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.  Notice of Intent – due July 1st or within 14 days after commencing home instruction

***Please contact your district’s registrar to establish residency within the school district if you have not already done so. Districts may also request evidence of compulsory age.

2. IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan) – due August 15th or within four weeks after commencing home instruction

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).

3. Quarterly Reports – due by dates indicated on IHIP (spaced in approximately even and logical periods)

A separate, written Quarterly Report must be submitted for each quarter and each child being instructed at home. Please note any changes to physical/mailing address, district of residency, parent contact information, etc. Changes to instruction such as adjustment of content, subjects, or instructors should be reflected on a revised IHIP.

Available Templates:
Grades K-6 Quarterly Report
Grades 7-8 Quarterly Report
Grades 9-12 Quarterly Report

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).

Families are welcome to use our K-8 Narrative Assessment template.

Submit Paperwork

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

Dr. Nicole G. Eschler
Director 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 the 4-H Youth webpage for more information or contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension office at 607-272-2292

The Tompkins County Public Library has many print and electronic resources available, some of which are listed below:

Youth Services

Middle School Must-Reads : Grades 6-8
High School Must-Reads : Grades 9-12

The Paleontological Research Institute is a national leader in the development of informal (i.e., outside the classroom) Earth science education resources for educators and the general public. These two local, public venues were established by PRI:

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

Project 4: Artist in Schools Residency 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 residency culminates with with a showcase.

The residency can be adapted to homeschool groups of various size and age/grade-level. Contact for more info:

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.

Phone:607 542-9892

LEAH is a faith-based organization which 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 contacts

Daniel & Heather Woodie

Cortland area contacts

Peter & Jennifer Rogati


The Family Unschoolers Network (FUN) 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.

Ithaca FUN Library: Email or call 607-277-5516
Tompkins County Unschoolers group on Yahoo: Tompkins County Unschoolers
Funschooling group on Yahoo:

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