"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:4, 5 (NIV)

Getting Started

The Longmont Christian Homeschool Co-op encourages everyone to read the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC) Position Statement on Home Education. It provides valuable insights and reminders about our responsibilities and privileges as parents as we begin each year of our homeschooling experience.

Join A Local Homeschool Support Group

Find other homeschooling families in your area. They will provide friendships, group activities and ongoing support.

Know Your Reasons For Homeschooling

Take some time to think about why you want to homeschool and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your reasons will help you set and achieve specific educational and character goals for your children.

Know Colorado's Homeschool Law

Homeschooling in Colorado is legal - a blessing to be enjoyed responsibly. Knowledge of the law is your best defense against questions about the legality of homeschooling, including those from some school district officials who may not be well versed in the law regarding home education. See Colorado Homeschool Law.

Colorado homeschool law requires that children age 6 to 17 be taught an average of four hours per day, at least 172 days per year, by an adult relative. The adult relative must provide at least 51% of total instructional hours. Additional hours may be given by a tutor. There are exceptions for homeschoolers to the stated ages of this compulsory attendance law who are using the Notice of Intent. An exemption must be in place for students who are age 6 by August 1st, but teaching does not need to begin until age 7. Also, for those following the Notice of Intent exemption, students can be finished with school at age 16. Homeschoolers enrolled in an independent school should follow the age requirements for that school.

If the parent has chosen to register with the state, a Notice of Intent can be sent to any school district in the state of Colorado (this may be different if you are participating in a public school extension) 14 days prior to establishing the program. See information below for the Longmont area. The information in the Notice of Intent should include the child's name, age, place of residence, and number of days and hours of attendance. Providing additional information is strictly voluntary.

Children must either be evaluated by a nationally standardized achievement test when he/she reaches grades three, five, seven, nine, and eleven or a qualified person must evaluate the student's academic progress at the parent's expense. The test results must be submitted to the school district where the parent sends the Notice of Intent or to the independent school where the child is enrolled.

See a sample letter of intent.

To report with the St. Vrain Valley School District, send notice of intent to homeschool to:
St. Vrain Valley School District
395 South Pratt Parkway
Longmont, CO 80501
Attn: Linda Lohman
303-772-7700
Website: St Vrain Valley School District

To report with the Boulder School District, send notification of intention to homeschool to:
Boulder Valley School District
6500 Arapahoe Rd
Boulder, CO 80303
Attn: Helen Jablan
720-561-5147
Email: Helen.Jablan@bvsd.org
Website: Boulder Valley School District

Homeschoolers who do not wish to register with the school system may join an independent school (sometimes known as an "umbrella" school). See the note on umbrella schools.

Read As Much As You Can About Homeschooling And Learning Styles

LCHC has put together a recommended reading list. Check with other homeschooling parents, homeschooling catalogues, and your local library for additional resources.

Reading List
CHEC: Christian Home Educators of Colorado
Other Resources

Select And Purchase Curricula And School Supplies For Each Child

Before you choose materials, take time to learn about the many products and options available for homeschoolers. Talking to experienced homeschooling parents, reading reviews in curriculum catalogs, and attending curricula exhibits will help you pick materials that will work best your family.

Whatever materials you choose, expect that some will work - and some won't. Don't be afraid to toss out a book if it doesn't work for you or your child: Homeschooling is a learning experience for both parents and students!

Curriculum Information

Make A Plan

Most homeschoolers find it helpful to have a yearly academic calendar and a weekly schedule, with 2-4 weeks worth of prepared daily lesson plans. Take into consideration your year-end goals when preparing your calendar, schedules, and plans.

Keep School Records

By law you are required to keep a file of each child's records including: attendance data, test and evaluation results, and immunization records. Many families keep portfolios with some of their children's best work in each subject. This is not required but is recommended.

At least fourteen days prior to starting your program, send in a written notification of "intent to homeschool" to your local school district (not school.) This notice of intent should include the name, age, place of residence, and number of hours of attendance for each child to be home educated. This notification letter must be submitted annually.

You are required to teach 172 days per year, averaging four instructional hours per day (688 hours per year). Compulsory school attendance is required for every child who has attained the age of seven years and is under the age of sixteen years.

Keep copies of all correspondence. Many people send all correspondence with school districts by certified mail to ensure their correspondence has been received. (See above for information about registering with the St. Vrain Valley School District.)

Test According To State Law

Children in grades three, five, seven, nine, and eleven must be tested or evaluated in accordance with the Colorado homeschool law. The results must be submitted to the local school district or to a private school. If the results are submitted to a private school, the name of the school must be submitted to the school district, but not the actual test scores.

Test results must be above the thirteenth percentile to continue homeschooling. Most homeschooled children test well above the national norms, but if they fall below the 13th percentile they may be retested or evaluated.

Explore Testing Options

The local school district no longer tests homeschooling children.

Some achievement tests may be administered by a parent. Parent must have a bachelor's degree to test using the following: Bob Jones University, 1-800-845-5731. Request a testing packet.

Parent without a degree may test using a variety of sources. Contact the test publisher for requirements for test proctors or other home school families for ideas and resources.

Children who do not test well may be evaluated individually by a certified teacher, a teacher employed by an independent or parochial school, a licensed psychologist or a person with a graduate degree in education.