Frequently Asked Questions
If I submit my notice of home school online, do I also need to mail it in to the Public Education Department?
No, if you submitted your notification online, please DO NOT MAIL IN YOUR REGISTRATION FORMS. Once you submit notification of home school online, you are done!
What do I need to know about a home school?
Home school programs are non-accredited, non-public school programs. Students who are home schooled are not considered public school students and do not receive high school diplomas from the State of New Mexico.
How do I establish a home school?
You must be the parent/legal guardian of the student. You must notify the state that you are establishing a home school. This can be done electronically via the home school notification database. You must do this within thirty (30) days of establishing a home school and re-notify the state on or before August 1st of each year thereafter.
Will I automatically receive notification when it’s time renew my home school annually?
No. You need to send the state written or electronic notification by August 1st of each school year.
How old must my child be if I want to home school him or her?
You can home school your child at any age. However, the state’s compulsory school attendance law applies to students ages 5–18. That means that once your child turns age 5, then you must officially notify the state that you are a home school operator. You must also re-notify the state annually by August 1st as long as you choose to home school, or until your child turns 18 or passes the GED.
Please remember that state law requires all students ages 5–18 to attend school—either public, private, parochial, state institution, or home school—and provides criminal penalties for parents who refuse to comply with the law. (Subsection A of 22-12-2 NMSA 1978)
How many of my children may I home school?
You may home school all of your children.
What are the home school operator requirements?
As a home school operator, you must fulfill these requirements:
- be the student’s parent or the legal guardian
- have a high school diploma or GED (You must also ensure that anyone instructing your child also has a high school diploma or GED.)
- keep a copy of your own and other instructor’s diploma or degree in your files
- meet minimum instructional hours as established in Section 22-2-8.1 NMSA 1978 and Section 22-12-2 NMSA 1978
- provide instruction in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science
- keep a copy of your child’s immunization records or objection to immunization waiver form in your own files (see below)
- send electronic or written notification using an unmodified version of the PED form to the state’s Secretary of Education within thirty (30) days of the establishment of the home school
- renew the home school’s establishment every year on or before August 1st by submitting written or electronic notification to the state
Immunizations? What do I need to know about that?
State law requires that all students attending public, private, home school, and parochial schools in the state to be immunized. Please go to this link at the New Mexico Department of Health for more information on school and daycare immunization schedules and requirements: http://www.immunizenm.org/sched.shtml .
Can I home school someone else’s child whether I’m related to them or not?
New Mexico state law requires that the home school operator is the parent or the legal guardian.
Will I receive verification that my home school notification form was received?
When you submit your form through our website, you will receive an automatic email with your confirmation number, so there will be no need for you to request a letter of verification. Also, you can print a formal letter (with the state seal) from the online system. If you mail in the notification, it is recommended that parents send the form via Certified Return Receipt or other delivery verification for their records.
Does the Public Education Department release information regarding my home-schooled student?
In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, a student’s education records are maintained confidential to the extent permitted by law. Additionally, the Public Education Department has not designated information within the agency as directory information as provided in 34 CFR § 99.37.
What do I do if I decide to stop home schooling because I enrolled my child in public or private school? What if I move?
You must send written (or electronic) notification to the Secretary of Education at the following address:
New Mexico Public Education Department
Attention: Home School Notification
300 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786
Please keep in mind that state law provides that for students transferring from home school to public schools, the local school board shall ensure that the grade level at which the transferring student is placed is appropriate to the age of the student or to the student’s score on a student achievement test administered according to the statewide assessment and accountability system.
Where do I find state standards for each grade level?
Please go to this link: https://webnew.ped.state.nm.us/bureaus/instructional-materials/new-mexico-content-standards/
Where do I get books and/or curriculum?
- The state does not provide materials to home schools.
- You may purchase books or materials that you feel are suitable to teach your child.
- You may request to borrow books from your local public schools, but they are not obligated to honor your request.
- You may borrow books from your local library.
- You may network with other home school operators in your community.
Are there other resources?
Outside of federally-funded technical assistance centers and materials published by the New Mexico Public Education Department, the Department does not endorse resources or organizations. There are several support organizations operating throughout New Mexico, which can be found with a simple internet search.
Is my child who is home schooled allowed to participate in extra-curricular activities (school-sponsored sports) or other campus activities/events?
Yes, but students must meet certain requirements. For information, contact your local superintendent’s office. For sports or extra-curricular activities, please contact the New Mexico Activities Association at (505) 821-1887.
Does my child who is home schooled have to participate in the state’s yearly Standards Based Assessment (SBA)?
No. Students who are home-schooled are not required to participate in the SBA. You may ask your district if your child can participate, but the district may refuse.
Will my child earn credits towards a New Mexico public high school diploma while being home schooled?
No. Your child will not earn public school course credits or grades.
How will my child graduate if he or she is home schooled?
A student who is home schooled may graduate in one the following ways:
- New Mexico Diploma
- Transfer back to public school prior to graduation and complete the state’s graduation requirements for a New Mexico high school diploma. Please keep in mind that state law provides that for purposes of transferring to a public school, acceptance of credits earned through home study courses is determined by the policy of the local school board or the governing council of a charter school. OR
- Starting at age 16, take the GED. For more information on the GED Testing Program, please go to http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/GED_index.html.
- Non-New Mexico Diploma/ High School Equivalence Certificate
- Graduation by the parent/legal guardian
- Graduation through a correspondence course, a distance learning school, or home school program purchased by the parent
- Depending upon whether or not the school/program is accredited, this type of diploma may not be recognized by a postsecondary institution, so examine this option carefully.
- As with purchasing any type of goods or services, consumers need to make informed choices. You may wish to check the Better Business Bureau for the state in which the business/school operates.
Is my child who is home schooled eligible for the state’s legislative lottery scholarship?
The student must first have passed the GED. For more information, please see http://hed.state.nm.us/LotterFAQ.aspx
For other questions about home schools, please contact the Options for Parents and Families Division at Info.HomeSchool@state.nm.us.