Looking for an unbiased homeschool resource that doesn’t have a hidden agenda? You’ve come to the right place to learn how to homeschool in Colorada.
To homeschool in Colorado, a parent or guardian should become familiar with Colorado homeschooling laws and regulations. Families must decide on a curriculum that fits their needs and be prepared for the self-discipline required to maintain a robust academic schedule.
How to Homeschool in Colorado
Homeschooling in Colorado is regulated by the Colorado Department of Education. If you are considering homeschooling your child in Colorado, here are the steps you will need to follow:
- Notify the Colorado Department of Education that you will be homeschooling your child. You can do this by filling out the “Notice of Intent to Homeschool” form and returning it to the Department of Education.
- Develop a plan for your child’s education. This should include a description of the curriculum and materials you will be using, as well as a schedule for your child’s studies.
- Teach your child according to the plan you have developed. You will be responsible for providing a suitable learning environment and ensuring that your child receives a high-quality education.
- Keep records of your child’s progress. This may include grades, test scores, and other information about your child’s education.
- File an annual evaluation with the Colorado Department of Education. This should include a summary of your child’s progress and any standardized test scores.
It is important to note that homeschooling in Colorado is subject to certain regulations, including requirements for the number of instructional hours and the subjects that must be covered. You should familiarize yourself with these regulations and ensure that you are in compliance with them.
As of February 2020, at least 9 million Americans had been homeschooled at least once.
Homeschool Options in Colorado
Colorado offers three homeschool options for parents who wish to provide their children with an at-home education.
Option 1: Homeschooling Under Colorado’s Homeschool Statute
This includes choosing to homeschool under the state’s homeschool statute or partnering with an independent school or certified teacher. Under Colorado’s homeschool statute, there are certain responsibilities that the teacher and student must comply with:
- There will be testing requirements.
- Parents are required to provide a Notice of Intent form.
- Children being homeschooled are required to be taught reading, math, writing, speaking, history, civics, literature, and science.
- Maintain good recordkeeping, including attendance and academic performance.
- To ascertain if students have achieved enough academic progress in accordance with their abilities, they must be tested with a nationally recognized achievement test or by a trained individual.
Option 2: Homeschooling with an Independent School
On the other hand, parents can also partner with an independent school where they will assume fewer personal legal responsibilities regarding their child’s education. Parents may also provide their own independent schooling for their children.
- By keeping basic records and offering education on the necessary topics, two or more homeschooling families can easily start their own school.
Option 3: Homeschooling with a Certified Teacher
With this choice, parents have access to licensed teachers who can assist in creating curricula and providing teaching year-round either in person or online.
- There are no notice, assessment, or other requirements if the instructor has a current Colorado teaching license.
Of course, whichever route is chosen, should be individualized to meet the needs of every student and family. Whichever option is chosen in Colorado, it provides students with access to quality education in the comfort of their own homes.
Between 2019 to 2020, the percentage of homeschooled students changed from 3.4% to 9%.
Free Colorado Homeschool Programs
Colorado’s free homeschooling programs offer a great way for kids to learn from the comfort and security of their own home. Parents can rest assured that these programs will provide an education tailored to their child’s specific needs.
The course material is regularly revised to make sure it covers all of the must-know subjects, including mathematics, sciences, language arts, and social studies.
By selecting from various subjects, parents can tailor a unique educational experience for their children.
Students can participate in conversations and access resources such as lesson plans and quizzes through virtual platforms and online discussion boards.
For families looking for a quality, budget-friendly educational option, Colorado’s free homeschool programs are the answer.
The Colorado Department of Education provides extra assistance for parents who are homeschooling their children in the state.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an invaluable resource for parents of homeschoolers in Colorado, offering webinars, articles, and other information regarding local homeschooling laws.
Does Homeschool Have to be Accredited in Colorado?
Colorado offers various homeschooling choices to families. One can opt for an accredited home study program or create their own curriculum.
Parents can get support and students can get recognized diplomas through accredited programs provided by school districts, private organizations, and for-profit companies.
Parents often prefer an accredited curriculum for their children, to help them transition more easily into college or post-secondary programs, as it has rigorous academic requirements.
In Colorado, although not necessary for homeschooling, having an accredited program can help when it comes to getting accepted into college after high school.
67% of the homeschooled students successfully graduate from college.
Colorado Accredited Homeschool Programs
To be an accredited homeschool, you must provide proof of enrollment and attendance, maintain grade records, take approved standardized tests each year, appoint a teacher with a high school diploma or higher, and stay on top of curriculum updates.
