How to Start Homeschooling in New York
With remote learning here to stay for the foreseeable future, many parents may make the decision to home school in New York. Here’s what you need to know.
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Locally, the ROC Network for Learning provides academic resources for hundreds of families. Homeschool Academy also offers classes and advice for home schooling. Another great resources is the New York City Educator’s Alliance, or NYCHEA, which has educational opportunities for parents and kids and a members-only forum for discussions about home schooling.
“There are quite literally thousands of resources available for homeschoolers,” says Joanna Allen Lodin, a home-school veteran who offers Fearless Homeschooling Workshops in New York City. “The hard part is zeroing in on what each child needs in response to his or her interests and learning styles. I think if you start with what your child is curious about and follow that lead, you’re on the right track."
This child-led learning style is popular with many home-schoolers. Laurie Block Spigel, who runs Homeschool NYC, says home-schooling parents should focus on three I's: “Your child's interests, your interests, and your immediate environment. It is your child's enthusiasms, and yours too, that will make learning come alive.”
Where can I find support from other home-schoolers in New York?
The Homeschool Mom website is a good place for finding other home-schoolers in your area who can help you learn about age-appropriate activities such as sports, tutoring, or small clubs. Getting together with other home-school parents will not only make the process less lonely, it will also give you access to resources and materials you may not have known about. Plus, the parents you meet may opt to teach a subject, such as a foreign language or a science lab, to a group of students.
In New York City, Different Directions hosts events, support groups, and workshops where home schooling parents can meet up. Facebook is also full of home schooling support groups for different areas.
Even if you are just testing the waters to see if home schooling is right for your family, talking to experienced home-schoolers can help you make the decision whether or not to home-school. While the responsibility of educating your children can be daunting, it could also be a meaningful job and a special way to connect. Either way, it’s important to do your research before taking the leap.