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.

Guest Biography:

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. 

Resource Links:

Curriculum Resources:

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.