Homeschooling In Hawaii & Homeschool Laws


You may be considering home schooling in Hawaii but are unsure where to start regarding Hawaii state homeschool laws. This up-to-date knowledge guide will walk you through what you need to know to successfully set up a Hawaii homeschool program. We’ll cover the history of the home education program in Hawaii, Hawaii homeschool laws, required notifications and filings, curriculum and testing choices, middle school and high school transcripts, extracurricular activities, statewide testing program requirements, and graduation requirements.


Home schooling in Hawaii has been recognized since the 1970s and 1980s when Hawaii homeschool laws were amended with compulsory school attendance exceptions to allow parents to provide an “equivalent” education as a parent initiated educational alternative to public or private school. Hawaii’s mild climate, relaxed lifestyle, and natural beauty make it an attractive location for home schooling families. 

In 1983, home schooling in Hawaii was officially recognized as a legal and valid educational choice under Hawaii homeschool laws. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, homeschooling continued to grow. The ability to pace a child’s progress was a significant factor in the appeal of homeschooling in Hawaii.

Families began to embrace this new alternative educational program path. In 2003, there were an estimated 5,000 Hawaiian homeschooled students. By 2018, around 7,000 students were in a Hawaii homeschool.


Hawaii’s home schooling procedures are specific. The compulsory education Hawaii homeschool law applies to children aged 5 to 18 but there are compulsory school attendance exceptions.

Parents have three legal options – sending their child to a public school, a licensed private school, or Hawaii home school. Parents are not obligated to fulfill teaching qualifications or adhere to immunization requirements. Hawaii homeschool laws lay out the requirements for homeschooling in Hawaii.

Parents must provide a letter of intent to their local public school principal within 2 weeks of homeschooling in Hawaii. There are no specific requirements around curricula, test scores, or reporting.

A parent teaching his/her child during the school year on school days is a qualified instructor for home schooling regardless of educational background.


To begin homeschooling in Hawaii, parents must submit a letter of intent using either Form 4140, or a letter of intent to their local public school within 2 weeks of initiating home schooling. The parent’s letter should include the child’s name, birth date, address, current grade level, signature, and a statement indicating the child will be home schooled. No further paperwork, person certified in teaching, or approvals are required. 

The school and complex area office acknowledge receipt of the parents’ notice of intent by either returning the signed department developed Form 4140, or by inscribing “acknowledged” on the bottom of the notification letter. Signed copies of Form 4140 or the letter of intent are retained on file at the public school and local school district office. See reference materials here.

Schools are responsible for informing parents of what basic units of study should be covered for a particular grade level and educational objectives. Ensure the curriculum you select is both structured and aligned with your child’s abilities.

While there are no mandated subjects, it is essential that the child’s appropriate education curriculum demonstrates appropriate grade level achievement such as middle school. A secondary school curriculum may encompass social studies, English, mathematics, science, health, and physical education. Parents are responsible for the child’s total educational program including extracurricular activities when homeschooling in Hawaii.

Teacher certification is not required for a Hawaii homeschool. Parents are not required to officially enroll and un-enroll students in order to home school their child; therefore, no birth certificate or proof of residency is required.  See reference materials here.


Once a home school in Hawaii has been properly established, there are very few requirements to maintain a home school under Hawaii homeschool laws. 

As long as basic academic instruction in core subjects like language arts, math, science, and social studies is being offered, families have flexibility unless achievement falls short.

When homeschooling in Hawaii, the Department of Education recommends parents maintain records in case of any inquiries.

  • Documentation of the planned curriculum.

  • Comprehensive records of any standardized tests administered in grades 3, 5, 8, and 10.

Records of the curriculum should encompass the dates of teaching, hours, subjects, methodology employed for teaching and assessing mastery, and a list of instructional materials.


Parents are not obligated to submit their curriculum unless there is reasonable cause to suspect educational neglect. It is the responsibility of the parent to maintain a record of the planned curriculum when homeschooling in Hawaii. 

This curriculum should be structured, aligned with educational objectives offering a comprehensive range of current knowledge and essential skills. It should also consider the individual interests, needed skills, and abilities and general educational development of the child. In cases where the annual report does not sufficiently demonstrate the child’s satisfactory progress, a person of record may request to review the curriculum because of suspected educational neglect.

Parents are required to submit annual progress reports under Hawaii homeschool laws.

For grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, parents are mandated to provide the results of a standardized achievement test or equivalent of standardized test scores, showcasing the achievement-level.

