Ep 20: How Can You Get The Most Out Of Your Experience At Alaska’s Biggest And Best Homeschool Fair—Both Virtually And In-Person?

Guests:

Brianna Gravelle

Topic:

IDEA’s virtual and in-person Curriculum Fair is happening in April. In this episode, long-time home schooling mom Brianna Gravelle talks about her multiple experiences at the Anchorage Curriculum Fair. Podcast host, Lindsay Pinkelman talks about her experience at the Fairbanks Curriculum Fair and together they share all of the ways you can use the Whova app to best experience the virtual Curriculum Fair. This really is Alaska’s best homeschool Curriculum Fair!

Guest Biography:

Brianna Gravelle has been an Alaskan resident for over 20 years and has a long history homeschooling with IDEA that started as student in her teens. She has dedicated herself to schooling her three children, boys aged 3 and 5, and daughter 13, since 2020. She is passionate about supporting our IDEA community, helping it to grow!

In addition to her commitment to her children’s education, Brianna actively engages with the homeschooling community as a member of the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) for the past three years. Currently serving as the Social Media Secretary, she utilizes her skills to connect with fellow homeschooling families and share valuable resources.  She also attended the PAC retreat in Fairbanks this year, representing our MatSu families and working with other regions to present recommendations from parent surveys to the School Board.

Brianna is eagerly anticipating the upcoming IDEA Curriculum Fair in April, an event that holds special significance for her and her family. Having attended the fair for the past four years, Brianna views it as a cornerstone of her homeschooling journey. She eagerly looks forward to attending workshops, socializing with fellow homeschoolers, planning out their next year, and of course spending some of their allotment! For Brianna, the fair is more than just an event—it’s a dynamic platform that has enriched her family’s educational endeavors and fostered a sense of community among her and fellow homeschoolers across Alaska.

Episode Sponsor:

IDEA’s Curriculum Fair Vendors

Resource Links:

IDEA Curriculum Fair

Ep 19: How Is IDEA’s Academic Decathlon Team Encouraging Tomorrow’s Leaders?

Guests:

Scott Gingrich
Lori Zulliger
Jen Schutte
Mandy Wraith

Topic:

Scott Gingrich, Lori Zulliger, Jen Schutte and Mandy Wraith join the podcast as IDEA’s Academic Decathlon (ACADECA) Coaches. This statewide club has grown exponentially since 1998 and continues to find success in competitions, including this year! Listen and learn about the growth students experience studying 10 academic disciplines throughout the semester, what it takes to make the team, and also hear a students’ speech as she practiced for the state competition.

Guest Biography:

Mandy Wraith is a home-educating mom from the Wasilla area who has educated her three sons at home from preschool. In 2009, her family moved to Alaska and joined IDEA. She loves the strong relationship formed with their amazing contact teacher and the support IDEA has provided along the way. In 2017, she started IDEA’s first Academic Pentathlon program and coached that for several years while her two youngest sons participated. This year she joined the MatSu area’s Academic Decathlon program as the assistant coach, and she is excited to be coaching the MatSu AceDeca team next year! She and her husband have two sons who have graduated, a lovely daughter-in-law, and is finishing strong with her last student, her son who will be a senior next year! The Wraith family love everything about life in Alaska; hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, bush flying, gardening, berry picking. As a second-generation home educator who was educated at home K-12, she loves encouraging families along the thrilling adventure of person-tailored learning!

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.   

Lori Zulliger is a Contact Teacher for IDEA. She has served homeschooling families as their educational colleague since 2001, and has delighted in watching young children grow up to be confident and capable adults. Lori homeschooled her own daughter through IDEA, so she understands IDEA from the inside-out. Lori adores the homeschooling community and is excited about the choices that are afforded to the parent-teachers and their students. 

Scott Gingrich is a contact teacher who has worked for the District going on 31 years.  Married for 36 years with 5 wonderful kids.  He likes biking and kayaking when not at work.

Episode Sponsor:

IDEA’s Curriculum Fair

Resource Links:

Academic Decathlon: https://www.usad.org/

Learn more about IDEA’s Curriculum Fair: https://www.ideafamilies.org/fair

Ep 18: How Can We Extinguish Homeschool Burnout And Ignite Passion?

Episode:

Mary Fowler and Lisa Williams are guests on this episode talking about homeschool burnout. Maybe you have felt it over the years of homeschooling? For example, the wall you hit when there’s no creativity left or life responsibilities are too much. What if you gave yourself permission to take a break? Listen in to find out more about the importance of taking a break as well as the power of self-reflection!

Guests:

Mary Fowler has worked for IDEA as a Contact teacher since 1999. She has four kids and is currently homeschooling three of the four ranging in grades 3-12. Mary loves the outdoors, fishing, reading, and playing games with her family.

Lisa Williams grew up in McLean, Virginia near Washington DC.. She received her Undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service followed by commissioning in the United States Marine Corps as a Cryptology/Intelligence Officer. After serving in the Marines, Mrs. Williams, her husband and four sons moved to Alaska where she homeschooled her children through IDEA and other Charter and Private schools.

Mrs. Williams became involved in classical education at Holy Rosary Academy. Mrs. Williams attained her Master of Arts in Education from Alaska Pacific University while teaching. She then became the Principal at Holy Rosary, and later she was the Headmaster at Chesterton Academy of Annapolis. Mrs. Williams and her husband were blessed to spend a year abroad where she taught at The International School Westphalz in Landsthul Germany teaching at a Swiss school using the Cambridge curriculum.

Finally, life has returned full circle and she is now a contact teacher at the Eagle River IDEA office where she once was a homeschool parent.

Episode Sponsor:

Technology department