In Colorado, there are three options under which you can legally homeschool. You are free to choose the option that best meets your family’s needs.
Members of HSLDA may contact us with any specific questions about these options—our dedicated legal team can help you understand how the law applies to your situation.
Here are the options:
Option 1: Homeschooling under Colorado’s homeschool statute
Colorado law specifically refers to homeschooling in Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-104.5. To homeschool under this statute, you’ll need to follow these guidelines.
1. Decide who will be homeschooling your child.
Instruction must be provided by a parent, guardian, or adult relative designated by a parent. Members, please contact HSLDA if you have questions regarding how this applies to children taught in co-ops.
2. Notify a school district that you are homeschooling.
The homeschool statute requires parents to provide 14 days’ notice before starting a home-based education program and annually thereafter. You may file this notice of intent with any school district in the state. The notice must include the names, ages, residence, and hours of attendance of the children to be taught. (HSLDA members may use the notice of intent form below that we have designed to comply with the law.)
HSLDA believes that the 14-day advance notice requirement could equate to a waiting period for parents to exercise their right to direct the education of their children, and therefore may be unconstitutional. HSLDA members, please contact us if you wish to discuss whether this requirement applies to your situation.
Here is what to do if the district requests any other information:
Under certain circumstances the school district may request a curriculum plan. The law provides that if a child is “habitually truant” during the six months prior to beginning homeschooling, a school district may request a curriculum outline. HSLDA members should contact us immediately if this situation occurs. If you are not a member of HSLDA, you can join here.
3. Teach the required subjects.
You are required to provide 172 days of instruction, averaging four hours per day, in the following subjects: the United States Constitution, reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, and science.
4. Keep good records.
The law requires Colorado homeschooling parents to keep attendance records, test and evaluation results, and immunization records. Sample forms are available for HSLDA members below. The school district where you send your original notice of intent can request access to these documents under certain conditions.
If the superintendent “has probable cause to believe” the homeschool program is not in compliance with the law and requests access to a family’s homeschool records, he or she is required to provide the parent with 14 days’ notice. HSLDA members should contact us immediately if you receive such a request.
5. Test or evaluate your student.
Students must be assessed with a nationally standardized achievement test or by a “qualified person” to determine if they have made sufficient academic progress according to their ability. Your child must be tested or evaluated in grades 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. The test must be a nationally standardized achievement test. If you decide to have your child evaluated rather than tested, you must choose one of the following people to conduct the evaluation:
- a Colorado certified teacher,
- a teacher employed by a private school,
- a licensed psychologist, or
- a person with a graduate degree in education.
Here is what to do with the test or evaluation results:
The results must be submitted to either the school district to which you sent your notice of intent, or you may choose to submit the results to an independent or parochial school within the state of Colorado. If you do not send the results to the school to which you sent the notice of intent, you must inform that school where you sent the test or evaluation results.
Here is what may happen if your student does not make “adequate progress” according to the law:
If a child does not score above the 13th percentile on a nationally standardized achievement test, he or she can be given an alternate version of the same test or a different nationally standardized achievement test. If the score is still below the 13th percentile, the school district will require the parent to place the child in a public, independent, or parochial school until the next testing period.
If an evaluation demonstrates that a child is not making progress in accordance with his or her ability, 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. If you are a member of HSLDA and have any concerns about these reporting requirements, you should contact us immediately.
Option 2: Homeschooling with an independent school
Colorado law allows for children to be enrolled in established Colorado “independent schools,” through which parents teach their children at home under the independent schools’ supervision. It is also possible for two or more homeschool families to establish their own school by keeping minimal records and providing instruction in the required subjects, in addition to complying with other statutory requirements. Our members should see HSLDA’s Summary of Colorado Independent School Law, our memorandum on satellite schools.
Option 3: Homeschooling with a certified teacher
If your child’s instructor (either you as the parent, or someone else whom you designate) holds a valid Colorado teaching certificate, there are no notification, assessment, or other requirements.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.