Homeschooling in Kindergarten

Updated on March 27, 2009
C.P. asks from Springwater, NY
11 answers

I may decide to home school my son next school year in order to keep his IEP services going. When I was in at his IEP meeting, the CSE informed me that if I enroll my son into a homeschool kindergarten program, then the school is required to continue his services. I have decided not to send him to kindergarten next year because he won't be 5 until the end of November. I am an elementary teacher, so please don't question this decision. However, my son really needs to help with speech. This is one option I am looking at so he can continue his speech services.

Before I make my decision, I need some guidance on this matter.

First, does anybody know if there are any testing requirements that a kindergartener must pass and be submitted to the school? For example, are there records or testing such as DIBELS that a parent my complete to show that the student is making progress at the specific grade level?

Second, has anybody been in this position before because I am wondering if I complete Kindergarten curriculum if I can still enroll him in Kindergarten the following school year (this is for the socialization factor and help him to learn procedures - not for the education part).

Third, does anybody know of any good resources online that I should look at that will help me with my questions.

Thank you.

***UPDATE: I just want to clarify that the CSE committee does recommend that services continue. However, since my son is school age, I must enroll him in kindergarten for this services to continue. The CSE committee are the ones who suggested that I home school him in kindergarten so the school must continue his services. In NYS, there is a law stating that a home schooled child with an IEP must receive his services by the school district. I hope this clears up any confusion.

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answers from Albany on

Hi there,
First of all, I have a daughter who is a November baby. We just moved back to MA where you have to be 5 by Sept. to start kindergarten. I had already decided that had we stayed in NY, I would wait a year to start kindergarten. I am an Occupational Therapist and worked several years with young children (when I was in NY I worked with pre-schoolers). If your child is already on an IEP and qualifies for Speech Therapy, the school is required by law to give him services, so I hope this isn't the only reason for home schooling. You could always send him to kindergarten (with services) and see how he does. If you don't feel he is ready for first grade, you could do another year of kindergarten. If your son has speech delays, socialization with other children his age will be really important for his confidence. So, if he is home schooled, it would benefit him to be enrolled in a class/sports, or have playdates frequently as well. YOu sound like a very good mom who is truly looking out for you son's best interest, and that is always refreshing to see.

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answers from New York on

As an owner of a Montessori school with a full day kindergarten program I say you are making the right decision by holding your son back a year to give him the one on one attention he needs right now. So many parents push their children and do not recognize the individual needs that an overcrowded public school will not be able to give them.

I do believe you will be able to put him into kindergarten again because in NJ the cut off date to enter kindergarten is children must turn 5 by October 1. So if he were entering the district he would not be eligible for kindergarten anyway. Giving him this extra year will do him wonders. Does your district have a half day program or full day? My district is still half day which is why I keep a full day program at my center.

Some schools will test children who are entering first grade from a private or home school kindergarten situation so I would check with your district and see what the requirements are for entering public school. Since you are intending for him to reenter kindergarten I don't think you should have an issue.

As far as keeping him socialized I think as long as you have him involved in other activities he should be fine.I would check with your recreation department in your town about some sports he may be eligible for. In my town the kindergarten children start t-ball, soccer, etc. and you do not have to be in the public school to join. This may be a great way for him to socialize, and become involved in a team as well. Just an idea worth checking out. I think you are a great mom for taking such an active roll in your child's education. Good luck!!!

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answers from Miami on

I am a school psychologist and CPSE chairperson and have worked with a couple of parents in your situation. You will need to speak with your district homeschool liason. They will provide you with all of the documentation and assessment requirements as outlined by state and Board policy. You will need to provide quarterly progress reports (depending on when report cards go out in your district).

As for the language therapy, your son will be considered a school-aged child so if you elect to access the language therapy you will need to bring him to school. I would strongly encourage you to do so, especially if the CSE is recommending continued services.

When your son enters school, you may elect to enroll him as a Kindergarten student due to his chronological age. However, he will be considered a "repeat" Kindergarten student and his records (including IEP) will reflect that he was retained in Kindergarten.

I completely respect and understand your decision to keep your son out of school due to maturational concerns, however you may want to consider enrolling him in an acacemic preschool program 2-3 days per week. As long as your son is chronologically a Kindergarten student, he is eligible for IEP services. Check with your district b/c he may not need to be enrolled as a Kindergarten student. I have two students who are currently enrolled in a preschool program, but come to school for language therapy.

