New York State Homeschool Paperwork

What does your IHIP include? How much do you put in your Quarterly Reports?  These are common questions that get asked when it comes to fulfilling the New York State Homeschool Paperwork regulations.

New York State Homeschool Paperwork from Starts At Eight

New York is considered to be one of the most stringent states when it comes to their homeschool reporting regulations.  You can see a break down by state in this image from the Home School Legal Defense Association.

State Homeschool Laws

The homeschooling laws vary by state and range from no reporting at all – to a state like New York where there is paperwork due quarterly and then some!  While it may seem overwhelming at first, I have been homeschooling in New York State for years and find that once you do it a few times it gets easier and is not as scary.

I will outline a general overview of what paperwork is required to homeschool in New York State. Please note that I am not a lawyer and that there is no substitute for reading and understanding the NYS Homeschooling Regulations for yourself.

It is important to remember that the regulations have some wiggle room in them.  A district could choose to be very strict and insist on things like a certified teacher being needed for end of year assessments or they can choose to let a parent administer them.  Thus in much of the wording you will notice a kind of pattern, “this, this, or this….with the superintendent’s approval.”

Outline of New York State Homeschool Paperwork:

The Letter of Intent:

To homeschool in New York State you must start by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) to the superintendent of your school district.

“Parents or other persons in parental relation to a student of compulsory school attendance age shall annually provide written notice to the superintendent of schools of their school district of residence of their intention to educate their child at home by July first of each school year. The school year begins July first and ends June thirtieth.”

Sample LOI:

Dear __(Name of Superintendent)__,

I am writing this letter to let you know of my intent to home school ____(student’s full name)____ during the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.  He/She will be in ___ Grade.


Parent Signature

The Individualized Home Instruction Plan:

The Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) is basically a written statement of what you plan to cover with your child for the year.

Each child’s IHIP shall contain: (italics represent wording directly from NYS Regulations)

  1. the child’s name, age, and grade level;
  2. a list of the syllabi, curriculum materials, textbooks, or plan of instruction to be used in each of the required subjects listed in subdivision (e) of this section; (notice this is an “or” statement so you don’t have to do all of these)
  3. the dates for submission to the school district of the parents’ quarterly reports as required in subdivision (g) of this section. These reports shall be spaced in even and logical periods; (you can follow a reporting schedule like the schools quarters, divide the calendar year evenly into quarters, or any other variation you like)
  4. the names of the individuals providing instruction; and
  5. a statement that the child will be meeting the compulsory educational requirements of Education Law section 3205 through full-time study at a degree-granting institution, meaning enrollment for at least 12 semester hours in a semester or its equivalent, if that is the case. In this situation, the IHIP shall identify the degree-granting institution and the subjects to be covered by that study.

Homeschooling in New York State: Fulfilling Middle School Practical Arts from Starts At Eight

Quarterly Reports:

Once your LOI and IHIP are completed and accepted by your school district, it is your responsibility to follow through with your quarterly reports, submitting them in a timely manner on the dates you laid out in your IHIP.

The quarterly report shall contain the following: (italics represent wording directly from NYS Regulations)

  1. the number of hours of instruction during said quarter;
  2. a description of the material covered in each subject listed in the IHIP; (I usually list topics that were covered, field trips taken, outside activities, etc.)
  3. either a grade for the child in each subject or a written narrative evaluating the child’s progress; and
  4. a written explanation in the event that less than eighty percent of the amount of the course materials as set forth in the IHIP planned for that quarter has been covered in any subject.

In your Quarterly Report you would include what you have covered throughout the quarter.  For instance you may have seen a play, participated in sporting activities, covered chalk pastels in art or basic multiplication in math.  Beyond this you need to give an explanation of their progress and state the number of hours covered.  I just take the total number of hours required for each grade level (Grades 1-6 need 900 hours; grades 7-12 need 990 hours) and divide by 4.

Sample Quarterly Report:

Second Quarter Report 2013-2014
Grade 2

Subject: Mathematics
Material Covered: Work with telling time and time intervals, capacity (liters, gallons, quarts, pints and cups), picture graphs, basic geometry with flat and curved faces and work with square units.
Progress: Excellent

Subject: Reading/Writing/Spelling/English Language
Material Covered:
Continued work with plural nouns, learning when to use I/Me and We/Us, work with work with various types of verbs (tenses, irregular, linking), Do/Does/Did, Has/Have/Had; Weekly spelling practice; Learning basic computer skills and keyboarding; participating in a monthly book club; Read Pony Pals #3-10, The Magic School Bus Science Chapter Books #1-12
Progress: Excellent

Subject: Social Studies
Material Covered: Learning about patriotism and citizenship through exploring and participating in events in our area; studying various types of maps, continued work with continents and countries – geography and history of various countries.
Progress: Excellent

