Homeschooling: An educational option for all kinds of families
|Today’s top issue||For the media||Home Ed newbies||Teens!|
NYT: Before Tumblr, founder made mom proud. He quit school.
From the article: “But instead of trying to pry him away from his machine or coaxing him outside to get some fresh air, his mother, Barbara Ackerman, had another solution: she suggested that he drop out of high school to be home-schooled.”
Don’t Go Back To School
From the post: ““The present education system is the trampling of the herd,” legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright lamented in 1956. Half a century later, I started Brain Pickings in large part out of frustration and disappointment with my trampling experience of our culturally fetishized “Ivy League education.” I found myself intellectually and creatively unstimulated by the industrialized model of the large lecture hall, the PowerPoint presentations, the standardized tests assessing my rote memorization of facts rather than my ability to transmute that factual knowledge into a pattern-recognition mechanism that connects different disciplines to cultivate wisdom about how the world works and a moral lens on how it should work. …So, in 2012, when I found out that writer Kio Stark was crowdfunding a book that would serve as a manifesto for learning outside formal education, I eagerly chipped in. Now, Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything is out and is everything I could’ve wished for when I was in college, an essential piece of cultural literacy, at once tantalizing and practically grounded assurance that success doesn’t lie at the end of a single highway but is sprinkled along a thousand alternative paths.”
School Board wants authority to OK homeschoolers’ curricula
We want to take a moment to address an issue that may be of concern to homeschoolers. In brief, the West Cape May school board is proposing that school boards should assume the responsibility of evaluating homeschoolers’ curricula. They have introduced a resolution to the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), which is having its annual delegates meeting this weekend in Mercer County. The NJSBA is a federation of boards of education and is governed by a delegate assembly.
You can read the entire text of the resolution here: http://www.njsba.org/about/delegate-assembly/pdfs/dahandbookmay2013.pdf (Skip to page 89.)
The New Jersey Homeschool Association, along with other state and local homeschool groups, opposes this resolution. We are encouraged that the NJSBA Resolution Subcommittee, an internal group of the organization that recommends actions for policy-making resolutions, opposes the resolution also. Its reasons: the action is cost prohibitive and opens the school district up to liability claims by homeschooling families. (As an aside, the statutes governing education do not differentiate homeschoolers from private school students. Will public schools also want the authority to approve private schools’ curricula?)
As always, the New Jersey Homeschool Association is dedicated to preserving our freedom to home educate our children. We will post the result of the NJSBA vote as soon as it is known. In the meantime, if your local school board is challenging your right to homeschool, please know that NJHA is here for you.
Tutoring isn’t homeschooling
At NJHA we’ve recently gotten bombarded with requests from parents looking to hire a teacher to “homeschool” their children. This isn’t homecshooling; it’s tutoring. While hiring a tutor is a valid educational option, it isn’t what we at NJHA advocate. Homeschooling is family-centered learning, and a parent’s role involves more than writing a check to someone else. Please read our What is Homeschooling page first.
Homeschooler uprising in America?
From Academia.org: “Recruiters from colleges are noticing the trend, since the majority of homeschoolers graduate and obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree at a much higher rate than public school and some private school competitors. Colleges such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Duke have begun recruiting homeschooled students.”
The case against grades
From the Slate.com article: “Grading students, from A to F, has become synonymous with education itself. Report-card day is an American rite of passage. Yet, there’s reason to believe the structure of grading students is the biggest culprit in America’s long, steady decline in education—SAT reading scores are at a 40-year low, and one recent study ranked the U.S. 17th in education, worse than Poland, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, and Denmark. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the rigid and judgmental foundation of modern education is the origin point for many of our worst qualities, making it harder for many to learn because of its negative reinforcement, encouraging those who do well to gradually favor the reward of an A over the discovery of new ways of thinking, and reinforcing harsh class divides that are only getting worse as the economy idles.”
New School Standards Spur a Backlash
From the article: “Now, the Common Core effort is under attack from an unlikely coalition: conservatives who decry the implementation costs and call the standards an intrusion into local education decisions; union leaders who worry that states have tied, or plan to tie, teacher evaluations to new Common Core exams; and some parents who contend their children are ill-prepared for the Common Core tests.” (HT: Spunky Homeschool)
N.J. has few regulations to check homeschooled students
The Courier-Post ran an article about the lack of regulation on homeschoolers in The Garden State. The writer, Phil Dunn, contacted NJHA and asked for contacts to complete his article. We gave him Meg Walker’s information. Please take a moment to read and even comment on his article.
