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need some Colorado input!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

We are currently not within the position to move for another year, but are seriously considering a move to Colorado

 

My questions:

Pros/Cons

 

Are there crunchy type areas to live with strong homeschooling communities? What's the vibe like? 

 

Tell me anything!

post #2 of 20

I would say that the majority of Colorado is pretty crunchy.  It all depends on where you want to live.  Ruran, suburban or somewhere in between?  Mountains or plains? Will you be coming with jobs, do you work remotely from home, small business owners? Lot's of snow or not so much? We are lower cost of living than most areas of NJ, but by no means low cost of living.  It can be pretty expensive to live here.

 

Can you give us some more info?

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

I really have no idea

 

I like the idea of being somewhat rural - say 30-40 minutes from a bigger city? We both would be working remotely so just an Internet connection is what we would need. I'd prefer mountain-y. I really again, am just learning about the area : / I don't have much input!

post #4 of 20

We like  Fort Collins which is in the foothills on the northern front range.

 

If you want to be in the mountains there is Estes Park which we love but it is touristy too.

 

Homeschooling is common, there are lots of groups but I don't have any specific to recommend. 

post #5 of 20

I would probably try to come out here and "check the place out" :-).  We live in NoCo too.  It can be so diferrent from place to place.  If you made a list of your top 10's 30 places might fit the bill, but they might all "feel" diferrent.

post #6 of 20

I'm in Boulder.  I had been in Santa Fe, NM before.  Boulder is very white and affluent in comparrison to SF.  But on the good side, it's very ecologically minded, pretty spiritual (or that's available if your'e into it), lots of good food, pretty crunchy (but not as crunchy as SF), attractive, mountains nearby.  I've also lived in Breckenridge - didn't like it.  Too hard core, cold, high altitude (causing health issues for many), and too much partying.  Mountain towns are often that way.  There are many communities just outside of Boulder which could feel rural, but having Boulder/ Denver nearby is great.  I don't know about homeschooling here b/c my daughter is in school, but I bet it's here.  

 

Good luck and let me know if you have any specific questions.  

 

Seacat

post #7 of 20

Hi! We live in a suburb between Boulder and Denver.  I don't know about homeschooling... but we moved here from NJ where everything was too much of a rush to be crunchy.  Now we live on a culdesac where nearly every house has small children and a SAHM.  Makes me happy since everyone questioned my need to stay at home back in Jersey, and here (at least among my neighbors) it's just a given.  Not that SAHM = crunchy, but it helps in generalizations :). We had a ton of kids on Halloween too, and most of the parents were dressed up as well. It's a nice family vibe.

post #8 of 20

I live in Douglas County (south of Denver) and there seems to be a rise in the "crunchy" factor around here recently. It's still very suburban and there are a lot of traditional-minded families, but I have been able to connect with a local Meet-Up group (Crunchy Moms of S. Denver), there are a lot of pregnancy & wellness centers/boutiques that cater to cloth diapering, baby wearing, extended bf'ing mamas. The only stand-alone birth center in the state is in Denver & we have easy access to there from our town (about 15-30 minutes depending on traffic). I'm also planning a homebirth in March and had no problem finding homebirth midwives to interview. As a doula, I can honestly say that there is a pretty good birth community in the Denver Metro area. Also, many of my friends are fairly open-minded regarding my birth and parenting preferences, even if they don't agree with them. Good luck on your move!

post #9 of 20

Oh no... you got me started on tour guide mode.

 

My boyfriend was homeschooled in a strong community of support in 1980s Boulder, but the culture there is a little too upscale/material for my taste these days. I feel out of place when I got to a coffee shop and see nothing but nannies and rastafarians. The stereotype seems to be of consumerist green-washing: that you are either young, white, in dreads, and high; or older, white, in Patagonia and making a ton of money in some high tech job while employing a snobby nanny. I don't think it's a fair stereotype fair since I know some fine people in Boulder, but those are the extremes you will find. In my experience visiting, there's just not a lot of diversity, which might suit you if safety is more important than dynamics, but I think it'd be boring to be around so many knee-jerk follower types. 

