Colorado Home School Law

Homeschooling Requirements

I've been operating a Colorado home school since 1997 with no problems. But the world is changing so fast these days... yes,  I worry. 

There are some requirements from the state for homeschooling in Colorado. So far the homeschool laws here are fairly easy to comply with and still maintain our independence. I have not found them to be too intrusive. 

Please keep it that way.  Follow the laws... but don't offer anything more to the state than is required.

Colorado Home School Law includes this.... 

Colorado Home School Law... The general assembly hereby declares that it is the primary right and obligation of the parent to choose the proper education and training for children under his care and supervision. It is recognized that home-based education is a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance for the instruction of children and that any regulation of nonpublic home-based educational programs should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate a variety of circumstances....

So far so good. They officially recognize our rights to choose homeschooling and recognize it as a legitimate alternative to a traditional classroom.

A Colorado Home School has 3 Options

  1. Operate as a non-public home-based educational program. 
  2. Enroll in a Colorado private or independent school, but teach them at home. There are some private schools that will allow you to enroll in their school, yet not require physical attendance in their classes. Each school will have its own requirements. These requirements are between you and the school... not the public school system. You would be officially classified as a private student.
  3. If you are certified in Colorado to teach, you can educate your own children.  The instruction you are providing is exempt from all other requirements, including testing. If you happen to be a certified teacher, you are considered competent enough to teach your children. (I don't happen to think that certificate helps you.... but that is a whole other page.  Don't get me started!) 

Option one: a non public home based educational program.  

The rest of this page will focus on option one... establishing a home based educational program.  This is what I do and the method I am most familiar with.  

Compulsory age of attendance.

From age 7-16 as of August 1. Even if instruction does not start until age 7 you must file a notice of intent when your son is 6 yrs old as of August 1.

Attendance or Hour Requirements

You must file a "notice of intent to homeschool" 14 days prior to the start date of your school year.

This notice should include the name and age of the student. Your place of residence and the number of hours of attendance for each child. You must also indicate where your required test results will be submitted. (see testing requirements below)

As a homeschool mom who likes her independence, I ask you to please NOT give any more information than what is required of us. If many people offer more... the school systems will begin to think it is a good idea and try to require more. Obey the laws, but offer no more.

Testing Requirements

Your students must be given a nationally standardized test at grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. These test results may be submitted to your local school district or any independent school. You must tell the school district where these results were submitted.

The other option is to have your student evaluated by a "qualified" evaluator. This person must be a certified teacher, a teacher employed by a private school, a licensed psychologist, or have a graduate degree in education.

Record Keeping Laws

You must keep attendance records to show your days of attendance and you are supposed to average 4 hours per each day. You must also keep records of your test and/or evaluation results and immunization records.

If the school district has probable cause to suspect your school is not operating correctly they may request these records. You have 14 days to produce them to the district.

Subject requirements

You must teach your children in the following subjects. reading, writing and speaking, mathematics, history, civics,literature, science and regular courses of instruction in the Constitution of the United States.

I find that last subject ironic. Our particular school district has ONE DAY of instruction on the Constitution of the United States. In fact there is a group that was passing a petition around to present to the school board to try to get them to dedicate more time to this subject... since the law states a "regular course of instruction" I'd say more than one day would be good!

Please note: this page should NOT be construed as legal advice!

Be aware of Colorado home school laws.

Link to official Colorado Home School Law 

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