ID State Homeschool Organization

Homeschool Idaho

Homeschool Idaho was formed in 2018 when the Idaho Coalition of Home Educators (ICHE) and Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State (CHOIS) merged into one organization. It supports parent-led, parent-funded education that is free from government oversight. 

Homeschool Idaho is a 501(c)3 organization with a volunteer board of homeschool parents.

ID Homeschool Law

Homeschool families in Idaho must select someone as the instructor and teach the required subjects. The instructor can be the parent, another family member, or an unrelated person. Idaho does not require the homeschool instructor to have any particular qualifications. More information can be found at the Idaho Department of Education,  the Home School Legal Defense Association, and Homeschool Idaho.

ID Homeschool Events

Homeschool Idaho hosts two annual ID homeschool events. The one-day North Idaho Homeschool Conference in February packed with encouragement, inspiration, and community building and the 3-day convention in June.

The Homeschool Idaho Convention is a vibrant gathering of home educators featuring expert speakers with change-your-life messages and exhibitors with passion and knowledge to equip and empower you on your homneschool journey.

Join hundreds of other homeschooling families at Treasure Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho, gathering together to walk in freedom!


ID Homeschool Field Trip Destinations and Online Homeschool Freebies

Boise Art Museum

In addition to self-guided field trips, there are private and group tours, art classes, summer camps for kids ages 7 to 11, and workshops. Note that you’ll need to leave your bags, backpacks, and personal items in your vehicle, or a BAM locker. Backpacks, large bags, and water bottles are NOT allowed in the Museum.

Castle Rocks State Park

Put on your walking shoes!

With hundreds of routes to explore, the challenging landscape of Castle Rocks State Park attracts rock climbers from around the world and provides superb hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the midst of a dramatic backdrop that dates back 2.5 million years. Remnants of Native American pictographs, historic trail crossings, and 20th century ranching are visible in the park today.

Evidence suggests that folks have been coming to Castle Rocks for nearly 9,000 years. Campsites are nestled among Idaho’s largest pinyon pine forest on the east slope of the 7,500-foot Smoky Mountain.

City of Rocks National Reserve

On his way to California in 1849, emigrant James F. Wilkens described the dramatic geological area he encountered as “City of Rocks.” The name remains, as well as hundreds of pioneer inscriptions, wagon ruts, and journal accounts, testifying to the nearly quarter-million people who traveled through here between 1843 and 1882.

Visitorswill see nearly the same scene — granite spires and monoliths reaching 60 stories tall. Geologists estimate the oldest granite to exceed 2.5 billion years. City of Rocks encompasses 14,407 acres of land (about one quarter is privately owned) and is renowned for its scenic, geologic, and historic significance. The City of Rocks area was an important landmark on the California Trail.

City of Rocks is one of the finest granite-face climbing sites anywhere. Climbers find the younger granite of the Almo Pluton to be some of the best rock they’ve ever ascended. About 700 routes have been developed to date. City of Rocks also has ample access to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. The winter months provide excellent opportunities for snowshoeing and skiing.

Eagle Island State Park

Eagle Island State Park is a 545-acre park west of Boise. Bordered on the north and south by the Boise River, Eagle Island features a swimming beach, grassy picnic area, and more than five miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking or walking your dog. The waterslide opens Memorial Day weekend and is open generally until Labor Day.

A 19-hole disc golf course provides a challenge for players. The park is open to only non-motorized boats.

Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

Step Back in Time… Four to Three Million Years Ago! During the Pliocene, this place looked quite different. Lush wetlands, forests, and grasslands provided excellent habitat for a variety of animals. From creatures like the saber-toothed cat, mastodon, and ground sloth, to more familiar horses, beavers, and birds, the scientific study of Pliocene fossils is the key to Hagerman.

Thousand Springs Visitor Center is the new home of Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument and Thousand Springs State Park. Located about a mile north of the town of Hagerman on U.S. Hwy 30, the visitor center offers information, fossil exhibits, passport stamps, a small giftshop, junior ranger booklets, ranger talks, and more. Before you travel to the visitor center, review the hours of operation.

The visitor center is the only place in the monument to see fossils. No fossil excavation sites are accessible to the public.

You can download a FREE Junior Palentologist guide and other education freebies here.

Herrett Center for Arts and Science

The Herrett Center for Arts and Science is a non-profit museum on the main campus of the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.  It offers programs to elementary and secondary school students, CSI students, and adults.  The Center collects, preserves, interprets, and exhibits anthropological artifacts and natural history specimens with an emphasis on the prehistoric American continents. Homeschool kids will love the plantetarium too!

There is an educator guide for planning your field trip.

Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a nonprofit living museum dedicated to furthering science education and environmental stewardship.

Experiential learning field trips for up to 60 people are ideal for K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. They last about 90 minutes and are offered in April, May, and October. When facilitated field trips are fully booked, there is a Self-Guided Experience.

Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park

The Idaho Falls Zoo is known as the “best little zoo in the west.” Over 300 individual animals represent 130 exotic species from around the globe in this small yet dynamic 7-acre zoo.

The kids can enjoy African lions, penguins, Chilean flamingoes, Amur tiger, snow leopards, Bactrian camels and much more. Field trip group rates are good for groups of 15 or more. Guided tours may be requested for an additional $20 per group of 20 or less.

The Funland ride and play area is newly renovated. For a small additional fee, the family will enjoy rides for tots to adults–the little train, airplanes, carousel, octopus, and ferris wheel.

Idaho Museum of Natural Resources

The Idaho Museum of Natural History field trip rate is only $3 per student. They have outreach programs, guided tours, and after-school classes featuring unique educational experiences from the Snake River Plain, into the Panhandle, and beyond. Their hands-on activities are a great way to get kids excited about sciences.

Customize your field trip experience to encompass Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

They have page full of great FREE online at-home learning resources.

Idaho Potato Museum

Okay, I’m not from Idaho. Before editing this list that Amanda Kaye compiled (wow, now I have a better sense for the amazingness of the state), I did not have a large frame of reference for the state. When you said Idaho, I’d think, potato. And that’s what this entire museum in Blackfoot, ID is dedicated to!

The education site Twinkl lists the Idaho Potato Museum as one of the BEST field trips in the entire country. Wow! As you tour the museum you will be intrigued by the number and quality of potato artifacts and collections – the largest collection of potato mashers in the world, the largest potato crisp ever made – it is a Guinness Book of World Records holder! The Potato Cinema has four short films about the Idaho potato industry and related topics. There is also a Potato Lab where you can learn how to do fun experiments with potatoes, participate in Mr. Potato Head races, and play computer games designed by the Idaho Potato Commission.

Idaho State Historical Society Museum

Near the heart of downtown Boise, the Idaho State Historical Society Museum has wonderful resources for homeschool families.

Schedule a field trip to explore historic sites like the Old Idaho Penitentiary, Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite, and the Franklin historic properties. Learn how Idaho’s land and people shaped each other. Tour the spaces where thousands of original documents and photographs are safely kept and learn about Abraham Lincoln’s legacy in Idaho in a unique public exhibit at the Idaho State Archives.

There are family programs throughout the year, check the calendar. High school students going into 9th through 12th grades can become a summer GEM Volunteer – Guide, Engage, and Mobilize (GEM) – and help visitors connect to the unique and fascinating history of Idaho.

Week-long and single-day spring and summer camps provide hands-on learning opportunities for your family to experience history like never before as they play, explore, and make new friends. Camp activities incorporate STEM learning and tie into K-5 learning curriculum.

National History Day in Idaho (NHD) is a year-long student-led academic program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for 4th-12th grade students across Idaho. By participating in NHD, students become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and artists as they create unique contemporary expressions of history. Registration starts in February. The experience culminates in a series of competitions at the local and state levels and an annual national contest in June.