 

I live in Denver, and it's just insanely diverse, which I love.  I'll never be allowed to get lazy in my opinions here. But if you want a specific FEEL, you can find pretty much whatever culture in a neighborhood you want and live in it. From more suburban crunchy in stapleton, to city-life crunchy in the Highlands, and what I consider the sweet spot in between of Baker/West Wash Park (the small bungalow and condos zone). You can access anything from any subculture you want, and most of the neighborhoods, even the city ones, feel quite homey and old-fashioned rather than cold-city-like. 

 

I personally love the latino-american influenced 'hoods since I miss my mom's Salvadoran cooking and dad's salsa music. Santa Fe area is an inner-city artsy community while RiNo is more of a pioneering warehousey art district. Uptown is a good "starter" neighborhood for young couples, but it's less crunchy and more metro, as are downtown and the "Golden Triangle" area. Forget LODO. It's just heartless capitalism and boozing from what I can tell.

 

Capital Hill is a 1990s grunge wonderland of mostly childless 18-25 yr olds, but has some family homes further west. I liked living there when I was younger, but it's pretty boozy to be raising a kid in. Of course, there are also the typical suburbs like Highlands Ranch, for the conservative experience, but places like Rosedale are in between, kinda suburby but you're likely to have a neighbor with a chicken coop.

 

Five Points proper has a reputation as the stomping grounds of many influential African Americans, and continues to be a cultural destination for lovers of hip hop, Jazz, and slam poetry (Slam Nuba -- National Champs! We Cut Heads!). However, the further east you go, the less lovely it becomes as factory pollution and less favorable cultural influences take hold. 

 

I don't know about homeschooling communities in Denver, but I have seen homeschooling group pages on many local cultural institutions' sites, so there have to be many families doing it to merit that kind of attention! 

 

Other towns you might like are Netherlands and Carbondale if you can afford it (and don't mind the snow!). I've heard Netherlands is where all the "original" Boulder crunchies moved to when Boulder turned into the People's Republic of Boulder and began to fill out with consumerist green-washing. But again, just another unfair stereotype repeated around these parts! I do know Netherland is BEAUTIFUL and they always seem to be having cute, homey festivals. 


Edited by cynthiamoon - 11/26/12 at 3:42pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post

 

I live in Denver, and it's just insanely diverse, which I love.  I'll never be allowed to get lazy in my opinions here. But if you want a specific FEEL, you can find pretty much whatever culture in a neighborhood you want and live in it. From more suburban crunchy in stapleton, to city-life crunchy in the Highlands, and what I consider the sweet spot in between of Baker/West Wash Park (the small bungalow and condos zone). You can access anything from any subculture you want, and most of the neighborhoods, even the city ones, feel quite homey and old-fashioned rather than cold-city-like. 

 

If you're looking at Denver, then I totally agree with these two neighborhoods. I have crunchy friends who live in both, and they have wonderful shops for more naturally minded families.

 

Just another thought, you might check out the Colorado Attachment Parenting site for other ideas and to begin connecting with other mamas in Colorado. There are a lot of families who homeschool/unschool on there, and you could get some great resources to begin looking into. 

post #11 of 20

Check out Lyons--one of my favorite towns in Colorado--small town, adorable, great music (Planet Bluegrass is there), family friendly, and easy access to Boulder.  Nederland is also great, but more mountainy and super laid back.  

post #12 of 20
I have lived in CO since I was 3. I now have three kids, homeschool, live in Colorado Springs, I'm pretty crunchy, and my husband is an education manager for a local environmental non-profit. You can find large and small crunchy communities, with homeschoolers or various bents, all over the state. You want big city? Denver or Colorado Springs or Boulder are great. You want to be more in the mountains but near a big city? I'd pick Manitou Springs or Woodland Park, as I grew up in Colo Spgs and don't really know much about the Denver-Boulder area except that Lyons seems cool. You want mountain areas with everything you need but a true small town? We have plenty, many of which are very crunchy and homeschool-friendly (go join an organic farm run by a Druid in Paonia or be part of a Waldorf homeschool co-op in Pagosa Springs or go with the celebrate-the-seasons-with-community-wide-ritual-theatre in Crested Butte, just 30 ,inlets from a college town. Some areas have reputations of being very conservative, but I grew up in the "heart" of that (Focus on the Family headquarters is in Colo Spgs), and its seriously not bad. I also yields a lot of homeschooling opportunities and the attitude that people should be free to be who they want to be. There are parts of Colo Spgs that I honestl wouldn't live because of the conservative, materialistic vibe, but then there is my part of town, where we have chickens and a homestead supply store, knitting circles are a dime a dozen, the people at the Montessori school across the street commend us for homeschooling because everyone sees it almost like a perfect goal they can't figure out how to reach, and you have your choice of so many home birth midwives and doulas and alternative therapies for any ailment that you might not have to ever see a doctor, unless you break something.

