The challenges in education are great. The financial stability and school security in public schools, the cost of private schools, the common core standards all have many students living and learning outside the system entirely. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates 1.7 million kids were home-schooled in 2012. The state Department of Education doesn’t track the number, but it’s estimated as many as 2,700 New Jersey families home-school their children. North Jersey Home Schoolers Association New Member Contact Pam Romano told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that she began home-schooling her children after attending a seminar.
“How I got involved in it is I went to a seminar years ago all about home-schooling — how to do it, how to get involved with other people, the curriculum to use and I said this is too good to be true,” said Romano.
Roman says that she made the decision along with her husband to home-school their children because they wanted to provide their children with a Christian education and that they wanted to be deliberate about the education that they gave them.
As for the difference between home-school and public school, Romano said that with home-schooling using Christian education, there are no bounds to the amount of religious instruction.
In terms of using textbooks, Romano said that she does use textbooks when home-schooling her children but that textbooks used for home-schooling can be different from public schools.
“There is a huge home-school curriculum industry and many of them, the curriculum companies, are Christian in nature. So they do go from a Christian world view, so they would be different from the public school in that context,” said Romano.
Romano also said that within the curriculum, families are not regulated over what books they use, so it is up to the families.
As for her own children, four of eight are now attending college within the state. Romano’s oldest daughter is attending Union County College, while one of her sons attends Bergen Community College.
Romano says that a lot of people are concerned about socializing home-schooled children. As for her own children, she said that they are very socialized.
On the aspect of not having classmates, Romano said, “They do have a community of classmates. We have a huge group of home-schoolers that we’re in association with — 350 families — and so we get together for choir and academic co-ops and sports teams and yearbook and they go on a senior class trip.”