How to Start Homeschooling in New Jersey
So, you want to know how to start homeschooling in New Jersey, huh? You’ve come to the right place!
Unlike most of the states in the United States, New Jersey is currently one of the best states in which to homeschool. Why? While many states require packets of information to be turned in, attendance to be submitted, or even standardized testing to be completed, the great state of New Jersey requires the complete opposite!
Homeschooling in New Jersey does not have any academic requirements beyond requiring children to complete some form of instruction, equivalent to the education they’d receive in public school, from age 6 to 16.
Now, this could change at any time, but, at this very moment, New Jersey does not regulate homeschooling. While there are many third party websites that provide this information, such as the the Home School Legal Defense Association, complete details can be found on the New Jersey Department of Education website.
Deciding to Homeschool in New Jersey
When I decided to start homeschooling my boys, I was completely overwhelmed. Suddenly, it would be up to me to choose the curriculum, set up lesson plans, organize field trips, and so much more. The weight of these decisions literally left me beyond stressed out. Since you’re reading this article, I imagine that you could be feeling the same right about now! You know what, though? Everything will be ok!
Sidenote: this article was originally written when we were super newbs to the homeschooling world! We’re now 2 years in to homeschooling in New Jersey, so I can definitely confirm…everything will be ok!
These days, we have the magic of the internet and social media to help with so many of our day to day decisions – including homeschooling decisions! A number of Facebook groups have been a huge help in my homeschooling experience so far. A few groups that have helped me out have are:
Homeschooling 101: NJ, compared to more general homeschooling group, this NJ-specific group is pretty small and great for getting information on homeschooling in New Jersey. This could be a great group to make local connections.
Top Picks Homeschool Curriculum Fair, not a state specific group, but this group served as a multi-week event showcasing a multitude of homeschool curriculum options. This helped me to narrow down curriculums that I think will work best for my boys.
Secular, Eclectic, Academic (SEA) Homeschoolers, by far my favorite and most referenced group, the SEA Homeschoolers group is quite large and filled with homeschooling parents of all ages and experiences. I find this group to be super encouraging and helpful. Also important to note, this group does not suggestions for or conversations about religion-based curriculum. There are also many SEA sub-groups that focus on niches such as homeschooling with a chronic illness and homeschooling children that have learning challenges and special needs. All of this information can be found within the group.
South Jersey Homeschool Moms, a smaller group, this group focuses on homeschooling events and resources in South Jersey. Another great group to make local connections!
As far as how to homeschool your kids, that is totally up to you and your family. There are a number of ways to homeschool! Some families prefer to stick to a typical “school day” schedule while some prefer to have the learning be “student led,” allowing the children to decide what they’d like to learn about. Homeschool.com does a great job at explaining a few of the “styles” of homeschooling. Keep in mind that one of the amazing things about homeschooling is that it can change from day to day. Every day can be a new experience and, if needed, you’ll be able to change things up to make education fun and exciting!
Ready to Start Homeschooling in NJ?
Now that you’ve learned how to start homeschooling in New Jersey, you’re ready to dive in and get started, right? No one should go at this alone, so feel free to email me with any questions and follow me on social media as I share our lives homeschooling and beyond.
If you’re anything like me and want some homeschool apparel of your own, definitely check out Homeschool Style Co. The Caffeinate and Educate shirt is, unfortunately no longer available, but there are still PLENTY of other awesome homeschool apparel options!
We have plenty of homeschool curriculum reviews on the blog, tips for homeschool travel, and more, so we should definitely hang out.
Until next time, stay safe and enjoy quality time with your family,
Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.
Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!
Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!