Homeschooling Toward College
Perhaps some of our readers were aware of this very active Yahoo group, but we just happened upon Homeschooling Toward College today. Veteran homeschoolers give each other tips and encouragement as families navigate the minefield known as higher education. (HT: About.com Homeschooling)
New blog for NJ Homeschoolers and Unschoolers
The Web just got better…for NJ homeschoolers. Barbara Rapaport just started a blog, Education Elsewhere, for families to learn about educating their children outside government schools. She’s a wealth of information; this is a blog you will want to bookmark.
Study: Homeschoolers get better Zzzzzzs
From the article: “In the first study of its kind, researchers have determined that teens who are homeschooled benefit from healthier sleep habits than those who go to most private and public schools. The findings provide additional evidence of teens’ altered biological clocks and support an argument for starting traditional high school later in the morning.”
The Road Map Project, Race to the Top, Bill Gates, a national data bank, Wireless Gen…and FERPA?
From the article: “One of the deals that we made with the devil when it came to accepting Race to the Top dollars is the relinquishing of our children’s information.
“Gates and others have begun to collect information about our children from New York to LA and it is about to happen in Seattle thanks to the efforts of the Road Map project, et al, falling all over themselves to receive a pittance of educational funding, $40 M to be split between 7 districts in our state. That’s $5.7M if it were to be divided equally.”
College 101: An Introduction to the College Admission Process for Homeschoolers
Just in time for high school juniors who are beginning their college search, Barbara Rapaport and Alison Snieckus, under the auspices of the Princeton Learning Cooperative, present this 7-week course to help homeschooling families with the college search and application process. By the end of the class, participants will have a strategy for finding and applying to colleges that are “good fit” schools—schools where they can thrive academically and socially without incurring unmanageable debt. Whatever your student’s career goals, this course will help raise his or her awareness of the available options for further education and vocational training.
2nd-5th sessions: Mondays, March 25th, April 1st, 8th, and 15th, 3:30-4:30
6th session: week of April 22nd
7th session: Tuesday, April 30th, 7-8:30 pm
Space is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis to current homeschooled high school juniors. Registration must be received by March 12th; email firstname.lastname@example.org offlist for details.
Barbara Rapaport is a college advisor at Rapaport Consulting, LLC. Barbara is a graduate of Barnard College, holds a certificate in college counseling from UCLA, and has been involved in homeschooling for twenty years. She coaches the Marshall Academy high school homeschoolers’ Mock Trial team, co-leads E-cubed teen homeschooling group with Alison, and enjoys helping teenagers realize their own strengths and potentials. Barbara is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association and the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Alison Snieckus is on staff at Princeton Learning Cooperative. In addition to teaching classes and one-on-one tutoring, Alison serves as a mentor for PLC teens, helping the teens design their high school education, make plans for their next steps after high school, and, if desired, apply to 4-year colleges and universities. Prior to working at PLC, Alison worked at ETS as a measurement statistician. Alison has been involved in homeschooling for 13 years.
The Princeton Learning Cooperative (www.princetonlearningcooperative.org) is a center that helps teenagers live and learn without school by supporting teens to create a personalized education based on their interests, abilities, and goals.
From The Economist: Keep it in the Family
From the article: Three decades ago home schooling was illegal in 30 states. It was considered a fringe phenomenon, pursued by cranks, and parents who tried it were often persecuted and sometimes jailed. Today it is legal everywhere, and is probably the fastest-growing form of education in America. According to a new book, “Home Schooling in America”, by Joseph Murphy, a professor at Vanderbilt University, in 1975 10,000-15,000 children were taught at home. Today around 2m are—about the same number as attend charter schools.
From LinkedIn: Question
From member Martin L: One might argue that only super wealthy people could afford homeschooling to begin with, thus it’s uneven selection because the homeschooled kids have an edge from day 1. Another might argue that only crazy people with fringe beliefs (religious zealots, anti-government freaks), so the kids are going to grow up with more problems than the average American. I’m just spitballing here, I don’t have opinion either way yet.
May we encourage NJ homeschooling families to enlighten Martin L?
From Examiner.com: Homeschool Thanksgiving
From the article: As I reflected on Thanksgiving yesterday, I just could not help but think of my thankfulness that relates to homeschooling and I wanted to share.
