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Advice and resources for new homeschooling parents

Posted at 5:06 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 18:06:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more parents are considering homeschooling their children this school year.

While that can be a challenge, there are resources online and on social media that can help them navigate this new journey.

We spoke with a couple of experts about how to get started and what to expect.

"The steps in New York state start with a parent submitting what's called a Letter of Intent to their local school district superintendent," said Dan DiFrancesco, secretary of Homeschool New York/Loving Education At Home.

Once the school district receives that letter, they are required by regulations from the State Department of Education to provide a package of information to the parent within ten days about curriculum choices, plan of study and scheduling.

After that package is filled out and submitted to the district, a parent can begin homeschooling.

Homeschool New York/LEAH is a support and advocacy organization for homeschooling families, with 70 to 80 support chapters statewide.

If you are a parent considering homeschooling your kids, experts said there are a few things you should keep in mind.

"Getting connected to a local family is probably going to be an important thing because that's where you find out is this normal to expect XYZ when you're teaching math," said Jennifer Snyder, president Homeschool New York/LEAH.

Another thing to keep in mind is to be flexible.

"And I think that's a hard one sometimes for people to wrap their head around when they're coming out of that system is that you don't necessarily have to teach this subject in this grade this way," said Snyder.

And finally, get rid of any preconceived notions you may have of what learning will look like.

"I see people asking where can I buy a desk? Where do I set up my homeschool room? And after you've done it for a year or so, you realize that your homeschool room is wherever the kids are setting up comfortably and can actually get learning done," said Snyder.

New York is known to be the most highly regulated state when it comes to homeschooling, and parents are required to submit quarterly reports throughout the year.