Private school programs that are accredited need to declare their adherence to rules and regulations in their admission policies to follow the state’s regulations on compulsory attendance.
Homeschooling allows parents to provide their children with a quality education within the comfort of their own homes.
Create a Designated Learning Place
Homeschoolers should have a specific area set aside for learning, to help establish a daily routine and provide an environment where their child can concentrate on schoolwork.
A dining table is an ideal spot for studying. It’s easily cleared off at the end of each day which allows it to be used for eating as well.
You can also provide your child with their own desk in their bedroom for added privacy and the opportunity to decorate it. Whatever you decide, be sure to create an environment that helps them focus on learning.
Over 300 million students were homeschooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay On Track with a Daily Schedule
Sticking to a daily schedule for homeschooling has many advantages; here are some of them:
- Establishing a daily routine can help homeschoolers prioritize tasks, complete more in less time, and improve productivity. Families with multiple students or other outside commitments may particularly benefit from this strategy.
- Effective time management begins with planning. A daily schedule makes it easier to keep track of what needs to be done and when, and prevents feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Allocating specific blocks of time to tasks can help your family stay organized.
- Homeschooling can provide a sense of structure and regularity, especially beneficial for kids accustomed to attending a traditional school. This can make them feel safer and more prepared to learn.
- Families can benefit from daily schedules to stay accountable and meet their homeschooling objectives. This is important for those who tend to be easily distracted or delay their tasks.
- Having a daily schedule in place can facilitate better communication among family members, helping to avoid misunderstandings and building a stronger bond between them.
Ease Into It
Homeschooling for new parents can be a big shift, so it’s crucial to not apply excessive pressure from the start. It is best to ease into this transition and move forward at a steady pace.
Homeschooling parents can begin with just a few basic supplies and then build on their resources as they get more confident with the homeschooling process.
When it comes to homeschooling, there are numerous options, so you should find one that works best for your family. Don’t be afraid to venture out and experiment with different techniques; the less stressed you feel, the more successful your learning experience is likely to be.
Regardless of the educational level of their parents, homeschooled students score between 80% and 90%.
Involve Your Child in Setting Learning Goals
Involving your child in homeschool assignment planning and curriculum scheduling is important for several reasons:
- Offering students a sense of importance and ownership in their education will provide them with motivation and boost engagement.
- Involving them in the homeschool process will help them feel that they are part of it, rather than it being done to them.
- Getting your child involved in the homeschooling decision-making will give you a better understanding of their likes, talents, and shortcomings; allowing you to modify the learning environment to better accommodate them.
Generally, having your kid involved in homeschooling planning is key to a successful experience for everyone.
Explore Other Ways of Learning Outside the Classroom
Homeschool kids have an advantage as they can explore many educational possibilities not found in a regular school. This helps them gain a diverse range of knowledge and experience, resulting in a more comprehensive education.
In many cases, homeschoolers benefit from strong connections in the community. These relationships can open doors to new learning opportunities, such as classes and workshops taught by experts or members of the community.
Parents who homeschool their children should seize these chances to broaden their kids’ education.
Homeschooling families can give their children a very enriching education by exploring different learning techniques.
Reach Out to Other Homeschool Families
Homeschooling can be difficult, especially for families without a support system. Luckily, there are various ways to make connections with other homeschoolers and build a community. One way is by connecting with local homeschooling organizations.
Homeschool groups can provide emotional support, practical advice from experienced homeschoolers, and opportunities for field trips and social interactions.
Joining an online forum or Facebook group is an excellent way to network with other homeschool parents.
Joining a parenting group can be helpful for exchanging resources, asking questions, and obtaining advice from parents who have the same experiences.
Making connections with other homeschooling families can help parents lessen the feeling of isolation and build a supportive environment for their kids.
When educated at home rather than in public schools, boys do 44% better on reading examinations.
Can Homeschooled Students Play Sports in Colorado?
Colorado homeschooled students can participate in extracurricular and interscholastic activities on the same level as any other pupil, as per Colorado Revised Statutes § 22-33-104.5(6) and § 22-32-116.5. This means that they can play sports just like any other student in the state.
To be eligible for homeschooling, certain criteria must be met.
Meeting the necessary qualifications gives Colorado homeschoolers the same chance to participate in sports as any other student.
How to Homeschool When Both Parents Work
Colorado parents who opt to homeschool their children have to be creative with balancing work and school, as it is a difficult task.
With some ingenuity, it’s possible to work and homeschool at the same time. Let’s examine some pointers to help you achieve it.
Prior to February 2020, just 68% of parents who had homeschooled their children said it had been a success.
