Summary of the Law
Compulsory Attendance Ages:
The Colorado compulsory attendance law requires students from ages 6 (by August 1) to 17 to attend public school. Therefore all children within these ages must be enrolled in a public school, a private school or abiding by one of the following homeschool exemptions to the compulsory education law listed below.
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.
According to Home School Legal Defense Association’s August 1998 publication on Colorado’s Homeschool Law, there are 3 options for homeschoolers in Colorado:
- Option A: File a Notice of Intent and follow the homeschool law. (Home school statute CRS – 22-33-104.5.) This notice of intent is required 14 days before establishing the homeschooling program and annually thereafter. The notice must include names, ages, residence, and hours of attendance of the children taught. A sample notice of intent can be found on this page.
- Option B: Enroll with a Colorado “independent school” and teach your child at home. Under this option you must follow the school’s requirements, not the homeschool law. A list of independent schools is available here. This usually requires a fee of $30-$200 per year paid to the independent school.
- Option C: Obtain a current Colorado teaching license and teach your children at home as a licensed teacher in the state of Colorado.
Homeschooling a child with a Public School IEP?
If your child has an IEP at the time you withdraw him or her to homeschool you should send an IEP Withdrawal Letter along with your Notice of Intent. This sample letter was created by HSLDA and has specific instructions for its use.