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10 Steps to Successful Homeschooling

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Not just for homeschoolers, all families can benefit from the resources offered here! Books and resources are recommended that can assist with homework problems or help a motivated child excel beyond the limits of school. Fun, free family activities are listed, organized by subject and location. All questions on education and parenting are freely answered - see Ask Laurie. Read what people are saying about this website and about Laurie as a teacher.

Read Laurie's letter to the editor, New York Times, 9 January 2015

Events etc. – Upcoming events that will appeal to homeschoolers
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Education Uncensored, by Laurie Block Spigel

Available Now!

Only on this website

Education Uncensored
by Laurie Block Spigel

A Guide for the Aspiring, the Foolhardy, and the Disillusioned

See more information, including an excerpt, what people are saying about the book, the Table of Contents, and details of buying the book via Paypal. $12.95 plus shipping & handling

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Events etc.

  • May 20-24, 2015, AERO 2015 Conference, at LIU/CW Post Campus on Long Island, near New York City.
    As homeschoolers working with HomeschoolNYC, you are eligible to register for the AERO Conference at the presenter/student rate of $175. See the AERO flyer
    Laurie's AERO workshop description:
    How do you get your students to ask their own questions? To choose their own projects? To connect with the material at hand? To see themselves in their studies? Is it possible for students to experience self-discovery, perhaps even a personal awakening, as they learn about the world? The answer is a resounding YES! Join Laurie Block Spigel as she shares the many techniques she has developed as a parent and classroom teacher of homeschoolers, including practical approaches to child-led, self-directed learning, in group situations, where there is a curriculum focus.

  • October 5-8, 2015, The first annual Life Without Instructions Conference in East Rutherford, NJ, just six miles from Manhattan.
    Featured speakers include Peter Gray (author of Freedom to Learn). Laurie will be speaking on the homeschooler's self-directed path to college.

  • Free Workshops for Kids. Usually one Saturday a month, 9:00 am - noon. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron, and a commemorative pin while supplies last.

  • Citywide Festivals from the NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation

  • Jersey City Children's Theater has classes and programs especially for kids.

  • Free Folk Open Sing on the first Wednesday of each month. Bring your voice, instruments, friends, neighbors, and children. Drop by for a couple of songs or the whole evening. At the Ethical Culture Society, 53 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn (near 2nd St.). Directions: F train to 7th Ave.; Q train to 7th Ave.; 2/3 train to Grand Army Plaza. Hosted by Ethical Culture/Good Coffeehouse and the Folk Music Society of NY.

  • Homeschool conferences and conventions

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Laurie Block SpigelLaurie teaching a fairytale writing class - click to enlargeLaurie Block Spigel is a home educator who has lectured and written articles on education, parenting, and raising a family in New York City. The daughter of university professors, she has had the good fortune to meet many educators in her life, including award-winning professors and Disney Teachers-of-the-Year, whom she has relentlessly questioned.

As a long-standing member of NYCHEA and a veteran homeschooler, Laurie has been interviewed on public radio, public television, by the New York Times, and by Le Point Magazine. Laurie also teaches poetry and creative writing to children. She created this website in honor of the children and this beautiful city we call New York.

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"If you want to change the future, reach out and touch the life of a child."

Laurie's Poetry Class "Education is more than the filling of a pail, it is also the lighting of a fire"
– William Butler Yeats

"If you plan for a year, plant rice. If your plan is for a hundred years, educate your children."
– Confucius

What people are saying about this website:

