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Homeschooling in Hawaii

Instructor: Cara Rogers
Parents interested in educating their children at home should research the laws and regulations required in their state. For families living in Hawaii, these requirements are outlined in the following article for your convenience.

Hawaii Homeschool Standards

In Hawaii, children should start attending school when they are at least 5 years of age. They are exempt from attendance requirements once they turn 18.

You are not required to have any particular degree or certification to teach your child from home, but you will need to submit a written notice of your intentions to homeschool to a nearby public school principal. The information needed for the notice can be found on the Hawaii Department of Education website, but generally includes the student's name and date of birth, contact info, grade level, and dated signature of the parent.

Curriculum Guidelines

While you don't need to have your homeschool curriculum approved by the state, you might consider corresponding with the local school system to find out which subjects and learning goals suit your student's grade level. This can help ensure your student is getting a quality education and will be able to demonstrate /pass the standardized tests used to prove his or her academic progress. In general, Hawaii public schools use the Common Core Standards to guide curriculum development.

If you're looking for instruction aligned with these benchmarks, Study.com offers Common Core courses covering English language arts and math. These Homeschool courses also offer complete instruction in topics ranging from English, history and social studies to science and math. Both resources include self-paced video lessons and quizzes you can use to track your student's understanding of the material.

Assessments and Progress Reports

In general, standardized testing is required for all students in 3rd and 5th grade. Testing is also mandatory for 8th and 10th graders. You can arrange to take these tests at the local school with which you have been corresponding or you can request an alternative method of assessment, such as a student portfolio, but this must be approved by the principal.

You'll also need to submit an annual progress report, which can include standardized test scores, a letter written by a certified teacher in Hawaii, or a parental evaluation that includes evidence of the student's work and an outline of his or her progress throughout the year. Be sure to keep copies of these reports on record in your home.

Extracurricular Activities

Unfortunately, Hawaii laws do not allow for homeschooled students to take part in extracurricular activities or athletics at their local public school. You might consider checking out the activities available through local homeschool organizations and support groups.

Diploma Requirements

High school diplomas are not awarded to homeschooled students in Hawaii. Your child can receive a diploma from the local public school only after enrolling for at least three years. Another alternative is for them to earn a high school diploma through an adult community school. This option is for students with a minimum of one homeschool semester under their belt. They must also be 16 years of age or older and pass the General Educational Development (GED) test.

If you met the state's progress report and testing requirements, you also have the option of obtaining a letter from the local principal that vouches for your student's participation in a homeschool program. This may be used, along with scores from college entrance exams, to gain admission to a college or university program.

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