August 8, 2016

Individualized Home Instruction Plan Revisited: simplifying the process

A little over 3 years ago I posted my original explanation of the Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) for New York State.  It details what is required by the state and also provides an example of my own IHIP form, which I used for about 4 years.

Over time, though, as I became more comfortable with the process and more familiar with the requirements, I trimmed the fat, so to speak, on my IHIP form.  Rather than writing a detailed description of what we planned to cover in every single subject, I deep-sixed the descriptions and simply listed the name of each subject, followed by the primary resource we planned to use to teach each of them.

This simplification saves a lot of time and makes it easy to use the same form year after year by just deleted the previous year's primary resources and replacing them with the new resources.

You can choose to do your IHIP either way, long or short, whichever suits your style best.  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).  

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.

Here is what my IHIP looks like now:


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 Joe and also take advantage of the many library, community, and internet resources available.

ARITHMETIC: Primary Resources: Pre-Algebra by BJU Press.

ENGLISH (including Library Skills): Primary Resources: Wordly Wise 3000 by Kenneth Hodkinson and Sandra Adams; Research in Increments by Susan Kemmerer; Editor in Chief by The Critical Thinking Co.; The Great Library Scavenger Hunt.

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY: Primary Resources: From Adam to Us by Notgrass.

SCIENCE: Primary Resources: Exploring Creation with Physical Science by Apologia.

HEALTH EDUCATION: Primary Resources: Health in Christian Perspective by Abeka.

MUSIC: Primary Resource: Piano lessons, including lessons in music history and theory.

ART: Primary Resources: Artistic Pursuits for Junior High by Brenda Ellis.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Primary Resource: Daily outdoor play, seasonal activities (swimming, biking, hiking, snow sports), fitness education.

PRACTICAL ARTS: Typing, Life Skills. Primary Resource: online typing tutor,, as well as real life.

Primary instruction to Joe will be provided by his parents. Supplemental instruction will be provided by others, as necessary.

And that's it!  Short, to the point, and meets all New York State's requirements.

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



  1. Oh my Goodness! You are my angel! I have been losing sleep over how to go about writing our IHIP. Thank you for your before and after IHIP samples. I am just like you and would have done the long version but since I hear that you have not had any problems with the short version, I am going to do that now. I have a question that still weighs on my mind however. Are we able to choose what areas we want to teach for Social Studies and Science or is there some sort of legal guidelines? We are choosing to work with Susan Wises book, The Well-Trained Mind and she suggests telling History like a story and starting with the ancients. My son is in 3rd grade now and I am hoping I can study the ancients along with the required instruction for teaching Patriotism and citizenship as required by law.
    Also, can I choose any type of Science Area? I appreciate all that you have done for me already by posting your invaluable information about the IHIP creation and I thank you again! If you have any knowledge (which I am sure you do) please let me know if I can work on the ancients and choose any science area we would like. Thank you kindly.
    Blessings, Rebecca (New York)

    1. Hi Rebecca! I'm glad you found my info helpful. The NYS regulations state that for grades 1-6, geography and American history are required. I would think you could find a way to work the ancients into your geography studies, though. There are no specific requirements for science, so you can cover anything you like. Good luck on your journey, and feel free to message me with any more questions.

  2. Where do you find what the state requires at a minimum for each year?

    1. Tanya, there is a page on the NY State education department's website that lists all the home education regulations and requirements. You can find that here:

    2. You're welcome. Good luck on your journey!

  3. If we plan to use online resources like Easy Peasy Homeschool instead of text books, do we just list that? Thanks

    1. Yes, Ma'am. Mention that it's an online resource, and include the website URL, and you should be good to go.