Welcome to Iowa Homeschooling Online, your go-to resource for homeschooling in the Hawkeye State. Whether you are an Iowa resident or considering relocating to this great state, we are here to provide you with valuable guidance on homeschooling.
If you are searching for a reputable homeschooling program, we are excited to share that High School of America offers accredited online homeschooling programs in Iowa.
High School of America provides a comprehensive curriculum that aligns with Iowa’s state education standards. This means that students can receive a high-quality education while still meeting the academic requirements set by the state.
Begin your homeschooling journey in Iowa confidently and explore the numerous opportunities and benefits that homeschooling can offer.
In this guide, you will discover all the essential information about homeschooling laws, regulations, and requirements specific to Iowa.
Homeschooling Laws in Iowa
There are five options in which you legally homeschool in Iowa based on your family’s needs. These choices are:
- Homeschooling by Independent Private Instruction (IPI)
- Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-Out Reporting
- Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-In Reporting:
- Homeschooling with a supervising teacher
- Homeschooling with a Home School Assistance Program (HSAP)
a) Homeschooling by Independent Private Instruction (IPI)
If you decide to homeschool your high school student under this option, you will be required to adhere to the following guidelines:
- If the local superintendent requests it in writing, provide a report that includes the location of the homeschool, the student’s names, the primary instructor, and the authority responsible for the independent instruction.
- Cover the necessary homeschool subjects, such as social studies, science, math, language arts, and reading.
- There is no requirement for annual assessments, but the district can offer standardized testing as a courtesy, free of charge if the parent or guardian requests it in advance.
- Homeschoolers are not allowed to participate in dual-enrollment programs or extracurricular activities, including special education, under this option.
b) Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-Out Reporting
The following are the guidelines for those who wish to homeschool under this option:
- Instruct your student for 148 days annually and 37 days per school quarter.
- The two ways of meeting homeschooling requirements under this choice are:
- “By or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner”
- The school district needs Form A to be submitted by September 1 in the year of enrollment.
- Proof of immunizations must be provided.
- The teacher is responsible for monitoring the progress of the students.
- Dual-enrollment and participation in extracurricular activities are permitted, including athletics and special education.
- “By a non-licensed person”
- You have the option to submit Form A to the school district before September 1st in the year you enroll, but it is not mandatory.
- You can choose to take part in annual evaluations as a student, but it is not obligatory.
- Only if you submit Form A and provide the results of your annual assessment, you are permitted to participate in dual-enrollment programs or engage in extracurricular activities.
- “By or under the supervision of a licensed practitioner”
c) Competent Private Instruction, with Opt-In Reporting
- For this option, Form A must be submitted by September 1 each year.
- Assessments should be submitted to the local school district by September 15 the year the child turns seven. If the student is older than seven, assessments must be submitted after the first year of homeschooling.
- Annual assessments must be completed by May 1 and submitted to the school district by June 30. Grades 5 and below should have assessments in reading, language arts, and math, while grades 6 and above should include assessments in reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science.
- Students under this option can participate in dual enrollment at a local public school. If the application for dual enrollment is submitted by September 15, the student can attend public school classes and engage in public school extracurricular activities.
d) Homeschooling with a Supervising Instructor
If you decide to homeschool under the supervision of teacher, you need to adhere to the following guidelines:
- If parents decide to start homeschooling their children after the public school year has already begun, they need to submit a Form A within fourteen (14) days from the date they begin homeschooling.
- The supervising teacher, instructor, or tutor must possess a valid license issued by the State of Iowa.
- A parent who holds a teaching license in Iowa can serve as the supervising teacher.
- Students under this option can engage in dual enrollment at a local public school, granting them the opportunity to attend public school classes and participate in public school extracurricular activities. The application for dual enrollment must be submitted by September 15.
e) Homeschooling with a Home School Assistance Program (HSAP)
Home School Assistance Program (HSAP) is a program offered by individual public school districts as an option for families. Students enrolled in an HSAP are not considered public school students.
- To participate in homeschooling under this option, a Form A must be filed by September 1 each year.
- If you are new to the state or starting homeschooling after the school year has already begun, you are required to submit a partially completed Form A within 14 calendar days of starting homeschooling and a fully completed form within 30 days of starting homeschooling.
Other Iowa Homeschooling Requirements
There are no state mandated subjects, except option 1
- reading and language arts,
- science, and
- social studies.
The law doesn’t specify the exact amount of time you must spend teaching your child or the duration for each subject. However, it is important to provide instruction in each required subject throughout the school year.
In Iowa, homeschooling students are required to undergo an annual evaluation using a nationally recognized standardized test or another assessment tool approved by the state Department of Education.
Adequate progress in homeschooling means achieving an assessment score equal to or above the 30th percentile in each subject area. This score should indicate either a six-month improvement compared to the previous evaluation or the student is performing at or above the expected grade level for their age.
If a homeschooled student fails to make adequate progress, they will be required to enroll in an accredited public or nonpublic school at the beginning of the next school year.
However, students have the option to continue homeschooling if they retake a different version of the same evaluation or opt for another evaluation and demonstrate satisfactory progress. Additionally, they may be allowed to continue homeschooling if they receive approval to follow a remediation plan.
