2022 PAACH Homeschool Convention

2022 Homeschool Convention


Keynote Speakers


Hal & Melanie Young

Hal & Melanie Young

Hal & Melanie Young are the award-winning authors of Raising Real Men, My Beloved and My Friend: How to Be Married to Your Best Friend Without Changing Spouses, and several other books. They are publishers, writers, bloggers, and popular conference speakers internationally, known for their Christ-centered focus and practical, real-life stories. They are the parents of six real boys (four grown!) and two real girls and live in noisy, messy happiness in North Carolina.

Friday, March 18 Keynote - 9 a.m.

Freedom from Fear

Fear-based parenting drives us to make bad decisions despite the best of intentions. We choose curricula based on what our friends doing, not what our kids need, because we’re scared they’ll miss something. We micromanage our teens because we’re afraid they’ll make mistakes. We stress and worry and can’t sleep at night. Why do we fall so easily into the what ifs? God has not given us a spirit of fear. This eye-opening session will point you to the real source of security and hope and free you to do what is best for your children no matter what anyone else is doing. Step up and take courage!

Saturday, March 19 Keynote - 9 a.m.

Never Give Up

It’s easy to get burned out, tired and overwhelmed as the years pass, but the reasons we are homeschooling become even more important as our children grow up. How can we press on through the challenges of hormones, struggles with learning, and fear of the future and do what we know is right? This funny, hopeful, and encouraging session looks at the importance of finishing what you’ve started and making it all the way to graduation.


Hal & Melanie's Workshops:

No Longer Little - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

The turmoil of the tween/preteen years between nine and thirteen usually catches parents by surprise. Diligent students become addled and distracted. Kids raised in church start questioning the existence of God. Sweet children seem to climb on an emotional rollercoaster – and then invite you to join them. Don’t get a ticket for that ride! Instead, learn to resist the temptation to lose it yourself and to shepherd our children through this challenging age at this funny and all-too-real workshop — and lay a foundation to make the teen years great!

Boys & Media - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

How do you teach a young man to keep his way pure when the red-light district is riding around in his shirt pocket – or his friend’s? How can you help a boy think about the future when all he wants to do is game all day? Media addiction and porn are derailing young men at a rate that is hard to even believe. Learn how to teach your sons a healthy, Biblical attitude toward entertainment and sexuality. Prepare them to make it a matter of honor to practice self-control, do what’s right, and have healthy relationships with girls. Get them in the fight because there are no bystanders in this battle and we don’t want our sons to lose. The stakes are too high.

Getting Kids to Work - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

People complain all the time that their children are lazy and unmotivated, but only 28% of American families give their children any chores at all. At all. We teach our children right from wrong, we teach our children to read and write, but forget to teach them how to work. God gave us no choice. With eight bedrest pregnancies and then a full-time ministry and business, we had to get the kids on board or drown. Come get practical strategies for teaching your children to be diligent – to get their schoolwork done, to do chores, to take initiative, and to be confident in their abilities – at all ages. Help your kids to get out of the wagon and start pulling it, cheerfully. Really, you can do it!

Sanity’s in the Freezer - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Learn how to have real meals again! Don't worry if you have tried once-a-month cooking and didn't like the mess. Melanie didn't like it either! Find out how to feed your family well on less money and how to serve great dinners with minimal time in the kitchen. This is a real favorite of attendees!

Struggling Learners in High School & College - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

At eleven, one of our boys was just learning to read and at fourteen he still struggled to spell three letter words. Little did we know that he’d be reading ancient philosophers for fun at seventeen and that he’d go to college on a full academic scholarship! In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to help your struggling learners through high school (and give them a love of learning!), how to get accommodations on the SAT and ACT, and how to find out what help a college can give them – and you’ll be surprised just how much they can do! Our struggling learner is on the Dean’s List at his college and getting accommodations that really help. Find out how!

Teaching Boys to Love Reading/Writing - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

So many parents ask, “Why doesn’t my son enjoy reading? I want him to love it!” We look at ways to help your boys read better (because it’s hard to love it when it’s hard!), enjoy reading more, and find joy in stories and in research. From the parents of six adult sons, all of whom learned (eventually) to love reading!

Many boys struggle with writing. They complain that it's too hard, that they can't think of anything to write, that they don't know why they have to do it anyway. Hal & Melanie homeschooled all six of their boys all the way through. Their boys learned to love writing and won writing awards. You can pull it off, too!


