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
  • Transcript/Diploma


up to 5 students
$ 600 Year
  • Enrollment Letters
  • Teacher Verification
  • PAX Planning Guide
  • Student/Teacher ID
  • Transcript/Diploma


up to 20 students
$ 5000 Year
  • Enrollment Letters
  • Teacher Verification
  • PAX Planning Guide
  • Student/Teacher ID
  • Transcript/Diploma


What is PAX Academy?

PAX Academy is an accredited private K-12 school registered in the state of Maryland under the guidance and supervision of PAX Ministries Free Church. In Maryland, schools that are established under the governance of a church are exempt from any and all educational requirements of the state. Our legal structure provides families with the freedom of unschooling under the protection of a private school.

Do I have to be a Christian or a member of the church to attend PAX Academy?

No, anyone is welcome to enroll in our private school.

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)

What curriculum do you use or recommend?

At PAX Academy, we believe that “the child is the curriculum,” but we are not “anti-curriculum.” As long as the child is choosing, that is what matters most! We understand that many children and adults benefit from taking structured courses, so you are free to choose your own curriculum (or choose not to use any curriculum). We also plan to offer individual online courses for children and adults, such as:

  • Gospel-Based Parenting: A Biblical Study on Discipline and Discipling
  • Reading and Typing: Learning to Read through Learning to Type
  • Become a Self-Published Author: From Brainstorming to Best-Seller
  • Self-Directed Learning 101
  • Transitioning to College and Career
  • Biblical Cosmology
  • and more!

What ages/grades can enroll?

We are a K-12 private school registered in Maryland. In order to enroll in Kindergarten, your child must be 5 years old by September 1st.

We also accept teens and adults that wish to obtain their High School Diploma.

If you have additional questions, book a FREE 15-minute call.

What is the cost to enroll?

To enroll in PAX Academy, you can register as:

  • a single student ($350/year)
  • a family of up to 5 students ($600/year)
  • a teacher for a class of up to 20 students ($5,000/year)

If you would like to register a group of 21 or more students, please reach out to our director, Angela Harders, for large group pricing at:

When is the deadline to enroll?

We offer year-round open enrollment, so you may enroll at anytime for this current school year or for the following school year. Our school year begins on August 1st and ends on July 31st of the following year.

How do I withdraw my child from their current school?

In order to withdraw your child from his/her current school, you should submit a written withdraw letter. Some states/counties have a specific withdraw form that must be completed. You may let the school know that you are withdrawing them from their school and enrolling them in a private school effective immediately or on a particular date.

We will request the school to transfer your child’s academic records and let you know once we receive their records either digitally or by mail. 

If you were homeschooling prior to enrolling in PAX Academy, we recommend that you notify your state that your child is now enrolled in a private school.

To learn more about the requirements of your state or county, please reach out directly to a representative of your county or review your state’s laws on the HSLDA website.

If I withdraw a student in the middle of the year after paying for the full year, will I get a refund?

All registration, course, and program fees are non-refundable.

What additional services or support do you provide?

Making the transition from school to homeschool/unschool is exciting, but like any major life change, it can also feel terrifying! 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 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. Every month, she offers a FREE live Unschooling Q&A  on the last Wednesday of the month at 8:00 PM EST in English (o el segundo miércoles del mes en español). 

If you would prefer to discuss your unique situation one-on-one, you can book an educational consultation with Angela in order to get support with:

  • Adapting to meet the needs of your child
  • Brainstorming a self-directed learning plan with your child
  • Creating an ideal learning environment for your child 
  • Discussing the various learning styles and methodologies
  • Exploring post-secondary options
  • Finding joy in the journey towards educational freedom
  • Growing in our knowledge of God, our child, and ourselves
  • Healing from school trauma
  • Implementing a custom self-directed learning plan
  • Joining your child in pursuing your unique passions and interests
  • Keeping records to add to your child’s transcript that highlights his/her experience and expertise
  • Looking for the learning that your child is naturally doing

What are the fees for additional services?

Please see below for the pricing for various fees.

  • Consultations ($100 per 45 minutes)
  • Official Transcripts ($25 for first; $15 for additional transcripts)
  • Diploma ($50 for first, $30 for replacement)
  • Custom Letter ($35 per page)
  • Notarization ($20) – Any document that we issue may be notarized.
  • Apostille: Hague Convention Country ($75 per document)
  • Postage
    • FedEx Standard Overnight ($20 – 48 states only – not available in AK or HI)
    • USPS Express Mail – Domestic ($30)
    • USPS Global Express Mail – International ($40)
    • USPS Priority Mail ($9)


  • Courses: Course prices vary and are listed in our course list.

All fees are non-refundable and subject to change.

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. 

If you would like to learn more about unschooling, register for our FREE Live Unschooling Q&A (o puedes asistir la reunión en español) monthly meeting with Angela Harders via Zoom.

What is "deschooling"?

“Deschooling” is a process through which a child will “decompress” when transitioning from school to home. Many children experience trauma while in a forced schooling environment, and so they need some time to “unlearn” and “relearn” how to be a self-directed learner. During the deschooling period, parents should not force anything “schoolish.” In fact, it may appear as though your child isn’t “doing anything” – or at least anything that may seem productive to the untrained eye.

Instead of focusing on teaching your child, you should instead focus on becoming a student of your child. Invest the time and energy into observing your child, connecting with your child, and learning all about his or her passions, interests, skills, preferred learning style, etc. Look for the learning that they are already naturally doing day in and day out.

We recommend deschooling one month for every year that your child (or you) has been in school. 

For example, if your child is in 2nd grade, then they have attended 3 years of school: Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade, so they would need approximately 3 months of deschooling. 

If you have a Master’s Degree, you have been in school for about 20 years, so you would need approximately 20 months of deschooling.

The reality is that the deschooling process is never truly “finished.” As our children grow, we will continually be confronted with new beliefs and concerns about our child’s education that we will then have the opportunity to process and work through so that we too can live and learn with faith and freedom.

To learn more about deschooling, we recommend journaling in the Deschooling Diary, a 365-year journey into living and learning without school.

What happens after I enroll?

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 Template
  • Annual Planning Guide
  • Student Handbook

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

It depends on the laws in 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 and will not have to comply with its homeschooling laws. That means that you will not have to file a Notice of Intent to homeschool or comply with any testing, reporting, or evaluation requirements that are typically required by homeschoolers.

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 your state/country’s laws.

To learn more about your state’s laws, please visit the HSLDA website (español).

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.

Is PAX Academy an online school?

No. While we provide courses online, there are no requirements to register for or take any additional courses. By enrolling in PAX Academy, you and/or your child are free to learn what, when, where, why, and how you choose. If you need help with choosing resources to support your child’s learning, please book a one-on-one educational consultation with Angela Harders.

Do you have in-person opportunities?

Yes! If you live in or around Maryland, we offer weekly opportunities for in-person learning on “Field Trip Friday.” Every Friday, we take a field trip within a 3 hour radius of Washington DC. To check out our amazing adventures coming up, check out the Peaceful Worldschoolers of the DMV Facebook Group.


We also offer in-person learning opportunities for families all over the world through our PAX Academy GO program. Every spring and fall, we go on trips around the world where students can earn both high school AND college credit!


If you are interested in starting your own in-person program, please reach out to us via email:

Will my child receive a transcript/diploma?

Yes! By registering in PAX Academy, your child will be eligible to receive a certified transcript and official diploma that they will be able to use in order to attend college or begin their career path.

To order your transcript and/or diploma, please complete our Transcript and Diploma order form.

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 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.

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