Meet the Kellys! Bryan and Kim have seven children and live in Mendota, where Bryan is pastor of a small local church.
If you're interested in being featured as a spotlight family, please email us at email@example.com.
Greetings Peoria area homeschoolers. Summer is here and it is burning hot. I hope your family is enjoying some exciting summer activities. One of the big summer activities at our house is reading. Reading is great way to learn and enjoy new experiences without leaving the house. It’s also a good way to stretch your mind, explore theology, and shape your worldview. I am currently reading an excellent book entitled Brave by Faith written by Alistair Begg. Trust me, you will want to put this at the top of your must-read list for this summer. Through this book, I have been reminded that times of crisis reveal the truth about us and challenged to rethink what it means to walk out my faith in today’s world. I want to offer a few of my thoughts and invite you to consider getting this book. I also want to encourage you to read books together as a family.
Over the last year and a half, I believe the church has been facing a crisis. It seems that “the covid” has exposed several major weaknesses in our American churches. What weaknesses am I referring to? I am talking about an unpreparedness and perhaps even an unwillingness to love others above ourselves. I am talking about the fear that seems to have become the primary motivator for so much of our decision making. I am talking about the widespread lack of faith in the sovereign God who rules over and sustains the entire universe. I realize that I am generalizing and that this may not describe your church. This crisis has also been an opportunity for spiritual growth. I have watched several church leaders rise to the occasion and take stands that have been costly. I have even sat with my own pastor and listened to him reason that the need for Christian community is greater than the risk of getting sick (which I whole-heartedly agree with). Alistair Begg asks this question: “Is there anything I would die for?” What a great question. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together (also worth reading), believes that true Christian community is worth dying for.
Another thing I have been challenged on is what it means to live a Christian life in today’s world. Alistair states that we live in a post-Christian time and the evidence is quite overwhelming. He suggests that Daniel is a great example of a believer living in a pagan society while following God’s command in Jeremiah 29:7 to “…seek the welfare of the city in which I have sent you into exile…” Perhaps we should be reading Micah 6:8 with our children and discussing how we can “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” in our current circumstances. After all, we are charged with raising our children to walk with God and stand for Him through adversity, which happens to be growing rapidly. If we want our children to be servants of the Most High God and effective Kingdom builders, then we must lead the way and be godly men and women who walk out our faith. How can we do that? Well, you could start by making prayer a consistent daily habit. For Daniel, the key was going to his room and praying “as he had always done.” Want more? Get the book.
Finally, I want to encourage family reading time. My wife likes to read a book aloud to our family on a regular basis. Recently, we have read through Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Hiding Place. These fantastic books stimulated some good questions and great discussions about issues like slavery, prejudice, evil, suffering, and more. Other books we have read through together include The Chronicles of Narnia series, Little House on the Prairie books, and The Castle in the Attic. This is an excellent way to learn together as a family. There are so many good classics, take some time to adventure or experience history together.
The PAACH board desires to help and support you. We hope that your summer is filled with fun learning activities and memory-making experiences. We pray that your family learns together, grows together with others in community, and glorifies Christ in everything you do.
Hello, I’m Lucas Rassi, the son of Andrew and Sandy Rassi. A few things about myself: I love the outdoors, singing, spending time with friends, and food. I’ve been a part of Peoria Cooperative Academy since 7th grade and it’s been a great experience.
I’m currently enrolled at ICC and plan to go to school there for another year and then transfer to the University of Illinois College of Engineering for computer science. I’m very thankful for my family, and the friends and teachers I’ve been blessed by God to have throughout high school, who helped me grow into the person I am now. Mathew 25:40, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
Kinsley is planning to attend Olivet Nazarene University this fall and majoring in communications. She has been homeschooled the past 10 years and in her free time she loves coffee shops, being with family and hanging out with friends. We are so proud of you Kinsley and excited to see all the Lord has planned for you.
