'The Words We Speak' with Bridgett Wright

Meet the incredible Bridgett Wright. Homeschool Mama raising 4 children with her husband just outside Tokyo, Japan.  When not exploring a new trail, Bridgett is baking, gardening, or even relaxing!! We've been following her journey on Instagram @rootsofwonder_ and were thrilled to interview Bridgett about her inspiring parenting journey! Read on to hear about life in Japan with 4 kids and the upcoming launch of her blog about all things homeschooling, nature, and their amazing world schooling adventures!  

After living in the UK and America you’re now in beautiful Japan! What’s taken you to Japan? How have you found family life in 3 different continents?

All of our moves are due to my husband’s career and we’ve learned so many things. Family life in each of these countries has been unique in their own regard. Through it all, we’ve learned a lot about the world and how we see ourselves within it. As parents and individuals, we’ve learned a lot about personal freedom and pour that into our children. Additionally, living abroad has strengthened our family’s bond. We’ve formed amazing connections with many people in various places but the reality that we move often and don’t live near extended family is ever-present. Therefore, we are conscious of how we connect and relate to each other within our home.

Absolutely love ‘Home Educator to 4 Life Learners’. Could you describe what that means, for our readers?

I often describe our approach to homeschool as a lifestyle. We are always learning something new; the entire family. Therefore, I no longer view education as something rooted in grade level, age groups, or a hand full of skills. Simply put, when we come across something new, we learn about it. When we meet someone, we learn from them. As we travel and interact with various places and cultures, we learn from them. Lifelong learning elevates life skills while improving our understanding of the world and the things within it. By continuously learning we absorb invaluable knowledge that can be utilized throughout different parts of our lives.  

Has homeschooling always been something you knew you wanted to do with your children?  What advice would you give to any parents who are thinking of homeschooling?

Yes and no. Our oldest child did attend two years within the traditional school system. However, I always supplemented and enhanced his education at home. We love to read so I began exposing him to the various things through books. Then that grew into science experiments, nature walks, and things centering his growing interests. After a while, I began to question the “why” behind all of our home learning. Our son wasn’t receiving what he desired and we knew there was a different way. So, we removed him from school and began to create an environment that centered the whole person, not just academics, and met each of our children on their individual levels.

I’d advise anyone that is interesting in homeschooling to do it. This puts your family in charge of their time, experience, and overall dynamics. The personal growth, connections, and real-life experiences brought on by this lifestyle are irreplaceable. When it comes to academics, with one-on-one or small group instruction, your child can excel by receiving a focused educational experience. Additionally, with full-time homeschooling becoming more popular, there is a wealth of communities and individuals to connect with.

How have your little ones adapted to the change in cuisine? Do you have any tips on parents trying to introduce new flavours and foods to their little ones?

They’ve done well. Prior to moving abroad, we enjoyed attending festivals and knew people from various backgrounds so my children were always exposed to different foods. As we travel, experimenting with food has become one of our favorite hobbies. If we see something new or different spin on the dish, we try it. We have a large family of 6, so one dish is the perfect size for us all to try a sample. At home, we do the same.  We have a child we affectionally call “the chef in training” so we’re always cooking up new dishes together.

To get our child use to or willing to try new flavours, we exposed it to them when they were young. With older children, make it a game. It could be something simple, such as a guessing game to try to decide what it may taste like based on the picture or description. Or try guessing the ingredients. We also, often tie food to learning. So, you could read or learn about a place or person. Then purchase or make food together from that person’s country or culture or a specific location.

What memories would you like your children to remember from their childhood when they grow up?

Above all, I’d like them to remember safety and support. Traveling and other aspects are a bonus but I want them to carry the fact that they are valued throughout their childhood and into their adult lives. My hope is that by creating space that allows them to make mistakes and grow from them, without being ridiculed, will ground them in compassion and being secure within themselves.

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a parent?

So Much! One thing that always sticks out to me is that I don’t have the answers. I don’t know all the things but a willingness to learn and understand is key. Each of my children are different so over the years I’ve grown in various ways and continuing to do so. Patience, I know its cliché, but it's working. I’ve learned to take obvious pauses to think before I speak or respond to them. By modeling patience to them, we also receive it in return. Granted, they are young people and still developing so it’s a work in progress but it’s there.  

What have you found the most challenging with raising 4 kids?

Balance. There are only so many hours in the day and even on days when the time drags, I still feel as if there are things left undone. Then, on the other hand, the years fly by. Time is a strange concept in parenting.

four kids by the water

How do you ensure you get some time for yourself?

This took time but I’ve managed a system that works for me. On a daily basis, we have quiet time. Yes, even my tween participates and does so willingly. There a lot of people in our house so it’s often loud and busy. This mid-day break allows us all to give each other space and enjoy time alone.

Nature plays a big part in my self-care and I weave it into many parts of our lives. I get the children outside often and over the years I’ve noticed how it seemed to reset everyone’s mood and calms us. We hike, ride bikes, play in the river, or simply just sit and relax.  If I’m not out with the family, I treat myself to time in nature; grounding and reconnecting with myself.

On a grander scale, I enjoy solo trips. At this point, with my family dynamics, they are mostly day trips but I’ve experienced extremely unique places this way.

We’re so excited for the launch of your blog! What can we expect to see on there?

First off, thank you so much. I sincerely appreciate that. My blog will be focused on our homeschool journey as interest-led and nature-inspired learning. I’ll also share our worldschooling adventures, which involves a combination of our life abroad and all the things we’ve learned along the way.

These fields are extremely important to me and there’s not much information out there about them. Also, I wish to provide a diverse personal perspective. I understand that representation matters so by sharing our story, we may encourage, support, or connect with other families.  

 Kid in  Japan

Where on the map is next for you?

At this point, we’re planning to live in Japan for the next couple of years. Long term we’re considering southern Europe.  

We’re on a mission to help raise future generations of healthy bodies and healthy minds.  What are your tips on raising healthy minds and how do you encourage this with your family?

Gardening has been a life-changer for us. My children help in the garden year-round. They already have a pretty developed food palate but they are more inclined to each anything we’ve grown. We’re also very active, in a natural sense. We’re always exploring someplace new and my children have grown up exploring and moving through nature on a regular basis.

When it comes to healthy minds, this is something I model for my children because it is not something I can teach. I’m honest with my emotions and share them. If I need more sleep or time alone, I share that. I share my appreciation, joy, and things in between. This is all done in a manner of discussion, where there’s a continuous dialogue. In modeling how I process my emotions and balance them throughout lives’ demands I hope to provide tools they can carry with them.

Listen to more from Bridgett via The Unschool Files podcast episode 1-18  episode 1.18

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