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Iowa Home School Laws

Iowa State homeschool law and information

Requirements to homeschool in Iowa. Iowa homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within Iowa homeschooling laws.

Compulsory attendance – 6-16. New Bill requires children to be 5 years old by Aug. 1 to enroll in Kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year, and by July 1 for the 2018-19 term. Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. Public Kindergarten is available in every school system, but it is not mandatory. The age cut off will probably adjust for older grades progressively from year to year. 2017-18 if your child is 6 on or by September 1, you would begin legally homeschooling. Next year, a month earlier, etc. During this time of fluctuation, check with your local school district if your child is about 6 years old near the start of the school year to make sure.

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates online at the Iowa Government site.

Table of Contents

299A.1 Private instruction.
299A.2 Competent private instruction by licensed practitioner.
299A.3 Private instruction by nonlicensed person.
299.1A Compulsory attendance age.
299.2 Exceptions.


299A.1 Private instruction.

The parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age who places the child under private instruction shall provide, unless otherwise exempted, competent private instruction in accordance with this chapter. A parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age who places the child under private instruction which is not competent private instruction, or otherwise fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter, is subject to the provisions of sections 299.1 through 299.4 and the penalties provided in section 299.6.

For purposes of this chapter, “competent private instruction” means private instruction provided on a daily basis for at least one hundred forty-eight days during a school year, to be met by attendance for at least thirty-seven days each school quarter, by or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner in the manner provided under section 299A.2, or other person under section 299A.3, which results in the student making adequate progress.

For purposes of this chapter and chapter 299, “private instruction” means instruction using a plan and a course of study in a setting other than a public or organized accredited nonpublic school.

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 an accredited nonpublic school or public school district by a teacher, who is employed by the accredited nonpublic school or public school district, who assists and supervises a parent, guardian, or legal custodian in providing instruction to a child.

If competent private instruction is provided through a public school district, the child shall be enrolled and included in the basic enrollment of the school district as provided in section 257.6. Sections 299A.3 through 299A.7 do not apply to competent private instruction provided by a licensed practitioner under this section. However, the reporting requirement contained in section 299A.3, subsection 1, shall apply to competent private instruction provided by licensed practitioners that is not part of a home school assistance program offered through an accredited nonpublic school or public school district.

299A.3 Private instruction by nonlicensed person.

A parent, guardian, or legal custodian of a child of compulsory attendance age providing competent private instruction to the child shall meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Complete and send, in a timely manner, the report required under section 299.4 to the school district of residence of the child.
  2. Ensure that the child under the parent’s, guardian’s, or legal custodian’s instruction is evaluated annually to determine whether the child is making adequate progress, as defined in section 299A.6.
  3. Ensure that the results of the child’s annual evaluation are reported to the school district of residence of the child and to the department of education by a date not later than June 30 of each year in which the child is under private instruction.

299.1A Compulsory attendance age.

A child who has reached the age of six and is under sixteen years of age by September 15 is of compulsory attendance age.

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. Who has been excused under section 299.22.
  6. Who is exempted under section 299.24.

Other Resources

Iowa Homeschool Statute
Provided by Ed Dickerson.

Homeschool Options in Iowa
From NICHE. Outline of the three options for Iowa Homeschooling families: Independent Private Instruction, Competent Private Instruction (with reporting), and Competent Private Instruction (with no reporting).

Private Instruction Comparison Chart
Handbook with nice chart showing the differences between the three options when homeschooling in Iowa. FAQs included on how to enroll in each. Published for the 2014-2015 school year.


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