Daniel Kelly graduated on June 6, 2021 and is looking forward to full-time work at a manufacturing company in Mendota. He’s worked there part-time for the past 2 years learning valuable trade skills like welding and heavy machinery operation. In his spare time, which he’ll now have much more of being assignment free, he likes knife-making, 3D computer modeling, and hanging out with Dad, Mom and his 6 brothers and sisters.
Meet the Brocketts! TJ and Nicole are unschooling their 4 kids after trying several different area public schools. Hear them talk about their homeschooling journey.
This month our PAACH family spotlight is the Unsicker family. Marie and Gary Unsicker have 7 children, and have been homeschooling since 1998... here's their story.
Greetings Peoria Area Homeschoolers. I’m sure you have heard by now that APACHE is no more and PAACH has been born. What better time for an organization to have new life breathed into it and be reborn than in the Spring. I hope you all experienced joy and hope growing your faith as you celebrated Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. Our family enjoyed a Passover meal and some encouraging fellowship with another family from our church. Our Holy Week experience is different every year and this year was the most encouraging we have ever had. This month I want to encourage you to look for new ways to encourage your kids’ individual gifts through your family experiences.
For those of you who missed the conference, PAACH is returning to our roots by refocusing on family discipleship. However, we are also looking for fresh new ways to serve the homeschool community towards family discipleship. Sometimes we get used to an idea and because of our familiarity, we end up putting that idea in a box that limits our effectiveness. Too often we limit and even stifle our creativity and get caught up in routine which create “ruts” in our lives. I believe we have a creative God that takes joy in watching us be creative. I believe this because of my own experiences of joy while watching my kids be creative, especially my 5-year-old with her extremely active imagination. I’ve heard it said that we all have a creative muscle with the potential to grow the more we use it. Randy Stinson, in his book Trained in the Fear of God, points out that King Solomon modeled a pattern for all good teachers in the book of Proverbs. Solomon not only obeyed the words of God, but he also reformulated the teaching of these words in new and memorable ways while illustrating the joys of obedience and the anguish that results from disobedience. We would also be wise to follow this pattern of teaching. Take a few minutes and ask yourself how you might apply a little more creativity to teaching and training of your children. Have a discussion or brainstorming with your spouse and even your kids (that’s right, tap into their young creative minds too). Keep in mind that you will need to adapt as your kids grow up.
The most important and rewarding benefit of homeschooling is spending time building relationships with each of your children. I hope you have begun to demolish the idea of “cookie-cutter kids” in your minds; and instead you are tailoring each child’s learning towards encouraging the unique gifts that God has given them. We get to teach them from a Christian worldview without the many negative worldly influences that saturate the public schools. The best part is that throughout the process we have the privilege of introducing our children to Christ. Remember, your job as their parents goes beyond academics. You are preparing them for the life God has for them. This means they need to know how to handle in a Godly way the adversities they will face, the failures that they will experience, and the successes they will enjoy. Much of this they will learn by watching you walk out your Christian faith. I know, I know… the very idea of this can make the hairs on the back of your neck bristle. Don’t worry, we have help. God has given us community in the church and with other believing homeschoolers. More importantly, God has given us the promise that His Holy Spirit will be our helper and given us the wisdom and patience we need whenever we ask.
PAACH is here to do our part by providing a safe and encouraging community to help you along your journey. One of the ways we are doing that is by posting a short Facebook live video each week called “The Tiller.” Like a tiller tosses the soil to stir up nutrients, we are hoping to stir up ideas and start helpful discussions where we can share some of our creativity with each other…and maybe even stir up some excitement within your heart as you love and train your children up into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We pray God’s blessings on your homes and in your families.
This month our PAACH family spotlight is the Amborski family. Steve and Cher have five kids and have been homeschooling for fifteen years. Here's a look at their experience.
Encourage one another and build one another up.
