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Homeschooling a High Schooler in Hawaii – What Does the Chapter 12 Rule Say?

Homeschooling a High Schooler in Hawaii – What Does the Chapter 12 Rule Say?

Is it legal to homeschool my high schooler?

Yes! Hawaii’s homeschool law states “A parent teaching the parent’s child a home shall be deemed a qualified instructor.” (Section 8-12-19)

Can I issue a diploma for my high schooler?

Yes, you certainly can! You, the parent are the educator.

Is the diploma recognized and accepted?

Yes! Colleges and universities, places of employment, and the military accept a high school diploma earned by a homeschool student!

What is Hawaii’s homeschool law?

Hawaii’s homeschool law falls under Chapter 12 Compulsory Attendance Exceptions, specifically Sections 8-12-1 through 8-12-4 (definitions) and Sections 8-12-13 through 8-12-22. Read the Rule at //christianhomeschoolersofhawaii.org/w/index.php/hawaii-homeschooling-rule/ and be sure to keep a copy on hand.

Notification of intent to homeschool (Section 8-12-13)

Just as you would do so for any other grade, parents must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) or complete the Department of Education 4140 to homeschool their high school student. The school should acknowledge your NOI or 4140 by sending you the Parent Copy of the 4140; be sure to keep your copy in a safe place. It will prove useful when your student needs to submit proof of homeschooling for employment during school hours, early admission to a college, or enlistment in the military.

Record of curriculum (Section 8-12-15)

The record keeping requirements are no different for your high schooler. Your records should include starting and ending dates, number of hours of instruction, a method used to determine mastery of materials and subjects, and a bibliography of textbooks and other education materials used.

Good records are a must for the high school years, particularly if your teen plans to pursue college or enlist in the military. Even those who decide to enter the work force may need to submit high school records.

Notification of termination of homeschooling (Section 8-12-16)

Section 8-12-16 requires parent to inform the principal if homeschooling is terminated and provide information on alternative educational program.

Testing and progress Reports (Section 8-12-18)

Annual progress reports are still required for the high school years as well. Scores from a nationally normed standardized test are required for grade 10 for high school. Test scores can also be submitted as the annual report for the other grades.

What else do parents need to know?

Sections 8-12-20 and 8-12-21 are high school specific.

“Credits. No course credits (Carnegie units) are granted for time spent being homeschooled.”

“High school diploma for homeschool Children. A homeschooled child 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 and the meet the credit requirements for graduation.”

What does this mean? Simply – the credits, for example, that you assigned your freshman for Algebra 1 or Spanish 1, are not recognized by the DOE. Some courses from a regionally accredited program may be accepted, but you should check with the principal of the school first.

And if, for whatever reason, you decide not to continue homeschooling your high schooler and choose to enroll him into the public school, your child will have to attend the public school for a minimum of three years to receive a diploma from the DOE high school.

CHOH encourages parents to think long term when homeschooling the high school years. Think back on the reasons you chose to homeschool. Perhaps, it was to individualize your child’s education based on his interests, needs or strengths. You may have wanted to teach from a biblical worldview. You believed the home provided a more positive social environment. These are good and valid reasons to continue educating your teen at home through the high school years!

It really is a good thing!

These sections of the homeschool law are actually a good thing. As the parent/teacher, you know your child best. You have the freedom and flexibility to determine the courses and credits for your high schooler without the DOE dictating to you what must be taught, when it is to be taught, how it is to be taught, or how it is to be graded. You are the one who issues a high school diploma for your graduating senior!

What about the Community School for Adults?

Section 8-12-21 also addresses earning a diploma from the Community School for Adults (CSA).

Call your area CSA for particulars because there have been some changes which are not reflected in this section of the Chapter 12 Rule.

And be aware, that if your high schooler plans to enlist in the military, CHOH recommends you put together the high school transcripts and issue a diploma for your senior rather than have him/her take the General Education Development (GED). The GED will place your student at a lower tier for recruiting.

If you have any other questions about the Hawaii’s homeschool law and homeschooling your high schooler, please email CHOH at info@christianhomeschoolersofhawaii.org

Here to serve you,

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii


High School – Next Step: Mapping Out the High School Years