Required Documents

To streamline the application process and maintain efficiency, we have several documents, forms and resources about Home Instruction. Please review the information below and make note of the deadlines for each document to ensure compliance with the commissioner’s requirements.

1. Letter of intent – due July 1st

Please include the following information:

  • Parent Name(s) and contact information
  • Physical Address (and mailing address, if different)
  • Child’s Name (first, middle, last)
  • Proof of Birth (passport, birth certificate, state/gov’t issued ID, hospital/health record, etc.)
  • Grade Level (of instruction that will take place)
  • Duration of Instruction (ex. 9/1/16-6/30/17)

Deadline – Letters of Intent must be submitted by July 1st or within 14 days of commencing home instruction if you are new to home-schooling.

2. IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) – due August 15th

A separate, written IHIP must be submitted for each child being instructed at home. The required contents of an IHIP are set out in Commissioner’s Regulation 100.10(d). Information on required courses, by grade level, can be found in Commissioner’s Regulation 100.10(e).

Deadline – IHIPs must be submitted by August 15th or within four weeks after home instruction has commenced. If notified that the IHIP is not acceptable, a revised IHIP correcting the deficiencies must be submitted by September 15th or within 15 days of receiving notification, whichever is later.

3. Quarterly Reports

A separate, written Quarterly Report must be submitted for each quarter and each child being instructed at home.  Quarterly Reports must include the following information:

  • Child’s Name (first, middle, last)
  • Grade Level
  • Physical Address (and mailing address, if different)
  • School District of residency
  • Parent Name(s)
  • Instructor Name(s) if other than parents
  • Start and End Dates for quarter being reported on
  • Number of hours of instruction during said quarter
  • Description of material covered in each subject area listed in the IHIP
  • Grade/evaluation in each subject

Quarterly report templates are available for K-6;  7-8 ; and 9-12.

Deadline – Quarterly Reports are due by the dates indicated on each child’s IHIP.

4. Annual Assessments

An annual assessment must be filed along with the 4th quarterly report.  Guidelines for this assessment are outlined in Commissioner’s Regulation 100.10(h).

A narrative assessment template is available for K-8.

Submit Paperwork

To submit completed paperwork, you may email or “snail mail” it to:

Maxine Parker
Supervisor of External Programs
Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES
555 Warren Road, Building J
Ithaca, NY 14850

Local Organizations and Support Groups

There are many opportunities for youth development through the Tompkins County 4-H programs.

  • Club Program
  • Urban Outreach
  • Primative Pursuits
  • Rural Youth Services

Check out their website at for more information or contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension office at 607-272-2292

Tompkins County Public Library has many print and electronic resources available.  Just a few links to home school information have been added below.

Homeschool Guide to TCPL & Beyond!

Middle School Must Reads – Grades 6-8

High School Must Reads – Grades 9-12

The Museum of the Earth provides an opportunity for scientists, science enthusiasts, families, and their children to learn about Earth in a fun and engaging way. There is always an exciting array of permanent and temporary exhibits to discover and a variety of rotating events to attend each month.

1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-6623

The Cayuga Nature Center provides an opportunity for nature enthusiasts of all ages to learn about environmental and outdoor education in a fun and engaging way.

1420 Taughannock Blvd
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-6260 

Families Learning Science Together is a hands-on science program for children ages 5 and up and their parents or caregivers. This program is lead by Cornell Center for Materials Research and co-sponsored with the Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) in downtown Ithaca, NY.

The FLST hands-on workshops encourage children and their parents to explore how materials interact with each other. Faculty, post doctoral associates, graduate and undergraduate students from Cornell University present hands-on science modules on a variety of materials science topics. The FLST programs are aimed at children ages 5-13, though all ages are welcome.

Phone: (607) 592-4053

The Finnstitute provides opportunities for home school students to learn from an inspiring and creative teacher on a part-time basis.

Mike Finn has been working with children and their families in many educational and community based settings for more than 35 years.  He has been a New York State Council of the Arts Poet in the Schools, a TST BOCES Enrichment Instructor (in Creative Writing, Science and Art), and a Waldorf Teacher for fifteen years.   As a Lead Construction Consultant and Organizer for Leathers and Associates community-built playgrounds, he has worked with communities nationally and internationally, leading hundreds of thousands of volunteers, young and old, through the playground construction process. As Ringmaster for the Backyard Circus (Midway Caravan), Mike has brought participatory theater to thousands of children throughout the U.S. for the last 20 years.  Mike is an Artist and Poet and shares his love of art, literature, music, drama, nature and humor with his students.

Mike: (607) 592-1481
Helene: (607) 592-1479

This program is designed to help fulfill NYS Arts and Social Studies curriculum requirements as well as strengthen literacy and storytelling skills. Children will explore the creative world of drama and develop through improvisation and playwriting exercises, and small scenes involving a curriculum topic of their choice. The course culminates with with a showcase.

Hangar Theatre
801 Taughannock Blvd
Ithaca, NY 14850

Phone: (607) 273-8588

Project Look Sharp is a media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels, including integration with the new common core standards.

Primitive Pursuits offers nature-based education through hands-on activities. Its naturalist educators work to provide students with skills and experiences that create lasting connections with nature.


607-272-2292, ext. 195
615 Willow Ave.
Ithaca, NY 14850

The Northern Light Learning Center is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization focused on creating a cooperative learning community in the Ithaca area that provides home-schooled students with extensive educational and social opportunities. The organization hosts meetings and other activities for parents and students alike.


Membership Coordinator
607 542-9892

This New York-based organization aims to provide support to parents who homeschool their children. The group’s website provides resources that offer parents a strong support system as they provide instruction at home.

Ithaca area contact

Daniel & Heather Woodie

Cortland area contact

Peter & Jennifer Rogati

Fingerlakes Unschooling Network (FUN)

This network has a library in downtown Ithaca that is available for use by any home-educating family. Membership is not required. Selections include parenting, homeschool how-to, text books, magazines, curricula, learning games and software. Please contact Marlo at or call 607-277-5516 for more information about the library.

Email for more information.


Other Unschooling Contact info:

Tompkins County Unschoolers – Yahoo group

There are a wealth of materials available to homeschooling families. All resources listed in the sections below are suggestions only, not recommendations. Parents are responsible for reviewing resources to ensure they meet the criteria of the home school program.

Suggestions from Area Home Instruction Families

Textbooks and Other Resources