Homeschool age requirements: Students between the age of 6 on or before August 1 and is under the age of 17 years old required to attend school in Colorado. For students in a home-based educational program, the eligible age is from 7 to 16.. Under the home based education program, parents must submit a notice of intent beginning in the year a child is six by August 1. Actual instructional teaching does not have to begin until age seven.
Required Homeschool Days of Instruction: 172 days, averaging four hours per day.
Required homeschool subjects: Constitution of the United States, reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, and science.
Parents have three legal options for educating their children at home in the state of Colorado.
Option 1: Parents are responsible to choose the proper education and training for children under their supervision. Colorado does recognize a home-based education as a legitimate alternative to classroom attendance. Home-based educational programs are subject only to minimum state controls which are currently applicable to other forms of nonpublic education.
a. Instruction in a non-public home-based educational program may be provided by a parent, guardian, or an adult relative designated by a parent.
b. A home school is not intended to be and does not qualify as a private and nonprofit school.
c. Parents must give notice 14 days before starting home schooling and every year after. The parents have the choice to file the notice in any school district in the state. A parent who intends to establish a nonpublic home-based educational program must provide written notification of this program to a school district for all children between the ages of six (by August 1) and 16 but is not required to establish the program until the child is seven years of age.
d. The notice must include names, ages, residence, and hours of attendance of children taught. There is no requirement to use the local school district’s forms.
e. Parents must keep records of attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records which the school district which has the original notice of intent may see with fourteen days’ notice if the superintendent has probable cause to believe the home school program is not in compliance with the law.
Option 2: Parents can enroll their children in a Colorado “independent school” but teach them at home. Children enrolled in an independent or parochial school that provides a basic academic education can be allowed by that school to be taught at home. Such students are legally classified as private school students.
a. Children that are enrolled in a Colorado independent school are exempt from the compulsory school attendance and homeschool laws and can still be instructed by their parents at home. Registration with the public school is not required. No testing or evaluation is mandated.
b. Parents can establish an independent school by keeping minimal records and providing instruction in the required subjects, in addition to complying with other statutory requirements. The independent school must be comprised of at least two homeschool families.
c. The administrator can be one of the parents. The teachers are the parents, and all teaching is done in separate campus sites in each home.
Option 3: If a home schooling parent or other person is certified in Colorado to teach, the home school in which they are providing instruction is exempt from all other requirements, including testing.
Teacher Qualifications: None, unless a child is taught by a private tutor, who must be certified.
Standardized Tests: Children enrolled in a home-based educational program must be tested or evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
I. Testing: Must be with a national standardized achievement test. If test results show a composite score above the thirteenth percentile, the child will continue to be exempt from compulsory public school attendance requirements.
If the child scores at or below the thirteenth percentile, the school district can require the parents to place the child in a public, independent or parochial school until the next testing period. The child must have the opportunity to re-test using an alternative version of the same test or a different nationally standardized achievement test selected by the parent from a list of approved tests prior to the decision.
II. Evaluation: Must be evaluated by a qualified person who is selected by the parent and is a Colorado certified teacher, a teacher employed by a private school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education. The evaluation must show that the child is making sufficient academic progress according to the child’s ability. If the evaluation results show that the child is not making sufficient academic progress, the school district will require the child’s parents to place the child in a public, independent or parochial school until the next testing period.
The test or evaluation results must be submitted to the school district that received the notification or an independent / parochial school within the state of Colorado. If the test or evaluation results are submitted to an independent or parochial school, the name of the school must be provided to the school district that received the notification
Home schooling is deregulated in the state of Colorado. Parents or guardians take on all of the responsibility for the student's education including but not limited to; the acquisition of books, supplies, tests, and maintaining permanent records.
The parent or guardian must provide written notification explaining the intent to home school his or her child. Notification can be given to any Colorado public school district office.
This written notification must be given 14 days before the parent or guardian establishes the home school program.
One document of written notification cannot be submitted for multiple home schooled students. The notification must list the child's name, age, place of residence, and attendance hours. Written notification must be re-submitted to the school district each year the home school program is maintained after the initial year. If the written notification is not submitted to the school district the student resides in, the residing school district must be notified as well to avoid truancy action.
Colorado parents interested in homeschool must supply all textbooks, test material, and homeschool curriculum for their child. These materials can be purchased online or through an education supply store. Home school resources vary because entire programs can be purchased from private companies or the parent or guardian can create the curriculum. All costs are assumed by the parent or guardian.
If your child is enrolled in a home school co-op program, those teaching your child must be qualified. A qualified person means an individual who is selected by the parent of a child who is fully licensed and holds the necessary teaching credentials. The teacher must be employed by an independent school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education.
Your records must include but are not limited to, attendance data, test and evaluation results, and immunization records. Such records must be given to the school district that receives notification that the student is attending a home school program.
Students are not required to take the state recognized standard test, CSAP, but they are required to take a nationally standardized test. If a parent or legal guardian requests it, a district will permit a home schooled student to take the CSAP and provide the results of the assessment to the parent or legal guardian. The test is given only to home schooled students whose parents request that the child participate in the testing.
There are no state diplomas for homeschool students. District diplomas are presented only to students who have attended a public high school in the district. If your child is interested in attending a post-secondary institution or a job that required a diploma then it’s important that they take the GED exam. If they pass the GED, which tests them on high school subjects, then they will receive a high school equivalency diploma.