Looking for an unbiased homeschool resource that doesn’t have a hidden agenda? You’ve come to the right place to learn how to homeschool in New Jersey.
To homeschool in New Jersey, a parent or guardian should become familiar with the state’s homeschooling laws and regulations. Families must decide on a curriculum that fits their needs and be prepared for the self-discipline required to maintain a robust academic schedule.
How to Homeschool in New Jersey
In New Jersey, parents have the option to homeschool their children by either:
- Registering as a private school with the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) and following the DOE’s regulations for private schools.
- Registering as a home instruction program with the local public school district in which the student resides.
Here are the steps for each option:
Option 1: Registering as a Private School
- Review the regulations for private schools in New Jersey, which can be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A:8-1.1 et seq.
- Complete and submit a Private School Registration form (Form PS-1) to the DOE. This form can be found on the DOE’s website.
- Submit a copy of your private school’s curriculum to the DOE.
- If you will be serving students with disabilities, you must also submit a Private School Certificate of Compliance (Form PS-2) to the DOE.
- Once your private school is registered, you must file an Annual Report (Form PS-3) with the DOE each year.
Option 2: Registering as a Home Instruction Program
- Review the regulations for home instruction programs in New Jersey, which can be found in the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A:22-4.1 et seq.
- Notify the public school district in which you reside that you will be homeschooling your child. You can do this by completing and submitting a Notice of Intent to Provide Home Instruction (Form H-1) to the district. This form can be found on the DOE’s website.
- Submit a copy of your home instruction program’s curriculum to the district.
- If you will be serving students with disabilities, you must also submit a Home Instruction Certificate of Compliance (Form H-2) to the district.
- Once your home instruction program is registered, you must file an Annual Report (Form H-3) with the district each year.
It’s important to note that homeschooling in New Jersey is considered a form of private education, and as such, parents are responsible for ensuring that their children receive an education that is equivalent to the education provided in public schools.
This includes providing instruction in the core academic subjects of math, science, language arts, social studies, and physical education.
Free New Jersey Homeschool Programs
In New Jersey, there are excellent free homeschooling programs available to help families provide quality instruction and support for their children.
Parents can utilize resources and learning opportunities to boost their children’s formal education and provide them with the necessary skills for success in life.
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has a collection of standards outlined by state law to guarantee students get an academically focused education whether they attend public or private school.
It’s reassuring to realize that such quality resources are available at a low or no cost, so children in New Jersey can make strides toward furthering their education goals without having to worry about financial burdens.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a great source of information for New Jersey homeschoolers, offering webinars, articles, and updates about homeschooling laws.
Between 2019 to 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.
Does Homeschool Have to be Accredited in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, homeschooling does not need to be accredited however the person providing the education needs to be competent and demonstrate student progress. This can either be supervised by a local agency, such as county/charter school, or a private evaluator that’s able to confirm they’ve fulfilled other educational requirements.
To carry on homeschooling without accreditation, parents must receive approval from their local school district and submit a waiver form.
Homeschooling can be an effective way of teaching children in New Jersey as long as all the federal, state, and local requirements for curriculum and materials are met.
67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.
New Jersey Accredited Homeschool Programs
To be an accredited homeschool, proof of enrollment must be provided and attendance records kept, annual standardized tests approved by the state must be taken, a designated instructor with a high school diploma or equivalent qualifications is required, and compliance with mandated curriculum changes is necessary.
Private schools that are accredited must include in their admissions policies a statement confirming they meet all relevant laws and regulations, including those related to compulsory attendance.
Parents can provide a high-quality education for their children at home with an accredited homeschool program, allowing them to stay in a familiar and comfortable environment.
Create a Designated Learning Place
Homeschoolers should have a specific area set aside for learning, to help establish a daily routine and provide an environment where their child can concentrate on schoolwork.
A dining table is an ideal spot for studying. It’s easily cleared off at the end of each day which allows it to be used for eating as well.
You can also provide your child with their own desk in their bedroom for added privacy and the opportunity to decorate it. Whatever you decide, be sure to create an environment that helps them focus on learning.
Over 300 million students were homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay On Track with a Daily Schedule
Sticking to a daily schedule for homeschooling has many advantages; here are some of them:
- Establishing a daily routine can help homeschoolers prioritize tasks, complete more in less time, and improve productivity. Families with multiple students or other outside commitments may particularly benefit from this strategy.
