WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — In the beginning, the transition to homeschooling was tough for the Ricketts family.
“The transition was rough, but it’s cool now we’re seeing the light and how they can grow,” said Brohdny Ricketts.
His wife Mandie worked from home, but then suddenly became a teacher to three.
“Before all of this stuff, we actually were tossing the idea of homeschooling, but it was with the understanding that I would only do 2 or 3 days a week,” she said.
Brohdny said he learned a lot about his wife during those first few weeks when he was away at work.
“Problem-solving for Mandie is talking it out,” he said. “So, I’ve learned that if she asks me something, she might not need my answer, she might just need my ear or my feedback.”
He also learned a lot about his priorities and direction.
“Through my prayer and my faith — I’m led to be here with my family and be present.”
He left his job this week and will move towards other projects to be home with his family more.
For Mandie, developing structure has been the key to making this format work for her children.
“They have to get up in the morning before 9 o’clock. We do a family devotional, and then they have to eat.”
There’s also an hour of quiet time built in each day.
“I don’t want to hear anything during quiet time…that’s mom’s time.”
Both parents have discovered they enjoy the flexibility that comes with setting the educational agenda.
“There’s been a lot of things I’ve always wanted to do with them. It’s just hard because they’re always at school all the time. So I guess we’re just taking advantage of that,” said Mandie.
Brodhny, their son, is in 5th grade, while their daughter Trinity is in 3rd, and Jailynn is in Pre-K.
“They each learn differently so we kind of do one thing more geared towards her (Jailynn) one day and then kind of more towards the other one. But make it so that it might be 5th-grade level — but they’re all getting something out of it.”
They’ve also been able to build in time for faith-based activity as a family in addition to practical learning that’s not necessarily taught in the classroom.
“A lot of kids don’t know how to maintain their apartment, or to do dishes, or to clean, so we want to give them these ideas and stuff.”
They’re also learning things like cooking, cleaning, and sewing with help from grandma, who is in town for a few weeks.
This has been a learning exercise for the Ricketts family, but one both parents say they hope can translate to life lessons for everyone.
“As they get older, I want them to remember this moment,” said Brohdny. “And see how we took the best approach that we thought. It might not be right. I don’t know. But we’re taking this approach, boldly, for their benefit and for our family.”