New Jersey Homeschool Laws
Families beginning to homeschool in New Jersey sometimes wonder “Is it legal to homeschool in New Jersey?” The answer is an absolute, YES! You will be relieved to discover that state laws regulating homeschooling and homeschoolers are minimal and straight-forward.
Unlike some states where the subjects and methods of home education are defined by law, New Jersey homeschoolers have the freedom and flexibility to choose what, how, where, and when to teach their child(ren.)
- New Jersey Homeschool Requirements
- Switching from Public School to Homeschool
- Homeschool Recordkeeping in New Jersey
- Homeschool Graduation Requirements in New Jersey
- Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
- Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in New Jersey
*This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
New Jersey Homeschool Requirements
Compulsory education law in New Jersey states that every child between 6 and 16 years of age attend school (private or public) or receive “equivalent instruction elsewhere than at school.”
This means that homeschooling teachers in New Jersey are not legally required to provide documentation of:
- Educational qualifications
- Formal notification of homeschooling
- Progress reports
- Subjects taught
As such, New Jersey is one of the least regulated states for homeschoolers in the nation!
Full details and additional links relating to the home education laws for New Jersey can be found at A2ZHomeschooling.com.
Full Details of New Jersey’s Homeschool Laws
Switching from Public School to Homeschool
Although not required by law, many families, whose child is already enrolled in a public school, choose to notify their local school and district superintendent when beginning to homeschool. This notification can prevent any truancy complications.
The notice of intent to homeschool can be as simple as a letter sharing the name and birthdate of your child and a statement that you will be beginning homeschool on a given date and are officially withdrawing him/her from school. The NJ Homeschool Association provides a sample letter that you may pattern yours after if you wish.
Homeschool Recordkeeping in New Jersey
Although New Jersey does not legally require parents to keep or submit specific records regarding their homeschool, it’s a good idea to keep an up-to-date homeschool portfolio of your child’s accomplishments. You will discover that any future transitions in educational status such as moving back to school after homeschooling, applying for college, or enlisting in the military will all go more smoothly if you have kept comprehensive records of your homeschool activities.
Some of the things you may want to keep in a homeschool portfolio include:
- The results of any standardized tests your homeschooler takes while homeschooling
- An overview of the curriculum you’ve used as well as samples of assignments completed by your student, quizzes or tests, and written work, something Time4Learning makes very easy
- A general progress report for each homeschooler for the current homeschool year
- For high school homeschoolers, a detailed transcript
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in New Jersey
New Jersey has no laws relating to graduating your homeschooler. Compulsory attendance is required for students through the age of 16, but there are no New Jersey guidelines on what your high schooler must achieve prior to graduation. Instead, homeschool parents determine their own criteria for when their homeschooled high schooler is prepared to receive a diploma.
If college is on your student’s radar, it’s a good idea to look at the recommendations for any school they may apply for and align your homeschool goals with those. But if your high schooler has an alternative to college in mind, you can certainly help them create a customized curriculum path to achieve their goals.
If you are curious about how a homeschool high school completion differs from traditional school graduation, the below chart outlines some of the comparisons between the two.
|New Jersey diploma requirements||Credit requirements are established by individual school districts but all NJ students must achieve a minimum of 120 credits for graduation.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements and can issue their own homeschool diploma; students of private/online schools may receive diplomas from those institutions.|
|New Jersey high school testing requirements||Must pass specific elements of the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) exams in math and English prior to graduation.||Homeschool students are not subject to testing requirements for graduation.|
|New Jersey high school transcripts||Created by individual schools or districts.||Homeschool parents may create their own student transcripts, and may include any information they deem pertinent to colleges, military, and/or future workplace organizations.|
|New Jersey high school course credits||High school graduates must achieve a minimum of 120 credits to graduate; specific credit requirements are determined by school district.||Parents determine when their student has fulfilled graduation requirements; for the purpose of creating transcripts, some homeschool parents do assign credits to individual courses.|
|GED eligibility||Three high school equivalency tests are approved by NJ: GED, HiSET and TASC. They are available to students ages 16 years or older who are not currently enrolled in a traditional high school.||The same requirements for eligibility apply to homeschoolers as to public school students.|
Enrolling in Public School after Homeschooling
Homeschooling is usually a year-to-year decision. Although some families begin homeschooling with the intent of doing so all the way through graduation, for many families homeschool is a short-term solution. If, at any time, you decide to return to public school after a period of homeschool, you should expect the school to have their own policies concerning grade placement.
The assessment of a homeschooler will be the same as an assessment of any new or returning child. Grade placement may be determined by a standardized testing assessment at the school’s discretion.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in New Jersey
Have other questions about homeschooling in New Jersey? You may find the following pages helpful.