- Effective time management begins with planning. A daily schedule makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done and when, and prevents feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Allocating specific blocks of time to tasks can help your family stay organized.
- Homeschooling can provide a sense of structure and regularity, especially beneficial for kids accustomed to attending a traditional school. This can make them feel safer and more prepared to learn.
- Families can benefit from daily schedules to stay accountable and meet their homeschooling objectives. This is important for those who tend to be easily distracted or delay their tasks.
- Having a daily schedule in place can facilitate better communication among family members, helping to avoid misunderstandings and building a stronger bond between them.
Ease Into It
Homeschooling for new parents can be a big shift, so it’s crucial to not apply excessive pressure from the start. It is best to ease into this transition and move forward at a steady pace.
Homeschooling parents can begin with just a few basic supplies and then build on their resources as they get more confident with the homeschooling process.
When it comes to homeschooling, there are numerous options, so you should find one that works best for your family. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with different techniques; the less stressed you feel, the more successful your learning experience is likely to be.
Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.
Involve Your Child in Setting Learning Goals
Involving your child in homeschool assignment planning and curriculum scheduling is important for several reasons:
- Offering students a sense of importance and ownership in their education will provide them with motivation and boost engagement.
- Involving them in the homeschool process will help them feel that they are part of it, rather than it being done to them.
- Getting your child involved in the homeschooling decision-making will give you a better understanding of their likes, talents, and shortcomings; allowing you to modify the learning environment to better accommodate them.
Generally, having your kid involved in homeschooling planning is key to a successful experience for everyone.
Explore Other Ways of Learning Outside the Classroom
Homeschooled kids have an advantage as they can explore many educational possibilities not found in a regular school. This helps them gain a diverse range of knowledge and experience, resulting in a more comprehensive education.
In many cases, homeschoolers benefit from strong connections in the community. These relationships can open doors to new learning opportunities, such as classes and workshops taught by experts or members of the community.
Parents who homeschool their children should seize these chances to broaden their kids’ education.
Homeschooling families can give their children a very enriching education by exploring different learning techniques.
Reach Out to Other Homeschool Families
Homeschooling can be difficult, especially for families without a support system. Luckily, there are various ways to make connections with other homeschoolers and build a community. One way is by connecting with local homeschooling organizations.
Homeschool groups can provide emotional support, practical advice from experienced homeschoolers, and opportunities for field trips and social interactions.
Joining an online forum or Facebook group is an excellent way to network with other homeschool parents.
Joining a parenting group can be helpful for exchanging resources, asking questions, and obtaining advice from parents who have the same experiences.
Making connections with other homeschooling families can help parents lessen the feeling of isolation and build a supportive environment for their kids.
When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.
Can Homeschooled Students Play Sports in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA) states that homeschoolers may take part in sports via their local public school district. Each school in NJ chooses whether or not to permit homeschoolers to join athletics.
If a student is homeschooled and lives in the district, they may participate if they receive approval from the local school board, have an equivalent education, and meet any other requirements.
Consequently, homeschoolers in New Jersey can join sports teams at public schools.
Participating in after-school activities is a terrific way for homeschooled kids to socialize, stay active, and learn how to work together.
How to Homeschool When Both Parents Work
New Jersey parents who opt to homeschool their children have to be creative with balancing work and school, as it is a difficult task.
With some ingenuity, it’s possible to work and homeschool at the same time. Let’s examine some pointers to help you achieve it.
Prior to February 2020, just 68% of parents who had homeschooled their children said it had been a success.
Get Your Childcare Involved
Some parents are lucky enough to have assistance in homeschooling while they’re away at work due to childcare.
When it’s not achievable or budget-friendly for all households, one should think outside the box to devise a plan that fits everyone’s needs.
Involving your children in household tasks is an effective method to reduce the strain you may be facing between work and homeschooling. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about responsibility.
It’s prudent to be mindful of your child’s abilities. A five-year-old probably won’t be able to do the laundry, but they can lend a hand with things like dusting or laying the table.
As they age, give your children more chores. By involving them in household tasks, you can reduce your work while teaching them essential life skills.