The cities have their areas that may be more or less what you are looking for, while small towns are often altogether what you're looking for or absolutely NOT what you're looking for. So if you want to be within 30 minutes of a city, you still have a lot of choices. 30 minutes from a major metropolitan area like Demver? 30 minutes from a southwestern city like Durango? 30 minutes from trust-fund Boulder? How about 30 minutes from Ft Collins, which has a really neat vibe and a great university? Maybe the real question is what you want to do while you're here. What kind of activities would you like to participate in? Want to learn to kayak? You'd probably be better off near Durango or Salida or in a smaller town by a river. How about putting your kids into a conservatory? You might be better off near the big cities. Want your kids in 4-H? Maybe live a bit east or on the Western Slope near some working ranches you can volunteer at every year, though you can do 4-H anywhere in the state. Do you want to hike in real natural settings every day or just every couple of weeks? You can hike in a definitely natural area every day in Colorado Springs, with minimal travel (let's hop in the car for 15 minutes, kids!), but not so much in Denver.
post #13 of 20
Hmmm... I am getting great ideas for future moves when we get tired of in-city rent costs and pollution!! I love Denver and my pretty crunchy 'hood, but I grew up frolicking in the woods. It makes me sad to think my kid won't get that kind of freedom in a city, despite how much more environmentally sound they are than endless rural/suburban sprawl.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post

Hmmm... I am getting great ideas for future moves when we get tired of in-city rent costs and pollution!! I love Denver and my pretty crunchy 'hood, but I grew up frolicking in the woods. It makes me sad to think my kid won't get that kind of freedom in a city, despite how much more environmentally sound they are than endless rural/suburban sprawl.

I totally hear you on this!  I am still not completely sure where I want to end up, but I know it's not where I am now.  Boulder might be a happy medium for me, as it's close to the mountains, not quite big city, but not quite small town.  I know that a lot of people have issues with Boulder, but I like the vibe there.

post #15 of 20

I'm a true Colorado native and I've lived all over the state. Steamboat, Grand Junction, Loveland, Fort Collins, Denver...I love college towns and Fort Collins is  pretty crunchy, lots of families home school and you're close to the city, mountains, and could still live in a more rural area of the city. 

post #16 of 20

we lived in boulder for several years and did not like the entitled mentality of the people who lived there. too much money will do that. we moved into the mountains, into nederland, and loved it there so much. small town, beautiful, like-minded people who like keeping it a small town. the co-op is fantastic and they have vegan treats and the creek running through the town and park there, as well as the reservoir is incredibly grounding. 

lyons is another nice town, outside of boulder with more down to earth people. 

golden is also fantastic, it's between boulder and denver. 

post #17 of 20

Is it feasible to live in Ft. Collins and commute to Cheyenne WY?
 

post #18 of 20
Time wise, absolutely on most days. I live north west of town and it takes me about 40 minutes to get to the middle of Cheyenne. However, a few times a winter they close I-25 due to snow/wind. And it's generally much cheaper to live in WY than N. CO.
post #19 of 20

I live near Conifer.  The 285 corridor is really nice (Conifer, Pine, Bailey).  You are in the foothills/mountains with a "live and let live" sort of vibe, but are close enough to Denver and the suburbs to go to town for events/socialization/work etc.  This really fits our style.  I absolutely love it here.

post #20 of 20

It depends on where you are choosing to move in Colorado, but, in general, I run into groups of attachment-oriented homeschooling parents often as we are homeschoolers here in Northern Colorado. I feel compelled to tell you that parts of Colorado have air quality issues worse than Houston and Pasedena as will be published tomorrow. You can read www.coloradoan.com for a link. We have an environmental air crisis related to hugely unmonitored natural gas production and fracking. I'm not trying to be negative. I would want to know this before I relocated.

 

peace,

teastaigh
 

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