Workshop Speakers


Nancy Bjorkman

Nancy Bjorkman

After years of being a homeschool skeptic, Nancy began homeschooling her children in 1992. Now, after 20+ years teaching her four children, she has become known as the Homeschool Mom Whisperer for many and a champion of the cause. She is a certified teacher and has spoken at homeschool conferences in over 10 states where she is known for her enthusiasm, energy, and encouragement. Having graduated all of her children, Nancy finds it exciting to have graduated herself to being a mentor for other homeschool families. Though she stays busy as a bookstore owner, mentor, and speaker, her favorite times are spent with her growing family (grandkids - yeah!). She and her husband own Heppner's Legacy, a homeschool store in Elk River, MN, where they delight in ministering to the unique needs of families year round, and where parents say, “Come for the books. Stay for the therapy.™”

Nancy's Workshops:

Homeschooling Through High School: Part 1 of 2 - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

This very popular, interactive workshop will help to answer frequently asked questions about homeschooling through the high school years. We will consider course requirements, transcripts, record keeping, curriculum choices, dual enrollment opportunities, co-ops, CLEP and other testing options, resumes, career assessments, and more. Attendees will leave with the tools necessary and the confidence needed to homeschool through high school.

Homeschooling Through High School: Part 2 of 2 - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

This is a continuation of Part 1


Laura Booz

Laura Booz

Laura is a well-seasoned homeschooling mama to six children, ages 3 to 16. She's a wife, writer, teacher, and podcaster who inspires women to love God, think biblically, and live vibrantly. She'll cheer you on, share practical ideas, and point out the ways God is working in your life. She and her family make their home in Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out her book Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God's Good Gifts in Motherhood and listen to the Expect Something Beautiful podcast with Revive Our Hearts. Connect with Laura at LauraBooz.com.

Laura's Workshops:

Expect Something Beautiful in Motherhood - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

Our expectations in motherhood really matter. They shape what we look for, what we fight for, and what we cherish along the way. Some expectations must be held lightly, for they can be overturned in a moment. Other expectations must be held tightly, for they are as good as done. We want to make sure we know the difference. In this session, learn how to evaluate your expectations for motherhood and hold onto the ones that matter most.

Teach Your Baby to Read: The Secrets to a Literary Education - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Don't get me wrong: we won't be talking phonics, flashcards, or workbooks here. Instead, we'll be talking about practical kid-friendly ways you can help your little one to process life in such a way that will make reading SO MUCH FUN in the future.

Homeschooling with Babies and Toddlers - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

For the past ten years, this topic has been of utmost importance to me. I've clicked on every similarly-named blog post and attended many similarly-named conference sessions. Because, whew, homeschooling with babies and toddlers is not for the faint of heart. I'll share what I've learned over the years so you have some tangible things to try on Monday

Encourage Your Child to High Standards While Homeschooling - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Without principals, teachers, or peers providing benchmarks, competition, feedback, consequences, and accountability for our students, how can they learn to work diligently on a regular basis? Let's tackle this common dilemma together so our children learn how - and why - to do their best.

Why (and How) to Read-Aloud to Babies & Toddlers - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

There's no doubt about it: reading aloud to our little ones is important. But sometimes, we just need someone to tell us how to do it in the midst of everyday life with kids. Come to this session if you want a whole bunch of practical mom-friendly ways of reading aloud and a gust of fresh wind in your sails.

How to Help Your Child Do What You Say - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

Wouldn't the school day go so much more smoothly if our kids just did what we told them to do? I don't have all of the answers, but I certainly can help you to think through this common dilemma and develop some practical solutions for you and your child.


Lori Caulkins

Lori Caulkins

Lori met her husband, Tracy, in college and they just celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. They have three adult children who are each living their own personal story. She has been a public high school teacher for roughly 20 years with a focus on writing. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Arts from WIU in Communication obtained in 1985. She spent time working in publishing and human resources before taking time off to raise her children. Before returning to the workforce, she received a second Bachelor of Arts degree from WIU in English Education and then went on to acquire a Masters of Science Degree in Reading and Writing from Walden University. Most recently, she received her Dual Credit Composition certification from Governors State University in Chicago. Her teacher course load has always focused on College preparatory courses and for the last several years, she has been teaching Illinois Central College Composition 110 and 111 as a dual college and high school credit class.

