Homeschooling in Colorado
Before you begin homeschooling
Determine if homeschooling is best for your family
- Parents (or guardians) who homeschool are responsible for the education of each student, including purchase of books, supplies, and tests.
- Homeschooled students must be tested in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 at the expense of the parent.
- Understand the different philosophies and methods of homeschooling and decide if homeschooling is best for your family’s lifestyle and your child’s educational needs. Click here to read about popular homeschooling methods, styles, and philosophies.
- Homeschooling families are responsible to keep records of attendance, immunizations, and test scores. It is also helpful to keep records of high school course work for college applications.
- Click here to read about commitments your family may have to make to homeschool.
Know the law
- You must provide written notification to any Colorado school district at least 14 days before beginning to homeschool. A change in the law, effective July 1, 2007, requires parents to provide written notice of the intent to homeschool once a child turns the age of six years old. Parents are not required to begin the homeschool program until the child is seven years old. The written notice must include the name, age, place of residence, and number of hours of attendance in the school year for each child who will homeschool (the number of hours should be at least an average of four hours per day for 172 days per year, for a total of at least 688 hours for the school year). You must notify the school district each year that the child is homeschooled, until age sixteen.
- Keep track of records. The law requires that you keep records of attendance, immunizations, and test scores.
- Students must be tested using a nationally norm-referenced test in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. (See below to find test resources.) The test results must be submitted to the local school district or to a private or parochial school for evaluation. If the student tests at or below the thirteenth percentile, he or she is required to enter a public, private, or parochial school at least until the next testing period.
- Homeschool instruction must include reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and the United States Constitution.
- Homeschool students have the right to participate in extra-curricular and interscholastic activities at the local public school. See your neighborhood school for more information. If the student plans to participate in high school varsity athletics, be aware that participation may be limited because of CHSAA rules.
- Parents are not required to have a teaching license to homeschool their children.
- You can read the homeschooling law here or see Colorado Revised Statutes 22-33-104.5. Note: 2007 legislation changed the age at which a parent must submit written notification to the school district to age six (previously age seven) on August 1. You can read Senate Bill 07-016 for the text of the new requirements.
Find a support group
Visit several support groups and find one that is the most helpful for your family.
A variety of religious and secular homeschool support groups in Colorado are listed on these sites:
Decide which curriculum to use
- The law requires that students study reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and the United States Constitution.
- Understand the various philosophies and methods of homeschooling. Choose your homeschooling curricula based on your values and on how your child learns best. Click here to read about popular homeschooling methods, styles, and philosophies.
- Some families choose to purchase all of their curricula from the same publisher or company. Other families pick and choose from different sources for each subject.
- Another option is an independent, correspondence, or distance learning school where a student enrolls in the school but does his work at home. These types of schools provide a wide variety of services such as testing, curriculum design, record keeping, diplomas, graduation ceremonies, and more.
- Talk with homeschooling parents and ask what curricula have worked for their children.
- Click here for a list of public schools that offer special classes for homeschoolers
- See below for links to homeschooling resources and bookstores that sell homeschooling materials.
Standardized testing information
Tests must be administered by people who have been approved by the testing company. You can find qualified individuals through the CHEC testing Web page, homeschool support groups, and ads in homeschooling magazines. As part of their services, many non-public and charter schools offer standardized testing for homeschooled students.
Homeschool resource links
- A-Z Home’s Cool Curriculum links
- About.com: Homeschool Curriculum
- Christian Home Educators of Colorado
- Online Homeschooling
- Secular Homeschool Groups
Independent, Correspondence, and Distance Learning Schools and Programs
- Christian Home Educators of Colorado – Independent School
- A-Z Home’s Cool – Distance Learning Programs
- A-Z Home’s Cool – Online – Cyberschools
- A-Z Home’s Cool – Colorado Cover Schools
Homeschooling Children with Special Needs
- Homeschool Central’s Special Needs Links
- Home School Legal Defense – Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner
Public School Programs for Home Education
- View a list of public schools that offer special classes for homeschoolers
- Find home-based public online programs (Note: students who enroll in a home-based public online school are considered public school students, subject to public school requirements, and not subject to the homeschool law)
History of Homeschooling in Colorado