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Possibly moving to NY-Advice for un/homeschooling and selective/no vax

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

While originally from New York, we've lived in Maine 10 years and are thinking of returning to NY to be closer to family.  We have two boys, 5 and 3, and are un/homeschooling.  We also don't intend to vaccinate them anytime soon.  Anyone out there with advice for the practicality of either of these issues in New York?  Maine is pretty lax on homeschooling, meaning there aren't a lot of hurdles to jump through and it looks like NY's laws are a bit more stringent.  Maine also has a personal exemption for vaccination and I see reports that NY is the hardest state to get exemptions in...any advice there?

 

Thanks!

Aubrie

post #2 of 14

Hey there! We live in New York and although my daughter and the one we are expecting in April will not be ready for school in the near future, I am aware that our state is heavily regulated in regards to homeschooling. There is however a great number of resources that you can check out online that may provide some answers to your questions. I would check out NYHEN.org and Leah.org for more information.

 

post #3 of 14

If you're homeschooling in NY, your vaccination status wouldn't be anyone's business but your own.  Summer camps require them, but I'd assume if you homeschool you wouldn't do camp either.  But no, no personal exemptions.

 

And yes, NY has lots more hurdles for homeschoolers.

post #4 of 14

I just filed a religious exemption and nobody gave me a hard time.  I did this when I was homeschooling in NYC and again when I moved upstate and put them in a Sudbury school (basically a building with a group of kids unschooling together).

post #5 of 14

OH, if I only have one piece of advice, don't try to fly under the radar.  I didn't bother filing paperwork and ended up being reported to CPS for educational neglect by a very well intentioned but confused relative.  It got ugly quickly and I was afraid that I might lose my youngest for a few months.  So... stay caught up with your paperwork, no matter how much it sucks.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraMort View Post

OH, if I only have one piece of advice, don't try to fly under the radar.  I didn't bother filing paperwork and ended up being reported to CPS for educational neglect by a very well intentioned but confused relative.  It got ugly quickly and I was afraid that I might lose my youngest for a few months.  So... stay caught up with your paperwork, no matter how much it sucks.



Wow that CPS thing makes me angry....they would take YOUR child away, yet I have read at least 3 stories in the paper over the past few months regarding children found DEAD due to abuse and neglect who were supposed to be under the watchful eye of the NY CPS system. Makes me sick!

 

Also Sandra, could you explain more about the Sudbury school? We are in Sullivan County and the schools here are, uh err well....how should I put it....horrible? As in, my nieces and nephews attend high school with kids who are 15,16, 17 and CANNOT READ. Yeah, pretty bad. I have at least 3 years to figure out what I am going to do with my little gang before the time comes...but would like to start exploring my options. One of my friends drives an hour and a half one way so her 5 kids can attend an alternative school in North Jersey.

post #7 of 14

We're non-vaxing unschoolers in NY, and haven't had any problems-- even when the kids have gone to camp. Keep on top of the school paperwork once your boys are older than 6-- annual letter of intent and IHIP, quarterly and final reports, (NYHEN.org has templates), and if you have an option of school districts to live in, ask around the local homeschooling groups (I'm sure you can track them down via MDC) to find out which ones are the most "homeschooling friendly". 

 

The only time vaccination has been in issue at all was when my 7 and 5 year-olds went to summer day camp for a week, and then I sent a letter to the camp nurse explaining our family's non-vax status with a non-denominational religious exemption and a lot of text from Dr. Sheri Tenpenny. It may have helped that we know the camp nurse personally, and that my mom was, coincidentally, substitute nurse the weeks the kids were at camp, plus that my sister had worked there for many, many summers and we had a good rapport with the camp directors and upper-level staff. I actually think that camp just needed something to put in the kids' files...

 

Anyway, the NYS regs look daunting, but they are quite easy to meet in reality.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice.  It is amazing to me how much regulation NY has that I never realized growing up there and only have thought about it after living in Maine for 10 years and now being a parent who makes alternative choices for her children.  Glad to hear it all CAN be done, though!  We aren't sure yet if and when we are moving but we were thinking Ithaca area...I figure once we know a little more about whether this is a reality for us, I will start looking in the specific area for like-minded families for support!

 

Thanks again for the advice.

post #9 of 14

Ithaca is a *very* crunchy area, and I'm sure you'll find a plethora of like-minded families! I know there are several homeschool co-ops and networking groups in the area, too. Best of luck with the plans for moving :)

post #10 of 14

Why don't you start by looking at http://www.sudburyschool.com and letting me know if you have any questions?  I usually describe it as a school where kids from 5 through 19 all unschool together, but that's really overly simplifying it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyFireFly View Post

Also Sandra, could you explain more about the Sudbury school? 

 
post #11 of 14

Thanks Sandra! I've been reading about the schools and I think the Kingston school is the closest to us at just a little over an hour away....

 

post #12 of 14

I don't think I could do a one hour commute but there are other parents who do.  One of my favorite students spent a lot of time commuting from Albany, even!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyFireFly View Post

Thanks Sandra! I've been reading about the schools and I think the Kingston school is the closest to us at just a little over an hour away....

 

post #13 of 14

If you'd like, I can take you to see the school and meet the staff or let you know when an open house would be.

post #14 of 14


Thanks for the offer!!!!

 

Let me know when an open house comes up and we will drive up and check it out - there is no rush, I have a few years to make the decision, but I would like to get a head start on seeing what options are out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraMort View Post

If you'd like, I can take you to see the school and meet the staff or let you know when an open house would be.

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