Homeschooling in NJ 101

New Jersey is a homeschooling mecca. I feel the same way about homeschooling in NJ as I do about living here – sure it’s expensive, but for that premium price we get a lot of bang for our buck.

When I think of raising my boys and the things I want to teach them, expose them to, and have them experience, I cannot think of a place I’d rather be doing it than New Jersey. We have access to educational choices, cultural experiences, recreational activities, racial diversity, lifestyle options (from rural to super-urban living) and proximity to other major cities that makes for a great education. I LOVE this Garden State of mine.

Here are some basic facts about homeschooling in New Jersey.

They way to get started homeschooling in New Jersey is to just do it. One way to start is to just let Kindergarten registration come and go and don’t register. Another is to not start the new school year in September – send a short & sweet letter letting them know your child is now homeschooled. Another is to show up tomorrow at lunch, sign your child out and sign a paper stating that you are now homeschooling him/her.

You do not have to have a curriculum, a teaching degree or all the answers. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone – not even school officials – you can just be homeschoolers effective immediately.

Some people recommend a period of time to ‘deschool’. I would.

In New Jersey, there are no reporting requirements. There are no quarterly reports, standardized testing (or any testing), or submission of portfolios required. We enjoy educational freedom and the opportunity to embrace a myriad of philosophies – structured, pragmatic approaches to Unschooling, and Charlotte Mason to Waldorf and Montessori and thousands of others and variations of all of them. You can have kids who use and respond better to different approaches from each other. You can even change your mind! Some styles suit different phases and ages and certain seasons of life.

DSC07608 DSC07612You can join ‘homeschooling groups’ of one type or another – but do not have to. Many groups get together for parents to share information and give one another support, provide cooperative classes for their kids or purely for fun & play. Some groups provide all of the above. Occasionally, someone will ask me if I ‘belong to some type of group’. Only because I choose to – it is in no way required.

There is no ‘they’. Sometimes, in casual conversation, someone will mention that ‘they’ must provide me with textbooks and curriculum or ‘they’ probably check up on my kids or our work. I guess ‘they’ hang out in other states – but not here in NJ 🙂

I believe strongly in the freedom to educate your own children, in a style that suits them, at a pace that works for them, in the environment your family chooses, with materials you love.

You could start tomorrow. If you do, call me.

If there is anything you’ve been curious about in regards to homeschooling, let me know and I will do my best to answer it.

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