Homeschooling in Colorado
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I have been homeschooling my children in Colorado since 2009. Amidst the beautiful landscape of mountains, our homeschool experience has become enriched with friendships and opportunities.  My children have participated in sports, sharpened their entrepreneurial skills, and even flown airplanes. We have also enjoyed several museums and tours. The beautiful distraction of nature all around has even beckoned us to pack up some study materials and hike to our favorite study spot in the mountains!



History of Homeschooling in Colorado

Upon reviewing the history of homeschooling in Colorado, one can realize how far we have come in our freedom to homeschool. I am ever-so-grateful to the parents who have worked to help make homeschooling possible in our state and for those who continue to fight for homeschool freedom.

Prior to 1980, Colorado had no official requirements for home study programs. In 1980, the Colorado state board adopted rules and regulations that allowed parents with teaching certificates to homeschool under Colorado’s private tutor provision. Parents without teaching certificates were required to use a state-approved correspondence course unless their resident school district permitted them to choose their own curricula.
In 1987 and 1988, requirements were revised to allow parents to choose their own curricula without approval. Additional requirements were added requiring home educators to: provide annual notification of their intent to homeschool, provide a set number of hours of instruction each year, provide specified subject studies, create an annual outline of educational objectives and instructional materials, keep specified records, and have their children achieve a minimum percentile composite score on testing each year.

Since then, there have been a few changes to the homeschool laws in Colorado. Public school extracurricular activities became available to homeschool students. In 1994, homeschooling parents were given the option of having a qualified person” evaluate their child's academic progress rather than having their child evaluated through standardized testing. Laws requiring vaccines or an official vaccine exemption form have also been implemented for homeschoolers attending schools, childcare facilities, colleges, and universities. (Homeschool programs offered at these locations are outlined below.)



Three Ways to Legally Homeschool in Colorado

It is important to note that homeschool laws can change. Therefore, it is important to consult the Colorado Department of Education website and double-check the current homeschool laws each year.

Option 1: File a notice of intent to homeschool and abide by the Colorado homeschool statutes located on the Colorado Department of Education Website.

  1. Decide who will be homeschooling your child.
  • Instruction can be provided by a parent, guardian, or adult relative designated by a parent.
  1. Notify a school district within the State of Colorado of your intention to homeschool.
  • Notify a school district at least fourteen days prior to starting a home-based education program and annually thereafter.
  • If your child was enrolled in a school, inform that school that you will be homeschooling.
  • You can inform the school district of your intention to homeschool with a personal letter or a notice of intent form (NOI). On your notice of intent to homeschool, you must include the name, age, residence, and hours of instruction that you plan to provide for your child.
  1. Provide a minimum of 172 days of instruction, averaging four hours per day.
  2. Teach the required subjects.
  • Required subjects include reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in The Constitution of the United States.
  • The parent, guardian, or adult relative designated by a parent who oversees the home school program is responsible for obtaining books, supplies, tests, and any costs associated.
  1. Keep attendance records, test and evaluation results, and immunization records on a permanent basis.
  2. Test your student in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 with a nationally standardized achievement test.
  • Your student’s composite score must be above the 13th percentile.
  • Please note: Colorado specific assessments do not fulfill the requirement for home school students to take a nationally standardized test.
  • BJU Press Homeschool Testing and Evaluation provides nationally standardized achievement test options. Your local HomeWorks by Precept Consultant can help guide you to the best testing tools and options for your child. Click >>> here <<< to find more information on testing options.



Alternatively, you can have your student evaluated by a “qualified person” (a Colorado certified teacher, a teacher employed by a Colorado private school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education) to determine if your student has made sufficient academic progress according to his ability.

Submit the test or evaluation results to either the school district where you sent your notice of intent or to an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado. If you do not send the results to the school district to which you sent the notice of intent, you must inform that school district where you sent the test or evaluation results.

If the evaluation results show that the child is not making sufficient academic progress or if your student’s composite test scores are at or below the 13th percentile, the school district can require the child’s parents to place the child in a public, independent, or parochial school until the next testing period.



Option 2: Enroll your student in an established Colorado “independent school” and follow their requirements.

