Ep 24: How Can You Incorporate Agriculture Into Your Homeschool Curriculum?

Dawn Cogan

Dawn Cogan, IDEA Fairbanks Site Administrator and Contact Teacher brings her passion for agriculture to this episode. She shares about her expertise in bee keeping, all different types of workshops our offices host and how to incorporate these opportunities into your curriculum. You will also learn  the secret to growing a luscious garden and keeping the wildlife out!

Guest Biography:
Dawn Cogan is the Site Administrator of IDEA in Fairbanks, Alaska. She and her husband were both born and raised in Fairbanks. Dawn obtained her bachelor’s degree in management communications from Northwest Christian University in 1993. The Cogans homeschooled two children for thirteen on a family homestead 30 miles north of Fairbanks.

Dawn received a teacher’s certificate through UAF in 2015 and M.Ed. in Education Leadership from UAA in 2018. She has been working as a certified contact teacher with IDEA since 2015 and as the administrator for the past seven years.

Dawn’s passion for agricultural science has given her the opportunity to teach thousands of families how to keep honeybees in their own back yard. She is also a master gardener.

A favorite part of each day for Dawn is collaborating with home school parents, students and a statewide team of professionals to dream and design ways to inspire individualized learning.

Episode Sponsor:
IDEA Community Partnerships

Resource Links:



Ep 23: What Makes the IDEA and IGrad Graduation Ceremony So Unique?

Nancy Wold

Nancy Wold, an IDEA Homeschool parent, shares her unique perspective of capturing IDEA and IGrad’s graduation ceremonies from behind the camera lens. Since 2015, she has photographed and witnessed hundreds of Seniors celebrate and capture memories with their families. In this episode, you’ll learn about the things that makes the graduation ceremony so unique!

Guest Biography:
Nancy has been with IDEA since the year after it began and has homeschooled her 7 children all through their elementary, middle school and high school years.  She has photographed the commencement ceremonies since 2015.  Nancy appreciates the flexibility that IDEA has afforded her for picking curriculum to meet her homeschoolers needs.   Plus she is grateful for the guidance and accountability of the contact teachers.

Episode Sponsor:
IDEA and iGrad Alaska Graduates

Resource Links:
Wold Portraiture LLC

Ep 22: How Can You Grow Grit And Resilience In Your Homeschool Journey?


Dan Kullander


Dan Kullander returns on this episode to discuss deeper concepts of growth mindset — the belief that abilities are not fixed but can be expanded through dedication and learning. He introduces the concepts of grit and resilience and how the importance of finding purpose while connecting that to larger goals can help people persevere in the face of challenges. Dan shares practical tips for parents, including the importance of providing emotional support while maintaining high standards for achievement. By balancing warmth and expectations, parents can create an environment that encourages growth and resilience in their children.

Guest Biography:

Dan Kullander is Lead Teacher at the IDEA Eagle River office.  He grew up in Juneau, Alaska, and has worked with children in preschool, private school, public school, and church ministry settings.  Dan and his wife began homeschooling their 4 boys through IDEA more than 12 years ago and have seen firsthand the amazing opportunities homeschool has to offer.  In 2019, Dan and his family moved to the Anchorage area, where he joined the IDEA staff as a Contact Teacher.  Growth Mindset has been a particular area of interest for Dan during his educational studies. He continues to explore it through discussions with colleagues, homeschooling families, and his own children.


IDEA Offices

Resource Links


  • Grit, by Carol Dweck