Homeschool Record Keeping
Keeping records is a crucial aspect of homeschooling. Although homeschooling families in Iowa are not obligated to submit their records, it is advisable to maintain them as they may be needed for various reasons, such as your child’s interest in participating in sports or for college applications. Some of the records that homeschoolers should keep include the following:
- Transcripts for the high school students
- Test scores, grades, and assessment records
- Health records
- Records of completed assignments
- Attendance records
Homeschool Graduation Requirements in Iowa
Homeschooled students in Iowa have the flexibility to establish their own graduation criteria and issue their high school diploma. Unlike traditionally schooled students, they are not bound by state-mandated graduation requirements.
Parents have the autonomy to determine their graduation standards, develop transcripts, and certify their child’s diplomas.
However, it’s crucial to remember that colleges and universities have their own admission requirements. It is important for homeschooling families to thoroughly understand these requirements, including the necessary credit hours and specific courses, to ensure their child meets the eligibility criteria for college applications.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling Online in Iowa
The most commonly asked questions about Iowa homeschooling online are:
Is homeschooling easy in Iowa?
Homeschooling in Iowa can be relatively easy, despite some complexities in the laws. The state offers options for families who prefer independence and those who seek support from district teachers.
Are there regulations for homeschooling in Iowa?
While there are some regulations, Iowa generally has low levels of regulation for homeschoolers. The extent of regulation depends on the chosen homeschooling approach. If families opt for services from local public schools, they will face more regulation compared to those who homeschool independently.
Who is eligible for homeschooling?
In Iowa, any student can receive independent private instruction (IPI) and engage in homeschooling.
Is unschooling allowed in Iowa?
Yes, unschooling is legal in Iowa. As long as the requirements for homeschooling are met, families can adopt the child-led approach of unschooling.
What do I need to homeschool my child in Iowa?
Iowa homeschooling statutes mandate that IPI students receive instruction in four core subjects: mathematics, reading and language arts, science, and social studies. While the state doesn’t specify curriculum or lesson plans, using a trusted pre-planned curriculum can make the homeschooling journey smoother.
Online Homeschooling Statistics in Iowa
According to U.S. Census data, 6.6% of Iowa students were home-schooled during the first weeks of the pandemic. By October 2020, that number fell 0.6 percentage points to 6%. The standard of error for the first number is 3.78, and 1.58 for the second number.
Nationwide, approximately 5.4% of U.S. families home-schooled their children prior to the pandemic, but that number more than doubled by 5.6 percentage points to 11.1% by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
How to Do it: Online Homeschooling in Iowa
To begin homeschooling in Iowa, follow these steps:
Choose Your Homeschool Legal Option
Before embarking on your homeschooling journey, it’s essential to select the legal option that best suits your family’s needs.
Familiarize yourself with the different legal avenues available for homeschooling in Iowa, such as Homeschooling by Independent Private Instruction (IPI) and Homeschooling with a supervising teacher.
Select Your Homeschool Approach
Determine the approach that aligns with your educational philosophy and your child’s learning style.
Research various homeschooling methods, such as traditional, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, or unschooling, to find the one that resonates with your family’s goals and values.
Get Your Homeschool Curriculum
Once you have chosen your homeschooling approach, it’s time to acquire the necessary curriculum materials.
Explore different resources, including textbooks, online courses, educational websites, and local libraries, to compile a comprehensive curriculum that covers the required subjects for your child’s grade level.
Organize and Prepare Your Homeschool Setup
Set up a designated learning space within your home where your child can focus and engage in their studies.
Gather all the essential materials, such as books, supplies, and educational tools, to create an organized and stimulating learning environment. Establish a daily schedule or routine that ensures a structured approach to your homeschooling days.
Remember, starting homeschooling in Iowa requires careful consideration and planning. By following these steps and continuously seeking educational resources and support, you can create a fulfilling and successful homeschooling experience for your family.
Benefits of Iowa Homeschooling Online
Iowa homeschooling online offers several benefits for students and families seeking an alternative educational approach. They include:
- Flexibility: Homeschooling online in Iowa provides families with the flexibility to customize their child’s education. Online platforms and resources offer a wide range of curriculum options, allowing parents to tailor their child’s learning experience to their specific needs, interests, and pace.
- Personalized Learning: Online homeschooling enables personalized learning experiences. Parents can adapt the curriculum to suit their child’s learning style, strengths, and weaknesses. This personalized approach helps students excel in areas where they are strong and receive additional support in areas where they may struggle.
- Individual Attention: Homeschooling online allows for one-on-one instruction, giving students the opportunity to receive focused attention from their parents or online instructors. This individualized attention fosters a deeper understanding of the material, encourages active participation, and promotes academic growth.
- Enhanced Resources and Technology: Online homeschooling in Iowa provides access to a vast array of educational resources and technological tools. Students can benefit from interactive lessons, multimedia content, educational websites, virtual field trips, and online educational communities, enriching their learning experience beyond traditional textbooks.
Iowa homeschooling online provides families the flexibility and educational options they desire while adhering to the state’s homeschooling laws. By utilizing online platforms and resources, students can receive a comprehensive education tailored to their individual needs, allowing them to thrive academically and personally.
However, it is crucial for families to stay informed about the legal requirements and regulations surrounding homeschooling in Iowa to ensure compliance.
Contact High School of America, a trusted institution specializing in online homeschooling, to explore their comprehensive programs and connect with experienced educators who can help you successfully navigate the world of homeschooling.
Empower your child’s education and unlock their full potential by contacting High School of America now.