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  • 20 Mar 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Summer Baseball & Softball

    Register online or in-person at the Christian Center Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Homeschool Bowling

    Looking for a P.E. credit for your homeschoolers? The Christian Center is again reserving Friday afternoons from Noon to 3 p.m. for homeschool bowling sessions. All skill levels supported. Family-friendly facility. $2.50 games and $2.50 shoe rentals!

    Dads & Lads

    Fridays 5 to 8 p.m. FREE Bowling and/or Billiards (dads must participate with sons to be eligible to play for free)


  • 06 Mar 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you know a new homeschooler or someone who is considering homeschooling? Perhaps you are new yourself, homeschooling one year or less?

    Join us Thursday, March 16, 2023, for New to Homeschooling Night with speaker Nancy Bjorkman from Heppner's Legacy. Nancy has over 20 years of experience and will share fresh ideas, how tos, encouragement, and more!

    Afterwards, shop our convention vendor hall, browse homeschool options and get advice from some of our local homeschool community. Register online today!

  • 01 Mar 2023 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are always looking for families to join the PAACH board of directors or volunteer at one of the many PAACH events scheduled throughout the year. We ask that you prayerfully consider serving our homeschool community in one of these ways.

    For more info about PAACH or to explore volunteer options, please email President James Cox at battlecircle@gmail.com


  • 20 Feb 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by: Israel Wayne

    Has your decision to homeschool your children ever left you feeling tired, overwhelmed or stressed out? As a student who was homeschooled (my family began homeschooling in 1978), I have learned a few things and over the years about how to avoid burnout in your homeschool.

    One of the most common reasons for weariness and frustration among homeschooling parents is the weight of self-inflicted deadlines and standards. It is good, of course, to have goals in mind, but we must always ask ourselves: “Am I seeking to do the Lord’s will, or am I merely pursuing my own agenda?”

    As Christian families, we need to view homeschooling not as a glorious end, in and of itself, but rather as a means to an end. The main goal is to raise children who love the Lord, and are committed to following Christ. It is not to produce robots that can recite random facts and data at the drop of a hat.

    What a child knows is really insignificant compared to what he or she believes. We must move beyond facts to convictions. It is vital that our children know:

    1. What they believe.
    2. Why their beliefs are true.
    3. How to articulate their beliefs.
    4. How to live their beliefs consistently

    Getting the right answers on a test is meaningless unless a child knows how to apply those truths to everyday life. Non-applicable knowledge is worthless. As parents, we want our children to excel academically, and homeschoolers usually do. Our main motivation for homeschooling, however, should not be academic prowess. Instead, we should “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these (including academic) things will be added to us.” (Matthew 6:33)

    We should always stay focused on our long-term goals, but we must consistently follow the leading of the Spirit. Why are we homeschooling? Our main objective should be to fulfill our God-given obligation to “train up our children in the way they should go.” (Proverbs 22:6) Psalm 78, Deuteronomy 6 and 11 and many other passages stress the importance of teaching God’s laws to our children.

    What is the Purpose of an Education?

    God’s primary reasons for commanding you to teach your own children are to:

    1) Enable God to purify you (the parent), as you allow the fire and pressure of the homeschool setting to make you into pure gold.

    2) To help your children know and love Him, and become prepared to serve Him.

    God desires for us to have close family relationships, and He uses the process of family discipleship to develop Godly character in both the children and the parents. God has established and designed parents to be the primary influences in shaping their children’s values. Parents can’t expect to receive a Godly harvest unless they labor during the planting.

    We must learn to view home education as a lifestyle decision, and not merely an academic alternative. Use every available moment to teach eternal principles. Developing a Biblical worldview in children is not something that happens by accident. It is taught by formal instruction and caught by the Godly example of the parents.

    By keeping in mind that we are homeschooling because we want to raise children who love Jesus, we won’t be so frustrated if our child doesn’t understand Phonics or Chemistry. I’ve seen some mothers become so frustrated by their inability to communicate math facts that they scream at their children and throw books! In trying to teach academics, are we achieving our ultimate goal of developing Godly character? Nothing is so important that it overrides our relationships with God and each other.

    It is also easy to get caught up in the busyness of activities, running our children here and there, and over-committing ourselves into panic. Are all the programs we are involved in bringing us closer to God and each other, or are they mostly wearing us out? We may need to recalibrate our compass. What does God expect of us?