From New York Magazine: A Day in the Life of a Homeschooler
From the article: Monique Forest teaches her 13-year-old son, Shane, in Sunset Park. We asked her to document a typical day. Also from New York Magazine, “Do Colleges Frown Upon Homeschooler Applicants?”
From Salon.com: Quinn Cummings: My homeschooling manifesto
From the article: Quinn Cummings doesn’t make it look easy. In a world where bookshelves groan with authoritative guides on how to distill any aspect of parenting into 10 easy steps that can be done in 30 short days, she boldly sets the tone in her new book on her “adventures in home schooling” by having a panic attack in her laundry room on the first page. From there, Cummings, beloved to Gen-Xers everywhere for her childhood roles in “The Goodbye Girl” and “Family,” leads the reader through her frustrating, fulfilling, frequently very funny quest to build a meaningful education for her daughter Alice.
From The Atlantic: The Homeschool Diaries
From the article: One question we’re always asked: What about the future? Middle school? High school? The simple answer, for us and plenty of other New York homeschoolers, is that we just don’t know; the practicalities change from year to year. Our older boys are now in the fifth grade. They know their way around the Museum of Natural History and Yankee Stadium; they are versed in the exploits of Huck Finn and Jack Sparrow. This spring, they’ll take the required state Regents exams—the tests that determine New York City students’ options for middle school. But they, and we, hope to continue homeschooling.
From NJ.com: Homeschooling has become a viable option for parents; here’s why that’s not a bad thing
From the article: Back-to-School sales are hitting stores across the country but an increasing number of parents are preparing for a decidedly non-traditional Back-to-School – those choosing to homeschool their children. Many people think of homeschooling as something reserved for the religious and the free-spirited but nothing could be further from the truth. Homeschooling is no longer a fringe movement.
From MSN Money: Free and low-cost help for home-schoolers
From Money.MSN.com: Home schooling is said to be the most rapidly growing educational segment in the U.S. An estimated 2 million students were home-schooled in 2010, and their numbers continue to rise. With such a large number of families home-schooling, it’s no surprise that home-school resources is a growing industry. Online courses, group classes and boxed curricula are readily available.
From PsychologyToday.com: Should Homeschooling Parents Have College Degrees?
From the article: Here’s a subject that can make tempers flare: homeschooling regulation. Some parents feel that our federal and state governments should keep their fingerprints completely off of homeschooling. Others believe that modest oversight on a state-by-state basis is acceptable. And then there are plenty of observers outside the homeschooling community who wonder: Why aren’t home-educated children held to the same minimum standards as public school students? And shouldn’t homeschooling parents be required to get teaching certificates, or college diplomas?
And here is the follow-up: Last week I posted an article with a deliberately provocative title: Should Homeschooling Parents Have College Degrees? I didn’t offer my own answer; instead I invited readers to share their thoughts on what, if any, level of education might be required by each state—a bachelor’s degree, a high school diploma, a basic literacy test, no regulation whatsoever? I did, however, state that the fact that parents with GEDs could, if they desired, conduct their children’s high school educations seemed to be “setting the bar very low.”
USA Olympic Diving Trials Include Several Homeschooled Hopefuls
From Yahoo News: This week, USA Diving is holding the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The competition will be tough. Only 14 spots will be awarded and approximately 120 of America’s top elite divers are expected to compete. Among those competing for a chance to represent the United States in London are several athletes who were homeschooled for at least part of their education.
(Note: Yes, this article is two months old but we just happened upon it today.)
From TED: Ideas worth spreading
HT to Why Homeschool: “At 16 minutes 12 seconds, Robinson makes a passing reference to homeschooling.”
From WSJ.com: My Education in Home Schooling
From the article by Quinn Cummings: But the biggest thing people want to talk about is socialization. Everyone is worried that I keep my child in a crate with three air holes punched in it and won’t let her have friends until she gets her AARP card. There’s a long answer, of course, but I’ll sum it up this way: Homo sapiens have walked the Earth for at least 130,000 years and, in this time, they learned to be human from their elders, not from their peers. Mandatory education in the U.S. is less than 150 years old. Learning to be a productive adult human by spending a third of every day with other kids might be a good idea, but it’s too soon to tell. I’m still unsure that the people best equipped to teach a 14-year-old boy how to be a man are other 14-year-old boys.
June 4, 1967
From NorthJersey.com: A landmark case concerning homeschooling in New Jersey was finally decided when a judge ruled in favor of a local woman who homeschooled her child.