  • An “independent school,” (also known as an umbrella school or cover school), operates under the Colorado non-public school law.
  • The purpose of many “independent schools” is to help you comply with your state's compulsory school attendance, record keeping, and testing laws.
  • Enroll your student(s) in an established Colorado “independent school” and teach them at home under the independent school’s supervision.
  • *Here are links for some independent schools in Colorado:

Ascend Micro School
CHEC - Christian Home Educators of Colorado
CHESS
FACE School
Front Range Christian School
High Country Christian Academy
Poudre River School
Spiral Academy
*This list of links does not imply endorsement by HomeWorks by Precept. We encourage you to research the philosophy, practices, and requirements of prospective independent schools. Make sure you understand the school's requirements and verify that it aligns with your family's needs and values before registering with them.




Option 3: A certified teacher provides instruction

If instruction is provided by a parent, guardian, or adult relative designated by a parent who holds a valid Colorado teaching certificate, notification and assessments are not required.
Colorado Homeschool Field Trip Ideas
*Click on the locations below for a quick link to their corresponding website.

Academy Riding Stables
Garden of the Gods
Aurora History Museum
History Colorado Center
Bear Creek Nature Center
Little Thompson Pioneer Museum
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center
Bishop Castle
Lookout Mountain Nature Center
Butterfly Pavilion
Magic Town
Byers-Evans House Museum
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Cave of the Winds
May Natural History Museum
Celestial Seasonings
The McAllister House Museum
Challenger Learning Center of Colorado
Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Molly Brown House Museum Tour
Children's Museum of Denver
Morrison Natural History Museum
Christian Youth Theater
Museum of Anthropology
Colorado Ballet
Museum of Boulder
Colorado Judicial Learning Center Tour
Museum of Discovery Fort Collins
Colorado Railroad Museum
Museum of Natural History
Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Colorado Springs Firefighters Museum
National Earthquake Information Center
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
National Ice Core Laboratory
Colorado Symphony
National Inst. of Standards &Technology
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
The National Museum of World War II Aviation
Cripple Creek Jail Museum
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Denver Botanic Gardens
Old Mill Park
Denver Center for the Performing Arts
Opera Colorado
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Peterson Air & Space Museum
Denver Puppet Theatre
Pikes Peak Children's Museum
Denver Zoo
Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum
Dinosaur Ridge
Rock Ledge Ranch
Denver Art Museum
Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
Denver Capitol Tour
Simpich Showcase
Denver Firefighter's Museum
Space Foundation Discovery Center
Downtown Aquarium
Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center
Dr. Lester L. Williams Fire Museum
Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center
El Pueblo History Museum
Team U.S.A. Olympic Training Center
Fine Arts Center
U.S. Air Force Academy
Focus on the Family
U.S. Air Force Academy Planetarium
Forney Museum of transportation
U.S. Mint Tour
Ghost Town Wild West Museum
Vintage Aero Flying Museum
Glen Eyrie Castle
Western Museum of Mining & Industry
Hammond's Candies
Wings Over the Rockies Museum
Florissant Fossil Beds
Wolf Robotics
Fountain Creek Nature Center
World of Wonder Children's Museum

With the growing number of homeschoolers in Colorado also comes the added benefit of a growing amount of homeschool programs and support. If you choose to register your child in one of these supportive programs, such as an enrichment program or a co-op, inquire about recordkeeping for credits, attendance, and grades.




Publicly Funded Enrichment Programs
  • Many Colorado schools provide publicly funded enrichment programs wherein you can register your child for extracurricular or specialized classes.
  • You will need to register with the corresponding school district to participate in their enrichment program.
  • Your child cannot be registered in more than one publicly funded enrichment program at the same time.

