Every child learns differently, and this is a big factor in why homeschooling is becoming more popular.
It gives both the parents and the kids a chance to learn in a way that benefits them and, in some cases, offers a better option when traditional schooling just isn’t an option.
Homeschooling is completely legal in the United States, so if you live in Colorado, you can go ahead and use this option.
But every state has its own rules and regulations, and if you are new to homeschooling, this can be a bit confusing at first.
But don’t worry, we are here to help.
We have put together a complete guide to homeschooling in Colorado so you can focus on teaching your kids at home without having to worry about all the technical details.
So read on to find out the essential information you need to know.
Requirements For Homeschooling In Colorado
Once you have decided that you want to homeschool your children in the state of Colorado, you then need to make sure you can meet the homeschooling requirements needed.
While homeschooling is legal in Colorado, not meeting these requirements can get you into trouble, so it’s better to get organized and make sure you meet them before you start.
The main requirements you need to meet in order to homeschool in Colorado are as follows:
- A letter of intent must be submitted to your Colorado school district 14 days before your homeschooling program begins.
This letter must include the name, age, place of residence, and number of attendance hours each individual child will be taking part in.
- You must include on your homeschool curriculum the subjects of communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, and science in order to stay within Colorado laws.
- Your child can have no less than 172 days of instruction, including at least 4 hours a day of said learning time.
- Records for each individual child must be kept on a regular and permanent basis. These records must be kept by the parent who is overseeing the homeschool program. (more details on this can be found below)
- Children who are being homeschooled in the state of Colorado are required by law to be assessed for their academic progress in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
- If your child is between the ages of 6 and 17 years old, they must be enrolled in education, whether it is homeschooling or part of the school district.
As long as you stay within these parameters when in the state of Colorado, you should have no issues in homeschooling your children.
It is important to note that you can ask your school district for more information and advice if you are confused about anything, too.
Record Keeping In Colorado
We have talked about record keeping already, but there is a bit more to know when homeschooling in Colorado.
Record keeping is absolutely essential and mandatory in Colorado and will need to be consistent throughout your and your children’s homeschooling process.
As required by the C.R.S., records in Colorado must be kept by the parent who is overseeing the homeschooling program.
They must include information such as attendance, test and evaluation results, immunization records, and any other related information.
These records must be submitted to the school district that received the written notification that your children were going to be homeschooled, not to the state of Colorado.
Qualifications For Homeschooling In Colorado
In the state of Colorado, you do not need any formal education or licenses in order to homeschool your kids. As long as you are the parent, guardian, or designated tutor for your children, you are able to teach them.
Qualifications do change a bit depending on the type of homeschooling you and your children choose, but general homeschooling does not require any qualifications.
You can learn more about the different qualifications needed for the main homeschooling options below.
Different Types of Homeschooling Options In The State Of Colorado
Like most states in the U.S., there are three main types of homeschooling options you can choose from in Colorado.
These options include umbrella schools, traditional home-based programs, and the certified teacher option.
Each of these options is worth looking into, especially if you are serious about homeschooling your children.
Below, you will find more information about these three options so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you and your children to pursue.
Umbrella schools are basically extensions of communities, such as the church or independent private schools. Though they are a part of these communities, you are able to homeschool your children.
In most cases, a teacher or tutor will be provided by the community or governing entity, and they will be able to support you with any homeschooling needs you require.
Requirements For Umbrella Schools:
The umbrella school entity must keep some records, but any families who are homeschooling via this option are exempt from requirements that include school district notification, attendance, testing, and evaluation.
It is important to ask your umbrella school about anything you are unsure about.
Traditional Home-Based Programs
This style of homeschooling is usually the most popular across the United States. When you choose the traditional home-based program option for homeschooling, you and your children are not affiliated with any outside school, and you operate as an independent entity.
There are a few requirements you need to meet, most of which we have already covered, in order to homeschool in this way.
But once those requirements are met, you will be free to start working on your curriculum and schedule.
Requirements For Traditional Home-Based Programs:
You must file a letter of homeschooling intent to your school district at least 14 days before the actual homeschooling begins.
The letter of intent should include information such as your children’s names and ages you plan on homeschooling, place of residence, and children’s hours of attendance.
Homeschooled children who learn via this option are required by law to be assessed or evaluated in grades 3, 5, 6, 9, and 11.
Parents must keep permanent and up-to-date records of attendance, as well as immunization and testing/evaluation results.
If your children are between the ages of 6 and 16, they must be in some form of education, so if you plan on starting to teach young, these requirements must be set up before the school year begins.
This option allows any parents or guardians who hold a Colorado state certification of teaching to tutor children who are homeschooled.
With this certification, you do not need to meet any of the usual requirements for attendance and testing/evaluation.
It is important to note that you must have a Colorado state certification of teaching in order to pursue this homeschooling route.
If you do not have this certification, this option will not be available for you within the state.
As long as you have this certification, you will be able to teach your children from home.
Days Required For Homeschooling In Colorado
In the state of Colorado, all students who are in public school and those who are homeschooled must complete 172 days per year of academic study.
Regardless of which kind of homeschooling you and your kids opt for, this is a mandatory requirement in the state.
As well as completing 172 days per academic year, children who are homeschooled must be taught for a minimum of 4 hours per day.
You can teach for more hours of the day if you wish, but as long as you uphold the minimum requirement, these extra hours are not needed.
Standardized Testing In Colorado
Standardized Testing is not a requirement in Colorado, but that does not mean that assessments and evaluations don’t have to take place.
If you are following a Traditional Home-Based Program, it is required by law that your children are assessed or evaluated in specific grades.
The grades that they will need to complete these assessments/evaluations are grades 3, 5, 6, 9, and 11.
Your children can be exempt from these assessments if they are instead evaluated by a qualified individual (such as a certified teacher or licensed psychologist) who can show evidence that your children are making sufficient progress in their academic studies.
It is incredibly important that you submit your children for these assessments, evaluations, or appropriate alternatives when they are in the right grades to stay within the perimeters of the law.
If you live in Colorado, homeschooling is incredibly accessible. There are plenty of different options for you and your children to choose from, and you are sure to find something that will fit all of your needs.
Use the guide we have provided here to make an informed decision when it comes to homeschooling in Colorado. With the information we have provided, you can focus on teaching your kids faster.
And remember – you can ask your school district for help if you absolutely need it.