Lori's Workshops:

College Writing Requirements: Part 1 of 2 (Ages 15+) - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

College readiness whether homeschooled or not can cause students stress. One of the main components of being ready for the collegiate demand is understanding college level writing requirements. This session will focus on understanding and analyzing the Rhetorical Triangle when writing and analyzing material. This session will look at how to identify the components of the Rhetorical Triangle and then apply that knowledge to constructing a thesis driven structure for writing. The session will give cursory explanations to the requirements in the first hour and then move on to a workshop format for writing development in the second hour. Students will need to bring a writing utensil of choice. This workshop can be completed using an old school notebook or a more tech oriented laptop. Cost: $15 per student | 10 student max

College Writing Requirements: Part 2 of 2 (Ages 15+) - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

This is a continuation of Part 1

Let’s Have Fun with WritingTell Your Story Every Which Way! Part 1 of 2 (Ages 13+) - Session 5, Friday 1 p.m.

Who are you? We are all many parts of a greater whole, but also a unique being contributing, loving and sharing ourselves with the world. What is your story to tell? In this session we will have some fun with short poetry writing and developing a quick personal narrative to have everyone tell his or her story. Form and Fun will coexist as we learn to express ourselves uniquely within several forms of writing. There is nothing hard here, just a creative sense of expression. Everyone will need to bring writing utensils and paper. Feel free to embrace your inner artists as well if you want to bring markers, colored pencils or crayons to help add a visual layer to this expressive writing. Cost: $15 per student | 10 student max

Let’s Have Fun with WritingTell Your Story Every Which Way! Part 2 of 2 (Ages 13+) - Session 6, Friday 3 p.m.

This is a continuation of Part 1


James Cox

James Cox

James is the current president of PAACH (since 2019) and has been married to his wife Arkasia for 22 years. Together they have five children, whom they have been homeschooling for the past 17 years. James has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies with a focus on family discipleship from Liberty University. He is also a family business owner and a certified HVAC Technician with nearly 20 years experience.

James' Workshop:

I’m a Homeschooling Dad... What Should I Do? - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Come hear the vision for building your homeschool around family discipleship. Get a blueprint and tools to help you build a God-honoring homeschool family.

Daniel Currier

Daniel Currier

Daniel grew up with five siblings and was home educated K-12. After high school, he went on to earn a technology education degree and then a biology graduate degree. In addition, he is a graduate of the Discovery Institute Summer Seminar, an intensive training in science, philosophy and intelligent design.

This unique educational background has opened doors for him in various professional careers including graphic design, industrial design, line art, information technology and healthcare. In addition, since 2009, he has taught biology and technology at the college, high school and Jr. high levels.

While biology and technology may seem like a strange duo, he sees them as compatible. They give him an eye for designs found in nature, designs that point to the Creator. This unique background helps him have answers to secularism and darwinism. He also founded iApologia, a platform where he shares on Science, Reason and Christianity.

Daniel speaks in venues like churches, Sunday schools, conferences (homeschool, creation/apologetics, evangelism, etc.), campus student groups, and school classes. The topics included such things as science, social issues, equipping, pre-college preparation, apologetics, intelligent design, and creation. Since 2015, Daniel has played an integral part in both starting and leading a local Ratio Christi chapter, a university campus apologetics club.

In addition, he is a speaker for the Midwest Creation Fellowship, Creation Evidence Expo and for Ratio Christi. His writing has been published in a number of media outlets such as Salvo, The Creation Club and iApologia.

Daniel's Workshops:

How To Engage The Culture: Essential Skills for Christ’s Ambassadors - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Knowing what you believe and why you believe it is not enough. We also need tools and tactics for effective communication so we can be winsome persuaders. This talk will show how to communicate with gentleness and respect on social media, in the workplace, and on campus.

How To Immunize Students against Bad Ideas before College - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

The next generation will encounter ideas that challenge the Christian worldview. Will they be prepared? We can’t just ignore the issues, isolate them or only show them the truth. Rather we need to inoculate them. This discussion shows why inoculation is essential and then gives some practical ideas on how it can be done.

Racism: The History, the Science & the Cure - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

This talk will address the relevance, the importance, and the urgency of Christ followers understanding and addressing the topic of racism. We will talk about the rise of western racism and its causes, such as scientific racism, evolution, slavery, and culture. In addition, we will address partiality and division and give biblical steps to help bring the reunion of ethnic groups.

Plastic People: The Biblical Response to an Anti-Human World - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

Culture and college are bombarding today’s youth with anti-human messages. From abortion, radical evironmentalism, euthanasia, wokeness, extreme body modification, the LGBTQ movement, to Darwinism, there is a war on humanity. Is your family equipped to answer these ideas?