History buffs near and far will enjoy to free online curated Primary Source Collections to support student research and classroom teaching. There is also an entire page dedicated to learning about the richness of Idaho history from home.

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail winds nearly 4,900 miles through the homelands of more than 60 Tribal nations. It follows the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Pacific Ocean, cutting through Idaho. Walk in the footsteps of history. Kids can pick up a free guide to the Lewis and Clark Junior Ranger Program.

This site has a ton of free online educational resources. There are read-along videos for the Junior Ranger Program. You can also earn and print a FREE Lewis and Clark Trail Junior Ranger Online badge at home. Complete the online activities, take the pledge, and print out your Junior Ranger badge.

Kids nationwide will enjoy other online resources like hearing the native names of plants and animals along the Lewis and Clark Trail in indigenous languages. Fridays with a Ranger is a free online video series worth watching.

Check out Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail’s growing collection of educator resources: lesson plans and other resources plus free printable coloring pages.

Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Museum

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes is a federally recognized sovereign nation located in southeast Idaho.

For groups of five or more, call ahead for group rates.

The museum showcases history, culture, and tribal art. One exhibit is the Benedicte Wrensted photo collection taken from 1895 through 1912. A live buffalo from the tribe’s herd is brought in during the summer and can be viewed next to the museum.

Warhawk Air Museum

The Warhawk Air Museum’s education programs are to “educate visitors about the cost of freedom, and honor those who paid its price” and are designed to ignite an appreciation for the country, history, and the sacrifices endured by our servicemen and women.

The field trip price for K-12 students is only $4. Schedule your tour at least 2 weeks in advance. They also have a Homeschool Day in May. Warhawk Air Museum also has a FREE virtual tour of the museum.

Zoo Boise

Zoo Boise offers self-guided or guided field trips, STEM activity nights, and summer camp programs. Activities include up-close animal encounters, zoo tours, nature walks, ecology games and simulations, science-based investigations, zookeeper presentations, and more.

For students who are 8th grade and up in the following fall, apply in January for the ZooTeens program that runs from June through August. ZooTeens get to provide informal educational presentations for zoo guests, assist in the operation of seasonal exhibits, assist with summer camps for children, and support Zoo Boise’s wildlife conservation mission.

They also have an overnight program where you can sleep under the stars, surrounded by exotic animals, right in the middle of the city!

Want to learn about animals from the comfort of your home? Check out their FREE online resources.

Is homeschooling for you?

The community of homeschool families is diverse. One study reports that 41% of homeschool students are Hispanic, Black, Asian, or other non-White/non-Hispanic groups (2). Homeschoolers come from all faiths – Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, atheists. Teaching parents have a range of formal education, from high school diplomas to graduate degrees, and cover the array of household incomes.

How do you homeschool?

While laws regulating home education vary from state to state, homeschooling IS legal in all 50 states. Many states offer more than one option. One of the first steps in your family’s homeschool journey is to become familiar with the laws in your state. Then the fun begins!
Click on your state below for resources on homeschool regulations, state homeschool organizations, homeschool conventions in your area (here’s why these are amazing for new and experienced homeschool parents), as well as other homeschool perks in your state.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the information on this page is provided for your convenience as a research tool and resource as to where to find the information you need to homeschool in your state. The team at 3 Moms Blog are not attorneys. This content has not been reviewed by an attorney. It is not legal advice. 

Brian D. Ray. (2017) A systematic review of the empirical research on selected aspects of homeschooling as a school choice, Journal of School Choice, 11:4, 604-621, accessed April 7, 2023 at 

US Department of Education. (2019) Homeschooling in the United States: Results from the 2012 and 2016 Parent and Family Involvement Survey (PFINHES: 2012 and 2016). Accessed 4/7/2023 at 

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