/or Core Curriculum Guidance.

I also highly recommend the New York Home Educators’ Network Yahoo Group, where you will get prompt answers and support from long-time homeschoolers around the state in most (if not all) school districts.

And if you’d like to hear what my son has to say about his learning adventures, visit his Alex and Leperdy blog.

I think the hardest part of homeschooling is trying to figure out how to get started; once you’re doing it, it’s not so hard at all. For advice on how to get started homeschooling, click the link to watch a short video from my TV appearance on the Fox 23 Parentology Show. Or find more real world answers on How to Find Homeschoolers in the Capital Region.


New York Home School Requirements, Grade 2:

1) Letter of Intent to Homeschool in New York

2) Individualized Home Instruction Plan – Grade 2

3) First Quarter – Homeschool Quarterly Report

4) Second Quarter – Homeschool Quarterly Report 2nd Grade

5) Third Quarter – Homeschool Quarterly Report: 2nd Grade, 3rd Quarter

6) Fourth Quarter and End of Year Assessment  – End of Year Homeschool Reports In New York

New York Home School Requirements, Grade 3:

1) Letter of Intent to Homeschool in New York (identical to LOI, Grade 2)

2) Individualized Home Instruction Plan – Grade 3

3) First Quarter – Home School Quarterly Report, 3rd Grade I

4) Second Quarter – Home School Quarterly Report, 3rd Grade II

5) Third Quarter - 10 Steps To A Home School Report (includes 3rd Quarter Report)

6) Fourth Quarter – Home School Quarterly Report, Grade 3 IV

7) End of Year Assessments – Assessments and the Homeschooled Student

New York Home School Requirements, Grade 4:

1) Letter of Intent to Homeschool in New York (identical to LOI, Grade 2 & 3)

2) Individualized Home Instruction Plan, Grade 4

3) Home Instruction Quarterly Report, 4th Grade I

4) Home Instruction Quarterly Report, 4th Grade II

5) Home Instruction Quarterly Report, 4th Grade III

6) Home Instruction Quarterly Report, 4th Grade IV and Annual Assessment

New York Home School Requirements, Grade 5:

1) Letter of Intent to Homeschool in New York (identical to LOI, Grade 2 & 3 &4)

2) Individualized Home Instruction Plan, Grade 5

P.S. I kept meaning to file forms in 5th Grade, but lost momentum knowing that he would be attending a private school in the fall. This did not turn out to be a problem at all.

My Home School Library:

Starting out in home schooling is scary, there is so much on the line, and it’s hard to know what’s best. Find out how to conquer first-time jitters in Deschooling Gently, Learning Passionately.

Discover The Well Trained Mind, core curriculum for a Classical Education, in Is It a Book Review or Affiliate Marketing?

Take a peek into my Homeschool Library in Are You Living By Learning?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

fran November 7, 2008 at 1:33 pm

this is great! thanks!

One silly question………….. what do you do if you want to start homeschooling mid-year?

fran November 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm

ok yeah, i am just going through the more of the links here and …… you rock!

this is all laid out “nice and pretty like” for me to follow!

a life saver to be sure!

sam November 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm

I am considering pulling my first grade son out of public school and homeschooling him, but I’m not sure where to start, such as curriculum wise, books, learning supplies… I drowned in all the information online and couldn’t seem to find anything that wasn’t completely just general in nature. Do you have any info that may help me get started? Anything would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Sandra Foyt November 6, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I highly recommend Cathy Duffy’s guide as it helped me sort through the many options to find the one(s) that work for my son and I:

100 Top Picks For Homeschool Curriculum – Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your Child’s Learning Style (Cathy Duffy, 2005)

Michelle Velez April 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Your website has helped me more than you could imagine. Thank you so much for making our home-school experience a smoother one!

Anita December 10, 2013 at 6:36 am

Hola! I’vе been following yοur blοg for some
time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give
you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to mention keep
up the fantastiс work!
Anita´s last blog post ..Anita

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