Homeschool Paperwork for NYS Requirements | Grades 1-6

A mom makes notes at a computer.

The homeschool paperwork required by New York State can be a hinderance to families looking to begin homeschooling. While it may be more than some states, it does not have to be intimidating. We want to make the homeschool paperwork easy for you, so you can focus on more important things, like your family. Below are some tips and templates to help you as you report for your child in grades 1-6.

Please note that Rochester Mom Collective wants to make homeschooling easier for you, however the following is not legal information or advice. You should always make sure to read and know the official NYS Regulations to ensure you are fulfilling all of the requirements. If you have questions, the New York State Homeschooling Q & A Facebook group is a valuable resource.

Things to Know

  • Homeschoolers in New York are required to report (send paperwork to their local school district) for each child that turns 6 before December 1st of that school year and is younger than age 16. It is beneficial for many homeschoolers to continue reporting through graduation.
    • You are not required to report for your child’s kindergarten year, if they do not turn 6 before December 1st, however, you may choose to report, if you wish.
  • Paperwork should be sent to your local school district’s superintendent. They may also ask you to send it to another person who keeps track of the homeschooling paperwork.
  • Make sure to keep copies of all of your paperwork.
  • Make sure to keep proof of everything you submit. Sending paperwork through registered mail or email allows you to have a paper trail to track in case something goes “missing”.
  • The homeschooling year in New York is from July 1st to June 30th.
  • Homeschooled students are required to receive the equivalent of 180 days of instruction each school year. Students in grades 1-6 are required to receive 900 hours of instruction each year.
    • A parent should have a printed calendar or planner available to record absences/missed school days. This does not have to be turned into the school district unless they specifically ask for it.
  • The files below are fillable PDFs. You can save them to your computer as a template. After you fill them out, you can “print” them as a PDF so you can send a PDF version that cannot be altered. 

The Basics of the Paperwork for Grades 1-6

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI)
  2. Individual Home Instruction Plan (IHIP)
  3. Quarterly Reports (4 throughout the year)
  4. Written Narrative/Annual Assessment

Letter of Intent (LOI)

A Letter of Intent is a brief letter to inform your school district that you are going to homeschool. It is the first piece of paperwork that you send in when you begin, and again at the beginning of each school year. It must be sent to the school district by July 1st, or within two weeks of pulling your child out of a formal school setting.

Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP)

An IHIP is your plan for what you will use to teach the required subjects. It can be submitted with your LOI, or within 10 days of submitting your LOI. Your school district should send you a form that you can use to create your IHIP, but you are not required use it. The school district must reply to let you know if your IHIP fulfills the NYS requirements. If it does not, you may resubmit it. New York State tells homeschoolers what subjects they must cover, but homeschoolers may choose how to teach them.

NYS requires the following subjects to be taught every year in grades 1-6:
  • arithmetic
  • reading
  • spelling
  • writing
  • English language
  • geography
  • United States history
  • science
  • health education
  • music
  • visual arts
  • physical education
  • bilingual education and/or English as a second language where the need is indicated
The following courses must be taught at least once during the first eight grades:
  • United States history
  • New York State history
  • the Constitution of the United States
  • The Constitution of New York State
NYS requires the following topics to be taught during Kindergarten through 12th grade:
  • patriotism and citizenship
  • health education regarding alcohol, drug, and tobacco misuse
  • highway safety and traffic regulations, including bicycle safety
  • fire and arson prevention and safety

Quarterly Reports

You must submit your quarterly reports 4 times throughout the school year. You may choose your own dates, as long as you space them out reasonably. They are generally submitted in the fall, winter, spring, and at the end of the school year (by June 30th). These inform the school district that you are meeting the requirements and completing the work outlined on your IHIP. If something changes in your educational approach, you may inform them on your report. You may also inform the school of the type of Annual Assessment you plan to do, and who will proctor it, by your third Quarterly Report (for grades 4+).

Written Narrative

For grades 1-3, a Written Narrative is required with the fourth Quarterly Report, stating that the child adequately completed all of the required work, and is advancing to the next grade. The Written Narrative is usually done by the parents, however, you may also specify that a New York State certified teacher, a home instruction peer group review panel, or other person, may interview the child and review a portfolio of the child’s work and write a Written Narrative, if you prefer. A Written Narrative may also be submitted as an alternative assessment to standardized testing every-other year from grades 4-12.

Annual Assessment

Annual Assessments are required for grades 4 and up. This is a standardized test to show that your child is making adequate academic progress. You may choose which test to give to your child from the approved list. You are responsible for purchasing the test and making sure it is properly administered (by yourself or a school professional). You need to inform the school of the type of Annual Assessment you plan to do, and who will proctor it, by your third Quarterly Report (for grades 4+). At the end of the school year, you must submit the results of your child’s Annual Assessment. A test is only required every other year, and can be substituted with a Written Narrative on off-years.

  • You may choose to give the test at the end of grades 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 and submit a Written Narrative at the end of grades 5, 7, 9, and 11.
    • This schedule has 5 years of testing.
  • You may give the test at the end of grades 5, 7, 9, and 11 and submit a Written Narrative at the end of grades 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
    • This schedule has 4 years of testing.
New York State approved assessments include:

Homeschooling is a great option for many families for a variety of reasons. Rochester has an active and informed community to support and guide you through the process. Joining a co-op or other group offers many benefits including socialization, academic support, and advice. Check out our Guide to Homeschool Co-ops and Groups in Rochester to get plugged in to the community!

Guide To Homeschool Co-ops And Groups In Rochester

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