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Old 12-30-2007, 10:20 PM
7 posts, read 42,658 times
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I am wondering about the homeschooling laws in Colorado. We are currently in California, and it is very easy to homeschool. We are thinking of making a move, though. I have researched the schools in Colorado Springs and really like what I see in some of the districts, but I would still like to keep homeschooling as an option. I have found general overviews and laws, but I would like to know if anyone has firsthand information. Thank you!!!
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:43 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
649 posts, read 2,647,093 times
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I am not a homeschooler myself, but alot of my friends are. They have not had ANY trouble. I would say that C/S is a homeschool friendly city. The Classical Academy has a homeschool branch to their full time school. That way if you don't want to teach a certain subject you can have them attend school a couple afternoons or morning a week there. It doesn't cost anything. I know some other places here that do the homeschooling specials aswell. You can email me or pm me and I can get more information for you!
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:47 AM
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Thank you! I looked at the website - and I like what I see. I REALLY hope my husband gets the job he applied for. Everything I've seen about Colorado Springs seems great. I lived in Denver as a little girl, we honeymooned in Breckenridge, I drove to Denver for a football game just a few months ago. I want to live in Colorado - and Colorado Springs seems like the right spot. Not as busy or crowded as Denver, but full of sports and education and culture. Great - now I have my hopes up. Thanks a lot!
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:55 PM
Location: Virginia
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-to add a side note, it is not uncommon for home schoolers to come to public school for elective classes (PE, music, etc...). I have seen this happen more and more. The core academic classes are taught at home and them mom or dad will bring them to the public school for art, music, PE, what have you. From what I have seen, these families are not necessarily choosing their home school to do so either. Please feel free to research this!
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Old 01-01-2008, 06:47 PM
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Colorado Springs really is a homeschool friendly city. Even the library has activities specifically for homeschoolers.

To homeschool in Colorado you simply need to fill out a one page form and turn it into the district administration office in the school district your child would have attended if going to public school. You commit to 176 days a school year, 4 hours a day, and children must be tested (nationally standardized test) in 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.

District 20’s Classical Academy Cottage School Program (at their East Campus) is a wonderful addition to any homeschool curriculum. They are taught in modulars at that campus, though they have a gym and playground as well. The campus is just okay (though I believe they made improvements this past summer), but the teaching and curriculum are terrific. Parking is limited, but the LDS church next door has been generous to allow parking there as well.

I homeschooled my son the last 3 school years (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade), the last 2 in conjunction with the Cottage School Program. It was a great balance for him. The children attend classes twice a week (MW or TTH, alternating each year) for grades K-5th, and the 6th graders attend 7 hours on Friday.

Here are the “specials” classes they attend:
Art (both semesters) such a variety of art projects, and at the end of the year they have an art show in which each child has a piece displayed -The art teacher likes volunteers to help with the hands on work, so if you want to be in the school a bit and meet some of the other children your child goes to school with, this is a great place to help out
P.E. (only one semester) so we supplemented with activities from parks and rec, swimming year round, etc (field day at the end of the school year)
Music (only one semester) they either have a Christmas or springtime concert they work towards - I was really impressed with the spring program my son was in last year. The teacher had them do movements with the songs and for a boy who could care less about getting up and singing, it was actually fun.
Spanish (both semesters, hooray) native Spanish speaking teacher from Chile, one of my son’s favorite classes

They have a classroom teacher too. And recess. There are about 11-19 students in each class. Great ratio.

It is true the school is free, but as with all students in the Classical Academy program (3 campuses), they do seek donations ($200 per student) throughout the school year as they are a charter school. In my opinion, because of what homeschooled parents purchase in materials out of their own pockets, and contribute in time, the donation shouldn’t be the same as for the full-time Classical Academy children. The Cottage School Program covers %20 of the instruction, whereas we teach the other %80.

Subjects covered in the Cottage School Program classroom:
Writing - They have writing assignments throughout the year. (Persuasive paragraphs, book reports, narrative writing, thank you notes, letter and envelope formats, etc.) They also have opportunities to get up in front of the class to share their writing.
Handwriting - They transition to cursive in the 3rd year though they can continue to use manuscript. They don’t insist on a specific type of handwriting (Zaner-Bloser, D‘Nealian, etc), leaving that up to you.
Spelling - weekly spelling lists
Grammar - They use the Shurley Grammar materials. Though they don’t diagram sentences, it is a really good program that helps the children learn parts of speech and label them in sentences (subject nouns, transitive/intransitive verbs, adjectives, articles, adverbs, prepositions, object of prepositions, all kinds of pronouns, indirect objects, direct objects, etc.) Very rigorous and challenging program. I really commend them for teaching this to the children at such a young age.
Phonograms - (memorization) Though I have my own opinion on whether or not learning phonograms really helps w/reading, I did see that it helped my son in spelling

It's always fun for me to hear what others are doing in their homeschool programs, so I thought I'd share what we worked on, just in case anyone else can use the ideas...

