Homeschooling in Iowa
Saturday, 01 February 2020

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1902 was the year the first official homeschooling chapter was created in Iowa (Chapter 14-A Section 2823-a). Iowa's homeschooling history has always been hit with many side swings, but Iowa has continued with a strong backbone. I remember growing up at a time when my parents talked about moving out of state just so they could continue homeschooling. I am thankful for those who have fought, and continue to fight, for the homeschooling freedoms we have today. Read more about Iowa's homeschooling historyHERE.

Iowa is a great place to settle down and homeschool your children. Our Midwest state has so much to offer with many wonderful opportunities for homeschoolers. Our homeschool laws are simple and easy to follow, and there are SO many amazing things to explore, do and love about our state.

Homeschooling Options in Iowa

Iowa has several legal options to start or continue homeschooling easily:

Independent Private Instruction (IPI)
Competent Private Instruction (CPI)

Iowa Homeschool Regional Representatives

Your regional representative can help you find local homeschooling groups in or around your area, help identify and address needs and concerns in your region, is available to answer questions on local issues, can share with you opportunities in your local area, and so much more! Find your Regional Representative HERE.

Homeschool Events & Activities

Iowa Homeschool Conference– Location can vary from year to year. The conference is the largest gathering of homeschoolers in Iowa, providing an unequaled opportunity to join thousands of other parents on this homeschooling adventure. You have access to inspiring speakers, great workshops, diverse exhibitor displays, and exciting programs delivering educational opportunities for youth and adults. There is a fee to attend.

Iowa Homeschool Capitol Day, Des Moines, IA – This fun event is an entertaining, educational, impacting experience! Provide legislators with "a face for homeschooling." Learn about our government and state capitol and take advantage of additional activities like tours and more! This is a free event and is held every year!

Living History Farms , Urbandale, IA – the farms have Homeschool Days, usually three times a year. Visiting LHF is a perfect opportunity for families to learn together! You and your children will have the opportunity to tour the museums and many historic areas, participate in hands-on activities, and have good old-fashioned fun! Plan at least 3-4 hours for your experience. Homeschool days have discounted tickets, so be sure to register!

Blank Park Zoo (Homeschool Safari) Des Moines, IA – They offer fun classes for homeschoolers. Classes are divided by age: 5-6 years old, 7-9 years old, and 10-12 years old. The classes are from 1:30-3:45 on the second Friday of the month. Check out the Zoo Crew volunteer program for 13-17-year-olds! This is a program for those interested in zookeeping or working with animals in the future. For more information on dates and costs, contact Angela Tague at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Center Grove Orchard (Homeschool Days), Cambridge, IA – learn about Iowa agriculture, crops, and orchards. Some learning points will be new vocabulary, using the five senses, observing weather conditions, and discussing the production of the apple crop. Two days a year in the fall, they have homeschool days.

Science Center, Cedar Rapids, IA – they have a homeschool science club for 2nd-5th graders. It meets once a month from 10-11: 45 AM, providing hands-on activities for students and additional resources for parents to extend learning at home. Save money by pre-registering!

Central IA Homeschool Band/Instrumental Music Classes, Des Moines, IA - Different from a Pre-K & younger elementary vocal-based music course, this is instrumental and music theory education; a combination of individual instruction and ensemble participation/interaction. To learn more or register, visit their Facebook page here or join their private group here.

LEAD, Des Moines, IA – not your typical summer camp. Let your teens enjoy a week-long leadership experience in Des Moines, where teenagers find themselves in the middle of the action, role-playing as legislators and members of the media. These experiences are real as it gets! There is a registration fee.

TeenPact Iowa– Des Moines, IA - The four-day class is a dynamic, hands-on leadership experience where students learn about state government from a Christian worldview. Students gather at the Iowa State Capitol to run for student office, participate in a mock legislature, and learn about how they can be effective leaders in their community back home. For students ages 13-19. There is a registration fee.

Iowa Homeschool Field Trip Ideas

Des Moines Performing Arts, Des Moines, IA - The Applause Series delivers 60 matinee performances each year for students ages three and above. The cost of a ticket is just $1. Tickets must be purchased online before the event dates.

Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines, IA – lots of hands-on exhibits, special-format theaters, and unique programming to encourage learning and fun for all ages. Themes change often.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park & Museum, Burr Oak, IA - In 1876, when Laura was nine years old, the Ingalls family left Walnut Grove, Minnesota, after suffering through two years of grasshopper plagues. They traveled to Burr Oak, Iowa, to help manage the Masters Hotel, owned by their friend, William Steadman, also from Walnut Grove. Burr Oak is often referred to as "The Missing Link" in the Little House book series. The Masters Hotel is the only childhood home of Laura Ingalls Wilder that remains on its original site.

Iowa Children's Museum, Coralville, IA - the museum has a rich active learning environment, fueling children's natural curiosity and creativity. The museum is an engaging, multi-sensory, interactive, child-centered environment offering families unique opportunities for creative play.

Iowa's Botanical Gardens, Des Moines IA, Ames IA, Dubuque IA, Waterloo IA, Newton IA - include guided tours, storytime, discovery stations, and other self-led activities.

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium- Part aquarium, part museum, part science center, this place inspires stewardship and fun by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive! A 14-acre campus on the banks of the Mississippi River features two separate, two-story buildings and an expansive outdoor plaza. The museum & aquarium is home to over 100 species of animals and thousands of historical artifacts.

Pikes Peak State Park, McGregor, IA – a hiker's delight with eleven and a half miles of trails. Explore beautiful wooded bluffs and valleys. See the sheer walls of Decorah limestone and fossil remains, including brachiopods, gastropods, and cephalopods. The trail goes past Bridal Veil Falls, and another trail leads to Point Ann, offering an invigorating hike with breathtaking views.

Reiman Gardens, Ames, IA - a living garden that's always changing, adapting with the seasons, along with annual themes. It's a natural, sustainable garden canvas that is landscaped by horticultural artists. Explore a large variety of plants and aromatic herbs, buck roses, a towering palm tree, native prairie species, and so much more. The gardens also offer an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and have up to 800 butterflies enchanting visitors to its tropical sanctuary. Open year-round!

Maquoketa Caves State Park, Maquoketa, IA – enjoy the beautiful scenery along 6 miles of trails. The "Natural Bridge" stands nearly 50 feet above Raccoon Creek. The 17-ton "Balanced Rock" and "Dancehall Cave" are a few trail highlights. A trail in the western area of the park takes hikers past a restored prairie, an experimental oak savanna restoration, and a wildlife food plot. The caves are all different sizes and shapes. Some can be explored by walking, others by crawling.

Best Resources for Iowa Homeschoolers the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators Field Trip Iowa

How to start homeschooling in Iowa – A great homeschool guide can be found HERE .
As you already know, Iowa is an excellent state in which to homeschool! What things would you add to this list? Share yours in the comments!

Meet the Author

Esther Black - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant