How to Homeschool in Iowa

Are you thinking about homeschooling your child in Iowa but aren't sure what that entails? The goal of this article is to help clarify the state's rules and homeschooling options and make it easier to start homeschooling your family. In this article you will find the following:

  • An overview of Iowa homeschool laws
  • An introduction to homeschool groups in Iowa
  • A description of how Moving Beyond the Page can help you get started

* This page does not contain legal advice and is not an endorsement of any homeschool groups listed. (see disclaimer)

Iowa Homeschool Laws

In Iowa there are various legal options available for your homeschool:

Competent Private Instruction (CPI) with Assessment Reporting
This option requires that your child's progress be assessed, either by a supervising teacher or through a year-end assessment. The assessment is reported to the public school district each year using Form A*. Families choosing any version of this option have access to dual enrollment at a local public school, meaning your child can take a portion of his or her classes at a local public school. There are three variations of CPI with assessment reporting:
  1. Homeschool Assisance Program (HSAP): Some, but not all, public school systems in Iowa offer this program. Under the HSAP, the local public school assigns you a supervising teacher, who must visit your homeschool 4 times per quarter. Other requirements vary depending on the HSAP program.
  2. Qualified Supervising Teacher: Parents hire their own qualified supervising teacher to provide assessments. This teacher must visit your homeschool twice per quarter. Supervising teachers must have the appropriate teaching license for your child's grade level. Note that a parent holding the appropriate license can serve as the homeschool's own supervising teacher.
  3. Annual Assessment: In addition to Form A, parents file an assessment report using the results of standardized tests, the report card from an accredited homeschool correspondence school, or a portfolio evalutation by a person with the appropriate teaching license for your child's grade level.
Competent Private Instruction (CPI) without Assessment Reporting
Families who choose this option agree to provide instruction at least 148 days per school year (and at least 37 days per school quarter). Students are not required to be assessed, and no reporting to the local public school district is needed. Note that families who do not wish to have their child formally assessed (and have the assessment submitted to the district) cannot participate in public school dual enrollment programs.

Independent Private Instruction (IPI)
You can choose the IPI option only if your homeschool has instruction that is not accredited, enrolls no more than 4 unrelated children, and does not charge fees. Under this option, you will need to teach math, reading, language arts, science, and social studies. Students are not required to be assessed, and you do not have to report any asssessments to the local school district. The district superintendent may request a report with basic information including students' names, school location, and primary instructor's name. Families using the IPI option do not have access to public school dual enrollment programs.

*Form A: This form must be submitted to the local school district secretary by September 1st each year. The form asks for basic student and homeschool information, curriculum details, and evidence of immunization. Other required information, including assessment reporting, varies depending on the homeschooling option your family uses. You can view a PDF of Form A here.

This web page provides charts and explanations that may help clarify the various legal homeschooling options available in Iowa.

Homeschool Groups in Iowa

Homeschooling your children is a daunting task, but there are many groups and organizations in Iowa to help you out. Here are some organizations you may want to look into.

Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE)
NICHE is a statewide, Christian homeschool support group. NICHE's website has a number of resources to help homeschool families get started and succeed in their homeschool journey. The group hosts an annual conference and other special events. It also assists local support groups and can help you find a Christian homeschool support group in your area.
Metro Home Educators (MHE)
This Christian based homeschool group serves families in the Waterloo and Cedar Falls areas. MHE offers events, field trips, mom's nights out and other social events for its members. The group also hosts co-op classes. These classes help to educate your children in a classroom type setting for one day of the week.
Central Iowa Secular Homeschoolers
This Facebook discussion group provides information and support to secular homeschoolers in Iowa. Note: You must have a Facebook account, and you must request to join the group.
If you would like to recommend a new link or let us know about a problem with an existing link, please contact us

NOTE: You can find a wealth of local and state groups offering homeschooling advice and support on sites such as Facebook and Yahoo Groups. You can search by city or county, religious preference, homeschooling philosophy, and more. You will need a free account on these sites to join one of their groups.

A Homeschool Curriculum for Iowa

Moving Beyond the Page is a homeschool curriculum that exceeds the requirements for homeschooling in the state of Iowa. All of the Moving Beyond the Page packages cover science, social studies, and language arts, and we offer a range of math programs as well. The Iowa legal requirements are only a starting point, and our curriculum utilizes a range of educational strategies that are designed to foster a love of learning in children including:

  • Hands-on activities,
  • Differentiated options, and
  • Independent projects.

Moving Beyond the Page encourages critical thinking and creativity while encouraging your child's unique learning style like no other curriculum on the market. If your child is a hands-on learner, a gifted learner, or a creative free-thinker, then you should look into Moving Beyond the Page for your child.

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Any information about the laws in your state is provided to help you understand your legal requirements to homeschool in your state. It should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. This information was not compiled by a lawyer. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under. If you have questions, you should seek the advice of a lawyer that operates in your state.

Moving Beyond the Page does not endorse any of the homeschool groups that are included in these pages. They are provided only for your benefit. You should research any group to ensure that they align with your family's goals and philosophies.