    “He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

    “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

    If we focus on teaching eternal principles, and developing Christ-like character in our children, we will have academic success as a natural result of our obedience to God. We should not merely teach our children what to believe, but show them why our beliefs are true. They should be able to determine, from the principles in Scripture, what is good and what is evil. They should recognize absolute truths and be able to reason from a Biblical worldview.

    By keeping obedience to God as our primary reason for homeschooling, we will have the flexibility to change our educational approaches, relax in the face of deadlines, and put family relationships above SAT scores. We can have a joyful, peaceful, loving family and still achieve an academic standard superior to the world; but we must keep Christ as the focus and avoid humanistic expectations.


    Israel Wayne

    Israel is a homeschool graduate and father of eleven who is passionate about defending the Christian faith and developing a Biblical worldview. He is the Director of Family Renewal and author of the books Answers for Homeschooling: Top 25 Questions Critics Ask, Education: Does God Have an Opinion, and Raising Them Up: Parenting for Christians, among others. More information may be found at familyrenewal.org.

    Israel will be leading the following workshops at the 2023 PAACH Homeschool Convention

    The History of the Homeschooling Movement - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Transform Learning through the Art of Questions - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

    Influence vs. Control: How to Best Motivate Your Child - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

    Pitchin’ a Fit: Overcoming Angry and Stressed-Out Parenting - Session 1, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

    Answers for Homeschooling: Top Questions Critics Ask - Session 2, Saturday 1 p.m.

    The Biblical Basis for Parental Rights - Session 3, Saturday 3 p.m.



  • 15 Feb 2023 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings PAACH homeschooling families. I hope your family has started this year off well. This winter weather has been unusual, and the extreme temperature roller coaster has been frustrating for my family. Cloudy winter days can have a dramatic effect on moods and the overall atmosphere in your home. I want to encourage your family to find joy in the little things and to make laughter a daily goal in your home.

    Remember that your main purpose in homeschool should be focused on discipleship and building relationships. Repetitive routines have their benefits, but so do spontaneous breaks. Look for opportunities in both to enjoy something together with each child. Look for what sparks their interest or gets them excited, and find a way to explore it with them. Sharing in their excitement is a great way to bond with them and encourage learning. These moments are also good times to talk with them about God’s design in creation.

    I also want to encourage you to make laughter a priority in your home. Finding humor in everyday life has many benefits. Laughter can change a mood or the whole atmosphere in your home. Life is stressful and hard at times, and laughter can renew strength to endure (Neh 8:10) or bring healthy release in a tense situation. Laughing with your children and delighting in them makes you more like your Heavenly Father who “rejoices over you” and “takes delight in you” as well. (Zeph 3:17) Learn to enjoy your kids’ uniqueness. God has designed each of them with different character traits, abilities, and interests. Help them to see that God likes them because He made them who they are. Help them find their identity as His child, and to find safety and comfort in their relationships with Him and with you. Laughter is a valuable discipleship tool.

    The PAACH board desires to help and support you throughout your homeschooling journey. We also desire to help you disciple your children by providing encouragement, wisdom, and resources that will enable you to be godly parents who lead your children toward Christ. We pray that your family learns together, grows together with others in community, and glorifies Christ in everything you do.

    James Cox

    James Cox
    PAACH President


  • 09 Jan 2023 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are excited for our upcoming convention - March 17 & 18. We have 2 great keynotes lined up: Kirk Smith, Executive Director of ICHE (Illinois Christian Home Educators), and Rebecca Spooner of Gather Round Homeschool.

    We also have two featured speakers, Sonya Shafer from Simply Charlotte Mason and Israel Wayne from Family Renewal. There are some great kid friendly workshops including CPR, art classes, and some fun hands-on science classes with Dr. Fizzlebop!

    Register by February 9 to take advantage of our early registration and for a chance to win a WCIC gift basket worth over $130, including an echo dot.

    New this year, we have different lunch options. We have some young entrepreneurs who will be offering beef and chicken tacos and loaded french fries. We also have a full vendor hall lined up including Master Books, Heppner's Legacy, the Book Shelf, Lamplighter, Gather Round, and much more!


