May 30, 2013

Individualized Home Instruction Plan: New York State

After you submit your LOI and receive your packet from your school district, you need to prepare and submit your Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) within 4 weeks, or no later than August 15th. 

This step freaked me out the most my first time around, but a thorough reading of the New York State Dept. of Education home instruction regulations coupled with some samples I found on the internet helped me figure it out.  Even so, I erred on the side of caution, and my IHIPs are much more detailed than they need to be to meet the State's requirements.

Really all you need to include is your child's name, age, grade level, a list of the main resources you plan to use in each subject (a list of required subjects can also be found in the regulations), the dates you'll be submitting your quarterly reports, and the names of who will be teaching your child (i.e., you).

But, since I didn't want to run into any problems with the school district down the road, I went a little further than that.  I included a paragraph describing our approach to education and some of the resources we'll pull from, as well as a brief summary of the topics to be covered in each subject.

Below is the IHIP form I submit to our Superintendent:
INTRODUCTION:

We are creating an integrated, interest-based curriculum using a hands-on approach to learning.  As such, materials and activities listed in one subject area may also apply to other subject areas.  In addition, we believe that one of the great strengths of homeschooling is the flexibility to individualize the child’s learning experience so that skills and knowledge are learned at the time the child is most ready and motivated.  In keeping with that belief, the materials we will use may include, but not be limited to, the following list as well as the resources listed under each subject heading below:  reference materials (including atlases, dictionaries, maps, encyclopedias, non-fiction books, videos, DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers, and internet resources), classic and contemporary literature, workbooks, worksheets, journal/narrative/poetry writing, creative thinking, fact gathering, music, hands-on activities, experiments, projects, field trips, group activities, art supplies, free play, conversations, Christian Service Brigade (similar to Boy Scouts), and real life.  We provide a rich and varied educational environment at home for Brandt and also take advantage of the many library, community, and internet resources available.
ARITHMETIC:  Place value, adding, and subtracting; multiplying whole numbers and decimals; dividing with one- and two-digit divisors; data, graphs, and probability; geometry; fraction concepts; fraction operations; measurement; measuring solids; ratio, proportion, and percent; introduction to algebra.
Primary Resource:  Scott Foresman – Addison Wesley Mathematics for grade 5.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE (including reading, writing, and spelling):  Penmanship (Zaner-Bloser cursive writing), vocabulary, grammar, spelling, listening skills, telephone skills, creative writing, written and oral book reports, dictionary skills, silent and oral reading, poetry, and short stories.
Primary Resources:  Alpha Omega Horizons Penmanship Curriculum for Grade 5; Scott Foresman’s Reading Street for grade 5
SOCIAL STUDIES (including U.S. history and geography):  Exploring the New World; Colonial American life; 13 Colonies; new lands; the U.S. becomes a world leader; transportation and communication; the U.S. – one nation, many regions; our Southern neighbors; Canada.
Primary Resources:  Alpha Omega Monarch curriculum for Grade 5; Geography through Art, by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini.
SCIENCE:  Cells; plant life cycle; animal life cycle; balance in nature; transformation of energy; flood; fossils; geology; cycles in nature.
Primary Resources:  Alpha Omega Monarch curriculum for Grade 5.
HEALTH/SAFETY:  Building healthy habits, taking care of your lungs (effects of drug, alcohol and tobacco misuse); relationships; adolescent changes; being part of a family; emergency first aid; food and nutrients; patriotism and citizenship; highway safety; fire safety.
Primary Resources:  Alpha Omega Horizons Health Curriculum for Grade 5; How We Learn, How We Grow, How Our Bodies Work, and How We Learn, by Joe Kaufman.
MUSIC:  Study of different types of musical instruments, both modern and historical.  Jonnie will also begin piano lessons this year.
Primary Resource:  Music, by Eyewitness Books.
VISUAL ARTS:  Introduction to various genres and artists will occur in numerous other subject areas and through genre-specific art lessons and projects.
Primary Resources:  Geography through Art, by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini; Kids’ Art Works!, by Sandi Henry.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION:  Daily outdoor play, seasonal activities (swimming, biking, hiking, snow sports), sports camp, little league, and fitness education.
Primary Resource:  Ultimate Homeschool Physical Education Game Book, by Guy Bailey.
BIBLE (NOT REQUIRED):  Living for God; Angels; the presence of God; Bible methods and structure; proving what we believe; authority and law.   
Primary Resources:  Alpha Omega Lifepac Bible curriculum for Grade 5; Holy Bible, New International Version.
SPANISH (NOT REQUIRED):  Elementary Spanish.           
Primary Resource:  Alpha Omega Monarch curriculum.

Primary instruction to Jonnie will be provided by Jane Doe and John Doe, his parents.  Supplemental instruction will be provided by others, as necessary.

Jane A. Doe

Again, you don't need to go into as much detail as I do in order to meet the State's requirements, but if you tend toward paranoia, like I do, you might find it reassuring.