Private Enrichment Programs
  • Register your child with the private school or business offering the private enrichment program.
  • Select your child’s desired classes from the extracurricular or specialized classes offered.
  • A fee is typically required to cover administration costs and teacher’s salaries.
CO-OPS
  • A Homeschool Co-op is a group of homeschoolers coming together in cooperation to provide educational and/or social activities for their children.
  • Co-ops may consist of a few families or larger groups of families who have developed programs that offer classes to any homeschoolers who wish to participate.
  • Larger groups typically require registration and charge fees to cover administration costs.
  • Homeschool co-ops may encourage or require parental participation or volunteering.
Your local library
  • Offers reading programs
  • Offers occasional homeschool enrichment classes




ASCENT program through the public-school districts

Homeschool students can receive part-time funding by the school district as they accumulate college credit for one year following their senior year in high school. To receive this part-time funding, the student must enroll in a school district or charter school in the state of Colorado that participates in the ASCENT (Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment) program. Find out more about the ASCENT program >>> here.

Colorado Early College Program

The Colorado Early College Program allows the student to complete a high school diploma and an associate degree or other post-secondary credit toward the completion of postsecondary study. The student must enroll at a participating early college institution. Find out more about the Colorado Early College program >>> here.

AHE (Academy of Homeschool Education)
A service provided by BJU Press Homeschool

  • Keeps track of student grades
  • Sends quarterly report cards
  • Includes annual standardized testing
  • Prepares official transcripts that detail the student's academic record, including results of standardized tests
  • Holds an annual graduation on the Bob Jones University campus
  • Incorporates Cash4College program which allows you to earn tuition dollars toward enrollment atBob Jones University with every curriculum purchase
  • Offers dual credit options: Earn dual credit by taking residential or online Bob Jones University courses and have them count toward high school graduation requirements and college credits.

Learn more about AHE >>> here.

Valuable resources for Colorado Homeschoolers

  • Join HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) for supportive information and resources, legislative advocacy, and legal representation benefits. Click >>> here <<< for more information on HSLDA.
If you are a member of HSLDA, you can access downloadable sample forms >>> here. These forms are helpful for compliance with the Colorado Homeschool laws. These forms include a sample form for your notice of intent to homeschool, a CDPHE nonmedical immunization exemption form, a Colorado test result report form, and a Colorado evaluation report form.

They host the annual Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference, where you can explore curriculum options, hear inspiring speakers, attend workshops, and learn about local homeschool programs.

Join homeschoolers from across the state at the annual Colorado homeschool day at the capitol.

Social Media

*Social media can also be a valuable support tool. This is a great place to inquire about local support groups, co-ops, sports options, and more. For your convenience, here are a few Facebook groups that you may find helpful:

In Conclusion

Not only are you now equipped with the resources here, but you also have the support available from a HomeWorks by Precept consultant. Click >>> here <<< to watch a short video about how HomeWorks by Precept consultants can help you.
Homeschool parent, I am confident that you can and will successfully facilitate your child’s education at home. I have successfully adapted my chosen educational tools throughout the years to accommodate my child with a missing chromosome, work through a debilitating injury, provide care for a parent, homeschool multiple children, homeschool around surgeries, and even homeschool on days my rheumatoid arthritis flares up.
By using a combination of the BJU Press Homeschool parent led option, DVD video courses, and online video courses, I have been able to successfully accommodate the needs of my family while simultaneously ministering to my children’s spiritual growth.
We have been immensely blessed by our family bonds and the growth of our hearts while we study and absorb knowledge. The BJU Press Homeschool curriculum helps me feel confident that my children are being equipped with a solid foundation of academics that meets the required courses, days, and instruction hours outlined in the Colorado homeschool statutes.
The practical application and biblical worldview woven throughout the curriculum has helped me grow my children’s compassionate, caring hearts for the people and the world in which we live. As my children grow, I enjoy the support and programs in our state that help me enhance their interests and God-given gifts. I have full confidence that God will use each of my children’s knowledge, compassions, unique qualities, interests, and gifts as they serve others throughout their professional and personal lives.
As you work with your child to gain knowledge, understanding, and spiritual growth, be confident that God will use all that you are and all the time you invest as he calls your child to serve in each future mission.
*The list of resources and links is provided as a courtesy and does not imply endorsement by HomeWorks by Precept. We encourage you to research the philosophy and practices of programs and places before deciding on participation.


Meet the Author


Yvonne Strachan - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant
www.homeworksbyprecept.com/Yvonne-Strachan


 

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