IDEA is celebrating 25 years as the largest homeschool program in the state of Alaska. Tune in for regular advice on techniques, resources and tools to help guide your homeschooling journey!
Ep 15: How Do IDEA Field Reps Bring Homeschooling Families Together?
Cherie Taylor and Jen Schutte
Podcast host Lindsay Pinkelman talks with Field Reps Cherie Taylor and Jen Schutte about being the fun planners! Field Reps have the opportunity to welcome families into IDEA, ensure questions and concerns are answered, and begin the enrollment process. After that, the fun happens through field trips, office parties and working with community partnerships. Listen to find out how your idea could become an event in your local region.
Jen Schutte joined IDEA in January of 2012 with her son, Alex. They never regretted that decision and only wish they had taken the plunge sooner. Alex graduated in May of 2019. She has two more students (Morgan and Quinn) moving up the ranks. She looks forward to crossing the stage with them as well in 2025 and 2032. She believes in being an active participant in her family’s lives enabling them to follow their passions. She has led clubs such as FLL Robotics and held the positions of Secretary and Chair for the Parent Advisory Committee. Jen became the Field Representative for the Fairbanks office in July of 2019. She advocates for all families in the IDEA program. She maintains communication between families and administration; oversees PAC; welcomes new families to the program; and helps coordinate events, orientations, activities, curriculum fair and workshops.
Cherie Taylor is a wife and a mama to a 9yr old boy. She is in her 5th year of homeschooling. She started with IDEA as a homeschool parent & parent advisory committee member. She joined the PAC to be as involved as she could be in the arena of homeschooling – something that was new to her. In July of 2020, due to the pandemic, the enrollment with IDEA was quickly escalating & Cherie was hired as a part time field rep – mainly just answering inquiries such as “How does homeschooling work?” and “How does IDEA come alongside families to support homeschooling?” In October of 2020 Cherie was hired as the full time field rep.
IDEA’s Resource Room
Fred Meyers Community Rewards Program
* Log into your Fred Meyer Community Rewards Account and designate IDEA as your non-profit of choice. If you don’t have a Fred Meyer Community Rewards account, you can create one here.
* Once you get your account set up and you’re logged in, go to “My Account.”
* Once there you can designate IDEA Homeschool as your nonprofit of choice. You can either search for us by name (IDEA Homeschool) or by our organization number, which is 92911.
* Once you’ve designated IDEA as your non-profit of choice, print or electronically capture the bottom of the “Account Summary” page that shows:* Your name, and
* That you’ve chosen IDEA as your non-profit designee.
* Then email or bring it to your contact teacher.
* Once your contact teacher has this information, they will send you your username and password for each of your K-8 students in IDEA to have their own Moby Max account.
Ep 14: How Can The Science Of Reading Support Early Learners?
Deb Mackie and Linda Ruffridge
Assistant Director of IDEA, Deb Mackie and returning to the podcast, Contact Teacher, Linda Ruffridge, discuss the Science of Reading and what the state of Alaska is promoting this year regarding the Alaska Reads Act. They break down the five pillars of the Science of Reading, discuss the difference between a struggling reader and reluctant reader, and provide resources for parents.
Deb Mackie has been with IDEA from the beginning. She began homeschooling her children in 1997 and later joined the staff in 2002. She has worked in every position throughout IDEA and currently serves as the Assistant Director for IDEA. She enjoys serving families and staff all across the state. Deb takes great pride in being able to homeschool her own grandchildren.
Linda is a former IDEA parent who is now a Contact Teacher out of the Soldotna office. After her youngest child graduated from IDEA in 2012, Linda went to her local IDEA office and asked for a job. She began working for IDEA over the fall of 2012, starting off as a teacher with the iGrad program. (iGrad is a sister program within IDEA that supports high school students needing credit recovery.) She eventually switched over to the IDEA program and is currently serving families in the Kenai Peninsula area, as well as Kodiak Island.