  • 05 Aug 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings PAACH homeschool families. I hope you have been enjoying some summer adventures together. Our family had a good time at my oldest daughter’s wedding. We’ve also been very busy working on our new house and we have all been learning new things there. One big lesson we have all been learning together is the importance of diligence. Homeschooling and good family relationships require diligence. As many of you are likely preparing to start another school year, I want to share a couple encouragements.

    In his book Studies in Character, Dr. Steve Scheibner says that “diligence is the difference between a job finished and a job well done.” For many of us, our nature is to just get the job done and worry about the details later. My family is seeing the results of skipped details as we renovate a 120-year-old house. Skipping details and maintenance leaves gaps and allows little nasties to get in and do damage. Much damage cannot be seen until something completely falls apart and must be rebuilt. Relationships are damaged and slowly destroyed by this approach because of the little nasties like bitterness and anger that can sneak in, eroding away our trust and love for one another. The point here is that when it comes to your spouse and your children, it is very important to pay attention to and take time for those little details. As your children grow and get a little older, they can become more capable of doing schoolwork themselves. Staying engaged with them in their learning can get a little harder, especially as you start tailoring some of their class choices toward their own individual interests. One of my boys is really into coding which is way outside my head space, but he still needs affirmation in what he is learning and who he is becoming.

    Dads, we need to be diligent in affirming our kids and engaging them with the gospel. They need to know who they are in your eyes and, more importantly, in God’s eyes. Paul encouraged Timothy to be diligent in several very specific things. He told Timothy to “practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.” (1 Tim 4:12-15) Those things included: (v12) setting an example “in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity;” (v13) devoting yourself to publicly reading scripture, encouraging, and teaching; (v14) using your God-given gifts. Dads, it is vital that you are diligent to lead your family in times of scripture reading and encourage them to respond to the gospel and grow in their faith. Moms, be diligent in nurturing the gospel seeds planted in your children at every opportunity throughout the day. Parents be diligent; love and encourage your kids to the best of your ability. Also, be diligent in your own studies as you look to scripture and other spiritual teachers to learn new ways to do all these things. I pray your family continues to grow together.

    The PAACH board desires to help and support you throughout your homeschooling journey. We also desire to see your family thrive and be a testimony in this broken world. We pray that your family learns together, grows together with others in community, and glorifies Christ in everything you do.

    James Cox

    James Cox
    PAACH President


  • 01 Jul 2022 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cadhla Cox

    Cadhla Cox

    Cadhla has been focused on completing her doula certification, which she started when she was 16. After graduation in May, she will be fully certified as DONA doula and serve the tricounty area. She started her own business, Mommas Little Blessings Doula Services, this year. You can find her on facebook and Instagram under her business name. Cadhla offers birth and postpartum doula services. She will be continuing her educational classes in Doula work.


    Katherine Grace Kennelly

    Katherine Grace Kennelly

    Katherine Grace Kennelly, daughter of Darin and Charissa Kennelly, graduated from high school. She enjoys playing the piano, reading books, working with families and kids, playing Ticket to Ride, and dreams of someday being a contributor to The Babylon Bee. Katie recently started a new position as Youth Services Assistant at the Brimfield Public Library. She plans to attend ICC or take classes online this fall to study social work, in hopes of working in the adoption/foster care field.


    Braden Lawles

    Braden Lawles

    My name is Braden Lawles, and I have been homeschooled since kindergarten. In 3rd grade, my family joined Peoria Cooperative Academy, and it has been the highlight of my week for the past 10 years. PCA's History classes fed my intense passion for that subject, and the High School program has provided me with a fantastic learning experience alongside many incredible peers. I am also grateful for the many “extracurricular” classes that the high schoolers can take part in, such as Fall Play, Musical Theater, and Choir. I have also volunteered in the past to help at the annual APACHE (recently rebranded as PAACH) conventions (when your parents served as the President and First Lady of the APACHE Board, it was virtually impossible to avoid it) :). In my spare time, I like to read military history books, play historical board games, write parodies with some of my PCA friends, and generally annoy my friends and family with endless puns. I plan to take a gap year while working full time, then take ICC classes, probably transfer to Eureka College, and see where God leads me from there. I would like to get my Bachelor's (and eventually Master's) degree in History (which has been my passion since age 8), with the goal of eventually teaching at the high school or college level. One of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 48:3, which says “Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.” It is comforting, amidst the constant change and uncertainty of this broken world, to know that God is our fortress no matter what comes our way. (Braden is the son of Brent and Becky Lawles of Morton.)


