An increasing number of parents are discovering that homeschooling can serve as an excellent means to provide for their children's special education needs.

Many resources, tools, and services are available to meet special learning challenges, and the one-on-one environment is ideal for students with learning struggles

Parents choose whether or not they will use the special services offered through the public school or Area Education Agency (AEA).

Using Public School and AEA Special Education Services

If you want to use public school or Area Education Agency (AEA) services for your child with special education needs, you must dual enroll your child in the public school by using one of the Competent Private Instruction (CPI) legal options that require the filing of a CPI form. 

Indicate on the form if your child has already been identified by the public school system as a child requiring special services.

You'll also need to get permission from the director of special education at your local Area Education Agency (AEA). The director has 30 days to render a decision.

Independently Providing for Your Child's Special Education Needs

Parents of a homeschooled child with a learning disability are not required to seek assistance or approval from the local school district or area education agency. (Find resources below.)

If you use the Independent Private Instruction (IPI) option or the CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out, you do not need to report any of your child's special education needs to your school district.

Even if you use CPI Option 1 or CPI Option 2 with Opt-In Reporting, you are not required to seek approval from the AEA special education director to provide Competent Private Instruction for your child.

Simply mark Item 8 on the CPI Form to indicate that you do not consent to initial evaluation or to reevaluation of the child for receipt of public school or AEA special education services.

Homeschool Iowa Special Needs Advisor Kim Zuber



Kim has been married for 30 years and has two children who have both graduated. Even so, Kim notes that, for a special needs mom, the learning never ends!

She has encouraged both homeschool and public school special needs moms for many years. Kim also worked as a parent partner for the AEA, going with families to IEP meetings as an advocate.

  • Physical Disabilities
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Auditory Processing Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Accessibility Issues
  • Special Needs Adoption
  • Anxiety

Homeschool Iowa Special Needs Advisor Laura Anne Cvrk



Laura has been married for 28 years and has seven children. Some have graduated from high school and some have graduated from college. She has normally functioning children, children with learning disabilities, and a child with specialized needs. 

Laura has been a local homeschool leader and also serves as a Homeschool Iowa Regional Representative. She has experience working with the AEA and advising homeschooling parents of special needs children. 

  • Down Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Language Processing Disorder
  • ADHD
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Sensory Issues
  • Bipolar

Homeschool Iowa Special Needs Advisor Amy Tout



Amy has been married for over 25 years and is an adoptive mom to a daughter with special needs, including speech, occupational and feeding therapy concerns..

Over ten years of experience provide her with empathy and understanding for the struggles and challenges that parents of special needs children face.

She has written for several publications and served as the leader of a Bible study for moms of children with special needs. 

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Speech
  • Fine Motor (Writing)
  • Sensory Issues
  • Learning Styles
  • Love Languages
  • Literal Thinkers

Special Needs Advisors 
are available to all current NICHE Members

Click on the button below to submit your inquiry to our Special Needs Advisors.

Please note that our Advisors are happy to assist you with your questions about homeschooling special needs children, but they are not able to provide diagnostic advice or design IEPs.


“Every child is a gift.
They just unwrap their packages at different times.”

Help When Experiencing Difficulties with School District Officials

If we are able, NICHE will assist you in dealing with challenges with your school district due to homeschooling a special needs student. We also recommend that you contact HSLDA. They have expert experience dealing with legal issues related to homeschooling special needs students and can be very helpful.

Resources Available to Parents Homeschooling a Special Needs Child
Home educating children with special needs is gaining in popularity. As this continues, you will see much more support and resources available to you. Below we have listed organizations that may be helpful to you. Some of the resources listed are Christian and some are secular. Please use discernment before using any of the listed resources.

A website offering educational and nutritional counseling designed to dramatically improve your child’s learning and behavior.

Targeted website section devoted to special needs homeschooling. Included are resources for a wide variety of special education needs.

Local clinics providing individualized, and often one-on-one tutoring
An organization that provides neurodevelopmental plans that can be carried out by parents at home
A fee-based program to build cognitive skills required for learning
A private, neurodevelopmental- educational consulting group that has provided assistance to many homeschooling families
A tutoring clinic offering traditional curriculum and technique to increase reading or math skills
Resources on teaching children with disabilities
Special Assistance for Students with Special Needs Who Want to Attend College or University

Did you know that over 10% of college undergraduates have disabilities? Many colleges and universities provide services that address accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs.


Recommended Reading List for Those Considering Home Educating a Child with Special Needs:
  • Home Schooling Children With Special Needs by Sharon Hensley
  • Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander
  • Homeschooling the Challenging Child: A Practical Guide by Christine M. Field

© 2018 Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (Homeschool Iowa). All text content and presentation on this page is copyrighted and permission is required for reprint or usage.