Joe & Andrea Denner

With almost three decades experience with discipleship, coaching and counseling, Joe and Andrea have a passion for building strong Kingdom marriages, families and businesses. They have been married for over 30 years, and have been home educating their nine children for over 25 years. Seven graduated, two to go!

Joe was engaged in business for eighteen years in several roles within the corporate world before starting his own business fifteen years ago. He has also served as a pastor or teaching elder for over 25 years. As a Professional Certified Coach, Joe now focuses on working with small business owners to build legacy and use their businesses as a platform to share Christ.

Joe & Andrea's Workshops:

Understanding & Appreciating Personality Differences - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

God made each one of us different. He did it on purpose and with a purpose. These differences can be interesting, but they can also be maddening. Come join Joe in this fun workshop and discover insights that will positively change the way you look at your family and friends.

The 5 Pillars of Our Marriage - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

The world needs strong marriages. Yet the institution of marriage and individual marriage relationships are under relentless attack. But it's not time to give up. It's time to fight harder than ever for what really matters. Come and join us to hear the five foundational aspects of our marriage that have led to meaningful and lasting fruit.

Carla Estell

Carla Estell

After having been known as the class dummy from 2nd -7th grade, Carla still remembers how difficult it was to never completely catch on to a concept before the class moved on to the next topic. Math was her only school grade school success and that was achievable because of a finger multiplication trick taught by her 4th grade teacher. 8th grade was her turning point, by the Grace of God, His promise in James 1:5, and a lot of hard work, she became a high school honor student then went on to graduate Magna Cum Laud from Liberty University.

She has taught math and science for 6 years in Christian schools and has homeschooled for 22 years and counting. She is a convention speaker, curriculum writer and offers local tutoring. Along with the educational aspect, she and her husband, Brian, also have a creation ministry. They and their 6 “vanschooled” children traveled across America exploring God’s creation and spreading the gospel through the lens of creation. They have a 30 foot long portable museum of fossils and displays and offer a variety of creation presentations.

Carla's Workshops:

Games & Storytime: Patrick's Journey from Slave to Saint (Ages 5-10) - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

This class is for 5-10 years olds. There will be a short history lesson followed by games and a campfire story of the life of St Patrick. Kids will learn how God can use even the hardest of times for our good and His glory, as we follow Patrick’s journey from his kidnaping and slavery to his return to Ireland as a missionary.

Parents can get a sneak peek by watching Backyard Evangelism - https://youtu.be/IaGhcovMv-Y (skip ahead to 7:48)

Fun with Fossils (Ages 5-12) - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

The name says it all. Kids will have fun learning all about fossils while participating in this song filled presentation. But, they will not only learn how fossils were made during the Flood, they will get to handle dinosaur bones, petrified wood, and sea shells found on mountain tops. Although this class has been especially designed for 5 – 12 year olds, it offers adults the joy of learning too and they are welcome to sit in.

Mount St. Helens: Explosive Evidence of a Young Earth (Ages 5-12) - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

40 years ago, when Mount St. Helens erupted, the surrounding topography was changed in a day. This picture packed PowerPoint presentation along with the hand motions, displays and song will help kids understand how the Flood of Noah’s day quickly changed the topography of the entire earth. Although this class has been especially designed for 5 – 12 year olds, it offers adults the joy of learning too and they are welcome to sit in.

Get It? Got It. Great! Helping Your Child or Teen Get Math - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

This workshop will show you how you can help your child grasp the math concepts of place value, addition and subtraction, borrowing, fractions, multiplication and division. You will learn how to use hands-on manipulatives and patterns along with some tricks to not only simplify the basic concepts of kindergarten but also the abstract concepts of algebra. Whether your child has difficulty grasping mathematical concepts or just needs to be able to work at a quicker speed, you will walk away with some practical ways of helping them.


Dr. Timothy Kaufman

Dr. Timothy Kaufman

Dr. Kaufman provides chiropractic care, physical therapy and weight loss services to Peoria, Germantown Hills and Metamora at Kaufman Wellness Center. Dr. Kaufman believes that a healthy lifestyle includes taking care of your fitness and dietary needs. He implements nutritional counseling with his patients’ chiropractic care to ensure they achieve the best results.

Stress & Behavior Issues in Homeschooling (Part 1 of 2) - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

Gain Positive Results Through Exercise and Nutrition

Dr. Kaufman will discuss the current developments in exercise and nutrition and their effects on behavior and stress. This will be a lively and energetic presentation that will give you many take home nuggets. He will discuss easy to implement strategies that will help you reduce some of the stress and behavior issues that we are facing today with our children. The benefits will not only be for today, but will improve your children's health and longevity. You might even find out you can improve your own health and longevity along the way. You won't want to miss this fun, informative workshop.