    Joanna Moser

    Joanna Moser

    Joanna Moser, daughter of Greg and Sharlene Moser of Roanoke, plans to continue working at Caleri's and taking classes at ICC.


    Justin Ricketts

    Justin Ricketts

    My name is Justin Ricketts and I’ve been homeschooled my whole life except for 7th grade. But we don’t talk about 7th grade. High School at Peoria Cooperative Academy has truly been a blessing for me as I've had an amazing group of friends, teachers, and, of course, my parents to help me through the struggles and challenges of this life. As for my future plans, I’m leaning towards something tech related since I love working with and building computers and software to go with them. I pray that God will lead me in the right direction through the coming years. I trust Him fully to open the doors I need opened and close the doors I need closed.


    Lexi Rae Sauder

    Lexi Rae Sauder

    Lexi Rae Sauder graduated with all the homeschool honors a mom and dad could give! She is attending ICC for high school English education and plans to transfer to a university in the fall of 2023. Lexi works part-time as a tutor, baker/decorator, housecleaner, and bookstore associate. She enjoys solitude with God, is a phenomenal piano player, loves Florida vacations, and teaches others with great success.


    Daniel Stephen Ware

    Daniel Stephen Ware

    Mr. and Mrs. Larry Ware are pleased to announce the graduation of their son, Daniel Stephen Ware. Daniel will attend Illinois Central College in the fall as an education major. His goal is to transfer to a 4-year university to complete his undergraduate degree in middle school education and then find a position as a 5th grade teacher.


  • 16 May 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings PAACH homeschooling families. The end of another school year is fast approaching, and some of you may be preparing to graduate a child from high school into the school of life. My second oldest is graduating in a few short weeks and I am not sure I am ready for this. (Maybe because it makes me feel older?) Others of you might be coming to the end of your first year of homeschooling. You are likely looking forward to a break from all the responsibilities and anxieties that can weigh on you. Either way, I am confident that much learning has taken place. I want to offer an opportunity to reflect on your reasons and goals for choosing to homeschool your children. I am going to point you to a few verses in scripture on obedience, faith, and grace. Then, I want to make several observations and invite you to meditate on these things and pray about any adjustments that you may need to make in your family.

    God gives clear commandments for us to follow. One of those tells us to “Honor your father and mother.” (Ex 20:12) Paul rewords it to address children directly: “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Eph 6:1) Here’s my first observation: Has anyone else noticed that your children don’t naturally obey you? I know, you’re thinking “Thanks captain obvious for this brilliant observation.” Of course they don’t because we all have a broken and sinful nature. And yet, God clearly charges us as parents with the responsibility to teach and train our children to be obedient. (Deut 6:4-9) Why is teaching our children obedience so important? Is it just because of the promise that comes with it? I have recently begun to read through The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and I was struck by a claim that he makes. He says that when it comes to faith in Christ there are two propositions that “hold good and are equally true: only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.” He goes on to say that when Christ calls a person to follow Him, obedience is what makes faith possible, and faith is what makes obedience possible. My thought is this: If we do well to train our children in obedience, might they be better prepared to respond to Christ with obedience when He calls them? This could mean that how we teach them obedience is equally important. So let me remind of something else vital to remember as parents… our children need grace.

    Ah yes, the costly grace of God that brings us to salvation. I am reading through another book to aid in the pre-marital counseling with my oldest daughter and her soon-to-be husband. It is the same book I referred to last month: When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey. (Again, I will say this is an excellent book that has been both challenging and encouraging to me. I highly recommend it.) Dave has reminded me that God’s grace is not just a saving grace, but also a sanctifying grace. Paul tells Titus (and us) that grace does much more than bring us to salvation, but also “trains us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live selfcontrolled, upright, and godly lives in the present age…” (Titus 2:11-14) Kirk Smith just preached this very passage and very same message at our church recently. Here is the other thought I had: If our children see this grace at work in us, might they be more likely to recognize Christ when He calls them?

    My conclusion is this, we may be tools of God’s grace in our children’s lives. God has charged us with the responsibility to “train up our children in the way they should go.” (Prov 22:6) While our training does not guarantee our child’s salvation, our training may be used by God as a part of the kindness that draws their hearts towards Him. Here is my challenge for you to reflect on: Does your discipleship of your children teach them obedience AND show them grace that prepares them to recognize and respond to Christ when He calls them?