Before the epidemic, 69% of homeschooled children expressed a desire to continue their studies in this manner for the upcoming school year.
You and Your Spouse Work Alternate Shifts
Balancing homeschooling with both parents working can be difficult, especially if you and your partner have alternating shifts. Here are some strategies to help make it work:
- It’s important to organize your week in advance by creating a schedule that includes all of your work hours and other responsibilities. This will help you plan effectively for homeschooling.
- Make use of online materials: Utilizing online components like lesson plans, videos, and virtual excursions can be a great way to supplement your kid’s schooling when you are not able to be with them in person.
- Be flexible with your homeschooling: If your daytime commitments don’t make 9 to 3 schooling feasible, think outside the box. For instance, you can do lessons at night or at the weekend. Or, break up the day into shorter chunks of time for educational activities.
- Ask for assistance: Don’t be scared to look for support when you need it. This could involve employing a tutor or nanny to aid with home-based instruction while you are busy, or requesting the aid of relatives and friends.
- Homeschoolers should be aware that it’s okay to take breaks. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling will help ensure that commitments are met on both fronts.
Homeschooling can be a tricky task if both parents are working. But it can be done with the right amount of planning and creativity, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.
Take Advantage of Online Curriculums
Homeschooling is a great option to personalize your child’s education, yet it can be difficult to fit work and school into one schedule. To make it easier, why not opt for an online curriculum?
Structured learning programs can assist your child in their development and ensure concentration while you are away.
Furthermore, online learning can be tailored to your child’s individual requirements, making it convenient to discover a course that suits their distinctive learning approach.
In their children’s upcoming academic year, 54% of parents who were homeschooling before February 2020 were likely to do so full-time.
Assign the Child Solo Activities to Do While You’re at Work
Parents in New Jersey who teach their kids at home must find ways to keep their children entertained while they are working. One way is to assign independent curriculum projects.
Tasks such as reading assignments, research projects, and math and writing exercises may be included.
It’s essential to select activities that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level.
If your child attends childcare, ask your provider to remind them to complete their homeschooling tasks daily.
Proper planning can help your child become independent and accomplish tough tasks during the workday.
Allow Yourself Flexibility and Grace
Balancing a job and homeschooling can be difficult for parents, so it’s vital to give yourself some leniency and kindness while managing these duties.
Striving for perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to disappointment. Focus on the successes, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself on your achievements.
Keep in mind that your kids are observing you, and will take after you. By displaying a positive outlook and openness to change, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
Balancing work and homeschooling can be difficult, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to impart valuable lessons to your children. Show them how to be adaptable and graceful in any situation, setting them up for victory down the line.
The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).
New Jersey Homeschool Curriculum Requirements
In New Jersey, parents of homeschooled children are free to decide their own curriculum. Nonetheless, students must be taught all main academic disciplines, reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies as well as physical education.
Homeschooling can be made easier with this option, as it allows families to customize the process.
For example, they can focus on specific areas of interest or learning styles. Additionally, parents can tailor the curriculum to fit the needs of their individual children.
Consequently, homeschooling can be a successful learning method for New Jersey’s youngsters.
Letter of Intent to Homeschool in New Jersey
The New Jersey Department of Education states that submitting a Letter of Intent to Homeschool is not mandatory, though it is still an important document. This letter tells the school district that you are withdrawing your child for homeschooling purposes.
Your homeschooling plan should include the curriculum you will use and when you will be teaching, which this information provides.
Writing a letter of notification is a great way to build a connection with your school district that you can use if you require assistance or guidance.
It is beneficial to write a Letter of Intent when homeschooling in New Jersey, due to the various advantages it provides.
The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.
Is the New Jersey Homeschool Curriculum Free?
An increasing number of families in New Jersey are deciding to homeschool their children due to a range of reasons. Worried about the expense of curricula and resources, homeschooling parents may be thrilled to discover that there are numerous ways to find free educational materials on the web.
A quick search will uncover multiple websites that offer free homeschooling materials, from lesson plans to worksheets and even complete curricula.
Homeschooling families often receive discounts or free memberships from educational organizations.
Spending some energy and resources, one can acquire all the necessary materials to homeschool their children economically.
How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, homeschooling costs can vary significantly depending on what the family is looking for. Some opt for free online and library materials, while others purchase an extensive curriculum.
