What Kindergarten Is – Part 1

As we wait for more information from the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) on how it intends to implement the recent changes in kindergarten law and regulation for 2013-14, and as we continue to gather information on Rochester (see the “Kindergarten Changes in NYS” blog post from 02/24/2013), we’d like to ask (from a wide-angle, homeschooling perspective): “What is kindergarten, anyway?”

Leaving aside for a moment the even more basic question of how old kindergarteners are in various places (and times), what constitutes “kindergarten” Continue reading

Kindergarten Changes in NYS – Part 1

In New York City (NYC) and in Rochester, there are changes in the offing for 2013-14.

The mainstream media largely oversimplified, reporting the change as “kindergarten is going to be mandatory”. The truth is more complex (and at least in NYC, the change also affects compulsory school age for some kids with December birthdays who were born in 2008 or later).

Let’s start with state law, and then 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 comments@pahsi.net 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