In the 1980s the Colorado homeschool movement grew rapidly as thousands of parents grew disenchanted with the public school system for various reasons. Secular and religious homeschool organizations formed to offer families networking opportunities for the parents and activities, classes, and social enrichment for the children. Although homeschooling in Colorado is formally “deregulated” in the sense that the state does not provide public funds or supplies to home schooling parents, the 1988 home school law does provide for regulation that is more stringent than some parents may want it to be.
Homeschooling is a viable and valuable K-12 educational option—perhaps especially so now, as our state’s legislators continue to curb parental freedomsin the sphere of public education. Across the United States, about 3.3 percent of all K-12 students are homeschooled, with the option being especially popular among larger families and among those in rural areas and smaller towns.
Over the years, a number of home schooling associations including co-ops and support groups have emerged. One such organization, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC), which put on a rally at the capitol that we covered earlier this spring, is currently hosting the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Conference that began on June 13 and runs through tomorrow (Saturday, June 14). The conference features a slate of events and workshops as well as opportunities to explore new curricula and resources. If you are homeschooling or if you just want to explore new educational options and materials, keep an eye out for similar networking and enrichment events across the state over the summer.