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A Complete Guide To Homeschooling In New Jersey

If you are thinking about homeschooling your kids and you live in the state of New Jersey, you might be a bit overwhelmed with where to start.

As is the case with any state in the US, New Jersey has its own rules and regulations that you need to follow, and if you are new to homeschooling, this can be quite stressful.

But don’t worry, we are here to help.

Homeschooling In New Jersey

We have put together a complete guide to homeschooling in New Jersey.

In this guide, you will find all the basics that you need to know, as well as the rules and regulations you need to follow in order to successfully start homeschooling.

So read on to find out everything you need to know.

Requirements For Homeschooling In New Jersey

Every state has its own rules and laws, and New Jersey is no exception. One of the biggest positives of homeschooling in this state is that it’s one of the least restrictive ones in the whole country.

This means that there really aren’t too many laws you need to follow.

In order to legally homeschool in New Jersey, you must make sure you are doing the following:

  • Any children between the ages of 6 and 16 must receive instruction. So, if you are not sending your kids between these ages to public school, they must be receiving that instruction in a homeschooled environment.
  • Any and all homeschool instruction should be ‘academically equivalent’ to what your children would receive in public school. The state isn’t really strict on what ‘academically equivalent’ entails, so you have a bit of free reign here to create a curriculum that works well for you and your children.

These are the only two laws and requirements regularly enforced in New Jersey, making it one of the least restrictive homeschooling states in the US.

Record Keeping In New Jersey

Record keeping when it comes to homeschooling in New Jersey is incredibly relaxed. You are not required by law to keep any records, so you don’t have to stress about that.

It is advised to keep records if your child is older and wants to attend college in the future, though it is not required.

In most states, things kept on record for homeschooled children usually include the following:

  • Qualifications
  • Formal notification of intent to homeschool
  • Subjects taught
  • Attendance
  • Progress reports

All of these records are extremely helpful for college, so if you do want to keep records but don’t know where to start, use this template.

However, none of this is required in the state of New Jersey.

Qualifications For Homeschooling In New Jersey

Whether you are fully qualified with college credits or you only have your GED, there are absolutely no laws in the state of New Jersey that require homeschooling parents to have qualifications.

This means that regardless of your academic history or experience, you will be able to homeschool your children, no questions asked.

All you have to do is make sure that you follow the minimal requirements we have spoken about already, and you are good to go.

Notice Of Intent

A Notice of Intent to homeschool your children is not required in the state of New Jersey, but if your children are enrolled in public school, and you want to pull them out, it is recommended that you notify your school district/school superintendent.

While it is not required to notify, it is advised because taking your kids out of formal education without notice can cause misunderstandings, such as truancy issues, and this can be avoided by giving your superintendent a Notice of Intent.

When it comes to what should be included in a Notice of Intent, the following information is usually most helpful:

  • Your child’s full name.
  • Your child’s address (and the address of the homeschooling location if it is different).
  • Your child’s date of birth.
  • The grade your child would be entering if they were in public school.
  • A simple statement that says you plan on homeschooling your child for the following academic year, and you will be the one to provide instruction.

This is all the information that you need for a Notice of Intent if you choose to send one.

Required Subjects For Homeschooling In New Jersey

When it comes to required subjects in the state of New Jersey, this is a bit of a gray area.

While officially, there are no set required subjects, one of the main laws in the state is that homeschooled children must receive instruction that is ‘academically equivalent’ to what your children would receive in public school.

This means that you are largely left to your own devices when it comes to setting up an appropriate curriculum for your children.

All you have to do is make sure you are teaching subjects that are genuinely taught in New Jersey schools at least a couple of times a week. There are no set hours you are required to teach them either.

Some of the best examples of subjects that are taught in schools in New Jersey are as follows:

  • Language arts
  • Maths
  • Science
  • Health/Safety/Physical Education
  • Financial/Economic or Business/Entrepreneurial
  • Visual or Performing Arts
  • World History
  • Geography
  • Civics and United States and New Jersey history

As long as you are including most of these subjects somewhere in your curriculum, then you have free reign on the rest of what is being taught.

You don’t have to keep records of these subjects being taught, but it is generally advised that you teach these subjects a couple of times a week at least.

Most of these classes are required for further education as well, so it is helpful to include them in the curriculum you have set up for your child.

Homeschooling In New Jersey

Days Required For Homeschooling In New Jersey

There are no set days of required teaching and learning when it comes to homeschooling in New Jersey.

You are not required by law to provide attendance records, too, so you can take a bit more of a relaxed approach to how often and how many days your children receive educational instruction.

If you want to stick to a schedule and routine that is similar to public schooling, then you should aim to teach for around 180 days (minimum) per academic year.

This is not required, but rather a template you can base your hours on.

Standardized Testing In New Jersey

Like a lot of other things, standardized testing is not required by law for homeschooled children in the state of New Jersey.

That being said, you can put your children in for testing if you think it is appropriate, but it is not required by law.

If you do decide to have your children take part in standardized testing, it is important to know that homeschooled children in New Jersey are not eligible for NJSLA or other state assessments, but there are plenty of private nationally-normed tests that are available for your children to take.

If you need a bit of extra assistance with this, talk to your school district or superintendent to see what they advise and what direction they can point you in.

Homeschool Graduation Requirements In New Jersey

There are no laws in regard to graduation requirements when it comes to homeschooling in New Jersey.

As a homeschooling parent, you are in charge of determining when your children should graduate and when they should get their high school diploma.

If you are planning on sending your children to college, it is in your best interest to align the graduation requirements with what the college of their choice needs.

This will give you a good template to work off of and will act as a guide to make sure your children are meeting all of their targets before graduating.

This is another reason why keeping records is a good idea, even though it is not a requirement. It can help you determine if your children are ready to graduate.

Going Back To Public School

Homeschooling is not a permanent choice for every household, and in some cases, you may decide that putting your children back in public school is the best option.

In this case, you need to set up a meeting with the public school you want to enroll your children in and follow their guidelines and requirements.

Each school is different and will have its own requirements you will need to meet, so it is important to find them out before enrolling.

Conclusion

Homeschooling in New Jersey is one of the best states because they are so relaxed in their approach.

You don’t have too many rules to remember and follow and you are largely left to your own devices when you do start homeschooling.

Use everything we have covered in this guide to get started on homeschooling in New Jersey today.

If you still have any questions that need answering, contact your school district or superintendent and follow any advice that they give.

Further reading: Homeschooling in North Carolina

Simon Lewis

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