Some families hire tutors or participate in homeschool co-ops and others solely rely on parents for their teaching.
No single approach is the best for homeschooling when it comes to finances.
Investigating and organizing carefully can lead to an economic solution that satisfies your family’s requirements.
How Many Days Are Required for Homeschool in New Jersey?
Although the state of New Jersey does not require attendance for a certain number of days or hours of the day, it’s advisable to maintain a consistent and structured schedule that is in the child’s best interest.
A consistent schedule helps children feel safe and secure and provides them with a sense of predictability and routine.
It also allows them to build strong bonds with their caregivers and develop a sense of trust.
When children feel safe and secure, they are able to thrive emotionally, socially, and academically.
A structured schedule also provides opportunities for learning and exploration, both of which are essential for healthy child development.
Therefore, while there is no state-mandated attendance policy in New Jersey for homeschoolers, it is still in the best interest of children to maintain a consistent schedule.
A safe environment was cited as the main motivation by 50% of parents who homeschool their children.
New Jersey Homeschool Record Keeping
It is important for New Jersey homeschoolers to keep accurate records of their educational progress for a number of reasons. State law requires that homeschooling families maintain records of attendance, coursework, and assessments.
These records can be helpful in demonstrating that a child is receiving a legitimate education at home.
Additionally, accurate records can help a homeschool facilitator to identify areas of strength and weaknesses and plan accordingly for future academic goals.
Well-kept records can provide valuable information if a family ever decides to re-enroll their child in a traditional school setting.
Here are some things that are important to keep a record of during the homeschooling years:
- Test results
- Samples of your student’s academic work
- Documentation of the type of curriculum being provided to your child
- Dialog with state and/or school officials
- Attendance records
A good rule of thumb is to save these records for at least two years or longer if required.
By taking the time to maintain accurate homeschool records, New Jersey families can ensure that they are meeting legal requirements and giving their children the best possible educational foundation.
Test results, extracurricular activities, and socialization were mentioned as reasons for homeschooling by 14% of the parents.
New Jersey Homeschool Graduation Requirements
The state of New Jersey does not have a specific homeschooling requirement in place for a student to graduate. Graduation standards are set by the parents as the facilitators of their child’s education. Once the student accomplishes the expected milestones set forth by the parents, they will graduate.
New Jersey Homeschool Diploma
For homeschooled students in New Jersey, earning a diploma can be an even greater accomplishment. Homeschooled kids don’t have the structure of a regular school schedule, so they have to be self-motivated and disciplined to do well. A high school diploma is a symbol of hard work and dedication.
Earning a diploma shows that they have what it takes to set goals and achieve them.
In addition, a diploma for New Jersey homeschoolers can open up new opportunities, such as colleges and scholarships.
For homeschooled students, a high school diploma is an important milestone on the road to success.
As of February 2020, at least 9 million Americans had been homeschooled at least once.
How Does a Homeschooled Student Get a Diploma?
Parents in New Jersey who homeschool their children have the unique opportunity to be the sole provider of their child’s high school diploma. This means that they get to decide what criteria must be met in order for their child to earn the diploma.
Of course, parents will want to ensure that their child meets all the necessary requirements for graduation, such as taking required courses and passing exams.
However, they also have the freedom to tailor the curriculum to their child’s interests and learning style.
As a result, homeschooled students often emerge with a well-rounded education that prepares them well for success in college and beyond.
Before COVID-19, 42% of parents said they wished their kids had more freedom to pursue their hobbies.
Are Homeschool Diplomas Valid?
The homeschooling movement has been growing steadily in recent years, as more parents opt to educate their children at home. While homeschooling can provide a number of benefits, there is one potential drawback: homeschool diplomas may not be as recognized by colleges or employers.
Some institutions may require additional testing or coursework for homeschooled students, so students should be prepared to take some tests to show their level of academics.
It’s not uncommon whatsoever for homeschooled kids to be more academically advanced than their peers who attended a public school, so in the long run, homeschoolers are quite capable of holding the advantage.
However, it is important to note that homeschool diplomas are becoming increasingly common and should be accepted by most colleges and employers.
Although the information in this article was researched with the utmost integrity and sincerity, it cannot be held legally liable or expected to take the place of legitimate legal advice for your specific situation.
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.