We are frequently asked questions regarding homeschooling. This list has just been formulated, and is under construction. We hope what we have so far, will assist some of you!

Isn't homeschooling difficult? I don't think I can do it.

Society has convinced people that they need a degree, in order to teach their children. Nothing could be further from the truth! What you need is love! If you're considering homeschooling, meet other homeschoolers and ask their advice. There are many avenue's to take.

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I've missed the July 1st "deadline". Does this mean I cannot homeschool until next year?

No! July 1st is not a "deadline". It is a requested date to submit your Letter of Intent. We do urge parents to try to submit their letter of intent by the July 1st requested date, when possible. It is for your benefit, as well as the school districts. However, if you should miss the requested July 1st date (events happen in our lives), or if you decided to homeschool after this date, simply submit your letter of intent. No explanation is necessary. It is not recommended that your send a letter describing your reasons, etc. A simple letter of intent is all that is required. See our "Regs" page for information on the "letter of intent."

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School has already begun, do I have to wait for the next school year to begin?

No! Part 100.10 of regulations of the commissioner of education, (b) (2), supplied by NYS SED (See "Regulations" for how to obtain a copy), address this issue in the FAQ's as well.

100.10 (b) (2) reads as follows:

"Parents who determine to commence home instruction after the start of the school year, or who establish residence in the school district after the start of the school year, shall provide written notice of their intention to educate their child at home within fourteen (14) days following the commencement of home instruction within the school district."

Some families choose to notify their district just prior to a vacation, when beginning homeschooling during the school year..

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The paper work looks overwhelming. How do you do it?

Talk with other homeschoolers. It looks upsetting and cumbersome, at first. But, you can do it. As much as many of us would like to see us have less paper work, so we can spend this time with our children, it is not difficult. See our summary of the regulations.

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Will my child be socialized?

Absolutely! Many parents worry about this. They have been convinced that children "need" to be in a classroom with other children. What they need is support and love. Homeschooling advocates non-age-segregated socialization. There are many avenues for children to socialize. For some families, they are not happy with the form of socialization offered in schools.

We highly recommend HEM's article on socialization. (See the magazine section of our "Homeschool Resources" page, for ways to contact HEM.)

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How do I select a curriculum?

There are many paths to home-educating (See our "Homeschooling Methods" page)

Also, refer to our "Homeschooling Resources" page for names and addresses of some curriculum options.

Selecting your family's style of education will be part of the education in itself, for you and your child. You will learn to explore together the many ways your child can learn, and adapt to what your child is most comfortable with. It is all part of the journey of learning together, and insight!

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How do I write my letter of intent?

Visit our "Homeschool Regulations" site.

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Are their graduation ceremonies, for older children?

Some organizations offer such. Clonlara homeschooling, is one such place, if you belong to Clonlara (See our "Homeschool Resources" page, under "curriculums".) Some homeschoolers form their own ceremonies, with fellow "graduates".

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Can a homeschool child attend college?

YES! To our shocking surprise, there are many people who do not realize this. Many many homeschooled children attend college. The numbers are increasing by leaps and bounds. There are a variety of avenues one can take to attending college.

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My family/in-laws are against homeschooling. Can I still homeschool successfully?

Yes! You are not alone. You will find comfort within the homeschool community, in this area.

They may not understand homeschooling. But that cannot hinder you from doing what is best for your family. Join a homeschool group. Join homeschool organization. Join homeschool lists/loops. There is a lot of support out there.

We caution families of falling into the trap of trying to "prove" their child is learning, to relatives. If they are against homeschooling, this will not help. Neither is it healthy for your child - or your sanity. You know your child is learning, and your child knows. Your confidence in your homeschooling decision will speak for itself. And your ability to not be goated into "proving" yourself, will show your confidence.

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My spouse isn't sure homeschooling is the right decision. What can I do?

Make a list of pro's and con's to your spouse. Address each one. Get articles supporting your decision (see "Homeschool Resources" for some excellent magazines, and book resources). Introduce your spouse to other homeschool families. When your spouse sees how happy your child is, he/she will come to feel more confident. Include the spouse in homeschool activities, as much as he/she is willing. Make it a family affair with projects and trips, when possible.

Don't forget, your spouse may be receiving negative feedback from co-workers and family. Ask your spouse not to discuss it with these people, and make a decision on his/her own experience.

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What if I don't know a subject? How do I teach it?

There are many options for this seeming dilemma. For one thing, you will be surprised at how much you do know. If your spouse is willing, they can fill in and help out with certain subjects.

You will find out that many parents delve into research, right along with their children. This is an enriching experience for you and your child! Your child is working with a team effort. It is socializing and cooperating. It is learning to research and grow. It is showing your child how to delve into an answer. And, how to work with others to find answers.

Some homeschoolers get together with other homeschoolers, and teach one another. This can be done in a variety of ways. Child to child. Another homeschool parent, and/or a homeschool co-op learning effort/workshop.

Other methods include courses at other places. For example, many science, history and art museums (to name a few) offer educational courses. Zoo's and aquariums often offer educational courses. County Cooperatives do also. There are clubs and organizations, which often offer courses.

Depending on the age of your child, for the "high school" child, your local community college will most likely offer non-credited courses in certain subject areas.

This is all part of the growing experience in homeschooling. Which, also, teaches our children how to search out and seek the answers to what they are looking for.

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How is the annual assessment done?

Annual assessments are done any number of ways. In some instances:

  • The parent performs the annual assessment.

  • Some parents hire a teacher to perform these assessments.
  • There are families who come together, and yearly perform a "group" assessment. That is, a group of parents come together and evaluate one another's children.
  • Some families utilize the services of whomever provides their curriculum. Clonlara is one such place, which provides families with annual assessments (see our "Resources" page for a list of Curriculum's).
  • While we are not aware of a family doing this, some may choose to go to their district and request that an annual assessment be done by a teacher there.
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What is an annual assessment, and how is it written?

Annual assessment's vary in content and style. However, the core is the same. An annual assessment is merely an overall summation of the topic covered that school year, with a verbal explanation of how the child did in these areas. It is basically a summation of the quarterly reports.

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What options do I have when testing?

There are a variety of testing options to choose from. Below is a list of just SOME of these options:

California Achievement Test

-- Please come back soon, this area was not yet completed. --

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Who may administer the test?

The options here are similar to that of the Annual Assessment. We will cite directly from the regulations:

100.10 of Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (h)(1)(ii)

"The test shall be administered in accordance with one of the following options to be selected by the parents:

(a)at the public school, or its professional staff; or

(b)at a registered nonpublic school, by its professional staff, provided that the consent of the chief school officer of the nonpublic school is obtained; or

(c)at a nonregistered nonpublic school, by its professional staff, provided that the consent of the superintendent of school of the school district and of the chief school officer of the nonpublic school is obtained;; or

(d)at the parents' home or at any other reasonable location, by a New York State certified teacher or by another qualified person, provided that the superintendent has consented to having said certified teacher or other person administer the test;

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