Subject: Science
Material Covered: Life Science including birds, and baby animals, as well as extensive work with animal adaptations such as hibernation, migration, and camouflage. One class at the RMSC – Exploring Space.
Progress: Excellent

Subject: Physical Education/Health
Material Covered: Swimming including Red Cross Certified lessons, track running, weekly tumbling classes at  (local Gymnastics place), and weekly horseback riding; fire safety; healthy eating and hygiene practices.
Progress: Excellent

Subject: Visual Arts/Music
Material Covered: clay creations, bead art, ornament making, bracelet making, finger knitting, water color and acrylic painting, and line drawing including work with perspective of overlapping buildings, and work with oil pastels; piano lessons and practice. Attended a play production of The Wizard of Oz.
Progress: Excellent

Summary: _(Student’s Name)__ has completed at least 225 hours of instruction this quarter and we have accomplished 100 percent of the material planned for this quarter. We are very satisfied with __(Student’s Name)___ progress in all subjects.

End of Year (Annual) Assessment:

When you are filing your 4th quarter report at the end of each year, it is also required that you have an annual assessment.  This can be either in written narrative form, or in the form of an approved norm referenced achievement test.  Some of the NYS approved tests are the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the California Achievement Test (CAT Test), the PASS Test (has been approved by the New York State Department of Education since March 6, 1995), the Stanford Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, the Metropolitan Achievement Test, a State Education Department test, or another test approved by the State Education Department.

In grades 1-3 you have the option of using a written narrative every year.  In grades 4-8 you need to test every other year (many choose grades 5&7 as then less testing is needed), and in grades 9-12 you must test every year. As I said above the option that you choose will have to be approved by the superintendent of your school.  In our district we are allowed to write the narrative as well as administer one of the approved tests.  In other districts a certified teacher is required for the narrative and/or to administer a test.

Many raise the question of  “To Test or Not to Test”.  In this article To Test or Not to Test …..That is The Question I explore more in depth making the choice to test, and why you might choose to do it more often or not, and how that fits in to the NYS regulations.

There is also an option of a “home instruction peer group review panel” that can be gathered together to review some of your child’s work and then basically sign off that they have viewed and believe your student to be in compliance with the regulations to achieve a passing grade.

Sample Assessment Wording:

For a Test:

To: ____________ School District

(student name) Annual Assessment 2013-2014 Grade ___

This is the homeschool annual assessment for _____________ for the 2013 – 2014 school year. Per 8 CRR-NY 100.10(h)(1)(i), we chose to administer the ___________ Test.  The test was administered under the supervision of and scored by the  ________________ (name of testing company), an authorized test provider.  As indicated on the attached report, ___________ achieved a composite score above the 33rd percentile, which is deemed adequate per 8 CRR-NY 100.10(1)(v).

This completes ___________’s reporting requirements for the 2013-2014 school year.
Parent Signature


For an Assessment:

To: ____________ School District

(student’s name) Annual Assessment 2013-2014 Grade ___

This is the homeschool written narrative assessment for _______________ for the 2013 – 1014 school year. Per 8 CRR-NY 100.10(h)(2)(iii) and following an interview and review of _____________’s work, I certify that __________ has made adequate academic progress. __________________ has substantially completed all requirements set forth in his/her IHIP, which was determined to be in compliance with 8 CRR-NY 100.10(d) and (e) per 8 CRR-NY 100.10(b)(5).

This completes ______________’s reporting requirements for the 2013-2014 school year.


Parent Signature

These are just some samples of the paperwork required for New York State Homeschool Paperwork.  There are endless ways to fulfill the requirements and this is in no way meant to represent the only way.  Often districts will send you their own forms to fill out.  You are not required to use their forms to fulfill your paperwork requirements.   Often the forms will require more information than the regulations, and sometimes they won’t have all the necessary information needed to fulfill the regulations.  You need to know the regulations and be sure that you fulfill them, no more and no less.

It is important to read the NYS Homeschooling Regulations for yourself.  They cover in detail each piece of paperwork as well as what topics/subjects are required to be covered for each grade.

New York State Homeschool Paperwork Checklist:

Here is what I call the New York State Homeschooling Regulations for Dummies Cheat Sheet!

New York State Homeschooling Regulations Cheat Sheet from Starts At Eight

While I know that none of us are “dummies”, this sheet was created to make your life more simple when it comes to knowing what is required of you concerning the New York State Homeschooling Regulations. This was created straight from the handwritten sheet I created for myself. I keep it paperclipped just inside my paperwork file so that it is easy to reference at any time.

It breaks down what is required to be taught each year from the basics of math, science, history and English, to electives for high school.

Download the full New York State Homeschooling Regulations for Dummies Cheat Sheet

 More About Homeschooling in New York State:

Homeschooling in New York State from Starts At Eight


Don’t live in New York State?

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Stephanie at Harrington Harmonies

Stacie at Homeschooling on a Dime

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