Truth About Homeschooling in Iowa and Iowa Homeschool Laws

By Dr. Jon

State laws change from time to time and though we try to keep the laws up-to-date at all times please check with the department of education for any changes that may have occurred.

There are many reasons to seriously consider homeschooling: you’re in control of what your children are learning, you get to decide how much time you want to spend on different subjects, you can adapt the material to suit your children’s needs, and you don’t have to worry about your children dealing with schoolyard bullies.

Whether you’ve already made this decision or you just plan to, we’re here to show you how to start homeschooling in Iowa. We’ll help you make full use of the educational potential of Iowa, we’ll let you in on the Iowa homeschool requirements, and we’ll offer you a diverse range of useful online homeschool resources that will guarantee your homeschooling success. Use the infographic and video below to create a homeschool that thrives.

Homeschooling in Iowa

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The Hawkeye State

Iowa is famous for its great agriculture (the third largest in the US) and it’s flat landscape. However, there’s much more to it than just that, and if you live in Iowa, you’ve always got plenty of interesting things to do.

If your children are into wildlife, Iowa has plenty of options for you to choose from; you can take them to the beautiful National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the Pikes Peak State Park, or the Reiman Gardens. Show them the beautiful geological features of Maquoketa Caves State Park and the Mines of Spain Recreation Area, or walk through the beautiful botanical gardens in Dubuque, Davenport and Des Moines.

Iowa also has plenty of museum to suit every educational need: the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum showcases plenty of memorabilia from the life of the president, and the Figge Art Museum offers visitors a wide array of compelling works of art. You’ve even got a trucking museum in Walcott – your boys will sure love that!

Iowa Homeschool Laws

You’ve got three ways to homeschool your children: independent private instruction and two types of competent private instruction, licensed and unlicensed.

If you plan to operate as an independent private instructor, there’s no compulsory paper work: you don’t need to provide a notice of intent to the authorities, you’re not legally required to do any bookkeeping or assessment, and you don’t need any special qualifications. There are no provisions related to the minimum hours of instruction, either. However, you do need to teach mathematics, social studies, science and reading and language arts.

The second option involves operating under the supervision of a certified teacher. If you choose to do so, you’ll have to fill in a form with your local school district, and you’ll have to do so no later than September 1. You should also provide copies of your children immunization records. You’ll work with a licensed practitioner in teaching and assessing your children’s progress, but there are no compulsory subjects and instruction time.

Finally, you may also provide competent private instruction without the help of a certified teacher. In this case, you have to provide 147 days of instruction and you have to provide progress and assessment reports if you want your children to participate in extracurricular activities or to benefit from special needs services. Again, there are no compulsory qualifications, subjects and bookkeeping, and you only have to provide a notice of intent under the same circumstances as the assessment report.

Homeschool in Iowa: Final Grade

There’s no other grade but A for Iowa; the legal system provides a variety of options for every educational need, you can have your children participate in local school extracurricular activities, and there are plenty of educational possibilities right at your doorstep.


Iowa offers an easy way to start homeschooling your children, and it provides you with three different home-based educational options, so that you can choose what’s best for you and your children. The possibility to enroll your children in public school activities and sports competitions is a great plus as well, and the variety of local natural and cultural educational opportunities are a great bonus. You should find it easy to start homeschooling in Iowa right now!

Resources - this is the website of the Iowa Department of Education. Here you’ll find any legal information you need to know - the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators gets you connected with plenty of fellow homeschoolers - browse this helpful website if you look for support in starting your own homeschool

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