I Thessalonians 5:11
Our board has spent the last year refocusing on how we can better serve the needs of our local homeschooling community. As an organization, we want to be more than just a Christian academic resource library. The name APACHE does accurately represent who we are or what we are doing. Our new name, PAACH (pronounced patch), paints a picture of growth: a place where seeds are planted and fruit is produced. We are growing into a Christian community that desires to walk with you as you learn how to practice family discipleship. This is what we want to be about and so this is how we want to serve you – helping to "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
Our new logo features a house resting on top of a cross. Our homes need to be built on the foundation of Christ. "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1 That is the image PAACH wants to portray. That is why we homeschool, because as Christians we believe that the best way to disciple our children is through homeschooling.
PAACH desires to be a place where we learn together as families, grow together as a community, and glorify Christ together in the process. We want to follow Paul's instruction to "encourage one another and build one another up." I Thessalonians 5:11 Our goal is to encourage you and your families toward discipleship and building Godly character.
Greetings Peoria area homeschoolers. Last month I briefly mentioned how quickly things are changing and encouraged us to fight for and hold onto our unity in Christ Jesus. I want to expound on this unity a little bit by discussing the indispensable gift of community that we have been given by the Father. Then I want to share with you how this organization wants to be a part of the supporting community for your family.
Choosing to follow Christ comes with the promise of difficulties in life that you would otherwise never have known. (John 16:33) Yet those difficulties also come with the promise that Christ has overcome the world and that He will be faithful to lead us. (Matt 28:20) He has also given us the Holy Spirit to help teach us and guide us in all things. (John 14:26) These promises, along with the rest of scripture bring us comfort, courage, and endurance as we walk out our faith. I believe there is another particularly important component to walking out our Christian faith that seems to have lost value in too many believers’ lives. In Acts 2:42-47, the idea of community is introduced when Luke writes that they were devoting themselves to “fellowship.” This idea of community is defined throughout this passage saying we are together and have all things in common. They even began to minister to one another’s needs. Paul describes the mechanics of how community is supposed to work in Ephesians 4:11-16. He describes how we all have different gifts to be used to edify one another and that the proper working of each individual part causes the growth of all. Then again, in Colossians 1:9- 10, Paul says that he prays for believers to “be filled with knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” so that they may walk in a worthy manner that pleases God, “bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” How does all this apply to homeschool?
If you have chosen to homeschool, then you have in some way heard the call to family discipleship that rings out from scripture. This call can be intimidating and overwhelming for any parent, but especially if you are a first-generation believer or first-time homeschooler. You may have no example to follow or struggle to know where to begin. The good news is that the homeschool movement has been growing and cultivating over the past thirty years. There are many seasoned homeschoolers who have knowledge and experience to share with those just starting out. Much wisdom has been gained by the successes and failures of those who have gone before. Paul encouraged Timothy that the older should teach the younger and this should be happening in the Christian homeschool community as well. Martin Luther said “the greatest good in married life, that which makes all suffering and labor worthwhile, is that God grants offspring and commands that they be brought up to worship and serve him. In all the world this is the noblest and most precious work.” You have heard and answered the call to family discipleship, but you do not have to walk this path alone. The truth is that trying to walk this path alone is foolish when there is so much wisdom and encouragement to be gained in community.
As always, APACHE’s goal is to encourage you and your families toward discipleship and building Godly character. The APACHE board has spent the last year refocusing on how we can better serve the needs of the homeschool community. APACHE as an organization is changing from being just a Christian resource library and is growing into a Christian community that desires to walk with you as you learn how to practice family discipleship. This is how we want to serve you, by helping you carry your burdens and “fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) We can’t wait to share with you what else is changing…
This month our APACHE family spotlight is the Buchanan family. Joe and Tara have been homeschooling their four children since beginning. Their oldest is 20 and their youngest is 10. Joe is the current station manager for WCIC FM in Peoria, IL.
For questions regarding newsletter submissions, the Homeschool Convention or home education in general, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Board member will respond as soon as possible.
Mailing Address: PAACH | P.O. Box 5203 | Peoria, IL 61601