Freedom for your Future

PAX Academy

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.

Live and learn with freedom

Time Freedom

Spend your time in ways that are meaningful and valuable for you! You can learn whatever you want as fast or as slow as you need.

Mental Freedom

Let go of any label that doesn't serve you, and use your mind to create the person that you want to be - free from all of the expectations of society.

Physical Freedom

The world is your classroom! You are free to learn anywhere and from anyone whom you choose.

Earn Academic Credit YOUR Way!

Did you know that there are 3 ways to earn academic credit?

  1. Take a Course – The most common way for people to earn academic credit is through taking online or in-person courses. Typically this method for acquiring academic credit requires the most time and money.
  2. Take a Test – Another way to earn academic credit is through taking tests such as the Advanced Placement (AP) or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) Test. With just one 2-hour test, you can earn the same credits that would take another student months to earn!
  3. Take Your Time – This is the least known method of earning academic credits, but it is the most effective. Rather than taking a course or a test, you can simply take your time doing the things that you love every single days. This type of credit is also referred to as “Portfolio Credit” and is earned through real life, real world experiences.

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!


1 student
$ 350 Year
  • Enrollment Letter
  • Teacher Verification
  • PAX Planning Guide
  • Student/Teacher ID
  • Private Email Account
  • Over 300 Resources
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Transcript/Diploma


up to 3 students
$ 600 Year
  • Enrollment Letters
  • Teacher Verification
  • PAX Planning Guide
  • Student/Teacher ID
  • Private Email Account
  • Over 300 Resources
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Transcript/Diploma


up to 20 students
$ 5000 Year
  • Enrollment Letters
  • Teacher Verification
  • PAX Planning Guide
  • Student/Teacher ID
  • Private Email Account
  • Over 300 Resources
  • Travel Opportunities
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Transcript/Diploma


What is the educational philosophy of PAX Academy?

At PAX Academy, we believe:

  1. God has created each unique individual with unique passions, talents, and gifts that are meant to be cultivated with the gifts of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  2. God has entrusted parents with the primary responsibility for training and educating their own children. As a parent, you are your child’s first and forever teacher, so in addition to providing self-directed courses for children, we also believe in providing education for the parents as well. (Proverbs 22:6)
  3. God has called us to live and learn with faith and freedom in every area of our life – including our child’s education. As a result, we do not promote any form of force or coercion in our relationships with our children. We want you to experience the fullness of educational freedom! While you and your child may choose to use a curriculum that meets his or her individual goals and needs, we do not promote or require the use of any curriculum nor do we require testing of any kind. (Galatians 5:1)
  4. God has commanded us to live in peace – and that starts at home, but it doesn’t stay at home. We call ourselves “Peaceful Worldschoolers” because we are committed to cultivating peace in the world beginning right in our own hearts and homes and then sharing that peace with those around us. We seek to live in peace with God, with self, with family, with our community, with our church, with nature, and with the world. (Romans 12:18)
When does the school year begin?

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. Many states have specific requirements regarding the number of days in each school year (usually 180 days), and as unschoolers, we recognize that our children are actively engaged in the learning process 365 days per year. If your state requires you to keep track of attendance, we will provide you with the necessary forms to do so.

What does it cost to enroll in PAX Academy?

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.

What ages/grades can enroll?

We are a private K-12 school originally 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 We also accept teenagers and adults who are looking for alternative ways to obtain their High School Diploma.

How do I withdraw my child from their current school?

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

Do I have to file a Notice of Intent to Homeschool with my school district?

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.

What curriculum do you use or recommend?

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. 

What is "deschooling"?

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!).

For more tips about deschooling, explore our website,, listen to the Peaceful Worldschooling Podcast, or read the Deschooling Diary, a 365-day journal to help you learn without school.

What is "unschooling"?

“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,

What is included in enrollment?

After enrolling in PAX Academy, you will receive an Enrollment Package via email within 5 business days which will include:

  • Enrollment Verification Letter (for student)
  • Teacher Verification Letter (for parent/guardian)
  • Student/Teacher ID Order Form
  • Annual Course Planning Form
  • Access to the PAX Academy website (including all courses and discounts/deals)
  • PAX Academy gmail account
How many credits do I need to graduate high school?

In accordance with Maryland state law, we recommend that our students earn 22 credits in order to graduate from high school:

  • 4 credits of English
  • 4 credits of Math
  • 3 credits of Science
  • 3 credits of Social Studies
  • 1 credit of Art
  • 1 credit of Music
  • 1 credit of Technology
  • 1 credit of Physical Education
  • 1 credit of Health
  • 3 credits of a world language OR career education

The annual tuition for PAX Academy includes 7 high school credits. Each credit represents about 100 hours of study and/or life experience.

The beautiful thing about homeschooling is that you are able to custom-create an educational plan to meet your unique goals.

Through PAX Academy, you will be able to work one-on-one with a College and Career Consultant to help you determine the best way to prepare yourself for your unique life path.

Will my child receive a transcript/diploma?

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.

Will my child be able to go to college/university?

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.

If my child is enrolled in PAX Academy, can we travel state to state or country to country?

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.

What additional services or support do you provide?

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.

Is PAX Academy an online school?

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.

Is PAX Academy an umbrella school?

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.

Do you have an in-person program?

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

How can I teach my child if I am not a teacher?

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.

How will I know if my child has learned everything he needs to?

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.

Which states has PAX Academy registered in?

PAX Academy was originally registered in Maryland in 2023 as a church-exempt private school.

In order to provide additional protection and support for our families in other states, we have also registered in:

Even though we are not registered in all 50 states, we are still able to accept students from all 50 states. 

Remember: You are responsible to be aware of your state’s laws and to comply with them.

How do I earn credits through PAX Academy?

At PAX Academy, we provide students in grades K-12 with the opportunity to earn credits in the same 3 ways that students earn credits in college:

  1. Take a Class: Many students enjoying learning through taking formal classes. Some students choose to take online classes while others choose to take classes at their local community college through their dual enrollment program. To learn more about our classes, click here.
  2. Take a Test: One of the best ways to earn both high school and college credit at the same time is through taking a test. Many of our students “hack their homeschool” through AP and CLEP Testing. To learn more about testing options, click here.
  3. Take your Time: This is our specialty at PAX Academy. Rather than taking a class or taking a test, you can simply “take your time.” In college, this is known as “portfolio credit” or credit that is gained through your unique passions and interests. 1 High School credit is the equivalent of 100 hours of your life experience. To learn more about earning credits in this way, click here.
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