How to Homeschool in Iowa: Laws for Homeschooling

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A mother helps her children with their lessons as she homeschool them during the pandemic. Both mixed race children of elementary school age are colouring in and seated at the kitchen island.

This is my analysis of Iowa’s home schooling laws as per their state code. This is not intended for legal advice, this is intended only for research purposes. It is up to you to review the laws directly from the State and verify all of the information before you proceed with your home education program.

Attendance Requirements: For CPI, the compulsory age is 6 years old by September 15 and younger than 16.

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The compulsory age is 6 years old by September 15 – image by

Options to Operate:
Competent Private Instruction (CPI): Parents can give instruction that is not apart of the public school or an accredited nonpublic school curriculum. There is no curriculum requirements for CPI students.

Iowa does not require curriculum – image by

Students who are subject to a portfolio assessment, are required to be reviewed in reading, language arts and math for grades 1-5 and reading, language arts, math, science and social science for grades 6-12.

Reporting: Parents are required to fill out the Report of Competent Private Instruction and return it to their local district by August 26 or within 14 days of starting the CPI.

Independent Private Instruction  Written Request Report Form  pdf
Fill out the form – image by

Testing: CPI students must abide by immunization requirements or otherwise fill out medical or religious exemption forms. Children under the age of 6 are required to take a blood lead test.

Children under the age of 6 are required to take a blood lead test – image by

CPI students between the ages of 6 and 17, who isn’t working with a licensed instructor, must be assessed annually. The options for this assessment are portfolio reviews, standardized testing, or submitting a report card from an accredited correspondence school. Portfolio assessments require evaluation by a licensed teacher.

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Submitting a report card is required for children 6-17 – image by by

Record Keeping: For portfolio assessments, evidence of academic progress is required for appropriate grade levels and their corresponding subjects. Portfolio should include a book of lesson plans, a diary or other written record of students’ activities.

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Portfolio should include a book of lesson plans – image by


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