“The Massas, that Pequannock family of artists who for years have bucked the school board’s demand that the children be sent to school at the state-stipulated ages, have finally won the support of a court of law,” it was reported.
May 25, 2012 Update on A2881
On May 25th, NJHA, along with colleagues from the NJ homeschooling task force, met with Asw. Pamela Lampitt to discuss A2881. Asw. Lampitt indicated that her intent in proposing A2881 was to protect foster children and not to target homeschoolers. To that end, she has agreed to meet again with the task force and other stakeholders in the area of child protection to try to come to agreement on how best to achieve the goal of protecting foster children without eroding current homeschooling law. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.
Update on A2881
Just a quick update: everyone who spoke about the A2881 today spoke against it, but it passed out of committee anyway. Chair Lampitt promised to meet with homeschool groups and also that the bill would be fully vetted before it reached the Assembly floor. We’ll post as news is available.
To listen to the proceedings, visit the NJ.gov Legislative proceedings archive page here. Bill A2881 was discussed about five hours into the meeting.
On May 10, 2012, Asw. Pamela Lampitt, Chair of the Assembly Women and Children Committee, introduced Bill A2881 http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A3000/2881_I1.PDF
This bill provides that a child under the care, custody, or supervision of the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) in the Department of Children and Families, including a child placed in a resource family or kinship care home, may not be home-schooled unless DYFS approves the child’s home-schooling.”
Because A2881 was only submitted Thursday and is already going to committee Monday, it might seem to be on a fast track; however, since the sole sponsor is the committee chairperson, the pace itself might not be a cause for alarm. There appears to be history attached to A2881, since it is almost identical to last summer’s A4125 introduced by Asw. Valerie Huttle (D-NJ 37th District). One of the differences between the bills is the language concerning home-schooling: A4125 does not provide for the possibility of homeschooling, but A2881 does provide for the possibility of homeschooling. We have questions about why this bill is being submitted now and how the wording of this bill could potentially impact homeschoolers with or without connections to DYFS.
The bill is scheduled to be considered on Monday, May 14th, 10:00AM in Committee Room 16, 4th floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ. If the proceeding remains open and there is room, several NJHA members plan to attend the meeting. With any luck, we’ll have something to share via our website – http://jerseyhomeschool.net/ - and via lists after the meeting.
From APP.com: Home’s Where the School Is
From the article: When Mary Rice’s oldest son, David, home-schooled since the age of 5, was ready to graduate 13 years ago, college admissions departments weren’t exactly sure what to make of the family.
“It was kind of like, ‘Home schooling? What is that?’ ” she said.
Not so today, says Rice, 53, of Keyport. She’s taught three grown children — David, 31, Emily, 30, Sarah, 28 — all of whom graduated from Rutgers University with high honors.
Back by popular demand, Alison Snieckus and Barbara Rapaport present the 7th Annual Teen/Parent “You CAN Homeschool through High School!” Workshop
Sunday, June 3rd, 12:30-4:30, Plainsboro Preserve
We know you CAN because we successfully mentored our own children through high school. After completing high school, those children went on to attend schools that were a good fit for them–engineering schools, liberal arts colleges, music conservatories, and service academies. In addition to founding and co-leading E-Cubed teen homeschool group for the past 8 years, Alison is on staff at the Princeton Learning Cooperative http://plcteens.org/ and Barbara is a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association http://www.hecaonline.org/standards_and_ethics and coaches a homeschool high school Mock Trial team. Our experience has shown us that teens can successfully homeschool through high school and then go on to a successful post-secondary career.
The Workshop will explore how parents and teens can work together to set goals and create a plan for the high school years as well as how to implement that plan with the wide variety of available resources, including community college, online learning, textbooks, travel, and internships. We’ll conclude with a panel of young adults who will speak about their own homeschooling experiences and how those experiences impact their college lives.
The fee for the Workshop is:
From RosettaStone.com: 10 Reasons to Homeschool in the Summer
From the article: The longer I homeschooled, the more convinced I became that homeschooling through the summer was a good idea. Some of my friends thought I was nuts for not taking the summer off, and I had to agree that I couldn’t keep up my usual pace year-round without risk of burning out. There are definite advantages, though, and I want to share with you my top 10 reasons for homeschooling through the summer months.
