New to Homeschooling - DeLise Bernard

DeLise Bernard
Surviving Homeschool
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Surviving Homeschool was founded to help working families navigate the challenges of schooling at home by offering practical advice, cataloged educational resources, and ongoing encouragement (and humor). Join Surviving Homeschool.

DeLise Bernard, Founder, Surviving Homeschool

A stay-at-home mother, wife, and business owner, DeLise has homeschooled her three children (ages 12, 9, 7) in the Washington DC Metropolitan area for almost a decade using secular, Christian, and African-centered resources and classes.

“Homeschooling is a lifestyle. Parents can turn cooking into a math and health lesson. Family evenings can become history and entrepreneurship classes by watching documentaries and business TV shows like BizKid$TM or SharkTankTM.” she said. “Free virtual field trips, online dance classes, and foreign language story times abound. Using the family’s current activities and redirecting them towards fun, interest-led learning can make virtually every home an inspiring schoolroom.”

Her family’s homeschool has been featured in The Washington Post and showcased in a George Washington University student-produced documentary for the school’s Masters program.

DeLise earned a BA in Human Biology and Masters in Sociology from Stanford University. Her husband, Rahsaan Bernard, is currently the President of Building Bridges Across the River, an anchor nonprofit in DC’s Ward 8. The couple founded Beyond Excellence, a health management firm in 2005.


Dericka Oddoye, Managing Partner, Surviving Homeschool

An engineer, wife, and mother, Dericka, has had an 18-year career in the defense contracting industry in the Baltimore/Washington area. During that time, she continued to pursue her personal passion for providing STEM exposure through community outreach.

The mother of three boys, two in public school (ages 12 and 8) and one in preschool (age 3), Dericka knows full well the advantage of supplementing formal education with subjects schools don’t always have the time or resources to include. Enrolling children in instrumental music, programming classes, and weekend enrichment programs help to spark interest in subjects beyond classroom instruction. “Kids who don’t like math but love music are shocked to learn that music is math. Taking apart a curling iron with a teenage girl who doesn’t like science but loves to style her hair teaches her that she may actually love the subject. Exposing kids to STEM by connecting it to their interests creates a bridge for them to comfortably cross,” she believes.

Dericka has led corporate STEM outreach programs and presented at SWE (Society of Women Engineers) and other conferences. She continues to provide training and support for parents interested in expanding family learning opportunities.

Dericka earned a BA in Physics (Washington College), a BA in Electrical Engineering (University of Maryland College Park), and an MS in Technology Management (University of Maryland). She lives in Anne Arundel County Maryland with her husband, Rodney Oddoye, and sons, Ethan, Gavin, and Landon.


Two weeks ago, DeLise Bernard’s family returned from a Caribbean trip right into this emerging national pandemic.  As a veteran homeschooler, she was inundated with questions from friends concerned about the reality of schooling their children while working from home. She recruited her friend, Dericka Oddoye, an engineer with extensive experience supplementing her children’s education, and launched Surviving Homeschool, a Facebook group with over 4500 members that offers practical advice, cataloged educational resources, and ongoing encouragement (and humor). 

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