Colorado is a state located in the western region of the United States. It is known for its diverse geography, which includes mountains, forests, canyons, and deserts. The state has a population of around 5.8 million and is home to several major cities, including Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora.
Colorado has a unique education system that offers various options for families who choose to homeschool their children. One of the options available to homeschooling families is online homeschooling. Online homeschooling allows students to receive a high-quality education from the comfort of their own homes.
At High School of America, we are thrilled to offer our top-tier online homeschooling programs to families in the Centennial State. Our mission is to provide an outstanding education that caters to each student’s unique needs and goals. We offer a flexible and customizable online curriculum that meets Colorado state education standards.
Our affordable programs prepare students for success in their future endeavors, whether they want to earn their high school diploma, take advanced courses, or explore new subjects.
To learn more about Colorado’s online homeschooling requirements and how our programs can benefit your student’s education, please see the section below.
Homeschooling Laws in Colorado
There are 3 options under which you can legally homeschool in Colorado. You have the option of choosing the best that meets the needs of your family.
These options are:
- Homeschooling under the Colorado’s homeschool statute
- Homeschooling with an independent school
- Homeschooling with a qualified instructor
a) Homeschooling under Colorado’s homeschool statute
The Colorado homeschooling law refers to homeschooling in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5. To home study under this statute, you must adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Choose someone who will be responsible for educating your child.
This person can be a parent, legal guardian, or adult relative who has been designated by a parent.
2. Notify a school district in Colorado that you intend to homeschool your child.
You need to give them a notice of intent at least 14 days before you start your home-based education program and every year thereafter. This notice must include your child’s name, age, address, and hours per day they will be taught.
3. Teach your child the required subjects.
In Colorado, you need to provide 172 days of instruction, with an average of four hours per day, in subjects such as science, reading, history, writing, math, civics, literature, and the United States Constitution.
4. Keep proper records of your child’s homeschooling.
You must keep attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records to comply with Colorado’s homeschooling laws.
5. Test or evaluate your child’s progress.
Your child must take a nationally standardized achievement test or be evaluated by a qualified person in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 to determine if they have made sufficient academic progress based on their abilities.
To comply with the regulations, if you choose to have your child evaluated instead of taking a standardized achievement test, you must select someone who falls into one of the following categories to conduct the assessment:
- A teacher who is certified in the state of Colorado
- A teacher who is employed by a private school
- A licensed psychologist
- A person who holds a graduate degree in education.
b) Homeschooling with an independent school
In Colorado, parents can enroll their children in “independent schools” where they can teach their children at home under the supervision of the school.
Alternatively, if multiple homeschool families come together, they can establish their own school by following the state’s requirements, including keeping minimal records and teaching the required subjects.
c) Homeschooling with a certified teacher
If your child’s teacher (whether it’s you or someone else you select) has a valid Colorado teaching certificate, then there are no requirements for notification, assessment, or anything else.
Other homeschooling requirements in Colorado are as follows:
Colorado law states that home school programs must include, but need not be limited to these curriculum subjects:
- communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking
- regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States as provided in section 22-1-108
Parents can utilize their preferred curriculum if it covers the mandatory courses.
Compulsory Attendance Age
According to the Colorado compulsory attendance law, children between the ages of 6 (by August 1) and 17 must attend public school. However, if they are not enrolled in a public school, they must be enrolled in a non-public school such as a private, parochial, or independent school or abide by the home-based education law.
Under the home-based education law, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind:
- Children who are 6 years old by August 1 must have a Notice of Intent (NOI) in place, but teaching isn’t required to commence until they turn 7 years.
- Once a student has attained 16 years, the Notice of Intent no longer needs to be submitted.
Homeschooling programs must provide at least 172 days of instruction, with an average of 4 hours of direct contact between the teacher and student per day.
The Colorado homeschooling law requires parents to keep records of every homeschooling child.
- The homeschool must include test and evaluation results, attendance, and immunization records as stipulated in C.R.S sections 25-4-901, 25-4-902, and 25-4-903.
