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The Why and What of Record Keeping

The Why and What of Record Keeping

You mean I have to keep records to homeschool in Hawaii?   Well, yes. According to the Chapter 12 Rule Compulsory Attendance Exceptions (§8-12-15), you must keep the following records:

  1. Commencement date and ending date of program
  2. Record of the number of hours per week child spends in instruction
  3. Subject areas covered  in the planned curriculum
    1. Elementary school – language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, art, music, health and physical education
    2. Secondary school – social studies, English, mathematics, science, health, physical education, and guidance
  4. Method used to determine mastery of materials and subjects in the curriculum
  5. List of textbooks or other instructional materials which will be used; list shall be in standard bibliographical format (author, title, publisher, and date of publication)

You are not, however, required to submit these records to the Department of Education.

CHOH would like to suggest several reasons for keeping homeschool records.

To protect your legal rights –In the event questions arise, these documents are invaluable.

  • Copy of all correspondence e.g. notification of intent to homeschool or DOE Form 4140 and theacknowledgement from the school
  • HSLDA Membership Agreement and contact information if you are a member
  • Annual reports – standardized tests scores, written evaluations, grades (if given)
  • Records required by the Chapter 12 Rule (which can easily be recorded in a lesson plan book, in a journal, or on your computer)

To keep you focused on why you are homeschooling your children

  • It is helpful to have a written vision statement for your family – what do you want for your family by educating and discipling your children at home.
  • Just as helpful is a philosophy of education –what do you want to teach your children and how you plan to accomplish that.
  • It’s a good idea to review and update these documents each year.

To evaluate your homeschool – It is helpful to know what has been accomplished and what needs to be done next.


  • Goals – long term and short term goals for academic subjects but also spiritual and character goals
  • Schedule – this may include daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and even a several years down the road
  • Lesson plans with comments, scores, or grades
  • Curriculum and materials used, including games, timelines, computer programs, etc.
  • Subject tests and scores – When a parent submits a written evaluation to the school for the annual progress report, representative tests should be included.
  • Samples of work e.g. art work, essays, paragraphs, etc. – When a parent submits a written evaluation to the school for the annual progress report, representative samples should be included.
  • Documentation of special classes, awards, etc.
  • Annual progress reports – whether standardized achievement test scores or written evaluation by teacher or parent

For future needs

  • If you move to another state, homeschool records may be necessary depending on the homeschool laws in that state. Such records may include grades, test scores, sample work, a bibliography of instructional materials, and descriptions of courses and methods of evaluation.
  • Colleges will request high school transcripts which should include courses and grades but also records of extra curricular activities (music, sports, clubs, community service, etc.). The college may also ask for a description of the courses.
  • Employers or internship programs may request documentation of your child’s education and work experience (resume).
  • Applications for scholarships may request documentation of academic performance, community service, additional classes, awards, etc. as well as letters of reference or recommendation

For a memory of God’s faithfulness to you and your family – This is a reminder of God’s goodness to you – the unfolding of His promises to His children.

  • You can’t keep everything but you may want to include samples of work, art work, photos, projects, videos, etc. the list is endless.

This document from Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii does not serve as legal advice but is written to serve families.

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