General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in New Jersey
Children in New Jersey must attend school between the ages of 6 and 16 years of age must attend a school or receive equivalent education elsewhere other than school
New Jersey is also one of the least restrictive states when it comes to homeschooling. The parents and guardians do not need to have any formal qualifications; you do not need to formally notify your school board of your intent to homeschool, there are no attendance requirements, no progress reports are needed, and you are free to teach whatever subjects you wish.
Notification of Intent to Homeschool in New Jersey
While there is no legal requirement to notify the state of your intent to homeschool your child, we still recommend doing so. This is to stop any confusion on both sides of the equation. If the school board expects your child to attend school and does not, then there can be time wasted on them following up with you. You can waste your time also in responding to them.
We recommend a simple letter which you can submit to your local school board or school superintendent. This can be as simple as a letter stating your intent to homeschool along with the name, age, and date of birth of your child, along with your signature.
Again, this is not a legal requirement, but we do recommend that you do it.
Qualifications Required To Homeschool in New Jersey
There are no parent/guardian qualifications needed to teach your child in the state of New Jersey. You are responsible for what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are also no standardized tests needed to show that your child is gaining knowledge, but we recommend that you keep track of your child’s progress to show your local school board.
Number of Days/Hours of Instruction Required for Homeschoolers in New Jersey
There are no laws governing the amount of instruction which you need to give to your child each year. When you start the year, you may have to come up with a plan detailing what you are teaching your child and when, but there are no laws governing how much tuition time you give to your child.
Check out this short video for additional information about homeschoolers in New Jersey:
There are also no laws in New Jersey relating to the graduation of your child. Compulsory school attendance is required for all children up to the age of 16, and after that time, they can graduate. Homeschool parents (along with the child) can determine if the child is ready to graduate. Children can then take equivalency tests if that is a requirement for applying to college.
What Subjects Need to be Covered in Home Education (and for how long) in New Jersey?
New Jersey law has no formal requirements when it comes to what subjects you teach to your child, but you may be required to come up with a learning plan each year to describe what you are going to teach your child.
You are not required to teach any specific subjects in any given year.
What are the Recordkeeping Requirements for Homeschoolers in New Jersey?
New Jersey law does not dictate what you teach your child and how you teach them. There are no laws surrounding how you assess your child or what records need to be kept. However, we recommend that you keep records of everything your child does or is involved in so that you can track their progress or any disputes.
Things to include in your records include proof of attendance, information on the resources you are using (including workbooks, textbooks, online resources, etc.), samples of your child’s work, any correspondence with school officials or boards, portfolios and test results, and any other homeschooling documents which prove that you are complying with homeschooling law and regulations.
We recommend keeping your records for two years, and the best way to store them is by scanning them into your computer and storing them in separate folders, grouped by the year your child was homeschooled.
Testing is an important part of recordkeeping in homeschooling even though there are no formalized requirements in the state of New Jersey detailing what your child should be learning. You should be able to demonstrate that your child is learning and your assessments should be agreed upon before you start your homeschooling year. You should keep a record of all your child’s assessments to show that your child is learning.
Is Part-time Enrollment Permitted in New Jersey?
Yes. Under New Jersey education law, your child can be partially enrolled in public school. This means that your child can take regular school classes as part of their homeschooling education and can split their time between home and school (as long as the school offers this).
Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in extracurricular activities in public schools. Any homeschoolers who live with a disability are also eligible for services through their local public school (the same services which students with disabilities would receive if they were enrolled in public school).
You should submit a letter of intent if you wish for your child to participate in any public school programs.
Are Homeschoolers Permitted to Participate in Extracurricular Activities in New Jersey?
Yes, and it is encouraged. Homeschool children are permitted to participate in any other extracurricular activities, whether it be with a public school or another organization.
To receive more information about the homeschooling laws in the State of New Jersey, you may want to visit the Education Network of Christian Home-Schoolers of New Jersey website.