How to Start Homeschooling in New Jersey
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So, you’re interested in learning about 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 or attendance to be submitted, the great state of 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.
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!
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!
*NEW* Cherry Hill Homeschool Families, a group run by yours truly! This group is open to families in Cherry Hill and surrounding communities looking to create connections and support each fellow homeschooling families.
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!
PS – if you’re anything like me and want some homeschool apparel of your own, definitely check out Homeschool Style Co. and save 15% on your order with the code HOMESCHOOL15. The Caffeinate & Educate shirt is obviously one of my favorites, but the Homeschool Mom: Killin It shirt is also pretty sweet and on my growing list of “shirts to order”!
I hope this article has helped out a bit! Stay tuned for more articles on our homeschool journey!
Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 boys.
Created in 2018, Elizabeth owns and publishes South Jersey Family: a free resource encouraging South Jersey Families to enjoy quality time together with the help of a local events & activities calendar, local reviews & recommendations, and more. She loves hanging out in the Real Moms of South Jersey Facebook Group and planning get-togethers in the area! Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest are her favorite forms of social media. In addition, Elizabeth helps to empower local women by co-leading the Cherry Hill Believe Inspire Grow Pod through monthly meetings and a Facebook Group.
When she’s not busy taking over the world, Elizabeth can be found listening to The Beatles, being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, or searching for deals in the aisles of Target.