Families » Homeschool Guidelines

Homeschool Guidelines

The Department has a legitimate interest in and responsibility for the appropriate education of all school age children in the State of Hawaii and recognizes homeschooling as an alternative to compulsory school attendance. Homeschooling is a parent-initiated educational alternative.

​​​​​​​Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I submit my notice of intent to homeschool?

Exceptions to Compulsory Education (Form 4140) or a letter of intent to homeschool should be sent to the principal of the public school in your neighborhood.

What is required to begin homeschooling my child?

Form 4140 must be completed and sent to the neighborhood school. A letter of intent, signed by the parent, can be used in place of Form 4140.

When can I begin to homeschool my child?

Homeschooling may begin as soon as the signed Form 4140 or letter of intent is sent to the neighborhood school.

What needs to be included in the letter of intent?

Name, address and telephone number of child; birth date and grade level of child; and signature of the parent and date of signature.

Do I need to submit any other records?

Parents are not required to officially enroll and un-enroll students in order to homeschool their child; therefore, no birth certificate or proof of residency is required.

How do I know if the school has acknowledged my intent to homeschool?

The school and complex area office acknowledge the notice of intent submitted by the parents by sending the parents a copy of Form 4140 after it is signed by the principal and complex area superintendent; or writing “acknowledged” on the bottom of the parent’s letter of notification with the signature of the principal and complex area superintendent, and returning the letter to the parent. Copies of Form 4140 or the letter of intent are kept on file at the school and district office.

Who is considered qualified to teach homeschooled children?

A parent teaching his/her child at home shall be deemed a qualified instructor regardless of educational background or training.

What are my responsibilities to the Department after I have sent my intention to homeschool?

The parents submitting a notice to homeschool their child shall be responsible for the child’s total educational program including athletics and other extracurricular activities. An annual progress report, showing satisfactory progress in all content areas, shall be submitted at the end of each school year.

Is my child required to participate in annual assessments?

According to Chapter 12, Hawaii Administrative Rules, test scores shall be required for grades 3, 5, 8, and 10 in the Statewide Testing Program. However, there are additional assessments to measure student progress toward college/career readiness. Required exams: (1) English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics, Smarter Balanced Assessments, grades 3-8 and 11; (2) Science, Hawaii State Assessments, grades 4, 8 and high school; (3) National Assessment of Educational Progress (a sample of students in grades 4 and 8 given every other year). Targeted exams for Kaiapuni, English Learners, and students with cognitive disabilities. Further information about testing in the DOE may be found here.   
Although homeschool students are only required to test in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, the student is eligible to participate in the assessments described in the above paragraph at the local public school. A parent may also elect to arrange for private testing of an equivalent standardized test at the parent’s own expense. Additionally, the parent may request and the principal may approve other means of evaluation to meet the Statewide Testing Program requirements.  

What are appropriate methods to demonstrate my child’s satisfactory progress?

A score on a nationally-normed standardized achievement test, which demonstrates grade level achievement appropriate to a child’s age; progress on a nationally-normed standardized achievement test that is equivalent to one grade level per calendar year, even if the overall achievement falls short of grade level standards; a written evaluation by a person certified to teach in the State of Hawaii that a child demonstrates appropriate grade level achievement or significant annual advancement commensurate with a child’s abilities; or a written evaluation by the parent which shall include a description of the child’s progress in each subject area included in the child’s curriculum, representative samples of the child’s work, and representative tests and assignments including grades for courses if grades are given.

Do I need to submit any health records to the neighborhood school?

Health records are not required for homeschooled children. It is not necessary for the homeschooled child to submit the TB (tuberculosis) test clearance or Form 14 (Student Health Record).

Do I need to re-submit intent to homeschool annually?

No. The only time a new Form 4140 or a new letter of intent to homeschool needs to resubmitted is when the child transitions from elementary to intermediate/middle school or intermediate/middle school to high school, or if the child moves to another neighborhood.

Do I need to submit a curriculum to the Department?

Parents are not required to submit their curriculum to the Department or the school of record for review unless the school has reasonable cause to believe that there may be educational neglect. A parent is responsible for keeping a record of the planned curriculum for the child. The curriculum shall 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.

How do I know what to teach my child while homeschooling?

Schools are responsible for informing parents what basic units of study should be covered for a particular grade level. Information on the standards and benchmarks for each grade level can be found here in the Student Learning section of this website.

How can I end homeschooling?

Whenever the parent chooses to terminate homeschooling, the parent is required to notify the principal of the school of record (school where intent to homeschool was sent). The child shall be re-enrolled in the local public school or a licensed private school unless a new alternative educational program is presented within five school days after the termination of homeschooling. Notification may be written or verbal.

What grade level will my elementary child be placed after homeschooling has ended?

For grades one through eight, the homeschooled child shall re-enroll at the appropriate grade level by birth date. For example, if the homeschooled child by birth date should be an eighth grader, then he/she is enrolled as an eighth grader.

Can I challenge the grade level of my re-enrolled child?

Once the child is enrolled, if the school or parent has a concern about appropriate grade level placement, then the school shall evaluate the student (as it would any other student) and make adjustments accordingly, including placement at another grade level. Parents should be informed and involved in the assessment, as feasible. The principal’s decision about grade placement is final.

Will my child receive a high school diploma at the completion of homeschooling?

Homeschooled students do not receive a high school diploma. A homeschooled student who wants to earn a high school diploma from the local public high school shall attend high school for a minimum of three full years to meet the graduation credit requirements.

Is there a way to receive a high school equivalency?

Yes, a homeschooled student with a valid form 4140 who has been receiving homeschool instruction for at east one semester may earn a high school equivalency credential and a Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma from the community school for adults. To earn this high school equivalency credential, the student must attain a passing score on either the General Educational Development (GED) or HiSET test.
To earn a Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma, the student must attain a passing score on either the General Educational Development (GED) or HiSET test and must have successfully completed at least one semester of high school at an accredited Hawaii public or private school.

May my child apply to college after completing homeschooling?

A child who is being homeschooled may participate in any college entrance examination, which is made available to all other students. The principal of the local public high school shall, upon request, supply written acknowledgment that a child has been homeschooled in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 12, Hawaii Administrative Rules. The letter is written for homeschooled children whose parents have met the requirements of Chapter 12, i.e., submitted an annual progress report and test data for appropriate grade levels.