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  • Writer's pictureSharon Starkey

Homeschooling on the Spectrum (Part 1)

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

There are many things to consider when you are deciding to homeschool. There are different options out there. You can homeschool through an online program with a district school, choose a private umbrella school or do your own homeschool curriculum. The important thing to know is what is required in the state of Colorado. Here is what the state of Colorado requires.

Nonpublic Home School Programs

Getting Started-Letter of Intent to Home School

Pursuant to Colorado law, parents who wish to begin home schooling must provide written notification of the establishment of the home school program 14 days before beginning the home school program to a Colorado school district. The written notification must include the name, age, place of residence, and number of attendance hours for each child that will be participating in the home school program. Written notification must be re-submitted to a Colorado school district each year.

Subjects to Teach

Colorado law states that home school programs must include, but are not limited to, the subjects of communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, and regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States. The selection of curriculum is at the discretion of the parent who is overseeing the home schooling program. The state cannot offer any guidance in this area, and encourages contacting the district that received the written notification if there are further questions.

Attendance Requirements

Home school programs must have no less than 172 days of instruction, averaging 4 contact hours per day.

Record Keeping

Records for each child participating in a home school program must be kept on a permanent basis by the parent who is overseeing the home school program. The records must include, but are not limited to, attendance, test and evaluation results, and immunization records as required by C.R.S sections 25-4-901, 25-4-902, and 25-4-903. The records must be produced and provided to the school district that received the written notification, not the state of Colorado, at the school district’s request.


Students that are participating in a home school program must have academic progress evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Students can take a nationally standardized achievement test or a qualified person, as described in C.R.S. 22-33-104.5(3)(f), can be selected by the parent to evaluate the student’s academic progress. The results of the evaluation, whether by assessment or qualified person, must be submitted to the school district that received the written notification.

The state cannot provide guidance regarding assessments or evaluation. Please contact your local school district for resources or specific deadlines for submitting evaluation results.

Other Things to Know About Home

School Home school is considered nonpublic and is not regulated by the state of Colorado. The parent who oversees the home school program is taking on the responsibility of obtaining books, supplies, tests, and is responsible for any costs associated. Because home schooling is considered nonpublic education, home school is not accredited by the Colorado Department of Education or by a local school district.

In my next blog post, I will go into more detail about the different styles of homeschooling and resources that can help you make your decision.


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