West Hills 91304

Canoga Park 91303

Dede El-Atrache


The El-Atrache Family

We have a variety of interests and learning styles. We are almost all avid readers, love story telling, and playing all different types of games. A sense of humor in our house is necessary ... with a side of the absurd and a heap load of tolerance. One of our most favorite home school activities is to visit museums. Tuesdays are our museum and library days while Thursdays are our fun and social days. Unless it is Summer ... in the Summer we go to the beach! 

A Lifelong Career of Learning

Throughout my life I have been a student and a teacher. When I was 12, I was a mother's helper and assisted mom's with their young children in their home while they were home, I learned so much from those families. When growing up your family is your "normal", being in a family setting with other families taught me a different kind of diversity within my own community. While in junior high I helped my mother with her home day care, I would make snacks, play games with the children, and teach them some of the things I was learning in school and they taught me to practice patience. As a high school student I began my formal education as an Early Childhood Educator at University City High School in San Diego which has a Regional Occupation Program and a preschool on site. Through that program I was able to train at, during school hours, different types of preschools. During my training I worked for a non-profit Christian preschool, a for-profit preschool, and a Special Needs School where I worked with deaf children with other needs; I chose these three schools so that I would have a diversified education and I learned exactly what I needed to make career choices in the future. For many years I played to my strengths and taught 3yr-4yr old children in a religious setting. In my second year of teaching I had the unique position of being a teacher and the School Director. I held that position for well over a decade. I learned so much about diplomacy, management, and families. One of the greatest things I learned from that experience is that learning is never a one size fits all endeavor and often times students need individualized attention that just can't happen with a large group or even a not so large group. When I had my own children I was truly blessed that they were able to come with me to work and when they were old enough I was able to be their preschool teacher. It was a rare and lovely opportunity.

We always knew that we would eventually home school, our goal was to home school through the very tough years of middle school but life had a different plan, we bought a house a little far from my work and the children's much loved school ... so when my oldest was in 2nd grade, life changed, and we started home schooling all three of our children. At first we did the K12 online program and did school at home, and that worked for a little over a year. Then we filed a PSA and that worked out really well for a little over a semester. We are now with SkyMountain Charter school and really appreciate the funding that we get. This has worked well for us for the past few years and it has been a pleasure to let the children lead their learning, they choose what classes they want to take based on what their career goals are ... which change but, how cool is it that they have the option to explore their options at such a young age. Currently my two older children are tweens and my youngest is in elementary. I hesitate to state grades, as a homeschooler, their grade level varies on subject. When we first started this journey we watched the documentary "Class Dismissed" and found a very similar time line and story. No answers but a level of validity, others are on this path, we are not alone, as a family exploring we can share our resources with you ... that comes free of charge for the most part. None of us are perfect but we are sometimes perfect for each other, in different ways at different times. 

This new generation that we are raising has some unique qualities and their learning options are so different than what ours were. I am so grateful for the options that we have as a family and we welcome other's to join us in our life long adventure. 

The Homeschool West Hills

Wonder. Learn. Grow.