At home we worked on…
Math - We used the Primary Mathematics series from Singapore Math (singaporemath.com) I know some people use the Saxon Math program and I tried that out for a bit. But we ultimately chose the Singapore Primary Mathematics series (the program the children used in Singapore when they out scored the children in the U.S. as well as other countries on the TIMSS). You can find more info under “Singapore Math Story” on their website. My son enjoyed it more. There is a huge emphasis on mental math. Their Challenging Word Problems book is excellent. In my opinion it is more challenging per grade level compared with Saxon. For example, I felt the 2nd grade Singapore Primary Mathematics lessons were comparable to 3rd grade or higher content taught in the U.S. (My son took the ITBS toward the end of 3rd grade and his overall score placed him 5.3 grade equivalency, compared with other students nationally, 4.7 specifically in mathematics, so that kind of proved it to me.) They also have a home instuctor's guide and w/the text and workbooks it is still less expensive than Saxon.
Science - we also used a Singapore science curriculum found at the same site
Presidents of the U.S. and American History - We chose books from 2 good series found in the public library and then supplemented with the fun Mike Venezia president series - my son really enjoyed those, quite comical. I think learning about the presidents is a great way to learn about American History.
Today in History (factmonster.com) leads to great discussion of world or American History events
Quote of the Day (brainyquote.com) chose quotes from famous Americans or world leaders
U.S. States and Geography - library has several good series, fun to learn the capitals and locations of each state of course
Countries and Cultures - besides learning about countries my son was specifically interested in, each day I had a new country for him to find on the map. We found a picture of the flag, discussed languages spoken, size and population, capital, etc.
Reading - I gave my son daily time to read aloud to me (so I could assess his reading comprehension and fluency). He also had time to read silently (when I read as well) (We called it our Drop Everything and Read time - D.E.A.R.) and then I would also read to him at the end of the day for Storytime. They also read 2 books, one per semester, for the Cottage School Program.
Writer’s Workshop - Writer’s Express: A Handbook for Young Writers, Thinkers and Learners by Dave Kemper is a great resource. They have all kinds of fun assignments for the children to use in conjunction with the writing process. If you opt to do the Cottage School Program, this book also defines and lists those tricky and hard to find explanations on predicate adjectives, various pronoun jobs, preposition lists, etc. Invaluable resource. While in college to earn my elementary education degree, I took a class which required this book and it’s been a favorite ever since. You can find it on Amazon, new or used.
Homework - they will have homework (a daily grammar page, spelling, writing assignments, chapter reading assignments, Spanish tests to prepare for) if you choose to attend the cottage school program.

Just a bit more about the Cottage School Program...
Some years the moms will decide to do field trips together. We went behind the scenes at the Briargate Post Office one time and it was great for the children to see the workings of the post office. They also went to a local bakery and got to make something to eat themselves. The zoo is wonderful. We went often on our own when there weren’t any crowds to bump into. You can hand feed the giraffes for a few dollars. (5 crackers are $1). But just so you know, their cafes are usually closed during the winter, so bring a lunch. As a class we also went to the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (they get to pan for gold, terrific tour guides, free admission) and to the one room school house in the Black Forest. So many fun field trip options…

Also, they have plenty of openings in the Cottage School Program. And even if you live outside of District 20, you are allowed into the program. The Classical Academy was originally started from a few home school families. They have a terrific director at the Cottage School, and the principal of the East Campus was the former director of the Cottage School.

Also, they offer the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) (a nationally standardized test) for free, to fulfill that requirement from the state. They give it in the springtime.

Whether you choose to join the Cottage School Program or not, I wish you the best in continuing your home school program in Colorado! It’s a great place to live and homeschool.

We just moved to Wyoming this summer and I love it here too. They just don't have anything here like the Cottage School Program as far as homeschooling goes, so for that and other reasons we chose public school this year. Thankfully my son is enjoying it, and is happy. I am working toward certifying to teach in Wyoming public schools now so I will be on the other end of the schooling spectrum, but always will support homeschool. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:41 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
649 posts, read 2,647,093 times
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A side note for Classical Academy- The campus that the homeschoolers go to (East) is now in the middle of building changes. They are going to be tearing down that campus and building a real school, no longer modulars, to be completed by fall of 2008.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:57 PM
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This is a great resource for homeschooling laws around the country.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:15 PM
Location: Norman, OK
14 posts, read 77,340 times
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Default homeschooling and sports

Can homeschoolers play sports at the public schools? (middle schools or high schools in Lewis Palmer District especially)

Have a high schooler that wants to homeschool if he can still play sports. We are looking to relocate in the next month or so.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:50 PM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,184,185 times
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I believe so. From what I have been told, call the high school in your district and you will be directed to the athletic director. From what I understand, you must play at your home school/the high school that your child would have normally attended.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:15 PM
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and if not, there's always community organized sports, ymca, etc
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