New Jersey Homeschooling Laws
Some parents considering homeschooling their child in New Jersey may be wondering whether it’s legal to homeschool in New Jersey. Yes, homeschooling in New Jersey is indeed legal and the laws in New Jersey that regulate homeschooling and homeschoolers are straight-forward and minimal.
The law in New Jersey states that homeschooling parents must provide their children an education that is “equivalent” to what students receive in public school. However, “equivalent” does not necessarily mean that it needs to be the same or identical. Provided that parents are making an effort to provide an education that is appropriate based on the student’s age and grade level and which covers the major subjects studied in public school, the courts have deemed this to be sufficient.
Homeschoolers in New Jersey are free to choose the method of homeschooling, the curriculum to be used, where and when the homeschooler will undertake his/her lessons. Homeschooling in New Jersey has thus been described as having one of the most flexible option and least requirements for families.
- Requirements for Homeschooling in New Jersey
- Requirements to Switch from Public School to Homeschool
- New Jersey homeschool recordkeeping
- New Jersey Requirements for homeschool graduation
- Enrolling in public school after homeschooling
*This information is by no means intended as legal advice; its purpose is merely informational. It is each parent’s responsibility to get informed and understand the applicable homeschooling laws which regulate homeschooling in his or her state.
Requirements and Laws on Homeschooling in New Jersey
Every child between the ages of 6 and 16 years is required to attend school by the law on compulsory education in New Jersey. Homeschoolers may opt for a public school, private school or an equivalent instruction given elsewhere other than at school.
In New Jersey, it is not a requirement by law for teachers offering homeschooling services to document the following:
- The homeschooler’s educational qualification
- The homeschooler’s attendance
- Reports of the progress made by the student
- A formal notification of homeschooling
- The subjects undertaken by the student
New Jersey is thus considered one of the states with the least regulations on homeschooling in the nation.
Transferring from Public School to Homeschool in New Jersey
Notice of Intent
Families considering homeschooling in New Jersey sometimes to choose to follow a formal path of withdrawal. This involves the parent sending an email or a letter to the principal, attendance clerk and counselor of the school informing them on the intention to withdraw theirchild. The letter/email should have the date in which the homeschooling program will begin or began to avoid any truancy inquiries. The notification serves as prevention on any truancy complications that may arise. This, however, is not a requirement under the New Jersey laws.
The notification on the intention to begin homeschooling can be a simple letter indicating the name of the student, the birthdate of the student and a statement that the student intends to begin homeschooling. The letter indicates the date the student begins homeschooling and that they are officially withdrawing from the school. A sample letter is available here as provided by the New Jersey Homeschool Association. The law does not require parents to obtain approval from the school or school district in order to homeschool.
Recordkeeping for Homeschoolers in New Jersey
It is considered a good idea for families homeschooling their child to keep record of the student’s accomplishments. These records have proven to be relevant and helpful in an event the child is applying for college, when the child considers going back to a local school after homeschooling, or in enlisting in the military or future workplace organizations. Lernsys Homeschooling provides transcripts and curriculum records which include course average grade/final grade, quizzes/tests grades, lessons and topics covered, among other things.
What families may consider in the homeschool portfolio:
- The curriculum used by the homeschooler
- Samples of completed assignments, quizzes, tests and written work undertaken by the homeschooler
- The results of standardized tests undertaken by the homeschooler
- General yearly report on the progress of the homeschooler
- For the homeschoolers in high school, a detailed transcript.
Requirements for Graduation in New Jersey
New Jersey has neither laws on graduation for homeschoolers nor guidelines on what a homeschooler must achieve prior to graduation. There is, however, the requirement that the student must attend school through the age of 16. Parents get to decide when the homeschooler is ready to graduate and receive a diploma.
In determining homeschooling goals for a student considering college, parents are advised to consider recommendations for any school the student may be interested in applying and align them with those. For those that have an alternative to college, a customized curriculum path aligning with those goals should be a crucial part of the program.
The chart below shows the comparison between graduation requirements in public school and homeschool in New Jersey.
Diploma requirements in New Jersey
At least 120 credits is the requirement for all New Jersey students to graduate. Additional credit requirements are established in a school to school basis.
Parents in New Jersey have the liberty to determine if and when their student will graduate. They then proceed to award the high school diploma under their own terms. Institutions also give diplomas to students in private/online schools.
|Testing requirements in New Jersey||The students must undertake and pass the PARCC (partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers) exams in Math and English to be eligible for graduation.||
There is no law in New Jersey that compels or forces homeschoolers to undertake a test as a requirement in order to graduate high school.
New Jersey high school transcripts
The transcripts schools give include attendance information, a total of the credits, information identifying the student, a credit history by course indicating the grades received per semester, the course titles and the overall grade.
Parents in New Jersey can create the homeschoolers’ transcripts which may include information they considered relevant to institutions the homeschoolers may intend to apply to. This may include schools, colleges, workplace organizations, or the military.
High school course credits in New Jersey
To graduate, students must achieve a minimum of 120 credits. The school district determines the specific credit requirements.
Some parents assign credits to individual courses. Parents decide when it is time for their student to graduate and proceed to create transcripts.
Eligibility for GED in New Jersey
The New Jersey law on compulsory education approves the GED, HiSET and TASC as the high school equivalency tests. The students eligible for these tests must not be enrolled in a traditional high school and must be 16 years and above.
Homeschoolers are eligible if the meet the same criteria as public school students.
Homeschool High School Transcript Template
Track your homeschooler’s credits, courses, and accomplishments with this free homeschool high school transcript template.
Switching from Homeschooling to Public School in New Jersey
Each school in New Jersey applies different guidelines for grade placement and enrollment of students. You will find that some schools in New Jersey let you register your child for the grade you wish him/her to attend while others require information on the student’s progress and the curriculum used during homeschooling. Other schools in New Jersey will have your child take an assessment test to determine the appropriate grade level your child belongs in.
Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling in New Jersey
Have other questions about homeschooling in New Jersey? You may find the following pages helpful.