Stress & Behavior Issues in Homeschooling (Part 2 of 2) - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

This is a continuation of Part 1


George & Darlene Matzko

George & Darlene Matzko

George received a BS in Chemistry from Bob Jones University (BJU) and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Clemson University. Darlene earned a BA in Humanities from BJU. After teaching chemistry and physics at BJU for 39 years, George retired from the classroom in 2018 and began traveling as the BJU Science Ambassador full-time with his wife who was on staff at BJU. For 32 summers, they took BJU summer mission teams to Nova Scotia (1981–89) and Australia (1995–2017), where he regularly spoke on the Bible and science in churches, schools, and camps. The last two summers they have spoken for 7 weeks at the Creation Museum in KY.

George & Darlene's Workshops:

God’s Unseen Creation Revealed in Science (Ages 7-11) - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

God’s unseen creation can be described as the software that makes the hardware work. Over thirty science demonstrations explain unseen properties of light, air, and water as we work through the days of creation.

Water: The Miracle Chemical (Ages 12+) - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Water is found running through the pages of Scripture from Genesis through Revelation. Over a dozen demonstrations will be used to help explain the unique properties necessary for life on earth that we often take for granted.

The Mysterious Electron (Ages 12+) - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

All of us have heard about electrons but none of us have ever seen one; yet the invisible aspects of God’s Creation help us understand more about the Creator’s wisdom. Over a dozen “electrifying” demonstrations will be used to illuminate what we know and what we don’t know about the mysterious electron.

God’s Unseen Creation Revealed in Science (Ages 7-11) - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

This is a repeat of Friday's workshop

Water: The Miracle Chemical (Ages 12+) - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

This is a repeat of Friday's workshop

The Mysterious Electron (Ages 12+) - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

This is a repeat of Friday's workshop


Scott & Kristina Myers

Scott & Kristina Meyers

We are Scott and Kristina Meyers. We live in Spring Bay, IL with our 9 children. Both our parents love the Lord and raised us to know and serve Him. In our 17 years of marriage God has challenged our assumptions about church, family, and His purpose for us. Jesus' cousin John said "he must increase, but I must decrease." Everyday we realize our need to give up our assumptions, perceptions, and expectations to let God unfold His will and direction. Our vision is to have a marriage that is a little glimpse of Jesus and the church and raise children who will give their lives for Christ. We desire our children to perceive the world through the lens of scripture and take every experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Learning from failure is the way forward and forgiveness heals and strengthens relationships.

Scott & Kristina's Workshops:

What Have We Left? - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Understanding how your worldview and parenting philosophy impacts homeschooling.

God has blessed us with families and equipped us all we need to live for Him. It is easy to feel inadequate when faced with the cultural norm of "expert" educators and structured academics. Let's take a look at God's purpose and provision for the family and children that grow in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

How Then Shall We Live? - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

How does God's plan for the family and home discipleship play out in everyday life?

How does homeschooling look at the Meyers' house at the best and worst of times? If reality is at odds with strategy then it's time for an expectation check-in. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6


Shari Pittenger

Shari Pittenger

Shari graduated from the University of Illinois in graphic design, married Ted, and began homeschooling their family starting in 1985 and ending in 2019 when their sixth child graduated. Throughout those years, she has stayed involved with art by pursuing several part-time jobs or endeavors. These included: teaching art at homeschool co-ops, doing graphic design jobs from home, creating paintings, being quite involved with her kids’ theater productions through stage and costume design, and currently working as a decorating contractor for Samaritan Ministries. Through her business/ministry, Ascending Arts Design Studio, she hopes to pursue these things: creating art, learning about God’s view and love for art, and encouraging all ages to be creative for the glory of God.

Shari's Workshops:

Don’t Starve the Artist - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Are you starving the artist (or the creativity) that God has placed within you or within your children? I Peter 4:10 says, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” Learn more about God’s perspective on creativity, what keeps us from pursuing our creativity, and practical ways to “feed the artist within”.

Becoming Art Part Smart (Ages 7-11) - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

You will learn the 7 art elements (parts) and discover how being more aware of them can help you improve your artwork. We will work on a take-home project that focuses on each of these important elements. Cost: $10 per student | 20 student max

Becoming Art Part Smart (Ages 12+) - Session 5, Saturday 3 p.m.

