How many days do I need to
homeschool my kids?
Hmm, now that’s a good question. If you do some research, you will find most states require 180 days of instruction, Hawaii being one of them. That being said, the 180 day instruction requirement is not specified in Hawaii’s homeschool law, the Chapter 12 Rule Compulsory Attendance Exceptions.
But the 180 days may be a good rule of thumb to follow.
Many curriculum providers have organized their lessons to be taught over a course of 180 days. That calculates to 36 weeks, 5 days a week. So if you follow the curriculum, your child will be instructed for 180 days. Some curricula are written for 32-34 weeks, allowing homeschools some flexibility.
In high school, hours of instruction transform into credits. One credit is viewed as 180 hours of study; anecdotally, 160 hours has also been acceptable. So, if you use a program with 180 lessons and your child completes all the lessons, you can assign your student the high school credit for that subject.
One of the beauties of homeschooling is the flexibility. Let’s say you use a math curriculum that has 180 lessons. Your math loving student completes all 180 lessons in 130 days. Must be a genius! You can check math off for the year or you can begin the next level of math. At the end of 2 years your child may have completed 3 math levels. And if your student is gifted in math, he/she could earn college math credits at a community college while still in high school.
On the other hand, if math is more challenging for your student, you can proceed at a slower pace. Maybe it will take more than 180 days and you may need to set up your school year to do year round schooling. In high school, even though it may have taken more than 180 days to complete the curriculum, you can still assign the one credit for the course.
Bottom line, although 180 days of instruction appears to be the magic number, you, the parent-teacher can flex (within reason) the number of days to best meet the needs of your child.