From PsychologyToday.com: Meet Kate Fridkis, Who Skipped K-12 and is Neither Weird nor Homeless
From the article: Kate Fridkis is 26 years old, is happily married, lives in New York City, has a master’s degree in religion from Columbia University, is a part-time chazzan (cantor) at a synagogue (a job she’s held since age 15), and is a full-time writer. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Salon. She’s working on getting her first novel published. She writes funny and insightful essays about body image on her popular blog, Eat the Damn Cake. And recently she has become a fellow blogger here at Psychology Today.
Oh, and she also skipped all of school from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She generally tells people she was “homeschooled,” if they ask about her schooling, because most people don’t know what it means to be “unschooled.” And, in addition to all her other writing, she has another blog called Skipping School.
PSE&G Scholars Program open to Homeschoolers
The PSEG Foundation is granting scholarships to high school seniors with a passion for engineering and an interest in pursuing a career in the energy industry.
Six students will be each be awarded $24,000, distributed evenly over a 4-year period. In addition to the stipends, PSEG’s Scholars will be matched with a mentor and invited to tour the company’s facilities and join its employees as they volunteer at community events. The students will also be invited to apply for a summer internship following completion of their sophomore year.
Applicants should intend to major in chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering or nuclear engineering. They must have attended high school in New Jersey for at least 3 years and be able to demonstrate an aptitude in math and science in addition to financial need.
For application & more information – www.pseg.com/scholars_program
Home-schooling demographics change, expand
From USA TODAY: “According to a home-schooling survey in 2007 by the federal government’s National Center For Education Statistics — the most recent data available — a little more than 1.5 million children in the USA were being home-schooled. That represents an increase from 1.1 million students being home-schooled in spring 2003, according to the center.”
High School, Outside the Box
From West Windward & Plainsboro News: “No one would argue that when it comes to teens, each and every one is unique. No surprise, then, that there is a great variety of learning styles among teens. What works well for one may not work for another, which makes a “one-size-fits-all” educational strategy counterproductive for many.”
Legislative Alert: Action requested
We’re writing to make you aware of 2 compulsory school attendance bills, A1411 and S647, which are scheduled to be heard within the week. Both bills were re-introduced to the current session. You can read the bills in their entirety here:
Although the bills are not linked, they both call for raising the compulsory school attendance age in NJ from 16 to 18. These bills do not specifically target homeschoolers, but will impact everyone with school-aged children.
These bills would take away our freedom to decide whether school or some other path is best for our 16-year-olds to follow.
This bill could have the effect of requiring homeschoolers who graduate early to continue homeschooling, while allowing children in public school who graduate early to move on.
1. If you live in the district of one of the Senate or Assembly Education Committee members listed below, please call them right away. Even Senators/Assembly members who you think already oppose the bills need to hear from you.
Your message can be as simple as:
“Please vote no on A1411 [S647], which would raise the age of compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18. Parents, not state officials, know whether their 16-year-old young adult should pursue formal education or some other preparation for life responsibilities. The cost of forcing unwilling young adults into a formal school setting should not be added to our tax burden.”
2. This bill would undermine the freedom of all parents. It is not necessary for you to identify yourself as a homeschooler.
3. Forward this email on to all of your friends, and ask them to call the committee members as well, if they live in their districts.
