Do I need to join Homeschool New York or a local Chapter to legally homeschool?
No, you do not. There is no law requiring you to be part of an organization or local Chapter. That said, those groups are very helpful for connecting with other like-minded families and for sharing ideas and obtaining support.
What about socialization?
Field trips and group activities can complement a curriculum and provide social time for children and adults. Most Homeschool New York chapters offer social events, including field trips and other activities outside of the home. Families can also participate in academic projects such as science fairs and competitions. Gym, art and music classes, ballet, scouts, organized sports, and church involvement all provide additional socialization opportunities.
What am I required to tell the school?
When you are set to begin you will be required to send the district a Letter of Intent to homeschool. If your child is withdrawing from school, the district may also ask you to provide a withdrawal request. Once the district responds, you will be responsible to develop an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) for each student, selecting your four dates to send quarterly reports on each of your compulsory-aged children. We strongly suggest getting Homeschool New York’s Regulatory Manual for more information on these documents and the timeline for their submission. (For families residing in the NYC boroughs, paperwork submission will be via email with the Central Office of Homeschooling https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enrollment-help/home-schooling)
Can I have someone homeschool my child for me?
Well, yes and no. You are the supervisor and must sign the IHIP as the responsible party for the education of your child. You need to plan your child’s education, but you do not personally have to teach it all yourself. There are co-op classes for homeschoolers, clubs, and other options to fulfill requirements. For example, your child can take a community art class or computer class at a local college. Bottom line: You are allowed to delegate some of your child’s education. Refer to the Regulatory Manual for a more in depth discussion of this question.
How can I set myself up for success?
Pray fervently. Get involved with other homeschooling families. Make it a lifestyle. Let your child know they are important and this is best for their education. Work hard. Do not become discouraged if the first year set you back, especially if the child has been in an institutional setting. It will take time (maybe a full year) to “undo” the classroom style. Let go of your own preconceived ideas of what “school” should look like. It’s very likely to be different from where you’ll end up after homeschooling for a few years.
God bless you in your homeschool adventures!
How do I join Homeschool New York?
Membership in Homeschool New York is through a local chapter, or families can choose to be At-large members. Chapters typically provide opportunities to meet with experienced home educators, field trips, athletic activities, and various other events. Our support groups are organized in eight geographic regions covering the state. Contact your Regional Representatives to find a chapter near you.
LEAH is a Christian Homeschool organization, and as such adheres to Christian principles and precepts. We ask all our group (chapter) leaders to sign the Statement of Faith. Some chapters also require each member to sign the Statement of Faith indicating agreement with it. Other chapters do not have this requirement, or may simply ask that you understand and respect the Christian basis of LEAH.
As long as you can meet and adhere to a particular chapter’s requirements, you may join a LEAH chapter. Keep in mind that leadership roles may be limited by additional requirements. All leaders are expected to be part of a local fellowship.
There are many chapters available. Click HERE for more information.
LEAH trips are generally planned for LEAH members. However, it is always at the discretion of the LEAH Chapter Leader. Insurance matters may weigh in to the decision of the chapters’ leaders – please be sensitive to this in the world in which we live.
Contact your Regional Representative. It is a fairly simple process. You have to fill out a straightforward application and give your Christian testimony and homeschool experience and have an interview with the Regional Representative for your area. They are eager to help you.
Homeschool New York offers fellowship with Christian homeschoolers, educational trips, learning cooperatives and general activities with other homeschoolers. Much of the support comes through your local chapter. Homeschool New York publishes a quarterly print magazine, The Messenger, that has practical and inspirational information. Chapter-based cooperatives have access to insurance coverage. 501(c)3 benefits can be extended to chapters that opt for this (requires a one-time fee). This benefit enables chapters to participate in programs like “Boxtops for Education” and receiving donations while crediting the donor with tax exemption. Homeschool New York has also partnered with several companies who serve homeschoolers to provide discounts and exclusive access to certain products and services. Click here to see an updated list of these benefit.
Homeschool is not a decision to be made lightly. In fact, successful homeschoolers are those who have prayerfully considered and PREPARED for their decision to homeschool. Preparation includes reading up on how to homeschool, visiting support groups and speaking with other homeschoolers. This takes time. Also please be advised Our organization will not testify for you nor represent you in any legal proceeding.
Speak with your chapter leaders or read the Regulatory Manual first. Most chapter leaders offer help with new homeschoolers or can mentor new homeschoolers. You will be best prepared if you read the Regulatory Manual first before speaking with your Chapter Leader.
The majority of personal contacts can be made within the LEAH Chapter. Veteran home-educating parents are available, but please keep in mind LEAH is a volunteer organization run by volunteer parents. Please respect their time and do not telephone during traditional school hours or obvious family times or late night. Please email Chapter leaders. They will direct you to services and support within the group.
No. LEAH is an organization which offers encouragement and support to parents who are homeschooling their own children through local LEAH Chapters.
You begin reporting when the child is compulsory school age which is “a minor who becomes six years of age on or before the first of December in any school year…until the last day of session in the school year in which the minor becomes sixteen years of age” or completes high school. It does not matter how advanced your child is when he or she first turns the age of six
Currently, NYS does not have dual enrollment. If your child is enrolled in high school they fall under the auspices of your local school district. LEAH is a support group for parents who are educating their children at home full time.
Homeschool students do not get public/government high school diplomas because they are not public high school students. The NY State Education Department has information regarding the specific options that homeschoolers have to validate their homeschool equivalency in order to attend college in New York. These are explained in greater detail in the Regulatory Manual . Know that homeschoolers have been graduating for decades and they do well in their adult life – in college, in business, at home. Check research done by Dr. Brian Ray at the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI). HSLDA has a collection of many articles and research that document the success of our students in life.
It is never too late to homeschool, however, please see the above.