Get Your Childcare Involved
Some parents are lucky enough to have assistance in homeschooling while they’re away at work due to childcare.
When it’s not achievable or budget-friendly for all households, one should think outside the box to devise a plan that fits everyone’s needs.
Involving your children in household tasks is an effective method to reduce the strain you may be facing between work and homeschooling. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn about responsibility.
It’s prudent to be mindful of your child’s abilities. A five-year-old probably won’t be able to do the laundry, but they can lend a hand with things like dusting or laying the table.
As they age, give your children more chores. By involving them in household tasks, you can reduce your work while teaching them essential life skills.
Before the epidemic, 69% of homeschooled children expressed a desire to continue their studies in this manner for the upcoming school year.
You and Your Spouse Work Alternate Shifts
Balancing homeschooling with both parents working can be difficult, especially if you and your partner have alternating shifts. Here are some strategies to help make it work:
- It’s important to organize your week in advance by creating a schedule that includes all of your work hours and other responsibilities. This will help you plan effectively for homeschooling.
- Make use of online materials: Utilizing online components like lesson plans, videos, and virtual excursions can be a great way to supplement your kid’s schooling when you are not able to be with them in person.
- Be flexible with your homeschooling: If your daytime commitments don’t make 9 to 3 schooling feasible, think outside the box. For instance, you can do lessons at night or at the weekend. Or, break up the day into shorter chunks of time for educational activities.
- Ask for assistance: Don’t be scared to look for support when you need it. This could involve employing a tutor or nanny to aid with home-based instruction while you are busy, or requesting the aid of relatives and friends.
- Homeschoolers should be aware that it’s okay to take breaks. Finding a balance between work and homeschooling will help ensure that commitments are met on both fronts.
Homeschooling can be a tricky task if both parents are working. But it can be done with the right amount of planning and creativity, making it an enriching experience for the whole family.
Take Advantage of Online Curriculums
Homeschooling is a great option to personalize your child’s education, yet it can be difficult to fit work and school into one schedule. To make it easier, why not opt for an online curriculum?
Structured learning programs can assist your child in their development and ensure concentration while you are away.
Furthermore, online learning can be tailored to your child’s individual requirements, making it convenient to discover a course that suits their distinctive learning approach.
In their children’s upcoming academic year, 54% of parents who were homeschooling before February 2020 were likely to do so full-time.
Assign the Child Solo Activities to Do While You’re at Work
Parents in Colorado who teach their kids at home must find ways to keep their children entertained while they are working. One way is to assign independent curriculum projects.
Tasks such as reading assignments, research projects, and math and writing exercises may be included.
It’s essential to select activities that are suitable for your child’s age and skill level.
If your child attends childcare, ask your provider to remind them to complete their homeschooling tasks daily.
Proper planning can help your child become independent and accomplish tough tasks during the workday.
Allow Yourself Flexibility and Grace
Balancing a job and homeschooling can be difficult for parents, so it’s vital to give yourself some leniency and kindness while managing these duties.
Striving for perfection is an unattainable goal that can lead to disappointment. Focus on the successes, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself on your achievements.
Keep in mind that your kids are observing you, and will take after you. By displaying a positive outlook and openness to change, they’ll be more likely to do the same.
Balancing work and homeschooling can be difficult, but it also presents an excellent opportunity to impart valuable lessons to your children. Show them how to be adaptable and graceful in any situation, setting them up for victory down the line.
The typical cost of homeschooling is between $350-$750 per year for the parent(s).
Colorado Homeschool Curriculum Requirements
In Colorado, homeschooling parents must administer structured education in reading, writing, grammar, mathematics, history, civics, science and health.
Furthermore, parents should make sure that their kids receive physical education classes.
Colorado’s homeschool students have to take yearly academic evaluations, particularly in grades 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11, to assess their educational performance.
The outcome of these tests are confidential and only given to the student’s parent or guardian.
Letter of Intent to Homeschool in Colorado
All Colorado parents who want to homeschool their kids must send a letter informing the local school district of their decision at least two weeks prior to the start of their program, as required by law.
The notification must include the following:
- Names of the students
- Student’s ages
- The addresses of the children who will be enrolled in the homeschool program
- The name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for providing the instruction
- A statement of compliance with the immunization requirements set forth in state law.
When the school district gets the information, it will be sent to the Colorado Department of Education. Failure to adhere to these notification regulations may result in fines and other penalties for parents.
The federal government saves $24 billion in taxpayer money thanks to homeschooling.
Is the Colorado Homeschool Curriculum Free?
Those who opt to educate their kids at home in Colorado can access the free state curriculum through the Colorado Department of Education’s website. It is easy to find online.