Science of Reading
All About Reading
How To Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons
Logic of English
Book- How Your Brain Learns by Denise Eide
Linda’s Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe:
2/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup of sugar
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger OR 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
*Mix all ingredients together. Cook and stir over low heat until combined and has a smooth texture. It is done when the sauce clings to the spoon like syrup.
To use, place 1-4 Tablespoons (your preference) in with your milk when you heat and froth it for a latte.
Ep 13: How Does IDEA’s iGrad Program Support Alternative Education for High School Students?
IDEA’s iGrad program is an important option for alternative education students to earn a high school diploma and Corrie Hruby, iGrad’s Administrator discusses why this program is so successful. The triad of the coach, mentor and student makes the iGrad program unique and supports students through learning and work-life balance. Corrie discusses who the iGrad program is for, how staff support the student in all areas of life and why graduation feels like the Super Bowl!
Corrie Hruby loves to learn and teach. She’s been working as an educator in Galena City School District since 2014 in a variety of roles and locations, from being a classroom math and science teacher at SHS to teaching in iGrad and now working as a full-time administrator for iGrad and IDEA out of the MatSu Region. She loves to read, travel, and spend time outside. Corrie is excited to share “fun facts” about whatever topic she’s most interested in at the moment, which right now happens to be the science of infant sleep since she and her husband have a 5 month old son.
Episode Sponsor: IDEA’s FFA team
* Connect with your IDEA contact teacher for more information.
Resource Links:igradalaska.org alaska211.orgifttt.comzapier.com
Ep 12: How Do You Create Your Own Homeschool Journey?
Marian Werth talks with Lindsay about how to make your homeschool journey your own. For the first time on the podcast, we hear from IDEA parents Julia Seavast, Michelle Spaulding and Alyssa Couturier about how each of them has created their own homeschool journey through IDEA! Marian leaves listeners with a good reminder! You are the captain of your own ship and to do what works best for you and your family!
Marian Werth is a special education teacher with IDEA serving families from the Kenai IDEA office. She has worked for IDEA for 15 years; first as a Contact Teacher before working with families homeschooling their children that receive special education services. She’s lived on the Kenai Peninsula since moving from Wisconsin shortly after college graduation. Marian has been involved in teaching public and private school, as well as homeschooling her own children for several years. Marian is happy to be working for IDEA, helping to provide an important educational option to families.
Ep 11: How Can S’mores Help You Avoid A Hot Mess In Homeschooling?
A s’more being one of Linda Ruffridge’s favorite campfire foods, she uses the acronym to walk listeners through how to avoid a hot mess in your homeschooling year ahead. Find out tips to help you get ready for the new year and savor the ooey gooey messiness that can happen throughout the year.
Linda is a former IDEA parent who is now a contact teacher out of the Kenai office. After her youngest child graduated from IDEA in 2012, Linda went to her local IDEA office and asked for a job. She began working for IDEA the fall of 2012 starting off as a teacher with the iGrad program. (A sister program within IDEA that supports high school students needing credit recovery). She eventually switched over to the IDEA program and is currently serving families in the Kenai/Soldotna area as well as Kodiak Island.
Tips for Homeschoolers:
Tips for new homeschoolers
Ep 10: What Does A Homeschool Journey Look Like?…Lessons Learned and Shared
Sarah Oyoumick joins this episode to share stories from her own homeschool journey as a mom of three boys. Each one of our journeys are so unique—yet, maybe there’s more in common than we think. The balance of teaching, parenting, household responsibilities and family life can feel heavy sometimes and Sarah shares lessons learned to help navigate some of homeschooling’s toughest moments.
Sarah Oyoumick has lived in Alaska since 1999. She taught in Noorvik and Anchorage. Later she moved with her husband to his hometown of Unalakleet, Alaska, to raise their family. They have resided in Soldotna for the last ten years. They put their oldest son in private school his kindergarten year, but sharing is hard to do and the days were long without him. So, then they began their homeschool journey. They have loved the hard, the beautiful, the growth, and the many delights of this adventure together. Sarah’s favorite thing is loving on people.