The model mom was the teacher before calling in support, she tells PEOPLE
Gisele Bündchen has done it all as a mom.
The model mom, 43, sat down with PEOPLE on Friday in New York City following a panel for her new Gaia Herbs partnership and opened up about what it's like having her kids in school after homeschooling them for three years.
Bündchen explains that after moving to Tampa Bay in the middle of COVID, "We were only going to stay for a year," referencing what was supposed to be ex Tom Brady's final year in the NFL as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback in the 2021-2022 season.
"I wasn't going to put [Benjamin] in the middle school, in the middle of all that."
The mom of two was worried about how "too much change" would impact Vivian, 10, and Benjamin, 13, so together with their dad, "We decided we're going to homeschool them because it's going to be better."
"We decided where we were going to go, we could put them back in school, but then we kept changing and ended up staying there," she says, a nod to Brady's "un-retirement" and decision to play one more season. "Then we kept homeschooling because we just felt that was the best."
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Bündchen — whose debut cookbook Nourish is available for pre-order now — says her kids were homeschooled through last year, which was sometimes overwhelming for the model, who noted, "I didn't even finish high school, so it was a little difficult."
"We got to know our challenges and find good support, and then I did that. Because in the beginning, it was like, 'Okay, I'm going to try this,' but then it was like, 'Wow, we're never leaving the house.'"
"It was crazy," she recalls. "I was in a new city, I didn't know anyone, and everything was new. Homeschool was great for that and then luckily, we were able to get a great teacher, a great tutor that taught both of them."
Another unexpected upside of the homeschooling arrangement was the bond that was built between the siblings.
"Their relationship became amazing because they were together all the time, Benny and Vivi," she shares. "Jack was in New York, but they were together all the time, so their relationship just blossomed, just became incredible. They're super close. And then, when we decided that Miami was going to be the place, then we decided to put them in school, for them to get back."
Now that they are in school, the kids are "really liking it and getting into their own things."
"They're getting to know friends in school. It just started at the end of last month. They're just all new," she shares. "I just feel so proud of them. They're so loving. They're growing up to be just so thoughtful and considerate of others."
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