People who homeschool their children are not obligated to follow the state-mandated curriculum, though many find it useful in structuring their kid’s educational goals.
All core subjects, including English, math, science, and social studies, are part of the state curriculum.
Furthermore, parents can customize their child’s education by selecting from elective courses offered in the curriculum.
Colorado’s homeschool curriculum is free for parents, though they may still need to pay for things like textbooks and other supplies when homeschooling.
How Much Does It Cost to Homeschool in Colorado?
The biggest expense of homeschooling your child in Colorado can be the curriculum, which can range from free online resources to pricey boxed sets. Other costs include membership in a homeschool association, standardized testing, and educational software.
Some families also choose to hire a tutor or take classes at a nearby community college. Overall, the cost of homeschooling depends on the family’s needs and preferences.
However, it is important to note that many families find that homeschooling quickly pays for itself in terms of time and money saved on activities like childcare and after-school programs.
A safe environment was cited as the main motivation by 50% of parents who homeschool their children.
How Many Days Are Required for Homeschool in Colorado?
According to the Colorado Department of Education, homeschool programs must have no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging 4 contact hours per day. However, homeschooled students are not required to attend school for a specific number of hours per day; 4 hours is merely a good suggestion.
This flexibility can be beneficial for families who want to tailor their child’s education to their individual needs and interests.
Colorado Homeschool Record Keeping
Colorado homeschool law requires two types of record keeping: evidence of a child’s presence in the home and evidence of the child’s educational progress.
Record keeping provides evidence that a child is receiving an education in compliance with Colorado law and also helps parents document their child’s educational progress.
There are many different ways to keep records, but it is important to choose a method that is best suited to your family’s needs.
Here are some things that are important to keep a record of during the homeschooling years:
- Test results
- Samples of your student’s academic work
- Documentation of the type of curriculum being provided to your child
- Dialog with state and/or school officials
- Attendance records
A good rule of thumb is to save these records for at least two years.
Some families prefer to keep digital records, while others prefer paper records.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to keep all records in a safe place where they can be easily accessed.
Test results, extracurricular activities, and socialization were mentioned as reasons for homeschooling by 14% of the parents.
Colorado Homeschool Graduation Requirements
The state of Colorado does not have a specific homeschooling requirement in place for a student to graduate. Graduation standards are set by the parents as the facilitators of their child’s education. Once the student accomplishes the expected milestones set forth by the parents, they will graduate.
Colorado Homeschool Diploma
For homeschooled students in Colorado, earning a diploma can be an even greater accomplishment. Homeschooled kids don’t have the structure of a regular school schedule, so they have to be self-motivated and disciplined to do well. A high school diploma is a symbol of hard work and dedication.
Earning a diploma shows that they have what it takes to set goals and achieve them.
In addition, a diploma for Colorado homeschoolers can open up new opportunities, such as colleges and scholarships.
For homeschooled students, a high school diploma is an important milestone on the road to success.
How Does a Homeschooled Student Get a Diploma?
Parents in Colorado who homeschool their children have the unique opportunity to be the sole provider of their child’s high school diploma. This means that they get to decide what criteria must be met in order for their child to earn the diploma.
Of course, parents will want to ensure that their child meets all the necessary requirements for graduation, such as taking required courses and passing exams.
However, they also have the freedom to tailor the curriculum to their child’s interests and learning style.
As a result, homeschooled students often emerge with a well-rounded education that prepares them well for success in college and beyond.
Before COVID-19, 42% of parents said they wished their kids had more freedom to pursue their hobbies.
Are Homeschool Diplomas Valid?
The homeschooling movement has been growing steadily in recent years, as more parents opt to educate their children at home. While homeschooling can provide a number of benefits, there is one potential drawback: homeschool diplomas may not be as recognized by colleges or employers.
Some institutions may require additional testing or coursework for homeschooled students, so students should be prepared to take some tests to show their level of academics.
It’s not uncommon whatsoever for homeschooled kids to be more academically advanced than their peers who attended a public school, so in the long run, homeschoolers are quite capable of holding the advantage.
However, it is important to note that homeschool diplomas are becoming increasingly common and should be accepted by most colleges and employers.
Although the information in this article was researched with the utmost integrity and sincerity, it cannot be held legally liable or expected to take the place of legitimate legal advice for your specific situation.
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield, the owner of SmackDown Media LLC, is passionate about providing information to those considering their educational options. Trina is a seasoned writer, content creator, and website owner with a passion for unbiased research, educational platforms for children and adults, as well as all things family-related.