You will learn the 7 art elements (parts) and discover how being more aware of them can help you improve your artwork. We will work on a take-home project that focuses on each of these important elements. Cost: $10 per student | 20 student max


Callie Rafferty

Callie Rafferty

Callie is a University Admissions Counselor at Grand Canyon University who works solely with homeschool students. She aids families in preparing homeschool transcripts, creating GCU dual enrollment plans, and advising students on how to maximize their undergraduate degree. She works with families from the beginning of their interest in GCU, and all the way until they begin classes in the fall. She loves what she does because she is always in constant communication with her homeschool families and she gets to create bonds and relationships with her students, unlike most admissions counselors!

Callie's Workshops:

Getting Ready for College: Transcripts & Dual Enrollment with GCU - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

The process of applying to college can be daunting for everyone, but for homeschool families it can be even more rewarding if you start early and do it right. At Grand Canyon University, we have a large homeschool student population and our previous student body president was a homeschool student! In this workshop, the Homeschool Admissions team will walk you through how to start the college search process with confidence and how parents and students can prepare early for college. You will learn how to create a stellar homeschool transcript, how dual enrollment can save you much time and money on your undergraduate degree, and the different ways you can earn college credit before starting college classes.


Kirk Smith

Kirk Smith

Kirk and his wife Joely have been married for 27 years and have 11 children. Although they both were trained as public educators, they committed to homeschooling before their children were school age. Kirk pastored for twenty-five years and now serves as the Executive Director for Illinois Christian Home Educators (ICHE). Joely has mentored many young women over three decades but now focuses on her six daughters in her own home.

Kirk's Workshops:

New to Homeschooling Night - Thursday 6:30 p.m.

This special FREE event is for new and first year homeschoolers.

Raising Godly Parents - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

The goal in biblical parenting is not to raise good kids but rather godly parents. This multi-generational paradigm shift demands that we go past superficial parenting and make the effort necessary to get our children to have real buy-in into raising future generations.

The Doctrine of Child Discipline - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Disciplining our children is not a cultural option but is a biblical doctrine. Why and how we discipline is key to experiencing the fruit of biblical discipline.


Zan Tyler

Zan Tyler

When the Tylers began their homeschooling journey in 1984, the state superintendent of education threatened Zan with jail for insisting on teaching her child at home. For the next eight years, she and her family battled for homeschool freedom and the establishment of landmark homeschool legislation in South Carolina. In 1990, she founded the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and served as its president for ten years. Her fight for homeschool freedom has led her to serve as the National Grassroots Director for ParentalRights.org, to advocate for homeschooling in the media (appearing on NBC’s Today Show) and at the nation’s capital, and to write profusely about the benefits of homeschooling.

As a popular author and speaker, Zan’s passion is to encourage parents to raise children who love the Lord, understand their callings in life, and become active citizens who understand the principles of freedom that undergird our American heritage. She currently works with BJU Press Homeschool/HomeWorks by Precept. For sixteen years, Zan worked with Christian publishers to develop homeschool curriculum and resources. She considers the twenty-one-years she and her husband, Joe, spent homeschooling their own three children from kindergarten through high school to be one of the greatest privileges of her life. Zan has been married to Joe since 1977 and together they have three children and six grandchildren.

In 2015 Zan was presented with the Chris Klicka Award for her dedication and commitment to home education worldwide. The governor of South Carolina presented Zan with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor a civilian in her state can receive.

As a prolific author, Zan is best known for her book 7 Tools For Cultivating Your Child’s Potential. She has recently authored a new book Refined: A Homeschool’s Mom Call to Trust. You can find Zan at zantyler.com.

Zan's Workshops

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

From teaching phonics to graduating teens, from refereeing fights to nurturing faith, our lives as homeschooling parents run the gamut from the very mundane to the very meaningful. In the midst of the mind-boggling demands of homeschooling and everyday life, we constantly need to remind ourselves that our work as homeschooling moms and dads has tremendous significance in building God’s kingdom. Using the lessons of Scripture and history, this workshop will expand your vision of how God is using the homeschool movement, as well as your specific work as a homeschooling parent, to usher in spiritual, educational, and family revival—and to preserve our American heritage.

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

Infusing our children’s lives with motivation can be difficult in the midst of math, whining, sibling rivalry, mounds of laundry, and the daily demands of life. We can, however, refuse to get bogged down in the to-do lists of life and remember that homeschooling creates an environment where kids can become highly motivated in learning and in life. In this session, we will consider four powerful principles you can implement in your home today that will motivate your children to become mountain movers.

