Meet The ICHE Board

Our current Board consists of homeschooling couples of varying backgrounds and experiences.  These are dedicated husbands and wives that are homeschooling their own children, or have successfully graduated them.  Together, they bring years of experience to the table.  They understand not only the joys that come along with homeschooling their children, but the challenges as well.  They share a common vision of developing a homeschool community within the state of Illinois that can thrive as parents obediently exercise their God given responsibilities to raise up their children.  Most importantly, they share a common faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ and a strong desire to see His Gospel passed from family to family and generation to generation.

 

 

 

Dan and Beth Caswell

Dan and Beth have been married for 31 years and have homeschooled all eight of their children (7 girls and 1 boy) from birth. Five of their children have graduated high school. Their two oldest have college degrees using a creative mix of commuting and distance learning options; the next three are working on college degrees.  Seven of the children live at home with them and the eldest is married with one child and a second baby due later this fall.  Dan and Beth attended their first ICHE conference when their oldest daughter was 2 years old and haven’t missed a conference for the past 24 years. They have been blessed by the vision and encouragement ICHE has provided.

Dan and Beth and their children are the founders of the Northern Illinois Christian Youth Orchestra, now in its fifth season, and the Encouraging Word Gavel Club in its tenth year of training young people to lead and communicate for the glory of God. They started the gavel club after being inspired by a gavel club demonstration at the ICHE conference the year before.  In 2006, they helped plant a family integrated church, Family of Faith Fellowship, in Northwestern Illinois, where Dan serves as a teaching elder.  Their family has also ministered to many through the singing of the Caswell Family Singers.

Dan is a lawyer and in his spare time, township supervisor.  Beth has a Masters Degree in computer science and left Bell Labs when their first child was born to begin a more challenging and rewarding career (and, yes, their kids all have to do math!).  Besides continuing to teach the three youngest girls, Beth is a wonderful helpmeet, helping to manage the many ministries and enterprises that go on in, around and from the Caswell home in rural Jo Daviess County. Dan and Beth’s heart for multi-generational family vision and discipleship drives much of what they do in following Christ’s call in their lives.

 

 

 

 

Jeffrey and Melissa Lewis

Jeffrey and Melissa Lewis live in Sycamore, Illinois, with their five children Mariah, Kathryn, Rebekah, Zachary, and Abigail.  Shortly after the birth of their first child in 1993, the Lord introduced them to homeschooling through some Godly friends. The encouragement they received showed them the need to shepherd their children’s hearts “from the beginning”.  They have never looked back, and by God’s grace they graduated their first two children from homeschool high school in 2011.

Together, Jeff and Melissa have a personal background that touches on nearly every aspect of traditional school environments.  They were both raised in the Illinois public schools and attended Northern Illinois University.  After a short career in the business world, Jeff returned to the university to attend law school, and he now earns his living as an attorney.  Melissa obtained an education degree and a license from the State of Illinois to teach in its schools.  She spent four years teaching in a daycare learning center.  Over the past twenty years, they have taught children in their church from nursery through high school.  This variety of experiences has given them many examples of “how-to” and “how-not-to” teach their own children.

Jeff and Melissa believe that the family should reflect the Biblical model of discipleship from one generation of believers to another.  They also believe that the local church should equip and strengthen the believer for all aspects of ministry, including the raising of children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  At the same time they recognize the difficulties that churches face when trying to meet all the needs of a diverse community.  That is why Jeff and Melissa serve on the leadership team of a local homeschool support group, known as Home Educators Applying Righteous Teaching (“HEART”).  This support group has been able to supplement the resources that might not be available in each church congregation in the DeKalb County area.  Their involvement in HEART and in family ministries through their own church has given the Lewis family many opportunities to grow in their own faith, and to see God’s hand turning the hearts of parents toward their children year after year.  In 2006 Jeff and Melissa joined the Board of Directors of Illinois Christian Home Educators (“ICHE”), and God has expanded their vision of ministry to include families throughout the state of Illinois.  The Lewis family recognizes that true salvation comes only through the work of Jesus Christ, so they pray that the Lord will use them as He pleases to equip parents to teach, evangelize, and disciple the next generation.

 

 

 

Jim and Linda Skarin

Jim and Linda Skarin love life.  Married 34 years, together they have served the Lord in raising five children for His glory.  They continue to home disciple their youngest two children.  With eight grandchildren and counting, their home is always a center of activity.  Key to their lives is the practice of hospitality, and their front door is always open to welcome others.  Jim loves to serve and can frequently be found lending a helping hand to friends and acquaintances.  Linda enjoys reading great books aloud to their children and grandchildren.  Best friends, Jim and Linda like going on walks together and are grateful for the life God has given them.