When families begin considering the idea of homeschooling, their research usually starts at the state level. That’s because, in the United States, homeschool laws and guidelines are decided by the specific state. For families homeschooling in New York, you may begin by exploring the New York state homeschooling laws. The legality of homeschooling, though, isn’t the only thing that is organized on a state level. Most states also have at least one statewide homeschool association, as well. This page will help you find out what homeschool associations are available in New York, what events those associations may offer for you, and why you might want to join one of those associations.
New York Homeschool Associations
Whether you are a new homeschooler in New York, or are moving to the state, you will want to learn about the statewide New York homeschooling associations available to you. Currently, Time4Learning is aware of two homeschool associations in the state of New York. Each of these may have specific mission statements and goals, and you may feel that one is a better fit for your family than another, or you may even decide that you would like to take advantage of the services of both.
New York Home Educators Network (NYHEN)
According to the NYHEN website, the mission of the New York Home Educators Network is:
- To support the freedom of families to educate their children at home;
- To improve and strengthen connections and communication among home educating families;
- To advocate for freedom from restrictions and for increased opportunities for home educating families;
- To increase public awareness, acceptance and support of home education;
- To provide an association that takes no position on religion, partisan politics, and non-homeschooling issues; and
- To protect from accidental or deliberate infringement by government parents’ rights to teach their own children.
New York State Loving Education at Home (LEAH)
According to the LEAH website, the purpose of the New York State Loving Education at Home is stated as follows:
Loving Education At Home is a Christian organization, the members of which are like-minded Christian home education support groups made up of families dedicated to observing the Biblical commands of Deuteronomy 6:4-10, Proverbs 22:6, and Ephesians 6:4. We promote home education as the Scriptural design for education whereas institutional education is alternative to the home. We believe that every family has the God-given legal and constitutional right to home educate in New York State, regardless of their philosophy of education or religious affiliation.
New York Homeschool Association Events
Most homeschool associations in the U.S. schedule multiple events throughout the year designed to help both new and experienced homeschoolers. The New York homeschool organizations are no different. Events that occur regularly in the state and are organized by one or more associations include group field trips to state parks and zoos, dedicated homeschool days at popular family destinations, statewide homeschool commencement opportunities, and contests for kids to participate in. Although neither of the statewide organizations operate an annual homeschool convention in New York, there are many regional homeschool conventions to take part in across the state each year.
To find out specifics about New York homeschool events, explore the websites and social media networks of the statewide associations. By attending one or more of these opportunities, your family may begin to feel more connected with the homeschooling community at large which can enrich your overall homeschool experience.
Why Join a Homeschool Organization?
Statewide homeschool organizations usually get their start when a group of families join together and build a support system for some or all homeschooling families in a given state. These organizations often have widely different goals. Some are aimed at providing advocacy information and help to ensure that homeschooling stays legal, open, and accessible in their state. Some rise out of a specific worldview, such as Christian or secular viewpoints, and seek to offer support for other families in the state with similar inclinations. Other organizations are wider reaching, and simply want to offer homeschooling families of all backgrounds and ideologies a centralized support system for educating their child at home.
Joining a statewide homeschool association can offer homeschooling families a number of benefits, including:
- answering questions that new (and seasoned) homeschoolers have
- sharing information for new homeschoolers on how to get started and how to follow all state guidelines concerning home education
- offering updated news and information related to homeschooling in the state
- initiating events for homeschoolers such as conferences, curriculum sales/swaps, and helpful workshops
- providing networking opportunities between homeschoolers across the state
- listing resources such as local/regional support groups, curriculum providers, special needs materials, and other helpful information
Additional Resources for Homeschooling in New York
Have other questions about homeschooling in New York? You may find the following pages helpful.
- Homeschooling in New York
- New York Homeschool Laws
- New York Homeschool Groups and Co-ops
- Homeschool Field Trips in New York
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