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Are you looking to start homeschooling in New York? Maybe you are in your early research stages and feeling overwhelmed and scared that you will do something wrong.
I know that is how I felt when I started looking into homeschooling here in New York. In my head, it was like “make one false move, and they will be coming to my door and taking my children away.”
Now that I have been homeschooling here in New York for over three years with two children, I feel more comfortable with all of the paperwork and requirements. I am more confident in the process and want to help you understand it and become more comfortable with it.
Homeschool Laws in New York
When deciding to homeschool the first step is to research your state laws. New York’s homeschooling laws and regulations require reporting to the Department of Education or DoE.
The paperwork and reading through the rules can feel overwhelming. I read through the rules at least three times just trying to understand it all. Take your time but don’t procrastinate! In this case, you want to adopt the Nike slogan and “Just Do It” because your brain will make it all the more difficult.
Homeschooling in New York begins at age six; that is when you need to send in your letter of intent and start all the documentation. As you are making your decision to homeschool, you are probably worrying about whether you need certification to teach your children – here in New York you do not.
To learn about the homeschool laws in our state gives each of us power and in time, confidence in this endeavor. The paperwork may seem daunting and time-consuming, but it helps us to stay organized and consistent with the documentation for the year. You can get more support for filling out the paperwork here.
Homeschooling in New York: Groups
Finding support as a homeschooler is always a good idea, between learning the law, filling out the paperwork, figuring out the end of the year assessments, finding tutors or resources, or just for support and encouragement.
To find homeschooling groups around you, check out this list of groups here in New York. If you are finding it difficult to find hyperlocal groups, it is always a great idea to create your own with a few local homeschool families or to use social media to help you through the homeschooling journey and to meet new people in your area.
We have a group which is geared towards New York but not limited on Facebook; we share a ton of resources, feel free to join us here.
Homeschool Classes in New York
Are you looking for classes geared towards homeschoolers? Every year New York City organizations and institutions advertise more courses For homeschooled children as well as public school students.
Here are some courses created just for homeschoolers:
- Koko NYC offers a workshop in Brooklyn, on map-making, boat-making, inventing and more.
- The Art Farm on Manhattan’s upper east side has animal-themed classes for children age one and up. Please scroll down on the classes page for their homeschoolers’ class for ages 5-8.
- Book Arts classes for kids with Stephanie Krause.
- Scribble Art Workshops, in Inwood and Dobbs Ferry.
- The Brooklyn Apple Academy
- Wendy Raver, history teacher (Hunter College Professor and homeschooling mom), teaches in the NYC museums, mostly history classes for teens. Classes are posted on her blog.
- CottageClass offers classes created for homeschoolers of all ages, in a wide variety of subjects, mostly located in Brooklyn but other locations as well.
- Brooklyn Music School.) offers “Intro To Instruments” specifically for homeschoolers. For more info contact Piruz Partow, Artistic Executive Director, at ppartow (at) brooklynmusicschool.org.
- Brooklyn Fencing classes for homeschoolers.
- Hills Learning has language classes for homeschoolers in midtown.
- Home School Gymnastics from Asphalt Green, for kids 4 – 12.
- The New-York Historical Society has a program for homeschoolers.
- Robofun has robotics classes for homeschoolers.
- ConstructionKids at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has special classes for homeschoolers.
- Jersey City Children’s Theater has homeschool classes.
- Extreme Kids in Brooklyn has free play sessions for homeschooled kids with special needs.
Homeschooling in New York: Socialization
A lot of people stress about socialization when it comes to homeschooling, but we are always around people whether you are keeping up with errands outside the home, visiting the library, going with a group on a field trip or partaking in a sport or a homeschool co-op there is always room for socializing.
Investigate your children’s personality and interests; this will help you figure out their learning style. There are lots of philosophies for ways to homeschool. There are also many ways to engage your child in learning. Taking the time to follow their lead and interests a little bit can make your homeschool a lot more successful.
You can find plenty of affordable and fun ways to support your child’s attention here in New York. For more about learning styles, you may be interested in Discover Your Child’s Learning Style: Personalized Learning for Student Success by Mariaemma Willis.
What Subjects are Required in New York?
Here in New York, we are required to teach twelve subjects including arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, English language, geography, united states history, science, health education, music, visual arts, and physical education.
It can be overwhelming to think of fitting it all in, but everything doesn’t have to be taught every day. Things can be clustered together, and unit studies can hit a variety of subjects in one lesson. Be creative and flexible, fitting it all in.
I know that it can be overwhelming to make all these decisions and to be responsible for so much, but, you got this. I love sharing my experience with homeschooling and helping my fellow homeschoolers thrive on this journey. It may seem like a lot, but once you start doing it, it is fun, exciting and most of all, worth it!
Let me know in the comments below: do you homeschool in New York? What are some of your favorite tips, resources and field trip ideas? I’d love to hear about them!
And if you’d love to have a printable resource to use to keep track of state homeschool requirements, key organizations, activities and field trip plans, and curriculum notes, grab a copy of my Curriculum & Activity Planner below (it’s free!):
Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.
About the Author
Christine Suarez is a homeschooling mom of two from Brooklyn, New York. She is the founder, owner and content creator of Blooming Brilliant, where she shares educational resources, parenting advice and information about homeschooling.
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