How Can Homeschooling Facilitate A Growth Mindset?

Dan Kullander shares his passion for teaching kids how to use a growth mindset in the academic setting. From a young child to adolescence and adulthood, the language of a growth mindset can be a powerful tool for everyone. Lindsay discloses a tragic accident she experienced and how having a growth mindset has been crucial for her mental health. There are many resources discussed that parents can take away and not only cultivate them in the homeschool setting, but also in life.

Guest Bio:
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.

Resource Links:

—Growth Mindset, by Carol Dweck
—What’s Math Got to Do with it; & Mathematical Mindsets, by Jo Boaler
—Do Hard Things, by Alex & Brett Harris (faith-based resource)

Online Resources:
ClassDojo – YouTube  (Search “Growth Mindset” for a 5-part series.)

Carol Dweck TED Talk: The power of believing that you can improve | Carol Dweck – YouTube
BBC Clip on Learning and the Brain: Resources (
Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets: Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets – YouTube

What Homeschooling Insights Can Be Derived From IDEA’s History?

In this episode, we learn about IDEA’s origin and foundation of our mission and values. Lindsay talks with Carol Simpson, a homeschooling parent who was one of the first employees that has been instrumental in creating and maintaining IDEA’s focus on homeschooling parents being the expert educators. Carol discusses the importance of mentors as well as the creation and importance of Parent Advisory Committees (PAC).

Guest Biography:
Carol Simpson started homeschooling her first-born in 1986. She and her husband were attending Bible school and had few funds for homeschool materials, so she relied heavily on the library, bought and borrowed used materials, and made her own learning games. The IDEA homeschool program began in 1997 with two hired homeschool parents including Carol, to help create a program that honored homeschooling parents as their students first and best teachers. She homeschooled all seven over 31 years while continuing to help build IDEA from the ground up. One of her impactful roles with IDEA is organizing the annual Curriculum Fair. Carol’s favorite thing about homeschooling was all the things that she got to learn alongside her children each year, and her favorite thing about her job is helping other parents experience that same delight!

Resource Links:

Related Resources for Enrolled Families:

Episode 2: How Much Freedom and Choice Do You Have With IDEA?

In this episode, Lori Zulliger and host Lindsay Pinkelman discuss choices in homeschooling with IDEA from online, curriculum libraries, co-ops, packaged kits, field trips and dual-enrollment. Together they discuss how exploring a child’s learning style strength can create a solid foundation for developing their love of learning.

Guest Biography:
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.

Resource Links:
Cathy Duffy Website:

  • Please reach out to your Contact Teacher for help using or accessing any of the following related to your educational choices in IDEA:
    • Activities, events, clubs and workshops happening in your local office weekly!
    • Local lesson providers and support!
    • Exploring new and different curriculum options!
    • Learning styles surveys!
    • A range of fun career/student interest surveys (best suited for middle/high school)!