Legal/Homeschool Laws
Laws that regulate home education vary from state to state. It is important to understand the legal requirements in your state and to be aware of legislative and other legal issues that affect homeschoolers in your community. We've compiled resources that will help you become informed. Although homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and the vast majority of homeschoolers face no problems, you may find that you need legal assistance at some point in your homeschooling career. We've compiled a list of resources to help you find the support you need. And if you'd like to become more involved in working towards homeschooling freedoms, we discuss some of the issues facing homeschoolers that we hope you find compelling.
State Laws
Read the laws regulating home education in Iowa and browse through the case law and legal opinions relating to those laws, along with government publications relating to homeschooling and summaries of the laws.
Forms
Which forms do you need to fill out? Where can you get them? Here is a list of useful forms for homeschooling in Iowa.
Legal Support
If you need legal information or have run into a legal situation regarding your decision to homeschool, these resources will be helpful.
Lobbying Groups
A listing of local and national lobbying groups and information on how you can become involved in the political process to ensure the freedom to homeschool is protected.
Attorneys
When searching for an attorney, it is helpful to know whether he or she has experience working with homeschoolers and is interested in protecting the right to homeschool.
Legal Issues
Is homeschooling legal? Which laws pertain to homeschoolers and which don't? How do homeschoolers protect their rights to freely educate their children and to preserve their privacy?
Government Resources
A listing of local and state government resources, including your state's Department of Education, school districts, and Senate and House of Representative information.
What's Popular
Homeschool Options in Iowa
This chart offers a clear look at all of the homeschool options available under current Iowa law.
Report of Portfolio Assessment Results Form
This optional form is offered to make the portfolio evaluator's job much easier. It provides an efficient tool to assure that all of the required information is included in the portfolio evaluation results report.
Plan of Instruction Form-Unlined
This "Plan of Instruction" form has been designed by HSLDA and NICHE. Plan of Instruction forms -- lined or unlined -- may be used to comply with the requirement on the Competent Private Instruction Form (Form A) for an attached outline of course of study. Please keep in mind that the Iowa law & rules are silent as to what subjects must be included on the Plan of Instruction. NICHE "Plan of Instruction" forms have been used and submitted by home educators all across Iowa, and have been accepted...
Iowa Homeschool Legal Requirements and Options
The Iowa law and rules may seem quite complicated at first, but NICHE has created a number of resources and forms to help home educators find their way through the maze of regulations. Here you will find a brief overview of the legal requirements and options in Iowa.
Iowa Compliance: Step-by-Step
A short summary of the different ways to comply with the laws.
NICHE Political Updates
Stay current of legislative issues concerning our liberty to home educate our children, be aware of political candidates' positions on issues of homes schooling, and receive notice of political opportunities to support those issues and/or candidates.
299A.4 Annual achievement evaluations--requirements and procedure.
1. Each child of compulsory attendance age who is receiving competent private instruction shall either be evaluated annually by May 1, using a nationally recognized standardized achievement evaluation or other assessment tool developed or recognized by the department of education and chosen by the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian from a list of approved evaluations or assessment tools provided by the department of education or be evaluated annually in the manner provided in subsecti...
Contract for Home School Consultation
This optional contract is provided to help define and delineate the rights and responsibilities of both parties in a homeschool consultation arrangement: the parents and the teacher. Attorneys with HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) assisted in its production.
299A.7 Notice to parents--remediation.
If a child is placed under competent private instruction and the child fails to make adequate progress under competent private instruction, the director of the department of education, or the director's designee, shall notify the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child that the child is required to attend an accredited public or nonpublic school, unless approval for competent private instruction under a remediation plan is granted. The director, or the director's designee, may provisionally ...
How to File a Competent Private Instruction [CPI] Form A
Step-by-step instructions on how to complete & file a CPI Report Form.
Independent Private Instruction Form
This form may be used by parents using the Independent Private Instruction (IPI) option when contacted by either their resident school district superintendent or by the director of the Department of Education with a request for information about the IPI. Because parents are required by law to respond to this written request with specific information, NICHE has created this template form to expediate the process.
Iowa School Directory
This school directory for the state of Iowa includes public school districts and nonpublic schools.
299.2 Exceptions.
Section 299.1 shall not apply to any child: 1. Who has completed the requirements for graduation in an accredited school or has obtained a high school equivalency diploma under chapter 259A. 2. Who is excused for sufficient reason by any court of record or judge. 3. While attending religious services or receiving religious instructions. 4. Who is attending a private college preparatory school accredited or probationally accredited under section 256.11, subsection 13. 5. ...
Private Instruction (Home Schooling)
Private Instruction is instruction using a plan and a course of study in a setting other than a public or organized accredited nonpublic school. It includes competent private instruction (CPI) by a licensed practitioner or a nonlicensed person, independent private instruction (IPI), home school assistance programs (HSAP), and non-accredited nonpublic schools.
299A.6 Failure to make adequate progress.
If the results of evaluations, administered to a child of compulsory attendance age who is under competent private instruction, indicate that the student has failed to make adequate progress, the parent, guardian, or legal custodian shall cause the child to attend an accredited public or nonpublic school at the beginning of the next school year unless, before the beginning of the next school year, the child retakes a different form of the same evaluation, or another evaluation from the approved ...
Featured Resources

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Morning by Morning : How We Home-Schooled Our African-American Sons to the Ivy League
Home schooling has long been regarded as a last resort, particularly by African-American families. But in this inspirational and practical memoir, Paula Penn-Nabrit shares her intimate experiences of home-schooling her three sons, Charles, Damon, and...
Homeschooling: The Teen Years : Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13- to 18- Year-Old (Prima Home Learning Library)
The teen years are when many homeschooling parents start to question or abandon their efforts. It's a precarious time, with challenging academics, pressing social issues, and the prospect of college looming. Parents can now breathe easy: this guide c...
TruthQuest History
The TruthQuest History series consists of ten volumes that serve as guides for parent wishing to use real books in their approach to history education. They are full of book recommendations, along with information on the topics of study. There are al...
Create! Press
Create! Press carries creative approaches to teaching creative writing and composition. Their products include the Create-A-Story game, Writing Adventures, Stepping Stones, and more.
Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking
With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research --...