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

When you look at your children, what do you see? Do you see what God sees — lives brimming with possibilities — or little ones making constant demands on your time? Author and homeschool mother Zan Tyler wants to take you beyond the demands of everyday life to embrace a life-giving vision for your children’s future. You will learn to recognize the signs of potential in your children’s lives—signs that are easy to miss yet ripe for cultivation. You will begin to see every facet of each child’s life through the eyes of faith and the lens of Scripture. You will be inspired as you realize the crucial role you and your family play in shaping the identity and gifts of each child. The Master Gardener has given you powerful tools for cultivating your child’s potential; don’t miss this opportunity to discover what they are.

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

Don't miss our Mom's Night Out! It will be a special time of fellowship as Zan Tyler shares her heart with us about what it means to be Kingdom-building moms. We will laugh together and reflect on our callings as wives and mothers. Find out what homeschooling women have in common with Noah, your pastor, missionaries throughout the ages, and the Apostle Peter. We want you to leave the evening inspired and expectant as you go back home to your families continuing your homeschooling journey with renewed enthusiasm and purpose. (And—important note—we will share chocolate together!)


Hope Ware

Hope Ware

Hope has been a writer and public speaker for 35 years. Married to Larry since 1988, she has four sons and has homeschooled for 20 years.

Hope and Larry dispense humor and practical advice about finances at their website - www.underthemedian.com and on their popular YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/underthemedian/

When she's not speaking or writing, you'll find her speed walking while humming songs of the 70's, creating vegan versions of classic American comfort food, or singing jazz and spirituals with her friends and fellow musicians in the Heritage Ensemble.

Hope's Workshops:

New to Homeschooling - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

In this session, we cover all your questions about homeschooling, including: the law, teaching and learning styles, types of curriculum, how to set a schedule, schooling with babies and toddlers at home, and more. Bring your spouse and your questions. Children are welcome, too.

Homeschooling on a Shoestring - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Yes! You can homeschool on a budget. In this session, we'll cover tips for saving money, shopping used, finding freebies, and getting the biggest bang for your buck on homeschooling books and supplies.

Homeschooling High School: A Parent/Student Dialogue (with James) - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

We'll each talk about the changes and challenges of doing high school at home. We'll dish about mistakes that we made and how each of us learned to more fully understand and appreciate the other along the way. Bring your teens and your questions.


James Ware

James W. Ware

James was homeschooled all the way from kindergarten through his high school graduation. In May 2020, he graduated summa cum laude with a BA in psychology from Lincoln Christian University. He works as a coach for a local Christian ministry and plans to pursue ministry in the Anglican Church in North America. James lives in Peoria with his brother and overwhelming collection of books. James is a proud, card-carrying nerd. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, researching just about anything, quoting Shakespeare, serving with his church, and playing tabletop role-playing games.

James' Workshops:

Homeschooling High School: A Parent/Student Dialogue (with Hope) - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

We'll each talk about the changes and challenges of doing high school at home. We'll dish about mistakes that we made and how each of us learned to more fully understand and appreciate the other along the way. Bring your teens and your questions.

I'm Headed to College, Mom! Now What? - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

In this session, James will share the insider secrets he utilized to be a straight A college graduate. We will discuss lectures, note taking, and exams. Bring your concerns, queries, and curiosity. The strange world of deadlines, syllabi, and dorm rooms can feel intimidating, foreign, even terrifying. In this session, we will demystify the collegiate world. You will leave this session with practical, down to earth tips, tricks, and tools to thrive and survive the world of the university.


Diane Wier

Diane Wier

Diane is a veteran homeschool mom, completing her 24th (and final) year of homeschooling. Married to Jon for 30 years, they have 5 children (3 married), 2 grandchildren, and live on a farm in Lacon. She is also a registered nurse and has taught CPR and First Aid classes for the American Heart Association for over 30 years. You may know Diane from her many years teaching the Sonshine Choir for Hosanna Homeschool Choir. In her "spare" time Diane works at the OSF JUMP Simulation Center, helps on the family farm, takes mission trips to Mexico, and enjoys spending time with family.

Diane's Workshops:

CPR & First Aid (Ages 12+) - All day class, Friday 9 to 11:30 a.m. & 1 to 4 p.m.