    The PAACH board desires to help and support you throughout your homeschooling journey. We also desire to help you disciple your children by providing encouragement, wisdom, and resources that will enable you to be Godly parents who lead your children towards Christ. We pray that your family learns together, grows together with others in community, and glorifies Christ in everything you do.

    James Cox
    PAACH President


  • 14 Mar 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written by: Zan Tyler

    How Can You Prepare Your Children to Answer Questions People Ask Homeschoolers?

    You will be doing your children and yourself a great service if you teach them how to handle questions in a graceful, confident, and knowledgeable way. And remember, many—if not most—of the questions will occur when you aren’t with them.

    Later as I taught classes on public speaking and biblical worldview training in our local co-op, I started including one session on the apologetics of homeschooling. I would use this time to help prepare elementary-aged kids through teenagers to respond to questions about homeschooling in a formal interview situation, as well as in informal conversations.

    This is how I prepare students to answer the questions they will be relentlessly asked.


    I begin each discussion (this can be at home or in a co-op) by drawing a line down the middle of a large whiteboard. On the left side of the board, I label “Private Reasons”: the right side, “Public Reasons.” Then I ask them questions people ask homeschoolers, like these:

    • What about socialization?
    • Do you like homeschooling?
    • Do you have any friends?
    • Do you feel like you are missing anything?
    • Why does your family homeschool?
    • Can you play sports?
    • Will you ever be able to go to prom?
    • Where do you want to go to college? Do you think you will be able to get in?
    • Are you really learning anything?
    • What did you learn this week?

    As students respond to the various questions people ask homeschoolers, I write the answer down on the right side of the board if they are suitable for public discussions. But if a child answers she likes homeschooling because she can stay in her pajamas all day, I write the answer on the left side under “Private Reasons.” I take the time to explain that while certain answers—like wearing pajamas all day—may be true and meaningful to them, these are not the answers we want to discuss in public.

    At the end of the brainstorming discussion, I want to make sure every child can tell me five reasons why their parents homeschool them and/or five reasons why they enjoy being homeschooled.

    Tweaking & Polishing

    At the end of that brainstorming exercise, we look at the answers on the right side of the board and began to tweak and polish them a bit.

    Role-Playing & Ask the Kids Questions

    Then we switch roles, and they ask the questions people ask homeschoolers, and I answer. It gives them a chance to hear my responses. We continue until they are too tired to be productive, or we have an answer relatively down pat.


    Once we have gone through the role-playing exercise, we practice—sometimes formally, sometimes informally. With my own children, if we were in the car, I would throw out one question and have them answer it. If a new question arose, we would go through the process of brainstorming, tweaking, and polishing.

    The point is this: begin the discussion. Prepare your children well to answer the questions that will arise almost daily in their lives concerning homeschooling. As your children get older, help them understand why people ask them so many questions about homeschooling and why their answers matter. They are truly some of the greatest ambassadors homeschooling has.

    You Can Transfer This Process to Other Areas

    Your children will be questioned about their Christianity as they grow up seeking the Lord. Use this same process to teach them how to answer questions about their faith.

    As they prepare for job and/or college interviews, they will benefit greatly from these same interview skills you have instilled in them as children.

    And through this process of questioning and answering, you are helping them develop powerful critical thinking skills.


    Zan Tyler

    “My story is about the greatness and faithfulness of the Lord – and how He uses ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary plans.”

    Zan’s homeschool journey began in 1984 when homeschooling was illegal. The State Superintendent of Education threatened Zan with jail for not sending her children to the local public school. For the next eight years, she and other homeschool families battled for homeschool freedom and the establishment of landmark homeschool legislation in South Carolina.

    Zan will be leading the following workshops at the 2022 PAACH Homeschool Convention

    Homeschooling: An Educational, Spiritual, and Family Revival Movement That Is Sweeping America - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

    Motivated Kids Move Mountains - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

    Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

    Kingdom Building Moms - Mom's Night, Friday 6:30 p.m.



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Peoria Area Association of Christian Homeschoolers

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For questions regarding newsletter submissions, the Homeschool Convention or home education in general, please send an email to info@apachecentralillinois.org. A Board member will respond as soon as possible.


Mailing Address: PAACH | P.O. Box 5203 | Peoria, IL 61601

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