New Mexico compulsory school attendance age
Children must attend school or comply with the homeschool laws beginning in the school year in which they turn 5 before September 1, and until they turn 18 or graduate from high school.
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 New Mexico 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.
Withdrawing your child from his or her current school
If you want to start homeschooling during the school year and your child is currently enrolled in a public or private school, HSLDA recommends that you formally withdraw your child from that school. If you are going to start homeschooling after the school year is over, and your child is considered enrolled for the following year, we recommend that you withdraw your child before the next school year begins, so that the school does not mark your child as absent or truant.
We invite you to become a member of HSLDA to receive specific advice about withdrawing your child from school and starting to homeschool. Local schools may have specific forms or withdrawal procedures. HSLDA members are eligible to receive individualized advice about whether complying with those procedures is advisable or required. HSLDA members can also use the sample letter of withdrawal for New Mexico available in Member Resources to correspond with school officials.
We generally recommend that any correspondence with authorities be sent by “Certified Mail—Return Receipt Requested.” Keep copies of the withdrawal letter and any other paperwork or correspondence, and any green postal receipts, for your personal records.
Note: If your child has never attended a public or private school, this section does not apply.
Complying with New Mexico’s homeschool law
1. Be qualified to teach.
In order to homeschool in New Mexico, you must have a high school diploma or its equivalent (i.e. a GED).
2. Notify the state superintendent of your intent to homeschool.
Notification must be made to the New Mexico Public Education Department within 30 days of starting your homeschool and annually by August 1 thereafter. The August 1 notice must identify the school district in which you are homeschooling. Mail the form to this address:
New Mexico Department of Education
Attn: Home School Notification
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786
You can also submit the notice of intent online at ped.state.nm.us/homeschools.
3. Teach for the required number of days.
You should teach for the same number of days that your local public school is in session (generally 180 days).
4. Teach the required subjects.
You should include reading, language arts, math, social studies, and science in your homeschool curriculum.
5. Maintain immunization records.
You can obtain a waiver of this requirement if you have a religious objection or medical exemption.
The importance of recordkeeping
You can find New Mexico’s specific recordkeeping requirements, if any, above. Regardless of what state you live in, HSLDA recommends that you keep detailed records of your homeschool program. These records may be helpful if you face an investigation regarding your homeschooling or your student needs to furnish proof of education.