- The records must be sent to the school district, where the written notification was sent upon request.
- Requests to verify records (including diplomas and records) must be directed to the school district that received the notice of intention or the parent who supervises the homeschool program.
- The Colorado Department of Education doesn’t house or receive any records relating to home education.
Homeschooling students in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 must be assessed to determine their academic progress. The Colorado Department of Education doesn’t state specific assessments.
- Learners aren’t supposed to participate in state standardized tests. However, they can participate in a nationally standardized achievement examination, or a parent can choose an eligible individual, as defined in C.R.S. 22-33-104.5(3)(f), to assess the student’s academic progress.
- An eligible person is an individual with a Colorado teacher license, has a master’s degree in education, is a licensed psychologist, and is an educator in a parochial or private school.
- The homeschooling parent must work with a qualified person to determine the kind of assessment that would be used. Homeschool support groups might provide more information on the academic progress evaluations that can be used.
- The assessment or test results shall be submitted to the school district that received the notice of intent.
What’s Required of Homeschooling Online in Colorado
In order to homeschool in Colorado, you must ensure that you have the following:
a) Select your homeschooling option
Determine the homeschooling option that you want to use in Colorado:
- homeschooling on your own
- homeschooling under an umbrella school
- homeschooling as a licensed teacher
After choosing your desired option, follow the corresponding legal requirements outlined above.
b) Select your homeschool style or method
Choose the methods and styles that will work best for you and align with your goals.
While it’s not necessary to put a label on yourself, understanding the different approaches to homeschooling, such as Charlotte Mason, classical, and literature-based, can be useful. You can customize your approach and choose what resonates with you.
c) Choose your curriculum
Pick your homeschool curriculum while ensuring that you include subjects required by Colorado homeschool law. These subjects include science, language arts, math, and history (plus civics).
c) Organize your materials
Create a plan to arrange your study materials and designate specific areas in your home where you can comfortably study on a couch or at a table.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated room for homeschooling, using bookshelves, rolling carts, and other organizing tools can help keep your home neat.
d) Consider your daily schedule
Effective time management is crucial for a successful homeschooling experience, and having a well-structured curriculum can help you manage your daily schedule and routine.
Choosing a curriculum that is easy to implement can free up your time on Sundays, allowing you to engage in your interests and spend quality time with your family.
Such a curriculum can be a central point for organizing your homeschooling activities and can provide structure to your day-to-day routine.
Colorado Homeschooling Online Frequently Asked Questions
1. When was homeschooling made legal in Colorado?
Homeschooling became legal in Colorado on May 10, 1988, when both houses passed the state’s first Homeschool Law.
2. What are the testing requirements for homeschooling in Colorado?
Homeschooling students in Colorado are not required to take the state’s standardized tests, but parents may request that their child participates in them.
It’s important to note that Colorado-specific assessments are not considered nationally standardized tests and cannot fulfill this requirement for homeschooling students.
3. How do I enroll my child in homeschooling in Colorado?
To enroll a child in homeschooling in Colorado, the parent or guardian must submit a letter of intent to their local school district at least 14 days before the start of homeschooling (and annually thereafter) for children between 6 and 16 years of age.
This letter should include the child’s name and age, place of residence and hours of attendance.
4. What are the requirements for homeschooling in Colorado?
According to Colorado law, homeschooling programs must include subjects such as communication skills (reading, writing, and speaking), math, history, civics, literature, science, and regular instruction on the US Constitution.
5. What is a notice of intent for homeschooling in Colorado?
A notice of intent is a document that parents must file with a school district in Colorado each year at least 14 days before starting homeschooling. It should include the names and ages of the students, their addresses, and other relevant information.
6. Do you need to be certified to homeschool in Colorado?
No, parents do not need to be certified teachers to homeschool their children in Colorado. However, those with a current Colorado teaching license are exempt from certain reporting and testing requirements that apply to other homeschooling parents.
