Your child must start complying with Iowa’s compulsory school law if he or she is (or will be) 6 by September 15 of the school year.
If a 5-year-old is enrolled in public school, he becomes subject to compulsory attendance immediately unless the parents notify the school district in writing of their intent to remove the child from public school enrollment.
If a 4-year-old is enrolled in the statewide preschool program, he becomes subject to compulsory attendance immediately unless the parents notify the school district in writing of their intent to remove the child from enrollment in the preschool program.
Once your child reaches his or her 16th birthday, he or she is no longer required to obey the school laws, with one exception: if your child is enrolled (or dual enrolled) in public school and turns 16 on or after September 15, he or she remains subject to Iowa’s compulsory school laws for the remainder of the school year.
HSLDA believes that a parent-issued diploma and transcript should be sufficient to demonstrate that a child has completed a secondary education. However, even if your child is beyond compulsory school attendance age, there may be situations where you would want to continue to follow the requirements of a home education option recognized under Iowa law until your child graduates from high school (filing a home education notice, keeping attendance and other records, etc.).
These records may be requested in some situations, such as obtaining a driver's license if your child is a minor, enlisting in the military, applying to colleges, or demonstrating eligibility for Social Security benefits. If you are a member of HSLDA and would like additional details, please contact us.
Please note: The information on this page has been reviewed by an attorney, but it should not be taken as legal advice specific to your individual situation.