My school district sends us a form to fill out for the dates on which we'll submit our quarterly reports.  I just use their form, because it's straightforward, and doesn't infringe on any of our home schooling rights (something that is important to me).  You can choose any 4 dates you desire, but I find it simpler to use the dates suggested by the State (November 15th, January 30th, April 15th, and June 30th).

They also send a form for the entire contents of the IHIP, but, if your school does the same, you are NOT obligated to use it.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave them in the comments. 

Coming up... Quarterly Reports

Previous post... Letter of Intent to Home School


32 comments:

  1. Your writing is done so well. Thank you so much. God's Blessings All Around. Lisa

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I'm glad you appreciated it. :-)

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  2. You have valuable info here! A couple questions: 1. You don't have to enroll until age 6, but if you were not homeschooling your kid would be in kindergarten at age 5 -- since I'm not enrolling my 5 y/o in K do I need to inform the school he's not going to K??? (He's going to K at home unofficially/unregistered), 2. Do you use the same loi and ihip for multiple kids/multiple grades or do you change it kid by kid/grade by grade --- well the changing the resources/subjects would be necessary . thanks for your help: starting kindergarten fall 2014!!

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    1. Sarah, I'm glad you're finding it helpful. In answer to your questions: (1) You do not need to inform the school of anything until your child turns 6. (2) Whatever format you decide to use for your LOI and IHIP you can re-use every year, for all grade levels, and all kids. I save mine onto my computer, then just update the information for the new year. Hopefully that answered your question. If not, I'll try again. :-) Good luck!

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  3. Janelle WilliamsJanuary 14, 2015

    Hello, I have 3 children, grades K, 2 and 4 and we've recently moved to NY. I've had experiences with public schools here and decided that this time around I'd enroll them in charter school but that in itself is a journey, we've been placed on a waiting lists that could last for 4 months before getting a response. With the wait on our hands, I've decided to home instruct and so far I've registered with an online program, timeforlearning.com and I'm unsure of where I should go from there. Timeforlearning has a set curriculum for each grade but I also want to use my own books, lesson plans and quizzes. When filling out the IHIP forms, do I include the lesson plans for the online program? Can I print their curriculum and attach for each student?

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    1. Janelle, you don't need to include lesson plans in your IHIP. You can definitely just print out the curriculum for each student. Really all that is required is what resource you'll use for each subject. The school district doesn't need to know how or when or in what way you'll be teaching those things. Good luck! I'm happy to help with any more questions you may have.

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  4. Hi there! I came across this site and loved the example of your IHIP. SUPER HELPFUL! I have a question...today is Aug 15, we were going to send my 6 yr old to a Christian school and decided last minute God wanted us to homeschool again. He turned six back in May and he'll be going into 1st grade. I just sent my LOI today via mail. Do you know if it's too late to do all this? I read somewhere to have it in by July. And do we just wait for the school district to mail us our IHIP to fill out and return? We live in NYS. Thank you so much for any advice :)

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    1. Hello! My apologies for not responding sooner. My family and I have been on vacation. As to your question, it is not too late to get started. You can choose to pull your kids from public school at any point in the year. The regulations make it so that you need to turn in your LOI within 2 weeks after making the decision to homeschool. You also do not need to wait for the school to send you your packet before you send in your IHIP. In fact, I would advise against filling out any forms the school gives you, as that is not a legal requirement. You can create your own IHIP and send it in at any time after you send your LOI, or even at the same time as your LOI. As long as the school receives it by the designated time according to the regulations, which is within 4 weeks of when you receive your packet from the school. Good luck!

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    2. oh thank goodness for that answer, i was just wondering if Sept 3 is too late... i figured it must not be but I'm so ready for my second grade to be home school, kindergarten and 1st grade in public school taught her way to much of the stuff you'd fear she's learn.

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  5. this is awesome but kind of overkill. they don't check anything and it's amazing how much they do not cover in school. Other than math, everything is selective and they're overdoing it in early grades confusing kids. So I feel that other than math, you have enormous flexibility and don't need to overstate your year. Most parents with 1:1 can do what schools do in small fraction of time.

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    1. Yes, but NYS requires all these subjects, so we have to cover something. As I stated in the post, though, the sample IHIP I posted was overkill, as I err on the side of caution, because I know of cases in which the schools have given people a hard time.

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    2. Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I also live in New York (up-upstate ;)) New York and have really struggled with knowing how much is too much for the IHIP versus "not enough". This is SUCH a finicky state and not what I would consider "supportive" of the homeschooling family. While I am still so new to the whole experience I have already dealt with school districts making things difficult and without real reason to do so. Generally, I lean towards the cautionary side and include much more than is needed which is WAY MORE overkill than yours and I am so relieved to see your sample and know that I can scale mine back. Again, Thank You!

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    3. You're very welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful. I think you'll find that the longer you homeschool, and the more familiar with the regulations you get, the less cautious you'll become. Good luck on your journey!

