General Overview of the Homeschooling Laws in Iowa
Among all other homeschooling laws in the United States, rules and laws in Iowa may look complicated to teachers who want to start in their homes. Just like the general rule, children who must attend school are at the ages of 6 to 16 years old. In this state, there is big importance on the involvement of the public schools. Parents have five (5) options on how they want to homeschool their child:
- Independent Private Instruction
- Competent Private Instruction (Opt-In Reporting)
- Competent Private Instruction (Opt-out Reporting)
- Competent Private Instruction with preferred Teacher
- Competent Private Instruction with an HSAP Teacher
The difference between Opt-In Reporting and Opt-Out Reporting is that for Opt-Out reporting, the rule is to use a curriculum or an outline that is different from a public or private school. This should also be provided daily, for a total of 148 days. For Opt-In Reporting, there should be standardized test scores and evaluations that are reported at the end of every year. These reports should be submitted to the accredited school where the child is enrolled.
Notification of Intent to homeschool in Iowa
As previously mentioned, if a child is preferred to be homeschooled, public schools have a big role to play because children can either have dual enrollment or home school assistance. In order to qualify a student for homeschooling, a parent should fill up a form every 1st of September which is available in the Iowa homeschooling website. This should indicate the child’s name, age, textbooks to be used, curriculum. In parallel, there should also be a document that should provide proof that the child is vaccinated, for safety.
Qualifications required to homeschool in Iowa
Supervision of a student who is homeschooled should be authorized by a teacher who is licensed or privately-retained. A parent can also teach is he or she has the same teaching license. What is usually done is parents can choose a teacher of their choice on Competent Private Instruction, or prefer to meet a Home Assistance Teacher. The teacher should be able to meet the student two times for every 45 days of teaching, and these must be personal, face-to-face meetings. There are different licenses that are needed, depending on what grade the child being homeschooled is in. In addition, the teacher must have a written record of the child’s progress and points of improvement and ways to provide assistance for further development.
Number of days/hours of instruction required for homeschoolers in Iowa
Just like the usual number of hours required for children who are taught via homeschooling, there is a need to teach for a total of 148 days. This means a total of 37 days every quarter of the school year.
What subjects need to be covered in Home Education (and for how long) in Iowa?
A teacher or parent should always make sure that the child who is homeschooled should be given the same curriculum with other children who are being schooled in other means. This being said, the curriculum should include the general subjects being taught such as math, sciences, and social studies, reading, arts, and language. Iowa laws have no specification on how long the instruction should be, but it is required that there be at least a few hours for all subjects.
What are the record-keeping requirements for homeschoolers in Iowa?
It is a must that records be kept in order to track the progress of the students who are homeschooled. It will be most effective if records are detailed so that the development of the child is being monitored closely. These files should be kept at all times, as this will soon be needed when the child enters high school. This will serve as proof that the child has complied with the home school laws for the past years.
Is part-time enrollment permitted in Iowa?
Yes, part-time enrollment is allowed in this state. It is included in the choices that parents can make the first time that they choose their child to be homeschooled. Specifically, choices 3 and 4 as previously mentioned are the ones that can grant access to Dual Enrollment if the families want to avail of additional services provided for by public schools. In order to avail of the dual enrollment status, the parents should have access to classes in public schools, to extracurricular activities and college classes that are low-cost.
Find out more about homeschooling in Iowa in the short video below:
Are homeschoolers permitted to participate in extracurricular activities in Iowa?
Yes, in order for the children to also be able to expose themselves to different environments outside the homes or their classrooms, it is encouraged that they are given the chance to participate in different activities.