A1411 was sponsored by Asw. Bonnie Watson Coleman and is scheduled to be heard on Thursday, February 2 at 2:00 PM. Assembly Education Committee members are:
Patrick Diegnan, Chair, 18th District: East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park,Metuchen, South Plainfield, South River (908) 757-1677
Bonnie Watson Coleman, Vice-Chair, 15th District: East Amwell, Ewing, Hopewell Borough (Mercer), Hopewell Township (Mercer), Lambertville, Lawrence (Mercer), Pennington,Trenton, West Amwell, West Windsor (609) 292-0500
Ralph R. Caputo: Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Newark, Nutley (973) 450-0484
Mila M. Jasey: Caldwell, Chatham Township, East Hanover, Essex Fells, Florham Park, Hanover, Harding, Livingston, Madison, Maplewood, Millburn,Roseland, South Orange, West Orange (973) 762-1886
Angelica M. Jimenez: East Newark, Edgewater, Fairview, Guttenberg,Harrison (Hudson), Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus, West New York (201) 223-4247
Scott T. Rumana: Allendale, Cedar Grove, Franklin Lakes, Ho-Ho-Kus, Little Falls, Midland Park, Pequannock, Pompton Lakes,Ridgewood, Riverdale, Totowa, Waldwick, Wayne, Woodland Park, Wyckoff (973) 237-1362
Troy Singleton: Beverly, Bordentown, Bordentown Township, Burlington,Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Edgewater Park, Fieldsboro,Florence, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton, Willingboro (856) 461-3997
Connie Wagner: Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hawthorne, Lodi, Maywood, New Milford, Oradell, Paramus, River Edge,Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook (201) 576-9199
David W. Wolfe: Bay Head, Brick, Island Heights, Lakehurst, Lavallette,Manchester, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, Toms River (732) 840-9028
S647 was co-sponsored by Senator Teresa Ruiz and is scheduled to be heard at 10:30 on Monday, February 6th. Senate Education Committee members are:
Shirley K. Turner, Vice-Chair: East Amwell, Ewing, Hopewell Borough (Mercer), Hopewell Township (Mercer), Lambertville, Lawrence (Mercer), Pennington,Trenton, West Amwell, West Windsor (609) 530-3277
Diane B. Allen: Beverly, Bordentown, Bordentown Township, Burlington,Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Edgewater Park, Fieldsboro,Florence, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Palmyra, Riverside, Riverton, Willingboro (609) 239-2800
James Beach: Berlin Township, Cherry Hill, Collingswood,Gibbsboro, Haddon, Haddonfield, Hi-Nella, Maple Shade, Merchantville, Oaklyn,Pennsauken, Somerdale, Stratford, Tavistock, Voorhees
Michael J. Doherty: Alexandria, Alpha, Bedminster,Bethlehem, Bloomsbury, Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Califon, Clinton, Clinton Township,Franklin (Hunterdon), Franklin (Warren), Frenchtown, Glen Gardner, Greenwich (Warren), Hackettstown, Hampton (Hunterdon), Harmony, High Bridge, Holland,Kingwood, Lebanon Borough, Lebanon Township, Lopatcong, Mansfield (Warren),Milford, Peapack-Gladstone, Phillipsburg, Pohatcong, Raritan (Hunterdon), South Bound Brook, Tewksbury, Union (Hunterdon), Washington Borough (Warren), Washington Township (Warren) (908) 835-0552
BackgroundNot all 16- and 17-year-olds belong in a formal school setting. Some would be better off in a work training program or apprenticeship, obtaining valuable work experience. This decision belongs to parents, not state officials.
Pushing unwilling older students into the classroom has the potential to disrupt the other students who truly want to learn.
There are no statistics to demonstrate that raising the compulsory attendance age has a positive impact on graduation rates. Some of the states with the highest graduation rates have the lowest compulsory attendance cut-off age. For more information on graduation rates and compulsory school attendance rates by state, see:
And finally, increasing the age of compulsory attendance means more tax dollars spent for more classroom space and teachers.
Newsweek via The Daily Beast: Why Urban, Educated Parents are Turning to DIY Education
From the article: “In the beginning, your kids need you—a lot. They’re attached to your hip, all the time. It might be a month. It might be five years. Then suddenly you are expected to send them off to school for seven hours a day, where they’ll have to cope with life in ways they never had to before. You no longer control what they learn, or how, or with whom. Unless you decide, like an emerging population of parents in cities across the country, to forgo that age-old rite of passage entirely.”
Secular, liberal N.J. parents buck home-school trend
As featured on MyCentralJersey.com.
Please Call to Terminate Mandatory Homeschool Notice Bill
On Jan. 10th, Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (District 28-Essex) filed bill A1375 which requires parents to submit an annual letter of intent to homeschool with the local public school superintendent by August
The New Jersey Homeschool Association [NJHA] is united with other members of the Homeschool Task Force–Catholic Homeschoolers of New Jersey, Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers, HSLDA, and National Black Home Educators–in opposing A1375.
NJHA does not believe that any child’s education is enhanced by registering with a local school district, nor do we believe that monitoring attendance records for homeschoolers is a valid use of our tax dollars. The Task Force recommends that all home educators and friends of home education who live in Assemblywoman Tucker’s district [Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Newark, Nutley] call her office (973) 926-4320 to ask her to withdraw this bill. Your courteous message can be as simple as: “Please withdraw A1375. New Jersey has a sensible legal framework for homeschooling right now. No changes are necessary.”
Please email with questions and also to let us all know how your call was received. And please share this email with anyone who might be interested.
