I know that my audience isn’t solely based in Colorado, but there are plenty of you! After giving a talk last month called “How to Homeschool,” I broke down the state requirements, and realized that this would be a helpful thing to share in this space! This information is all available on the Colorado Department of Education Website, but I hope I’ve organized it and made it more accessible to you! This is not legal advice. Make sure to get familiar with these laws/regulations yourself!
Moderate Homeschool Regulation
Colorado is considered a moderately regulated state when it comes to homeschooling, but don’t let that overwhelm you! I personally think the requirements are pretty minimal and doable.
Three Options for Homeschooling in Colorado
When it comes to reporting to the state, there are a few ways to do this. No matter how you report, the requirements are the same for two of these options, and entirely different for the third.
1. Report directly to the school district.
To do this, you would send any letters, test data, or evaluation results directly to the school district.
2. Report to an umbrella school.
This is a good option if you have any privacy concerns or custody issues. The umbrella school is able to protect your identity a bit better, so you don’t have to give your information to the school district. You would simply find an umbrella school, pay the fees it requires, and submit any information to the school.
3. Have someone with an active teaching license or Master’s degree in education homeschool your child.
If you, a family member, or a friend has an active teaching license from the state of Colorado, or a Master’s degree in education, you or they can homeschool your child with no reporting required.
Required Reporting in Colorado
Now that we’ve explored HOW to report your homeschooling in Colorado, let’s dive into WHAT to report.
1. Letter of Intent
The letter of Intent is sent to your neighborhood school beginning the summer that your child is six. You will have to do this every year you intend to homeschool. If you choose to report to an umbrella school, you will simply follow their instructions about what this looks like.
2. Required Testing Or Evaluation
Beginning the summer after your child is in 3rd grade, they will need to either take a nationally standardized test (conducted by a licensed teacher) or have a homeschool evaluation. The results of these need to be turned in to the same place you send you homeschool letter of intent.
The could be something such as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and is often conducted by homeschool programs in groups, but can be given individually as well.
The evaluation has to be done by a teacher licensed in the state of Colorado, or by a person with a Master’s degree in education. The evaluation doesn’t necessarily evaluate your child, but their progress through an age-appropriate curriculum in these areas:
- regular courses on the Constitution of the United States
Colorado homeschool law requires you to keep records about your homeschool. This includes-
- Test and evaluation results
- Immunization records
You don’t need to submit any of these records unless you’re asked.
You are required to teach 4 hours each day for 172 days. Field trips, P.E., nature study (time outside), cooking, etc. can all be counted towards these hours.
If you’d like a helpful, two-page summary of this information, sign-up for my emails below for a direct download.