New to Homeschool
The modern homeschool movement began in the 1940's by the "grandparents" of modern education, Dr. Raymond and Mrs. Dorothy Moore. Since then, gaining more popularity and respect in the last thirty years, many people are finding home education a viable educational alternative for their families.
If you're considering homeschooling, it is important to be as informed as possible of the options available to you. It is important to be familiar with the Colorado State home education law, and to be equipped with the tools you need to get started.
You will find a copy of the Colorado State Homeschooling Law (or provision) on our website. Study it carefully. It is perfectly legal to homeschool in this state and most people find Colorado Springs a very positive climate in which to homeschool. There are many families homeschooling here and many great support groups here to help you along the way.
Colorado law provides two options for the homeschooling family. The first, in which you choose your own curriculum, is by far the most flexible approach. It provides a tailor-made curriculum for your child, your family schedule, and your budgetary demands. You, the parent/teacher, decide what course of study your child will pursue based on his/her academic needs and interests. You create your own lesson plans and keep your own records.
Within this single approach, there is an entire gamut of educational philosophies, from unit studies to 'un-schooling,' to the traditional textbook approach. If you have time to study these different schools of thought, it is wise to do so. Establish your own personal philosophy of education. The Pike's Peak Library has a wide variety of books available about home schooling, many of which have a Christian orientation. There is also much about homeschooling on the internet. You may want to plug in “Christian homeschooling” into your search engine.
There you will find resources that will acquaint you with various Christian textbook publishers, as well as some popular secular ones. Keeping your own records can be very simple--for instance, marking your calendar the days you "schooled." Or even simpler--the days you didn't school! Lesson planners are inexpensive, easily obtainable, and help make the record-keeping process simple.
If you choose this popular method of homeschooling, Colorado law requires that you send a "Letter of Intent" to a school district administrative office in the state two weeks prior to starting your school year. You can send the letter by certified mail and keep the receipt for your records if you’d like. Also provided on our website is a sample Notice of Intent form you can use to inform your district. You may also look over the Comparing Educational Choices Chart we've provided, which charts out the positive differences homeschooling affords your family.
In general, the first option provides more flexibility for your child, your family schedule, and your finances. It is completely legal and acceptable in the State of Colorado. It does place more responsibility on the homeschooling parent, and you are required by law to notify your local district. See the Colorado Homeschool Options Chart.
The second option is to enroll your children in a Colorado independent or private school. Some independent schools grade your child's work, keep academic records, and provide achievement testing. They also encourage and advise the new homeschooling parent. If you choose an independent school within the state of Colorado, you do not have to contact your local school district or send a Notice of Intent. This alternative makes you accountable to this private school. You are not technically homeschooling (under the homeschool regulations), but your child is enrolled in a private school as an off-campus student. The laws regarding private school enrollment and subjects are slightly different than the home school law (see the Colorado State law). There are any number of independent private schools available; all vary as to price and services offered.
Our group also provides this option through High Country Christian Academy (HCCA), our independent/private school. HCCA is incorporated as a private school in the state of Colorado. You can find more information on our website. Be sure to choose a school that requires you to send in monthly attendance records, and be wary of any organization which claims to be a private school, but does not ask for any records throughout the school year. This may not satisfy the intent of the law.
If you are a certified teacher in the state of Colorado, your requirements are different. Read the home school law carefully. You will have less requirements than these other two options.