Posted by Charity on August 22nd, 2007

Still super pissed off extremely unhappy about having to prove that I am educating my children because it takes me so long to get all of the paperwork together with three kids under foot, I have one more post about homeschooling laws for you.

I just learned that New Jersey does not require anything from homeschooling parents.

Wait! There’s more.

The state takes no action unless there is “credible evidence” that the child is not receiving an education. And, get this, “The mere fact that a child has been withdrawn to be homeschooled is not, in itself, credible evidence of a legal violation.”

Can you imagine? The parents are actually considered innocent until proven guilty.  Go figure.

Just for a frame of reference, in Vermont, I must provide:

A form (provided by the state) with names, DOBs, address, etc.

Since I have a different last name than my children, I must, by law, provide an explanation for that difference of name, along with legal documentation backing up my story.

A detailed course of study (curriculum), for each child, addressing the six subject areas required by law. (It’s actually seven because language arts and math are considered one. Further evidence that our legislature has issues with reality.)

For first-timers, a required form filled out by each child’s physician showing if the child has any learning disabilities.

For returning homeschoolers, an assessment of last year’s course of study, for each child. Acceptable formats: an assessment by a VT licensed teacher, on the Dept. of Ed.’s form, subject to their increasingly more particular criteria; the full results of a standardized test (from the list of tests acceptable to the Dept. of Ed.), plus a parent report detailing the child’s progress in each area of the course of study; or a portfolio of the child’s work (contents of the portfolio are dictated by Dept. of Ed.), with a parent report.

Physicians’ reports? Personal details about family structure? Am the only one who thinks this is a big problem??

Here’s the deal. The taxpayers provide the funding for a public education system, which is free for those who choose to use it. That’s fine, at least for the purpose of this discussion, but if a parent wants to opt out of that public system, the children of that parent cease to be the concern of the educational bureaucracy. Period. It really is that simple.

I should be finished with my enrollment paperwork by the end of this week, so I promise that this is the last post about this…until next year!

4 Responses to “Maybe I Should Just Move to New Jersey”

  1. christenpatterson
    August 22nd, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    As a homeschool graduate, having started homeschooling in a state when the laws were not favorable (seventeen years ago) but which were challenged in the supreme court and changed, I identify with your frustration and encourage you to keep persevering. It’s well worth it! The three eldest homeschool graduates all received full ride academic scholarships to the universities of their choice. (The next in line are in highschool.)

  2. It would seem that if “Big Brother” isn’t watching your every move they trying to bully you into the socialized education system. Best of luck!

  3. No no! Don’t move to Jersey Charity!!! Stay here!!

  4. Thanks for your comments Christen and NP.

    Hey Brattlerouser!

    We’re not moving to New Jersey, but, unfortunately, we aren’t moving down your way any time soon either.

    It’s not that we didn’t like what we saw when we were there, it’s just not the right time.