NYC DOE Phones Homeschoolers About High School Applications

Elsa Haas, PAHSI’s director, has written this account of a phone call she received yesterday (December 27, 2013) from the NYC DOE (New York City Department of Education) about the HSAP (High School Application Process):

The phone rang. The caller I.D. read “Unknown”, but I answered anyway. A woman said that this was the NYC DOE calling. She asked for me by name and Continue reading

Some Unschooling IHIPs Get No Letter of Compliance This Year

So far this year (2013-14), it seems that there’s an increase in New York City in the number of “unschooling IHIPs” for which the parents haven’t gotten letters of compliance. (It’s also possible that some letters of compliance – whether or not for homeschoolers who consider themselves unschoolers – have been delayed because the NYC Central Office of Homeschooling has been unusually busy, due to an increase in kindergarten paperwork – see the blog post “The NYC Mandatory Kindergarten Mess”, from 08/12/2013.)  

This blog post is tricky to write because sometimes when people say “unschooling IHIP”, what they really mean is “vague IHIP” – while PAHSI’s position has always been Continue reading

STEM Matters NYC Career Day

On Tuesday, November 5, 2013 (that’s Election Day), high school students (public school, private school, or homeschooled) can go on behind-the-scenes visits to JFK International Airport, a robotics company, a consumer product testing lab, and “subterranean cheese caves”, among other places.   

It’s all part of STEM Matters NYC Career Day Continue reading

PSAT Survey

We’d love it if you’d tell us about your experiences with the 2013 PSAT because we’re hoping to put up a blog post about it on (maybe soon, maybe after the scores come out in December). We welcome info from both homeschoolers and others. Below is an informal and unscientific survey meant to Continue reading

PSAT Cursive Crisis

Anyone taking the PSAT in 2013 is supposed to write out a certain sentence in cursive (sometimes known as “script”) – or at any rate not in “print” (we suspect an “italic” or hybrid style might do).

Homeschoolers in particular (who aren’t privy to morning announcements over the P.A.) might benefit from a heads-up, the reason why, the exact wording of the sentence, and some tips on creating “handwriting” in a hurry (just scroll Continue reading

Homeschool Doorframe Day

PAHSI is declaring September 9, 2013, the first annual Homeschool Doorframe Day in New York City. That’s because in NYC it’s the first day of public school (if you live elsewhere in New York State, the date may be different).

It’s the day by which, if you haven’t already, you might want to put some paperwork up just inside your door/s (for example, tacking it to the inside doorframe/s). That’s just in case you end up being one of the (relatively few) homeschool families visited this year at home, for whatever reason, by someone official, most typically Continue reading

Homeschool Grade Level – It’s Mostly Your Choice

It continues to be the conventional wisdom in homeschooling circles in New York State that if a parent who is just starting homeschooling wants to, for example, “hold a child back” one grade level (in terms of the local public school age cutoffs of the moment), s/he should just go ahead without thinking twice about it – “because you can always skip him/her ahead later, if you want to.”

It’s true that under the New York State Regulations on Home Instruction, grade level is mostly the parent’s choice. One exception that Continue reading

The NYC Mandatory Kindergarten Mess

A couple of problematic things happened on the way to the implementation of “mandatory kindergarten” (note the quotes) in New York City. But let’s start this blog post with PAHSI’s practical suggestions for those NYC parents of kindergarten-aged kids who are trying to figure out what to do if they don’t want to send their kids to public or private kindergarten this Continue reading

Why Comply with the Homeschool Regulations

Some parents comply with the New York State Regulations on Home Instruction without a full understanding of why it makes sense to do so. They comply because they’re afraid that if they don’t, whoever processes homeschool paperwork locally will track them down themselves (something that’s relatively unlikely – parents who have never filed any homeschool paperwork at all would be hard to find except in rural areas where everyone knows each other).

These parents overlook the more compelling reason to be in compliance, and this lack of understanding has complicated many discussions about the Regulations, for example those about “mandatory kindergarten” Continue reading

The Real Homeschool Letter of Intent Deadline

Around this time every year (June), a lot of parents start panicking about the letter of intent to homeschool (in New York State) because they think the deadline for it is July 1st for everybody whose “school-aged” kids won’t be in school come the fall.

In fact, there are two different deadlines – Continue reading