Homeschooling in Hawaii: How to Begin and What You Need to Know

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Homeschooling in Hawaii offers many wonderful opportunities for families. Here’s what you need to know to meet legal requirements and find the best resources to support your journey.

My homeschool journey took us from Maryland to Hawaii. I can say, Hawaii was less restrictive, and only requires the parent sends in a letter of intent to the school they would attend, along with the record of their standardized testing every other year to that school.

Hawaii offers opportunities for a family that many states don’t, simply because of its beautiful beaches, places to explore and outdoor lifestyle. It is easy to make the location part of your child’s education.

Homeschooling in Hawaii offers many wonderful opportunities for families.  Here's what you need to know to meet legal requirements and find the best resources to support your journey.

How to Start Homeschooling in Hawaii

If you’re just beginning homeschooling in Hawaii, you’ll want to start with the Hawaii State Department of Education’s questions and answers about homeschooling here.

You have a lot of freedom when homeschooling in Hawaii, but the state does have these overarching rules:

Letter of Intent to Homeschool in Hawaii

You’ll begin homeschooling your child when they are 5. You’ll need to send a form or letter stating intent to homeschool to the Principal at the school your child would be attending – keep a mail receipt for your records (OCISS Form 4140). You will need to send a letter when your child is moving from elementary to middle school and then from middle school to high school.

If issuing a letter, make sure to have child’s Name, address, phone number, date of birth, grade, signature of both parents, and date signature (having it notarized is helpful)

You should receive the letter back with a ‘acknowledged’ stamp on the bottom signed by the Principal.

Choose Compliant Curriculum

Hawaii states that the parents are qualified to teach their child, but they are to teach based on materials recommended by the school district. Curriculum chosen must be “structured and based on educational objectives as well as the needs of the child, be cumulative and sequential, provide a range of up-to-date knowledge and needed skills, and take into account the interests, needs and abilities of the child. A principal at the school of record may request to view the curriculum if the annual report is not sufficient to show satisfactory progress.”

You’ll want to keep records showing the curriculum you use, hours per week spent learning and what you are teaching, assessment methods and scores, and other resources that show learning has occurred (reading logs, etc.).

Testing Requirements

When homeschooling in Hawaii, you’re required to send test scores for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10. Your student can go to the local public school for testing – but, they don’t have to, and you can submit test results from any standardized testing provider.

You’ll also submit an annual progress report at the end of the school year, showing that your kids are learning the content.

Homeschooling in Hawaii Resources

Community

As homeschooling families, community is essential, and there are many great groups, co-ops, and organizations available. Here is a list you’ll want to check out to find a co-op near you.

There are also a few homeschool organizations and support groups in Hawaii you can turn to for advice, fun family events, and homeschool encouragement:

Hawaii Homeschool Association (HHA)
Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii (CHOH)
Hawaii Homeschool Network
H.E.R.O (Home Educators Residing on Oahu)
Big Island Homeschoolers

Charter Schools in Hawaii

Hawaii has some great resources that can assist a parent who likes the idea of homeschooling but wants aspects of public school. There are charter schools that are online two days a week and in class three days a week. There are also co-ops and Tutorials available. However, there are no umbrella schools available.

Charter Schools with blended learning online class two days and three days in school: These schools are like public schools and do not require a letter of intent or form if your student attends.

My Experience Homeschooling in Hawaii

Hawaii is very transient. There are a lot of military families that come and go in this area that homeschool their children while being stationed in Hawaii due to the beauty and experience here. However, that means that there are many programs and field trip co-ops that start up by eager parents that are not maintained by any group or organization.

In this environment, if you want your child to meet and socialize with other kids, signing them up for camps, sports recreational leagues and other activities for their interest works best for building friendships.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments: what is your experience homeschooling in Hawaii? What have been your favorite groups, field trips, or opportunities? Let us know!

And if you’d love to have a printable resource to use to keep track of state homeschool requirements, key organizations, activities and field trip plans, and curriculum notes, grab a copy of my Curriculum & Activity Planner below (it’s free!):

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Interested in learning about homeschooling in another state? Check out the Homeschooling in 50 States Series.

About the Author

LM Preston

Author of Homeschooling and Working While Raising Amazing Learners, LM Preston is an author, engineer, former college professor, and working mother who’s been married for over twenty-five years. She homeschooled 3 of her 4 children from elementary school and beyond while she and her husband worked outside their home. Three of her kids graduated with degrees by the age of 17 years old.

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