PAX Academy is an innovative and inspiring private K-12 school for self-directed learners. We believe that the child is the curriculum and will learn best when given the freedom to choose their own unique learning path and pace.
We believe that the best way to prepare students for success in the real world in the future is by experiencing the real world today!
We believe in cultivating the intrinsic motivation necessary to inspire a lifelong love of learning through developing our critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative skills today.
PAX Academy is an excellent option for families who are looking to design an ideal educational environment that is as unique as the child.
Did you know that there are 3 ways to earn academic credit?
Whichever method you choose, the important thing to remember is that YOU are the one choosing. YOU are responsible for your own education, and YOU have the right to learn in the way that best suits your unique needs and goals… and we at PAX Academy are here to help!
At PAX Academy, we believe:
Learning happens all day every day, so we never take a break from learning. Officially, our enrollment period is from August 1st until July 31st the following year, and we offer open enrollment year-round so families may join at any time.
We believe that a private education should be affordable for all. For this reason, the tuition at PAX Academy is just $350 per year for one student or $600 per year for a family of up to 3 people in the same household.
We are a private K-12 school registered in Maryland so our state law requires children to enter Kindergarten if they are 5 years old by September 1st. Kindergarten is NOT required in all 50 states, so please review your state’s laws at HSLDA.org. We also accept teenagers and adults who are looking for alternative ways to obtain their High School Diploma.
In order to withdraw your child from their current school, you should submit a written withdrawal letter. Some states/counties have a specific withdrawal form that must be completed. You may let the school know that you are withdrawing them from their school and enrolling them in our private school effective immediately or on a particular date. Homeschooling and unschooling are legal in all 50 states, but we need to do so in compliance with state and local laws and procedures.
Remember: it is your responsibility to review your state’s education laws and comply with them. To learn more about your state’s laws, please visit the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. We highly recommend becoming a member of HSLDA at HSLDA.org
It depends on the laws on your state. In most states, by registering in PAX Academy, you will be in compliance with your state’s compulsory attendance laws as a private school student. However, not all states will accept enrollment in PAX Academy as a means to avoid their homeschooling requirements. It is your responsibility to research and comply with the laws of your state/country.
We believe that “the child is the curriculum,” but we are not “anti-curriculum.” As long as the child is choosing the curriculum, that is what matters most! However, we do recommend beginning your self-directed journey without any structured curriculum (especially during the deschooling phase).
After you have completed the deschooling process, some children do choose to learn with more structure or a curriculum (especially in high school). As a result, we do provide access to various curricula for our students and families, but everything is optional and you are free to use (or not use) any resource that you choose.
Deschooling is the process by which we unlearn everything that we have learned about learning and school.
How can you begin deschooling? Just imagine that school did not exist.
Do not do anything that looks or feels like school. Instead, focus on doing something that you love every single day.
We recommend intentionally deschooling at least one month for every year that you have been in school (this includes parents too!).
“Unschooling” is a term that is was coined by educator and philosopher, John Holt, in the 1970s. He believed that children should be free to learn naturally, based on their unique passions and interests – the exact opposite of the kind of learning that occurs in compulsory schools. He observed the negative impacts of force and coercion on a child’s learning and proposed that children could and should learn with freedom and fun.
Since the 1970s, many people have adopted an unschooling lifestyle which is centered around principles of mutual respect, autonomy, love, and trust. To learn more about unschooling, join our founder, Angela Harders, for a FREE Monthly Q&A. You can register on our website, PAXacademy.org.
After enrolling in PAX Academy, you will receive an Enrollment Package via email within 5 business days which will include:
Yes! By registering in PAX Academy, your child will be eligible to receive an official transcript and certified high school diploma that they will be able to use in order to attend college or begin their unique career path.
Absolutely! Colleges and universities are usually very eager to accept students from private schools that offer alternative education opportunities. In fact, this is one of the benefits of being a student with PAX Academy because you will be able to apply to college as a private school student and avoid the tedious process of applying as a homeschooler.
Yes! You may enroll in PAX Academy from any state or country in the world. You can also travel from state to state and country to country showing your PAX Academy Enrollment Verification Letter as proof of enrollment in a private U.S. school. Keep in mind that you are responsible for understanding the laws in your state/country and complying with them.
Making the transition from school to unschool is exciting, but it can also feel a little terrifying at times. Many families wrestle with normal doubts and fears because we want to know that we are doing the best for our children, and it can be scary to try something new.
We, at PAX Academy, are here to remind you that you are not alone! While we want to be able to provide you with as much freedom and independence as possible, please know that we are here to support you and hold your hand (as you may need) along the way. Our founding director, Angela Harders, is a certified Special Education teacher with over 12 years of experience in the public schools and over 20 years working with homeschooling families. She is also a single mother that has been unschooling her own children for over 9 years. She is available for one-on-one educational consultations, college and career counseling, as well as private tutoring.
No. While we provide courses online, there are no requirements to register or take any additional or formal courses. By enrolling in PAX Academy, you are free to learn what, when, where, why, and how you choose.
Yes! PAX Academy is a registered and accredited private school and allows you to homeschool under the umbrella of a private school in states that allow that.
We have registered in Maryland, Florida, Tennessee, and California, and accept students from all 50 states.
Yes! If you live in or around Maryland, we offer “Field Trip Fridays” and “Teen Tuesdays” where we take a field trip in our community. To learn more about our in-person options, visit our private Facebook Group, Peaceful Worldschoolers of the DMV, or email us at email@example.com.
You absolutely are! You are your child’s first and forever teacher. Before your child attended school, I am sure that they had learned some colors, numbers, shapes, letters, animals, and more. They learned to walk and talk, how to go to the bathroom, and how to get dressed – all very important life skills.
They learned what they needed to know in the moment when they needed to know it. HOW did they learn? YOU taught them, and they learned the things that mattered most to them without a curriculum, without a certified teacher, and without school.
They learned through experiencing life and having adults in their lives that were present and engaged with them, parents that observed their progress (or lack thereof), and supported them with patience and kindness and joy. Just keep doing that.
This question is a great indicator that there is still some deschooling left to do. To answer this question, I often respond with another question: How do you know what your child “needs” to know? Every human being is unique with unique passions and interests that will be cultivated in unique ways. Your child will never know everything – in fact, none of us will. But they will know everything that they need, and if they don’t know it yet, trust that they will have the skills to learn it when they need it. And then, they will learn it quickly, efficiently, and well.