"Thank you so much for all of the work and dedication to your emails and the website! I am a home school child who is now about to start home schooling her children and I am thankful for the generous help from yourself and others! "
Jessica (homeschooling mom)
"Hi there! Im new to your site, but I loved seeing all the resources you have compiled and shared! Thank you!"
Katie (homeschooling mom)
"My name is Santina and I am a Science teacher for some wonderful students at Craft Central Schools in Virginia . We are currently studying Astronomy and I just wanted to let you know that we have been using your page of Science Resources. It's been so helpful for our project in class. My students just absolutely loved your site!"
"Thank you for sharing these links to home school parents. I am really pleased about the number of links in addition to the great content available on Math & Economics Resources. Such a big help for a busy single dad like me. I'd usually spend hours online looking for a good resource until I discovered your website. It was a breeze going through your page – you really did a good job here. Now your site is just a click away from my bookmark."
Jacob (homeschooling dad)
"Hey Laurie, I just wanted to thank you for your Limitless!!! supply of web sites and info. I had been playing ' fill in the gaps' when I realized that there were some topics that should have been covered in school before I started homeschooling Nickolas, yet were never addressed! Your resources have been invaluable to us. You should receive the "Home schooling-God-Bless-You-What-Would-We-Do-Without-You" award!
Thanks again!"
Annette (homeschooling mom)
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"I wanted to thank you for your reassuring and informative website on homeschooling. I share your opinions, which were on your personal information page, about how you believe family time is important and that there is so much time wasted in public education.

I am moving to NYC in a couple of months, and when I read the homeschooling requirements in NY, I thought to myself, 'There's no way I can do this.' I panicked, thinking of how dreadful this move was going to be for my 12-year-old son, who would have to change schools in addition to moving to a new city. But after reading your website, which explained the requirements and gave tips on how to get started, I know I can do it, and I believe that there is no better city to be in for home schooling than New York City. Your advice has completely changed my feelings about homeschooling, and I now see the potential for the experience to enrich not just my son's life, but my own! Thank you so much!"
Ronda Bumgardner, Dallas, Texas
"We are doing homeschooling this year (our first year), and the information you provide on your web is wonderful, and has been extremely helpful. Thanks."
Guy Farber, homeschooling parent
"Thanks for your great site. I have found a lot of important info there."
Nadezhda, homeschooling parent
"I just wanted to thank you for such a thorough site. Without your site I would have been at a loss as to how to begin my homeschooling journey! Thank you for all the samples you provide and the loads of information. I went to the Homeschooling office and hand delivered my LOI, within five days I received my IHIP forms. We're homeschooling for a week now, and all is going very well. My entire family thanks you!!"
New homeschooling parent
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"You should win an award for the most comprehensive home school website... there is so much to explore on there and I'm thoroughly enjoying it... getting lots of new ideas. A great service to the homeschooling community. Many thanks!!! "
Homeschooling parent
"You are a lifesaver! This is an awesome site. Everything is easy. You have the right questions with the correct answers. I have looked at many sites for help but your site wins hands down! I have been looking for a sample of the IHIP but was unable to find one until now. Thank you very much. It is so appreciated!
Grateful parent
"I think your website is great. I shall definitely add it to my favorites!"
Donny Sahusilawani, homeschooling parent
"Full of information for those who are homeschooling or considering taking their child from school."
Valerie Fitzenreiter, author of The Unprocessed Child: Living without School
"What a great resource for all families."
Holly Nedelka, Director, (retired) Child's Play
"What a great resource!"
Isaac Graves, Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
"Such a treasure and gift to the homeschooling community."
– Jennifer Dees, homeschooling parent, on chialist. Read the complete posting
Read some testimonials from parents, educators, and students about Laurie's teaching
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Homeschooling: The Myth, The Actuality

Parents are Opting Out of New York State Tests!

For more information, and to join the boycott, go to Change the Stakes. Download their flyer What parents need to know about opting out of state tests (pdf format).

Note: Homeschoolers are not subject to the same testing rules and requirements as schooled students. Homeschoolers do not have to undergo tests each and every year (NYS homeschooling regulations require testing every other year through grades 4 – 8 and every year in grades 9 – 12 — parent may choose to test in other years). Also, it important to note that schooled kids are graded on these tests, and must score higher than the passing grade, while homeschoolers must show a score above 33rd percentile, which is the cut off for special ed. A homeschooler scoring below 33rd percentile only needs to show improvement the following year. More info on testing. Read the WNYC article: Colleges admissions are moving away from standardized tests.

If you have any questions, please send an email.

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