General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in New York
In New York, children must attend school (or be homeschooled) between the ages of 6 (if they turn 6 on or before December 1) and 16 (or until they graduate school). Any local school board can also vote to up the age of compulsory attendance for any child from 16 to 17 if a minor is not employed.
For a quick guide about homeschooling laws, check this short video below:
Parents are expected to file a notice to homeschool their child, provide a homeschooling plan to the local district superintendent, teach grade-specific subjects, maintain attendance records, teach 900 hours a year for grades 1-6 and 990 hours for grades 7-12, submit quarterly information reports, and file an annual assessment.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in New York
Homeschooling can begin at any time throughout the school year (or before the school year), but you must always send a letter of intent to homeschool. Your notice of intent to homeschool should be filed within 14 days of homeschooling beginning or within 14 days of moving to the state. You are also required to file a notice of intent on every subsequent year, sending it to your local superintendent by July 1 of each year.
A letter of intent in the state of New York only requires you to send a signed letter stating only your intent to homeschool your child. We always recommend that you send this by registered mail so that you know when it has been received (and keep a copy for yourself too).
Qualifications Required to Homeschool in New York
There are no parent/guardian qualifications needed to teach your child in the state of New York. You are responsible for what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are also no standardized tests needed to show that your child is gaining knowledge, but we recommend that you keep track of your child’s progress to show your local school board.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in New York
New York school law dictates that your child should meet the equivalent of 180 days of teaching per school year. Homeschool students are required to meet hourly attendance records and have 900 hours of tuition for each year in grades 1-6 and 990 hours for grades 7-12.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in New York?
For grades K-12, students should learn about patriotism and citizenship, substance abuse, traffic safety, and fire safety.
Grades 1-6 should learn about arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, English, geography, US history, science, health, music, visual arts, and physical education.
Grades 7-12 should add practical arts and library skills, and other electives. New York and US constitutions should be added around grade 8.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in New York?
There are no formal recordkeeping requirements in the state of New York but keeping records will help when you are filing your quarterly and annual reports. Once per quarter, you need to submit the total number of hours of instruction, a description of the material covered in each subject, and a grade or written evaluation in each subject. Your annual report should include everything for the school year.
New York law does not dictate what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are no laws surrounding how you assess your child or what records need to be kept. However, we recommend that you keep records of everything your child does or is involved in so that you can track their progress or any disputes.
Things to include in your records include proof of attendance, information on the resources you are using (including workbooks, textbooks, online resources, etc.), samples of your child’s work, any correspondence with school officials or boards, portfolios and test results, and any other homeschooling documents which prove that you are complying with homeschooling law and regulations.
We recommend keeping your records for two years, and the best way to store them is by scanning them into your computer and storing them in separate folders, grouped by the year your child was homeschooled.
Testing is an important part of recordkeeping in homeschooling even though there are no formalized requirements in the state of New York detailing what your child should be learning. You should be able to demonstrate that your child is learning and your assessments should be agreed upon before you start your homeschooling year. You should keep a record of all your child’s assessments to display that your child is learning.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in New York?
Yes. Under New York education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child can take regular school classes as part of their homeschooling education and can split their time between home and school (as long as the school offers this).
Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Any homeschoolers who live with a disability are also eligible for services through their local public school (the same services which students with disabilities would receive if they were enrolled in public school).
You should submit a letter of intent if you wish for your child to participate in any public school programs.
Homeschool children are not allowed to participate in intramural sports.
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in New York?
Yes, and it is encouraged. Homeschool children are permitted to participate in any other extracurricular activities, whether it be with a public school or another organization.
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of New York, you may want to visit the New York State Loving Education At Home website.