Congratulations! You've made the decision to homeschool your child! The next step is to notify the school district of your choice at least 14 days prior to beginning to homeschool (just like the 2 week notice you give an employer). It’s a good idea to send via certified mail with a return receipt.
Send a Notice of Intent to Withdraw to the homeschool coordinator in the district which you are currently enrolled. OR, if you are changing from one school to another one (full time or enrichment program), you MUST withdraw from the previous program. If you don't withdraw, the state will award your funding to the old program, and you risk being denied enrollment after count day and being liable for expenses incurred up until the day the new school is notified that funding is denied.
Just a few things to keep in mind as you navigate the homeschool ocean of information.
1. The parent, a close relative, or licensed teacher can teach your kids.
2. Record Keeping Requirements:
-Attendance (Requirements are 172 days with an average of 4 hours per day)
-Assessment Results, tests/exams (must either be tested at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th,
and 11th grades OR be evaluated by a qualified person)
-Immunization Records (exemption form example here: https://chec.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Immunization-Exemption-6.29.20.pdf
...the best planner that has pages to record everything (attendance, lesson planning, grades, grocery lists, event planning etc) is right here! https://shop.wellplannedgal.com/index.php/shop/planners/2021-2022-planners/homeschool-planner.html)
3. Your child's education program must include: communication skills of reading, writing, and speaking, mathematics, history, civics, literature, science, regular courses of instruction in the constitution of the United States as provided in section 22-1-108
4. Your kids won't be left out of important school experiences! Kids can still participate in sports, dances, events and interscholastic activities offered within the district where they filed the Notice of Intent to Homeschool.
INDEPENDENT HOMESCHOOL (100% on your own):
Remember that all learning experiences, including travel (social studies), balancing a checkbook (business), and sports (P.E.) count as education. Don't worry about how you'll get 4 hours a day in of learning if you're independently teaching your kids. The time will fill up quickly! check out facebook groups for ideas on what curriculum is best and most curriculums can be purchased online. This is a great option if you need flexibility in your schedule, such as a competitive athlete may require. You could also find other families teaching similar programs and organize into learning co-ops.
ENRICHMENT (20% instruction time + program support and social interaction):
There are a LOT of homeschool enrichment programs out there. Enrichment programs are meant to compliment whatever you're teaching your students at home. Typically, it's assumed that you're teaching math/science and other programs teach other classes. Classical Conversations is one of which has a few locations in Douglas County and offers classes in classical literature and the arts. Aerolab and Wings Over the Rockies offers STEM-based learning geared towards aeronautical projects, including "Hangar Days" where students build an entire airplane engine over the course of a semester! Our program provides all of the curriculum for a full year in Math, Science and English and also provides 6 hours a week of learning in a group environment from professional educators + 2 hours a week of homework club. This program is designed to help families organize and easily find other families to carpool with and create co-ops and support. There is a huge benefit that may help with longevity in homeschool by giving kids a day to interact with other students. Parents are still the primary educators and must be committed to teaching their kids outside of class (2-3 hours 4 days a week). Contact us if you're having a hard time finding the right program for your family and we'll try to connect you to the right one.
Private school can be full-time, tuition based, online or brick and mortar school programs. Or, you could combine the enrichment with partial enrollment in a private school. These school are generally gifted and talented (like Stanford online High School) or faith-based programs such as Valor, Colorado Christian Center or The Rock Academy.