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  6. Hello. I decided to home school my son midway into the school year and I found myself scrambling around and becoming very confused with what I needed to do. I must tell you, coming across your blog here has SAVED me!! I looked at your Music description and you saved me from spending almost $200 dollars. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!! Your blog is the best informational help I have come across this entire web world. I can't thank you enough!

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    1. Wow! Thank you for the kind words! I'm so glad you found my information helpful. Best of luck in your homeschooling journey!

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  7. Hello and thank you for this informative post. I have a question regarding registering my son even though he is only 5 and will be entering kindergarten. I want to make sure that i am prepared and well acquainted with all the requirements that will need to be done. I know that it is not required to submit a LOI for kindergarten but i would like to know if i can and if the school will send and treat it as if it was required?

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  8. Honestly, that's not something I've come up against before. I feel as though they would treat it as if it was required, but I supposed there's the chance they would simply tell you that you don't need to do anything. Unfortunately, I can't be any more help than that on this issue. I do have to ask, though - why do you want to begin schooling sooner than required?

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  9. I will be starting our homeschooling journey this coming school year (2016/2017). I am in NY and I was worried about how to go about writing my IHIP. Your information has been so helpful, Thank you so much for sharing!!

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    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad you found it helpful. Good luck on your journey!

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  10. I'm between a rock & a hard place but reading this highly informative post has definitely helped. However, I have many unanswered questions & can't seem to find a source to help! If you do indeed read this & I could ask you via text ,email or messenger some questions, I would be fo ever grateful.

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    1. Tina, I'm happy to help in any way I can. You're welcome to post your questions here or visit my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FourSquarePegs/) and message me there.

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  11. Hi thank you so much this has been so helpful. My daughter turns 6 on December 10th of this year. we are in NY state, if so I was planning to submit my LOI for kindergarten by the first of August. is this right or do I have to submit it for the next school year? (2017)

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    1. First, I apologize for not responding sooner. I was away over the weekend. As to your question, NYS compulsory age of attendance kicks in when a child turns 6 on or before December 1st, so you would not need to submit anything to your district until next school year, if you so choose.

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    2. Oops - by next school year, I mean the school year of 2017-18.

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  12. Hi, I really want to thank you for this blog! I just pulled my son out his private school on Friday! My husband and I have decided homeschool would be the best option for our family, but I am terrified! I don't even know where to begin. My son is 5 and just started K. He will turn 6 in March. I am in NYC. I am confused as to whether or not to send the LOI now or wait. I thought kindergarten was mandatory in nyc, so wouldn't the LOI have to be sent in now? Thank you so much for your help. It is truly appreciated!

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  13. Technically, no grade is mandatory. However, school attendance is mandatory for kids who turn 6 on or before December 1st of the new school year. So, your son technically doesn't even need to be in school at all until next year (school year 2017-18). You can pull him, and you do not need to send in an LOI until next year. However, it would be in your best interest to let the school know that you'll be homeschooling him next year and will send in the appropriate paperwork as per NYS regulations at that time.

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    1. Thanks for your reply and thank you for your blog, it's very helpful!

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  14. Hi thank you for this post! It is very helpful. We just moved to Western NY and are going to homeschool the last few months. My daughter has learning disabilities and was on an iep at her old school. If she ends up in public school next year I intend to have her repeat 6th grade. She is way below grade level in most subjects so I am confused as to what grade level I put down on the IHIP.... thanks

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    1. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that "grade level" doesn't really apply. The school needs it for record-keeping, but you are able to choose any grade level that you feel is appropriate for the work your child is doing. If your child would be in 6th grade in public school, but you feel a lower (or higher) grade is more appropriate for her development, then you can choose that as the grade you put on your IHIP. When she returns to public school, unfortunately, the parent doesn't get to choose what grade the child enters. There will be testing and assessing by the school to determine what would be best.

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  15. Hi my son has emotional problems which interferes with his learning capabilities he's in the second grade in NYC I want to pull him and home school as he does well with learning. Once he's in class he shuts down discouraged acts out gets angry completely shuts down he sees a therapist and anger management help. I dnt know how to homeschool him as I want to. i don't know where to begin or if I can at most. I need help with this for my boy.

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  16. He learns fine at home hes not shy at all i want to make learning easier for him and comfortable with confidence to go back into the public world when he's ready. I've looked up lots of info but nothing telling me how to start the process or even if I can home school him. This September he'll be going to 3rd grade if they allow him being they are saying he's behind.

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  17. AnonymousMay 02, 2017

    Hi Thank you for all of this great info. My son turned 6 in March. I sent the letter of intent and have already received the IHIP and other forms to fill out. My question is how do I fill out the IHIP if my son is only in kinder and everything says grades 1-6. I'm confused. Also since the school year is almost over, do I sent quarterly reports? I've emailed the homeschooling office but asking but I've not received a response. I would really appreciate your help.

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