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
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 ...
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...
Report of Portfolio Evaluator Selection Form
If you will be using the portfolio evaluation method, you may find this simple optional form helpful. When filled out and submitted to your resident school district, it provides a mechanism to fulfill the legal requirement of seeking the school district superintendent's approval of your selected portfolio evaluator. This approval process is simply a check of the appropriateness of your evaluator's license.
Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators
The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) is a Christian organization promoting home education in the state of Iowa. Their mission is to provide Christ-centered events, communication, and resources to better equip, inform, and encourage Iowa home educators to the glory of God.
299.1B Failure to attend--loss of driver's license.
A person who does not attend a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, competent private instruction in accordance with the provisions of chapter 299A, an alternative school, adult education classes, or who is not employed at least twenty hours per week shall not receive a motor vehicle operator's license until age eighteen. A person under age eighteen who has been issued a motor vehicle operator's license who does not attend a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, competent priv...
281—31.3(299) Duties of licensed practitioners.
31.3(1) Licensing requirements. A person who provides instruction to or instructional supervision of a student receiving competent private instruction shall be either the student’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian or a person who possesses a valid Iowa teaching certificate or practitioner license which is appropriate to the age and grade level of the student under competent private instruction. 31.3(2) Duties. The duties of a certificated or licensed teacher practitioner who instr...
299A.5 Reporting of evaluation results.
The results of evaluations administered to children of compulsory attendance age who are under competent private instruction shall be reported by the evaluation administrator to the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, the school district of residence of the child, and the department of education. Personally identifiable information relating to or contained in the evaluation scores is confidential and shall not be released without the prior consent of the child's parent, guardian, or cu...
Iowa Home School Laws from HSLDA
The Home School Legal Defense Association provides a brief summary of the homeschooling laws in Iowa. Includes a link to a legal analysis of laws relating to homeschooling in Iowa.
299A.2 Competent private instruction by licensed practitioner.
If a licensed practitioner provides competent instruction to a child of compulsory attendance age, the practitioner shall possess a valid license or certificate which has been issued by the state board of educational examiners under chapter 272 and which is appropriate to the ages and grade levels of the children to be taught. Competent private instruction may include, but is not limited to, a home school assistance program which provides instruction or instructional supervision offered through ...
Competent Private Instruction Report
The Competent Private Instruction Report is also published annually by the Department of Education. All homeschooling parents in Iowa using the Competent Private Instruction (CPI) Option 1 or Competent Private Instruction (CPI) Option 2 with Opt-In must file a Competent Private Instruction Report for every child of compulsory school attendance age (6-16) -- if your chid is age six or older on September 15 and younger than 16 on September 15.
Iowa Department of Education
This is the official website of the Iowa Department of Education.
281—31.7(299A) Baseline testing and annual assessment.
31.7(1) When required. When a parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age provides private instruction to a child without the assistance or supervision of a validly licensed Iowa practitioner as required by law and these rules, and the parent, guardian, or legal custodian does not hold a valid Iowa practitioner license appropriate to the ages and grade levels of the child under competent private instruction, the child is subject to initial baseline testing an...
The Iowa Legislature
This website includes links to the Senate and House sections, legislators' contacts, pending legislation, and more.
Contract for Home School Portfolio Evaluation
This optional contract is provided to help define and delineate the rights and responsibilities of both parties in a homeschool portfolio evaluation arrangement: the parents and the teacher. Produce with assistance by HSLDA.
Privacy Form for Non-Enrolled Student
These option forms are recommended to protect your family's privacy. They inform school officials that you want protections afforded by federal and state laws. The form for non-enrolled students notifies school officials of that information about your child -- including directory information -- is confidential information protected by Iowa Code. Failure to have one of these forms on file with the district and the AEA (where your CPI forms are filed) can leave your child's information ope...
Featured Resources

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I Learn Better by Teaching Myself/Still Teaching Ourselves
Take a look at how a homeschooling mother learned to trust her children-and herself-to learn in new ways. Tag along on the journey from the elementary years through high school as this book explore the success and freedom of unstructured learning. Th...
A Little Way of Homeschooling
This book is a compilation of the experiences of 13 different homeschoolers and how they incorporated an unschooling style of teaching in their homes. This book addresses the question of whether a Catholic can happily and successfully unschool. This ...
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It
Confused and intimidated by the complexities of homeschooling, many sincere parents never get past the "thinking about it" stage. Now Lisa Whelchel - herself a homeschooling mother of three - introduces fifteen real families and shows how they overc...
Why We Homeschool
It is a common misconception that most parents homeschool due to bullies, school shootings, or bad teaching content. While these things are important, there is a higher purpose for choosing to home education your children. Even if all those things we...