Category Archives: Testing

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

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 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

That Letter on Teens Aging Out

Please scroll down far enough in this blog post (which is about New York City) to be able to consider certain points without dismissing them out of hand simply because of what you may have read recently online, or heard through the grapevine.

To encourage you to keep reading, we’ll say right now that three points related to “aging out” of compulsory schooling (which in NYC happens at the end of the “school year” in which the teen turns 17) have been battling it out for the top spot in this blog post.

These three Continue reading

A Guide to the NYS Homeschool Regulations, Now Online

We’ve just uploaded a guide to the NYS homeschooling regulations, based on years of collective experience in encouraging and sometimes pressuring school districts (including the New York City “megadistrict”) to understand and follow them.

This document was originally written by Elsa Haas, director of PAHSI, for an international conference in Spain in 2011. But since it’s proven useful for NYS homeschoolers as well, we’ve now updated it to make it available on the Internet for the first time.

The Outline of Contents near the beginning of the document will tell you which numbered point to scroll down to for specific information (and a few anecdotes) on many, many aspects of the “Regs”: IHIPs, quarterly reports, testing, narrative assessments, peer group review panels, deadlines, prior records, grade level, correcting computer records, special needs, appeals – practically the whole shebang!

The current title is “How the Homeschool Regulations Really Work: Practical Nuances of the New York State Regulations on Home Instruction.”

Just click on the tab that says “NYS Regulations” at the top of this page. And please write to us at to let us know what you think.

New Testing Options for Homeschoolers: Part 2 (of 3)

Part 1 of this blog post described the problem: admissions people sometimes view homeschooled kids’ test scores skeptically. Part 2 shows how the director of the New York City Central Office of Homeschooling replied to a parent’s email about this.

The director initially replied:

[…] If you intend to apply to the school, we’ll contact the representative and explain the portfolio process. […]

The parent then asked Continue reading