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Frequently Asked Questions about Home Schooling
*NEW: How does the Governor’s Executive Order on March 18, 2020 Impact Homeschooling?
The Governor’s order to suspend in-person instruction in all of the state’s public and private schools through April 17 also includes a message that encourages remote learning. Homeschooling should be well situated for remote learning. When a homeschool program operates larger gatherings, it is reasonable to interpret these types of activities as falling under both the Governor’s order to suspend in-person instruction as well as the public health order to limit mass gatherings to no more than 10 people. Consistent with the social distancing objectives, parents/guardians are encouraged to continue homeschool activities, but should avoid activities that involve larger public gatherings.
What should I know about home schooling?
- Home schooling is deregulated in the state of Colorado. Therefore, the parent or guardian is taking 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.
- There is no public funding available for home school programs.
- Home schooling falls under non-public education and is not accredited by the Colorado Department of Education or a local school district.
- A nonpublic home-based educational program shall include no less than one hundred seventy-two days of instruction, averaging four instructional contact hours per day. (22-33-104.5(3)(c), C.R.S.)
- Home school students are not required to take Colorado’s standardized tests, however the parent may request of their local school district that their child participate. Colorado specific assessments do not fulfill the requirement for home school students to take a nationally standardized test.
- A parent who intends to establish a nonpublic, home-based, education program does not need to provide written notification of the program to a school district within the state until the child is 6 years old. (22-33-104.5(3)(e), C.R.S.)
How do I register my home school program?
- 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. (22-33-104.5(3)(e), C.R.S.)
- The notification must list the child's name, age, place of residence, and attendance hours.
- Please Note: 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, it is advisable to notify the residing school district as well to avoid truancy action.
Where do I get textbooks, curricula, tests and other materials to home school my child?
Contact an organization at Home School Resources, bookstores, supply houses, or your local school district. These organizations may be able to provide you with information on how to obtain materials.
What are the costs of home school materials?
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.
What requirements or qualifications must I have to home school my child?
You must be the child's parent, legal guardian or an adult relative designated by the parent. (22-33-104.5(3)(a), C.R.S.) No other qualifications or licenses are required.
NOTE: If your child is enrolled in a home school co-op program and those running the program will conduct an evaluation for educational progress, those teaching your child must be qualified. A qualified person means an individual who is selected by the parent of a child who is participating in a nonpublic, home-based educational program to evaluate such child's progress and who is a teacher licensed pursuant to article 60.5 of this title, a teacher who is employed by an independent or parochial school, a licensed psychologist, or a person with a graduate degree in education. (22-33-104.5(2)(c), C.R.S.)
What are the requirements for attendance?
Your program shall include no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging four instructional contact hours per day. (22-33-104.5(3)(c), C.R.S.)
What subjects do I have to teach?
Your program shall include, but is not limited to communication skills of reading, writing and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States. (22-33-104.5(3)(d), C.R.S.)
What kind of records do I have to keep?
Your records must include but are not limited to, attendance data, test and evaluation results, and immunization records. Such records may be requested by the school district that receives notification that the student is attending a home school program (22-33-104.5(3)(g), C.R.S.)
What kind of test is my child required to take? Who pays for it? Where do I get the test?
The student being home schooled must either take a nationally standardized achievement test when he/she reaches grades three, five, seven, nine, and eleven to evaluate academic progress, or a qualified person must evaluate the student's academic progress at the parent's expense. Contact an organization at Home School Resources, or check with the local school district to see if the student can be tested the same day public school students are tested. The district may charge you for any costs incurred.
It is the parent's obligation to report the test or evaluation results to either the school district that receives the written notification for the home school student, or report the test or evaluation results to an independent or parochial school.
* If the parent submitted the test or evaluation results to an independent or parochial school, the name of the school must be provided to the school district that receives written notification. (22-33-104.5(3)(f), C.R.S.)
NOTE: If your child is enrolled in a home school co-op program, it is still the parent's obligation to report test/evaluation results to the school district.
For locations of testing, contact one of the organizations listed on the Home School Resources page.
Is my home schooled child required to take a state assessment test?
No. Home schooled students are required to take a nationally standardized test. However, if a parent or legal guardian requests it, a district shall permit a home schooled student to take the state assessment 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. (22-7-409 (III)(1.3)(b), C.R.S.)
Is there a state diploma or can my child earn one from the district?
There is no state diploma. District diplomas are presented only to students who have attended a public high school in the district. Some companies selling home schooling curricula offer a diploma at the completion of their program. A parent or guardian can purchase a diploma at an office supply store or make a diploma on a computer to present at the completion of the program. Home school programs are not accredited by the state of Colorado or local school districts.
How can I find support groups or information on the Internet?
Home School Resources is a list of resource and support groups you can contact with your questions and concerns. These organizations may be able to provide you with information for support groups in your area. Parents with home schooling experience are your best sources of information. You might also search the Internet or check with community groups and organizations for additional information.
Does my home schooled child have to take the GED?
No. The adult in charge of the program may graduate the student by simply issuing a diploma. However, taking the GED (High School Equivalency) is an option.
Is there any funding available for home schooling?
At the time of this update, there is no funding available.