*I noticed a recommendation regarding an educational advocate. I wouldn't do that unless you feel that your district is inhibiting your child's education. As someone who sits across from them... they change the tone of a meeting from cooperative to adversarial as soon as they walk in the door. More often than not, educational advocates slow the process.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have specific concerns. I chair CPSE for my district and would be happy to help you!

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answers from New York on

I can't answer your questions because I am an upper grade special ed teacher and don't know the details about kindergarten. What I do want to do is let you know that I applaud your decision not to send your child to kindergarten when he won't turn 5 until the end of November! More parents should do this! I fully believe that unless a child is advanced (academically and socially) that they should wait to go to kindergarten until they are already 5 if their birthday falls in November or December (my district has a ridiculous Dec. 30 cut-off date). Especially if your student has special needs, he needs every advantage possible to handle school and being one of the oldest kids is an advantage and being one of the youngest kids is not. What I don't understand is why you have to homeschool him in the kindergarten curriculum and why he can't have another year of pre-K. I didn't think cut-off dates meant you HAD to enroll your child in kindergarten if their birthday falls within a certain period of time. I thought parents had some leeway with these younger kids. If they don't, then they absolutely should. I have never worked with an older student who had special needs and was also young for his/her grade where I hadn't wished that the child had started kindergarten a year later.

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answers from Utica on

Hi C.
I home schooled my girls through High School. Recommend it highly. Before the girls I was substitute teaching and completely understand.
My twin girls are both in college now and both were on the President's list for their first semester. I am more than pleased.
I don't know what his issues are but the program for special needs is NATHAN.
You can order CAT tests to arrive at an assessment for placement.
I love to talk about homeschooling so would love to answer any questions.
God bless you as you make the decisions about what to do.
K. SAHM married 38 years -- adult children 37, coach; 33, lawyer; and 18 yo twins in college, journalism, and fine arts.

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answers from Albany on

Hi C.,

I think you are doing the right thing. Children without IEP's upon entering kindergarten with late November bdays have their own struggles.

As a teacher myself I am just curious as to why CSE is not recommending his services to be continued. I am not asking for you to tell me, I am merely speculating that perhaps you have done such a remarkable job with him up to this point that they do not see it necessary to contunue? But if independent testing on your part proves otherwise, you do have legal rights.

Regardless, what you need to do is contact the Superintendent's office. They will require certain things from you as a homeschooler.

As far as the following year is concerned, again you would need to speak with an administrator. I'd advise you to research the state ed. website regarding this as well as any legalaities that you will need to help you to advocate for him.

I wish you all the best and keep up doing what is best for your son!




answers from New York on

I am confused as to why your son wouldnt have IEP services while in school. Also I would think the school would have the testing requirements. I would think you should discuss all this with his CSE person.



answers from New York on

Each state has a parent advocacy organization, they can inform you of your rights. I strongly suggest you locate them. Learn your rights.
I know you mentioned you are a teacher, which will greatly benefit you through the system. However, the school views you as a parent not a teacher.

Good Luck



answers from New York on

This website may help.,.

There's a lot of legal info, in terms of requirements by state, and also research and other resources on homeschooling. I am considering something similar in the future, but my son is only 2 right now. Good luck!



answers from New York on

just a question? can you hold him back.. but put him into pre=school thru the school system. a lot of my friends did this and the school system continued to give them the services they needed but while the child was in preschool. and holding them back when they are young is a good thing. talk to them about keeping him back but getting the help he needs.. friends of mine did this.. keeping them back and getting the help. good luck..



answers from New York on

Check with the New York Department of Education for their rules and regulations on homeschooling. I know here in CT it is much easier to home school than many other states. I also know their are definitely sources on-line where you can hook up with a network of other homeschooling parents as well as sources of materials you can purchase. As a teacher you will be in a much better place as to not get flack from the local school system. Here in CT if you choose to home school your child you give up all rights to services and programs offered to "traditional" schooled children. I have been seriously considering homeschooling my youngest son, the Wallingford School System has a curriculum that is so far below my son's abilities it isn't funny and my son is an average student unlike his older brother who in 7th grade is testing at a college level. I have been told that with the No Child Left Behind they can only go as fast as the slowest child and with an extremely high number of students getting special education services in town our academics are lacking. Just to give you and example my son is in 4th grade and is still reading first grade books when in fact he has tested at a 5th to 6th grade reading level, sad isn't it.

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