Homeschooling in Hawaii Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We look at a "homeschooler" as one who defines themselves as a homeschooler regardless of charter school or formal program affiliation. Due to the evolution of education and diverse nature of schooling at home, we are an organization that includes all homeschooling families. Most of the information below applies to families who choose to become an independent homeschooler in the State of Hawaii, who are not affiliated with a charter school or formal program.
My child attends a charter school in Hawaii, are we considered homeschoolers?
If you consider yourself a homeschooler, then YES! Legally, you are not homeschoolers since you are enrolled in a DOE school. However, the Hawaii Homeschool Network knows numerous families who choose to enroll their children in homeschool programs for various reasons. These programs have pros and cons. Some homeschoolers are not affiliated with a public school. Homeschooling is a vague term that encompasses many diverse families on throughout the islands.
What is the process to legally become a homeschooler in Hawaii?
You can see the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) Homeschool Guidelines here. From the document, note that "parents do not need to officially 'enroll' the student in school prior to homeschooling. No birth certificate, proof of residency, TB clearance or Form 14(Student’s Health Record) is required." Parents need to either submit a 4140 form to the school OR a letter to the school to notify their intent to homeschool their child. If a letter is submitted, it must include:
(1) Name, address, and telephone number of the child; (2) Birth date and grade level of the child; and (3) Signature of the parent and date of signature
How often do I need to notify the school that I will be homeschooling my child?
You only need to notify the school once. As a child progresses in grade level, they may move to another school (for example, to middle school or high school). If a child moves to another school, that school must be notified. Normally, this is seen in Kindergarten, 7th grade and 9th grade. If you move to an area that is affiliated with a different public school, you will need to submit forms to that school as it is move to a new school.
What do I need to turn into the school?
After your intent to homeschool (letter or 4140 form), a an annual progress report should be submitted to the school registrar each year.
What does the annual progress report need to include?
While it may vary by school (call and speak with the registrar), typically you need to provide 3 things:
1. Work sample (essay, project, worksheet, etc.)
2. Test given (standardized test, spelling test, etc.)
3. A list of activities
Does my child need to take state mandated tests?
The Hawaii DOE website states that there is "required testing for grades 3- 11 for homeschool students. This can be a test administered by the school, such as the SBAC, or a test that the parent finds appropriate. Parents can opt their children out of testing at any grade level. If you are looking for an independent test administrator or testing options, please visit the testing page.
Can my child participate in sports or other extracurricular activities as a homeschool students?
In the State of Hawaii, homeschooled students cannot participate in school activities such as sports or extracurricular clubs. However, there are a number of opportunities outside of school that provide enrichment activities for children that are not school related. These include music lessons, county and privately organized sports teams, and other opportunities offered through local non-profits. Check out the Group Activities and Sports page for more information.
If my child is homeschooled and enters high school, will they be able to graduate with their class?
All high school students must earn the required credits for graduation as mandated by the DOE in order to obtain a high school diploma. Furthermore, they must also attend high school in a public school for a minimum of three years to be eligible for a diploma. As a result, if students enter high school from homeschooling at 10th, 11th or 12th grade, they may be short of credits or time is school to graduate. No credit is given to homeschooling work unless it is documented on a official transcript (for example, by a charter school or another accredited agency). The DOE homeschool document states that "Homeschooled children of high school age shall enroll in high school as freshmen since no Carnegie credits are awarded to homeschooled childrenwhile they are being homeschooled."
Can my homeschooled child take a couple academic classes at the local high school?
No. If your child wants to take classes at teh high school, they must enroll as a student. However, high school students are eligible to take UH Hilo or Hawaii Community College courses through the early admit program. Students must have take the ACT or SAT to show that they are academically prepared for courses. Public high schools administer the ACT test to all high school juniors in March for free, and homeschooled students can take that test at their local public high school if they wish. Early admit students are considered non-degree seeking students and are not eligible for financial aid.
Where can I find the official State of Hawaii homeschool law?
Chapter 12 can be found here.
*this site exists to support homeschoolers and provide information. It is not any form of legal advice or counsel. Information is based on what is available online. if you have any additions or edits to this page, please contact us.