7. Who is eligible for homeschooling?
Any parent or legal guardian in Colorado may choose to homeschool their child with no specific qualifications or requirements beyond the necessary reporting and instructional obligations.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Colorado
Online homeschooling has experienced a significant surge in popularity in Colorado in recent years, as reflected in the available statistics. The number of students reported as homeschooled doubled between the fall of a certain year and the corresponding period in 2019.
In the fall of the referenced year, a total of 15,773 students were counted as being homeschooled, compared to 7,880 in 2019. This substantial increase suggests a growing preference for homeschooling among Colorado families.
Moreover, the enrollment figures for online educational programs in Colorado have also witnessed a notable rise. In the current year being discussed, a total of 32,034 students registered in online educational programs. This represents a significant increase of 9,586 students when compared to the enrollment figures from 2019, marking a growth rate of 43%. These figures further highlight the increasing popularity of online education as an alternative to traditional schooling in the state.
Additionally, the census estimates from Colorado provide valuable insights into the growth of homeschooling rates in the state. The data indicates that the “homeschooling rates of households” increased from 3.4% on May 5, 2020, to 8.7% on October 12, 2020. This indicates a substantial shift in educational preferences among families, with a growing number choosing homeschooling as their preferred method of education for their children.
How to Do it
If you are interested in homeschooling your child in Colorado and prefer an online approach, here are some steps you can follow:
- Understand the Colorado Homeschool Law: Before starting the homeschooling process, it’s important to understand the legal requirements for homeschooling in Colorado. You can visit the Colorado Department of Education website to learn more about the requirements.
- Choose an online homeschooling program: There are many online homeschooling programs available that provide a comprehensive curriculum for students.
- Submit a notice of intent to homeschool: Colorado law requires parents to submit a notice of intent to homeschool to their local school district 14 days before the start of the school year. The notice should include the name, age, and address of each child who will be homeschooled, as well as the name, address, and qualifications of the parent who will be teaching.
- Choose your curriculum: Once you have selected an online homeschooling program, you can choose the specific courses and lessons you want your child to take. It’s important to ensure that the curriculum meets Colorado’s academic standards.
- Keep records: As a homeschooling parent, you are required to keep records of your child’s academic progress. This can include attendance records, test scores, and samples of your child’s work.
- Connect with other homeschoolers: Joining a homeschooling community can provide support and resources for both you and your child. You can search for local homeschooling groups online or through social media platforms.
- Evaluate your child’s progress: Regularly evaluating your child’s progress can help you identify areas where they may need additional support or enrichment. You can use standardized tests or assessments provided by your online homeschooling program to evaluate your child’s academic progress.
Benefits of Homeschooling Online in Colorado
There are several benefits to homeschooling online in Colorado:
- Flexibility: Online homeschooling programs offer flexibility in terms of scheduling and pacing. Parents and students can choose when and how long to study each day, allowing for a more personalized approach to learning.
- Customization: Online homeschooling programs provide a wide range of courses and materials to choose from. Parents can tailor their child’s education to their interests and needs and adjust the curriculum as needed.
- Access to high-quality curriculum: Many online homeschooling programs offer a high-quality, standards-based curriculum aligned with Colorado’s academic standards. This can ensure that students receive a rigorous education that prepares them for college or a career.
- Safety: Homeschooling online can provide a safer learning environment for students who may face bullying or other safety concerns in traditional schools.
- Parental involvement: Online homeschooling allows parents to be more involved in their child’s education. Parents can track their child’s progress, communicate with teachers, and provide support as needed.
- Cost-effectiveness: Homeschooling online can be more cost-effective than traditional schooling, as there are no expenses for transportation, uniforms, or other fees.
- Opportunities for socialization: Online homeschooling programs often offer opportunities for students to connect with other homeschoolers through virtual clubs, activities, and events.
In conclusion, Colorado homeschooling online provides a flexible and effective educational option for families seeking an alternative to traditional schooling.
Homeschooling allows for personalized instruction tailored to each student’s individual needs and interests, fostering a supportive and nurturing environment.
Colorado’s homeschooling laws and regulations provide the necessary framework to ensure educational standards are met while allowing families the freedom to design a curriculum that aligns with their values and goals.