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How To Start Homeschooling In Iowa – Tips And Tricks

As someone who has started homeschooling in Iowa, I have learned that it can be a confusing and intimidating process. However, with some research and preparation, it is possible to start homeschooling and provide your child with a valuable education.

The first step to starting homeschooling in Iowa is to notify your school district of your intention to homeschool. This can be done by submitting a form or letter of intent, which can typically be found on the website of your local school district. Once you have provided this notification, you must keep records of your child’s attendance and progress.

Next, you must choose a curriculum for your child’s education. Many options include online programs, textbooks, and educational resources. Selecting a curriculum that meets Iowa’s educational requirements and is tailored to your child’s individual learning needs is important.

Finally, you may want to consider joining a homeschooling community or support group. These groups can provide valuable resources and support as you navigate homeschooling. Starting homeschooling in Iowa requires careful planning and dedication, but can ultimately provide a rewarding educational experience for you and your child.

Eligibility Requirements to Homeschool in Iowa

If you’re interested in homeschooling in Iowa, there are specific eligibility requirements that you need to meet. Understanding these requirements is essential in ensuring your child’s education is valid and accepted under Iowa law.

Firstly, parents or guardians who wish to homeschool their children must be registered with the Iowa Department of Education. The department requires parents or guardians to file a Homeschooling Report before the beginning of each school year, which includes information about the homeschooling program, student attendance, and progress.

Secondly, families must follow the compulsory schooling requirement in Iowa. Completing the compulsory education law must be completed by attending public or non-public school or by filing for competent private instruction (CPI) for homeschooling. This typically requires 148 days of instruction per academic year, lasting at least four hours each day.

Thirdly, parents or guardians must possess a high school diploma or equivalent before homeschooling a child. Additionally, they must keep accurate records of their child’s academic progress and submit them on an annual report to the Iowa Department of Education.

It is essential to note that Iowa homeschooling laws are subject to change. It would be helpful to browse the Iowa Homeschoolers’ Facebook group, which provides the latest updates on homeschooling in Iowa. Being a part of a community of homeschoolers can also provide valuable information and support in starting your homeschooling journey.

Overall, homeschooling in Iowa requires attention to registration requirements, following the compulsory schooling laws, and maintaining accurate records. By following these guidelines, you can provide an excellent education for your child and ensure that their homeschooling experience is legal and valid under Iowa law.

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How To Start Homeschooling In Iowa

As someone with experience with homeschooling in Iowa, I’d like to share a few steps to help those wondering how to start homeschooling in Iowa.

1. Know the laws – Before you start homeschooling in Iowa, you must understand the rules and regulations that apply to homeschooling in the state. In Iowa, homeschooling is regulated by the Department of Education, and the state law requires parents to file a Homeschool Report annually.

2. Choose a curriculum – After familiarizing yourself with the legal requirements for homeschooling in Iowa, it’s time to choose a curriculum. The curriculum should be tailored to your child’s age, learning style, and interests. Some popular options include online classes, textbooks, and unit studies.

3. Create a schedule – Homeschooling requires discipline and structure. Create a schedule that fits your family’s needs and includes designated times for learning, breaks, and activities. Remember, the freedom of homeschooling also allows for flexibility, so make sure to adjust your schedule as needed.

4. Join a Homeschooling Community – Iowa’s robust homeschooling community offers excellent support, resources, and social opportunities. Connecting with other homeschoolers can help you stay on track, find valuable resources, and create lasting friendships.

5. Set up a Learning Environment – Create a designated learning area tailored to your child’s needs. This area should be quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. In addition, make sure to stock up on supplies such as textbooks, pencils, and other essential materials.

Homeschooling can be a rewarding experience for both you and your child. Follow these steps and stay patient, consistent, and flexible throughout the process. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the Iowa Department of Education or a local homeschooling association.

Resources for Homeschooling in Iowa

If you’re considering homeschooling in Iowa, you’ll be glad that the state provides several resources to help you get started. Here are some of the best resources to help you begin your homeschooling journey:

1. Homeschool Iowa

Homeschool Iowa is a statewide organization that provides support for Iowa homeschoolers. They offer various resources, including information on Iowa homeschooling laws, local support groups, and events. You can also find listings of curriculum providers, enrichment opportunities, and testing options. Their website also provides a wealth of information, including FAQs, articles, and webinars. Homeschool Iowa also hosts an annual conference that brings together homeschoolers nationwide.

2. Iowa Department of Education

The Iowa Department of Education provides information on homeschooling and the state laws that regulate it. They also offer guidance on curriculum, graduation requirements, and testing options. The Department of Education is a good resource for homeschoolers who want to ensure that they are complying with state laws.

3. Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

Homeschool Buyers Co-op is a website that offers discounts on curriculum, books, and other resources to homeschoolers. They provide a range of products for different grade levels and subjects. The website also includes a section on free resources where you can find printables, worksheets, and lesson plans.

4. Local Libraries

Local libraries are a great resource for homeschoolers. Most libraries have a dedicated section for homeschooling materials, such as books, DVDs, and educational games. They may also offer programs for homeschoolers, such as book clubs and story times.

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5. Homeschooling Groups

Joining a homeschooling group is a great way to connect with other homeschoolers in your area. These groups provide opportunities for socialization, support, and networking. You can find homeschooling groups through Homeschool Iowa or online resources like Facebook.

Starting homeschooling in Iowa can seem overwhelming, but with these resources, you’ll have a good foundation to build upon. Remember, homeschooling is a personal decision that requires dedication, patience, and flexibility. Good luck on your journey of homeschooling in Iowa!


Starting homeschooling in Iowa can be a challenging but fulfilling experience for both parents and children. With the right resources and mindset, you can create a tailored approach to education that is both effective and enjoyable for your family. So, how to start homeschooling in Iowa? Here are a few key takeaways:

Understand the laws and regulations: Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, including Iowa. However, specific statutory requirements must be met to legally homeschool your child in Iowa. These requirements include providing a ‘competent private instruction’ and filing a ‘competent private instruction report’ annually. Therefore, consulting with your local school district and the Iowa Department of Education is important to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Establish a curriculum and schedule: Once familiar with the legal requirements, it’s time to determine what your child will learn and when. By creating a structured curriculum and schedule, you can ensure your child meets the same academic standards as their peers in conventional schools. Many resources are available, including textbooks, online courses, and educational software, that can assist you in developing a comprehensive curriculum.

Join a support group: Homeschooling can be a solitary experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Joining a support group can provide you with social connections, educational resources, and advice from experienced homeschooling families. There are many groups available throughout Iowa, both online and in-person.

Starting homeschooling in Iowa may be overwhelming initially, but with determination, flexibility, and the right resources, you can create an enriching and successful educational experience for your child. Remember to stay organized, remain patient, and have fun!