Why Are Parent Advisory Committees So Important To IDEA Families?


Heidi Mobley 
Nikki Gore 
Renee Tegen 


Nikki and Renee share how they each got started with their region’s Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). This parent group within each region holds open meetings for any IDEA member to attend. Listen to this episode to hear how events are developed from an idea to completion, but more importantly, how much this group has positively impacted our families’ experience within IDEA. Heidi Mobley, Field Rep shares stories of families whose lives have changed because of their involvement in the PAC.  

Guest Biography:  

Domenique “Nikki” Gore is an active member in the IDEA PAC for the Matsu Region. She holds the position of PAC Secretary and helps volunteer for many of the events the MatSu PAC hosts. She is a small business owner on top of homeschooling two elementary-aged kids and caring for her toddler. Her family has been homeschooling with IDEA for going on four years now and loving every minute of it! ” 

Renee Tegen is an Air Force veteran and mother to four boys (ages 18, 17, 15, & 11) and has been with MatSu Region IDEA for six years. She joined the PAC in her first year to be involved and stay caught up on events and activities to bring her boys to. After a couple of years, she became the Vice-Chair on the PAC and recently assumed the position of PAC Chair. She has been involved in organizing multiple events each year as well as clubs. Homeschooling has been wonderful for her and her boys and they’re so glad they made the decision to join IDEA.   

Heidi Mobley is a homeschooling momma of 18 plus years and a Field Rep for the Mat-Su Region for four years. When she is not serving the IDEA families, you can find her cooking fantastic meals for her loved ones, skiing in fresh snow, and enjoying soft 80’s rock. Her love for homeschool developed as she taught her three children and further grows as she connects with IDEA families. Her passion for instilling opportunity for enrichment and engagement flourishes as she runs events, stands as a liaison for staff and families, and greets new faces into the program. 

Episode Sponsor:   IDEA’s Business Office 

Ep 9: How to Grow Your Homeschool Garden

Guest: Janice Habermann

In this special episode, Janice Habermann delivers an incredible keynote speech at the 2023 IDEA Curriculum Fair. Janice discusses the journey of homeschooling through the lens of constructing a garden. She discusses the planting of rich soil and seeds; the careful attention of watering; how to weed the garden and harvest your beautiful crops. You will come away with a heartwarming reminder of how to culivate each phase of your homeschool experience.

Guest Biography:
Janice Habermann is the mother of 3 and the grandmother of 6. She came to Alaska over 30 years ago and raised her family on the Kenai Peninsula. She bravely began homeschooling her children in 1993, before any of the homeschool support programs were available. Finding curriculum and quality supplies was a challenge, so she opened her own curriculum store, The Brain Box, in 1996. IDEA began in 1997 and with its inception, homeschooling became so much easier. After Janice sold The Brain Box, she joined the IDEA staff in 2004 in the Kenai office. She has held positions as Resource Room Coordinator (where she was in charge of curriculum resources), Contact Teacher in Soldotna, as well as her final role of Anchorage Site Administrator and the IDEA Assistant Director. Janice loved her time at IDEA, as mentoring homeschool families is one of her greatest passions! She retired from IDEA in 2021 and presently keeps busy with helping to homeschool her own grandchildren—now third-generation homeschoolers!

Ep 4: 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 (learningandtheadolescentmind.org)
Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets: Carol Dweck: The Effect of Praise on Mindsets – YouTube