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Homeschool Umbrella Schools in Colorado

Homeschool Umbrella Schools in Colorado
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As noted on the Colorado Homeschool Laws page, families have three ways to legally homeschool in the state. Under Colorado’s Non-Public School law, one of those options involves enrolling with an independent school that can serve as an “umbrella” for homeschool students. Independent schools in CO must follow all the Non-Public School laws, but each one sets individual policies for their own enrolled students. Below, you will find out how to enroll with an umbrella school in Colorado, what questions you’ll want to ask before deciding which umbrella school is right for you, and how Time4Learning’s homeschool curriculum works for umbrella school students.

Legal disclaimer: This page provides suggestions and information on how to meet the mandatory school attendance laws in Colorado. It is not intended and should not be used as definitive legal advice. In most states, parents find a variety of legal methods to pursue the educational approach that they prefer for their child.

How to Enroll in Colorado Umbrella Schools

Enrollment in a Colorado umbrella school is open from June through April 30th each school year. Many times, there is no actual school “building,” so you will usually enroll via the school’s dedicated registration forms or website enrollment forms. Each umbrella school will have their own process for application and enrollment, so be sure to carefully follow the guidelines of your chosen school.

Requirements for Using the Colorado Independent Schools Option

In general, the purpose of an independent umbrella school is to help homeschool families comply with Colorado’s compulsory school attendance, record keeping, and testing laws. Remember that when you choose this option, you are choosing to abide by the regulations of the individual school, rather than your school district. Some of the general regulations that all families will need to attend to include:

  • Enrolling any child who is at least 6 by August 1
  • Educating for at least 172 days of the school year
  • A parent, legal guardian, or relative must provide at least 50% of the student’s education
  • Attendance records should be kept by parents and submitted to the independent school no later than August 31 each year
  • No specific curriculum is required
  • Results of standardized tests must also be submitted to the school (if the school is not administering the tests)
  • Subjects taught should include reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics (including the Constitution and honor and use of the flag), literature, and science

Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Umbrella School

The most critical part of the Non-Public School law option is the actual choice of which umbrella to homeschool under. You want to make sure that the goal, policies, and requirements of the school are a good fit for your family and your homeschool approach. Some umbrellas will have a specific worldview, some will cater to a specific homeschooling style, and some will offer more services than others. Here are some questions to get answers to from each school before making your final choice.

  • What are the costs of enrollment and/or tuition?
  • Do you specifically cater to secular or Christian homeschoolers, or are you inclusive of all?
  • What record keeping options do you provide and what record keeping do you require of parents?
  • Do you provide notification to a student’s current school of their enrollment and transfer?
  • Do you offer any activities or field trip opportunities with other enrolled students?
  • Do you offer any scholarships for high school graduates?
  • Do you make recommendations on curriculum?
  • Do you offer a diploma or transcripts for homeschooled high schoolers?
  • What standardized testing do you require?
  • Do you offer any services for students with special learning needs?

Homeschool Charter/Umbrella Schools and Time4Learning

In Colorado, homeschool curriculum choice for families enrolled in an umbrella school is usually up to the parent. Many families find that Time4Learning is an ideal program for homeschool umbrella schools. Some of the features that make Time4Learning popular with families are:

  • a blend of interactive lessons, worksheets, activities, and assessments for grades PreK-12
  • courses in math, language arts, science, social studies, foreign language, and more
  • works with a large range of learning styles
  • multimedia lessons that help learners retain information
  • self-paced system that lets parents and students decide if they want to move sequentially through material or pick and choose what to focus on
  • low monthly subscription price

Additional Resources Related to Homeschooling Colorado

Have other questions about homeschooling in Colorado? You may find the following pages helpful.

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