The Heartsaver First Aid and CPR AED course is designed to prepare people to provide first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) in a safe, timely, and effective manner. This course will include instructor led learning, video instruction and hands on practice. CPR competency is critical to survival from cardiac arrest, so a skills test will be administered during the course. Each student who successfully passes the skills test will receive a course completion card. Cost: $60 per student | 12 student max

CPR & First Aid (Ages 12+) - All day class, Saturday 9 to 11:30 a.m. & 1 to 4 p.m.

This is a repeat of Friday's class. Cost: $60 per student | 12 student max

Nicole Williams

Nicole Williams

Nicole is an expert in all things Charlotte Mason. She is the author and creator of the Living Science curriculum and nature study course at SabbathMoodHomeschool.com and co-host of the podcast “A Delectable Education".

Nicole first started homeschooling in 2004 when her oldest child started kindergarten. She had a toddler at the time and a baby on the way, but it was just the two of them at the kitchen table for those simple years. Things got more complicated three years later when a string of Nicole's adopted siblings entered their little home school. The same year she adopted Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education.

Homeschooling so many children (up to 7 at one time) was like a trial by fire. Still, the process, especially its power to work around learning difficulties like dyslexia, proved the worth of the method. Each term, she added a few more subjects to the curriculum until she had incorporated the whole feast. Yet, years later, she still had not replaced the textbook for science — something Charlotte Mason spoke harshly about. It's odd to say, but fortunately, her high schoolers failed every test, and they had begun to hate science. That forced her to start applying Miss Mason’s natural method for teaching science. Her students thrived! Miss Mason's method opened their eyes, and they began to appreciate the beauty of the world around them. Most importantly, they began to think.

Today, all but one of Nicole's students have graduated, and she shares her experience with you, hoping her words will allow you to confidently understand Charlotte Mason's philosophy and easily implement her methods.

Nicole's Workshops:

A Short Synopsis of the Charlotte Mason Philosophy - Session 1, Friday 10:30 a.m.

In the preface of Charlotte Mason’s books on education, you will find a short synopsis of her philosophy. When speaking of the first point therein, Charlotte Mason said, “‘Children are born persons,’ is the first article of the educational credo in question.” (6/29) A credo or creed is a statement of the beliefs or aims which guide someone’s actions. Many religious traditions have creeds — a statement of their religious beliefs. Knowing the goal or the big picture helps us understand how to live rightly and make the small decisions that carry us through life. Charlotte Mason’s short synopsis is our educational creed, one that clarifies our beliefs and aims and guides our actions.

Nature Study: Special Studies & Object Lessons - Session 2, Friday 1 p.m.

Charlotte Mason said that it is through nature study that children “lay up that store of ‘common information’ which…should precede science teaching.” But how do you know that your students are gathering the information they need? In this workshop, you will learn how special studies and object lessons enhance your student’s science education through a deliberate study of nature. You will learn how to prepare for them and how to implement them during your morning school time and afternoon nature walks.

Teaching Science in Middle School & High School - Session 3, Friday 3 p.m.

Charlotte Mason says, “Books dealing with science as with history, say, should be of a literary character,” (A Philosophy of Education, p. 218) but does the thought of assigning your child a living book for science make you fearful that you are not preparing them for life or possible university courses? Let us consider how each aspect of a Charlotte Mason science curriculum fits together so that our children not only learn to wonder and admire but also become scientifically literate citizens.

Recitation: The Children's Art - Session 4, Saturday 10:30 a.m.

Charlotte Mason said, “There is hardly any ‘subject’ so educative and so elevating as that which Mr. Burrell has happily described as ‘The Children’s Art.'” In this session, you will learn what recitation is, why it is so valuable, and how it differs from memorization. We will then explore its practice from the first reading lessons through adulthood.

Scheduling: A Home Schoolroom Managed on Sound Principles - Session 5, Saturday 1 p.m.

Charlotte Mason gave us very specific guidelines for how a homeschool family’s daily schedule should run, including morning lessons and afternoon occupations. But for some, the idea of creating and following a schedule can be daunting. Join me as I show you how Mason’s plan allows for freedom and serenity in your day.

Charlotte Mason Through High School - Session 6, Saturday 3 p.m.

Charlotte Mason developed her educational method for all students, but many parents think they must abandon her method once their students reach high school. In this workshop, we will discuss why this is far from true. In particular, we will consider what high school will look like if you follow Miss Mason’s approach, what subjects are tackled, the rigor of the program of work, and how to deal with high school transcripts, college applications, and entrance exams. Will your child be prepared to succeed in a non-Charlotte Mason environment? Join Nicole to find out.


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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