Update – December 8
We are encouraged by meetings with legislators on both sides of the
The bills are extremely unlikely to move out of committee. Our
Thank you again for contacting your representatives over the past
To all homeschooling families:
As many of you have read, on 11/21/2011, S3105 was introduced in the NJ Senate and referred to the Senate Education Committee. You can read the full text of the bill here: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp
but in summary, there are 3 items of concern to homeschoolers: by requiring an annual medical exam, S3105 establishes a different and higher standard for homeschoolers; the portfolio requirement increases school boards’ oversight/regulatory powers with a consequent increased tax burden; S3105 mistakenly targets homeschooling parents, rather than DYFS, for the tragic death of a neglected child.
The current homeschooling task force – comprised of representatives from New Jersey Homeschool Association (NJHA), Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers of NJ (ENOCH), Catholic Homeschoolers of New Jersey (CHNJ), and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) – and others are united in opposing S3105. Please join us to stop S3105, a bill Senator Loretta Weinberg filed last week, from being moved out of the Senate’s education committee.
In addition to requiring proof of an annual medical exam for every homeschooled child, S3105 would require parents to submit each child’s name, birth date, and homeschool instructor’s name every year by August 1. A mandatory “portfolio of records and materials including, but not limited to, a list of reading materials used, and samples of writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed to assess the reading, writing, and computational skills of the student” would be due June 30. We believe that the phrase “but not limited to” gives local boards of education uncircumscribed new power over homeschooling families by empowering those boards to regulate homeschooling.
This bill would add burdensome requirements for New Jersey’s home educators and limit freedom for many. With three filings every year for an estimated 42,000 homeschooled children, overworked public school staff would have yet more burdens added to their shoulders. Taxes will inevitably go up, as taxpayers would pay the cost of filing, processing, checking, responding to, and storing 120,000 sets of paperwork each year.
The media carried reports recently about the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) failing to protect an allegedly homeschooled child in danger—with tragic results. It is important not to confuse failings in the laws and procedures of DYFS or of negative outcomes in some of their cases with the issues of homeschooling. Homeschooling was not the cause of the tragic death of this child, just as schooling is not the cause when a schooled child under DYFS supervision dies or is hurt in any way.
How You Can Help to Preserve Current NJ Homeschooling Law
I. Make courteous phone calls to the Senators serving on the Education Committee. Your message can be as simple as “Please oppose S3105. Don’t punish homeschoolers and public school staff for the failures of DYFS.” Alternatively, you can frame your own message using information in this email.
– Call Sen. Stephen Sweeney. He is the president of the New Jersey Senate, and he controls its business.
(856) 251-9801 (West Deptford office)
(856) 455-1011 (Bridgeton office)
(856) 339-0808 (Salem office)
– Call Sen. Teresa Ruiz. She is the Assistant Senate Majority Leader and Chair of the Senate Education Committee, to which S3105 was referred.
– If you are a constituent of the other four members of the committee (Sens. Jim Whelan, Diane Allen, Thomas Kean and Shirley Turner), call them.
Sen. Jim Whelan: Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Corbin, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Estell Manor, Galloway, Hamilton (Atlantic), Linwood, Longport, Margate City, Mullica, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic, Ventnor City, Weymouth (609) 383-1388
Sen. Diane Allen: Beverly, Burlington, Burlington Township, Cinnaminson, Delanco, Delran, Edgewater Park, Florence, Maple Shade, Merchantville, Mount Holly, Palmyra, Pennsauken, Riverside, Riverton, Westampton, Willingboro
Sen. Thomas Kean: Berkeley Heights, Chatham Township, Cranford, Garwood, Harding, Long Hill, Madison, Millburn, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Springfield (Union), Summit, Warren, Watchung, Westfield
(908) 232-3673 (Westfield)
(908) 918-0414 (Summit)
(908) 232-2073 (Westfield)
Sen. Shirley Turner:Ewing, Hopewell (Mercer), Hopewell Twp. (Mercer), Lawrence (Mercer), Pennington, Princeton, Princeton Township, Trenton
II. Share this email with any lists, groups, or individuals who might be willing to call members of the Senate education committee on behalf of our effort.
Thanks in advance to all of you for making these important calls. Our hope is that a courteous display of telephone opposition to the proposed bill will keep it in committee.
Home education newbies
What is homeschooling? And how does it work?
Are we allowed to do that? The legal facts & FAQ.
|Teens: Take charge of your own education. Read this.|
For the Media
Covering a home education story? Here’s what you need to know before you start:
Still have questions? We’re happy to help.