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.
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