New Mexico Homeschool Laws

Homeschooling in New Mexico

How do I start homeschooling?

Follow the steps below to start homeschooling your child in New Mexico:

Notify the New Mexico Public Education Department within 30 days of starting your homeschool.

Have a high school diploma or GED to teach your child(ren).

Homeschool for at least 180 days per year.

Teach the required subjects of reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science.

Modify™ can help you with your tracking, portfolio and record keeping. Download the app today.  

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Homeschool Laws

According to New Mexico Statute 22-12-2, “Except as otherwise provided, a school-age person shall attend public school, private school, home school or a state institution until the school-age person is at least eighteen years of age unless that person has graduated from high school or received a general educational development certificate. A parent may give written, signed permission for the school-age person to leave school in case of hardship approved by the local superintendent.” A school-age person is defined as anyone aged five to eighteen.

“Parents who elect to home school their children are solely responsible for choosing appropriate, grade-level curriculum in all required subjects. The schools and NMPED are not able to recommend or endorse specific programs or provide materials and services.” You do not need to submit curricula or lesson plans to the state, and the curriculum does not need to be approved by the school or NMPED” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

Note that “NMPED has the duty to enforce legal requirements of home schools, and upon finding that a home school is not in compliance with the law, can order a student of such a school to transfer to a public or private school” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

What do I need to be eligible to be a homeschool parent?

“All instruction in the student’s home study program of instruction must be provided by a person possessing at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. (Section 22-1-2.1(C) NMSA 1978)” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

“New Mexico state law requires the home school operator to be the parent or legal guardian. Someone else may provide instruction in a given subject, but the parent or guardian is still considered the operator of the home school, and is responsible for notification, record keeping, and for ensuring that the person providing instruction has at least a high school diploma or GED” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

Do I need to notify the school district of my intent to homeschool my child?

Yes! “Parents/legal guardians must notify the state of the establishment of a home school within thirty (30) days of withdrawal from public/private school and re-notify the state on or before August 1st of each year thereafter. Notification must also be made when a student moves or enrolls in a public or private school. This can be done via the NMPED Home School System.

“The NMPED Home School System is the online database where families can notify the NMPED of the enrollment and disenrollment of children in homeschooling. Parents create an account and log in to provide annual notification to NMPED, update contact details, change geographic school district (if moved), provide enrollment/disenrollment information, and print an official verification of enrollment. This online registration replaces the Letter of Intent to the Secretary of Public Education.

“Home school families who elect not to use a computer or mobile device to provide notification via the online database may print, sign, and mail in a hard copy to PED, ATTN:  HOME SCHOOL, 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM, 87501. NMPED staff will enter the data into the database. Parents are advised to mail the form via Certified Return Receipt or other delivery verification for their records” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

What educational options are available to my homeschooler?

As a homeschooler, you may have some options. “Participating part-time in courses at the local school is at the discretion of the district. If the district has a policy that allows home school students to participate, your child would need to enroll with his/her/their assigned STARS ID – and would likely be considered a part-time student, funded by the state proportionately” (New Mexico Public Education Department). You may also ask to borrow books from your local public school, but the school is not obligated to grant your request.

Another part-time option is the New Mexico Virtual Course Consortium.

Note that you do not have to register for home school if your child is attending an online accredited school like Connections AcademyNew Mexico Connections AcademyeAcademy, or Rio Rancho Cyber Academy.

Homeschool Requirements

Even though New Mexico does not highly regulate homeschooling, there are some New Mexico homeschool requirements you must satisfy when you homeschool:

  • Begin homeschooling by age 5.
  • “Notify the department within thirty days of the establishment of the home school using the form provided by the department (Section 22-1-2.1(A) NMSA 1978)” […] “on or before August 1 of each subsequent year of operation of the home school (Section 22-1-2.1(A) NMSA 1978).”
  • Teach the required subjects of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science (Section 22-1-2(E) NMSA 1978). You may review the New Mexico content standards for public schools.
  • Provide instruction for 180 days per school year or “at least the length of time of the school year that is established in the local school district” (Section 22-12-2 (B)NMSA 1978).
  • Provide homeschool instruction (or other schooling) “until the student is at least eighteen years of age, has graduated from high school, or has received a high school equivalency credential (Section 22-12-2(A) NMSA 1978 and Section NMAC).”
  • Stay current with homeschooling laws and requirements.

Do I need to administer testing to my homeschooler?

Students who are home schooled are not required to participate in the state-mandated assessments. You may ask your local school district if your child can participate, but the district may refuse” (New Mexico Public Education Department).

What records do I need to keep when I homeschool my child?

New Mexico has minimal requirements for record keeping. “A homeschool parent is required to either maintain records of student disease immunization or a waiver of that requirement (Section 22-1-.12(B) NMSA 1978)” (New Mexico Public Education Department). A homeschool parent is also required to keep a copy of the instructor’s diploma or degree to affirm that the person instructing the child has at least a high school diploma or GED.

In addition to the required recordkeeping, we also recommend you do some personal recordkeeping to provide verification of education in the event you would need to show some form of educational proof to the state or other legal entities or to prepare for re-entry into public school or postsecondary pathways. This includes the following:

  • Attendance (also suggested by the New Mexico Public Education Department)
  • Immunization records, required
  • Lists of texts and workbooks used
  • Student schoolwork samples and/or portfolios
  • Test and evaluation results
  • Correspondence with school officials

You may also be able to find more information on New Mexico homeschool requirements through your local school district.

Record Keeping

New Mexico homeschool laws don’t have specific requirements for record keeping.

It is always recommended that families keep homeschool portfolios for their children.

Portfolios typically includes grades, attendance, writing assignments, and sometimes even pictures from field trips.

For older students, having a portfolio or high school transcript can be useful.

The Modify™ app makes record keeping simple and keeps all your records organized. 

Graduation requirements

Homeschooled children in New Mexico are not considered public school students and therefore do not receive a high school diploma from the state. Although New Mexico homeschool laws don’t specifically mention graduation requirements, students may graduate in one of the following ways:

New Mexico High School Equivalency Credential – Students can take either General Education Development Test (GED) or the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)

Homeschool Diploma – Having the parent graduate the student based on credentials decided on by parents

Non-New Mexico Diploma/High School Equivalence Certificate – Graduating through a home school program, correspondence course or distance learning school

Keep in mind that depending on the school/program you use to receive a diploma, some many not be recognized by certain colleges and universities, so it’s always important to do your research beforehand. If your child plans on receiving an undergraduate degree and has passed their GED, he or she may be eligible for the New Mexico Legislative Lottery Scholarship that helps pay a portion of college tuition.

Modify™ helps homeschoolers to keep all necessary records and transcripts. 


New Mexico Statute 22-12-2
NMPED Home School System
New Mexico content standards for public schools.



Note: All information on this site is provided with no guarantee of accuracy. Modify™ is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or outdated information, or for the results yielded through use of this information. 

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