For all other grades, the annual progress reports may include:

  • A score on a nationally standardized achievement test, demonstrating grade level accomplishment for the child’s age.

  • Progress on a nationally standardized test equivalent to one grade level per calendar year.

  • A written evaluation by a Hawaii-certified teacher.

  • A written evaluation by the parent, including a description of significant annual advancement commensurate with the grade level and that a child demonstrates grade level achievement, samples of the child’s work, and grades showing satisfactory progress.

  • Results of Hawaii’s Statewide Testing Program.

For older students aspiring to pursue higher education, maintaining a high school transcript is advantageous. See reference materials here.


Hawaii homeschooled students are not required to participate in standardized or private testing. Homeschooling in Hawaii is relatively lenient compared to other states. Under Hawaii homeschool laws, parents who wish to homeschool their school age children must submit a notice of intent to their local public school. This notice must supply written acknowledgment of the names, addresses, and birth dates of the children being home schooled. Once this notice of intent is submitted, parents are free to educate their school age children at home without any further oversight, state testing requirements, or obligations to re submit intent. However, it is recommended that homeschooling parents keep records of their children’s educational efforts and consider periodic assessments to ensure they are meeting educational goals and milestones.


The state of Hawaii does not provide any specific funding or financial assistance for families who homeschool their children. All costs of curriculum, materials, activities, and services must be self-funded by families when homeschooling in Hawaii.

Federal Tax Breaks

Families may be eligible for certain federal tax benefits to help offset educational expenses when homeschooling in Hawaii. Homeschool parents might be able to deduct a portion of mortgage interest or rent if part of the home is used regularly and exclusively for Hawaii homeschooling. Finally, tax credits or deductions could be available for required books, supplies, and curricula used for homeschool Hawaii instruction when homeschooling in Hawaii. To learn more about these potential tax advantages, families should review the information and resources provided by the IRS.

Immunization Requirements

Hawaii does not have special immunization requirements or exemptions for home schooled children. The immunization rules are the same as other students attending schools in the state. Health records are not a prerequisite for a home schooled child.

The Department of Health requires students to receive certain vaccinations prior to attending school in the state depending on grade level. Homeschooled students must meet these vaccination requirements.


Hawaii does not set any requirements for home schooled children to receive a high school diploma. Homeschool families are fully responsible for the course credits and graduation standards when homeschooling in Hawaii.

Hawaii home schooled children are not eligible to receive an official diploma from the Hawaii DOE. 

When homeschooling in Hawaii, parents may seek suggestions from their local school, regarding the appropriate methods of curriculum aligned with specific grade levels.

Home schooled students in Hawaii do not obtain a high school diploma comparable to that of local public school or private school students. Should a home schooled student wish to obtain a high school diploma from the local public high school, they are required to attend high school for a minimum of three full years to fulfill the graduation credit requirements.

A home schooled child, possessing a valid Form 4140, and having undergone home-school instruction for a minimum of one semester, is eligible to achieve both a high school equivalency credential and a Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma. In order to obtain this credential, the home schooling student must:

  • Attain a high school equivalency credential by successfully passing the GED or HiSET test.

  • Achieve a Hawaii Adult Community School Diploma by passing either the GED or HiSET and fulfilling at least one semester of high school at an accredited public or private school.

Upon completion of their homeschool program, families can issue their own unique high school diploma to their student or explore diploma services offered by private organizations. A homeschooled child is eligible to partake in a college entrance examination. Upon request, the principal of the local public high school shall provide written acknowledgment that a child has been homeschooled in accordance with Hawaii homeschool laws. This letter is issued to homeschooled students who have fulfilled requirements, including the annual progress report and test data corresponding to the relevant grade levels. See reference here.  


Hawaii does not sponsor any state-funded homeschool charter schools or other programs specific to homeschoolers.

Hawaii does not require homeschooled students to participate in any standardized assessments like those given in the public schools. Curriculum, teaching methods, and student evaluation are the full responsibility of homeschooling families when homeschooling in Hawaii.


Hawaii Homeschool Association (HHA) is a statewide non-profit providing support, activities, and information for members.

Hawaii Regional Homeschool Group Directory provides links to local groups organized by island and region.

Christian Homeschoolers Of Hawaii is a support network for Christian home schooling families.

In summary, regarding Hawaii homeschool laws, Hawaii has very relaxed legal requirements with minimal state oversight of homeschooling families. Parents have full autonomy in their child’s curriculum and methods, with no mandatory reporting or standardized testing. Utilizing local networks helps supplement the self-directed education when homeschooling in Hawaii.

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