Homeschool hygge: Nothing like an autumn day to entice me to the sofa with a few cozy blankets. Burnt orange candles lit, fireplace blazing toasty and a Pelecis piece playing on Spotify.
The first day of frost woke with us last week. The puppy’s water froze. The chickens hesitated leaving the coop. I hesitated walking the puppy in the morning.
Snow flurries competed with the next clear morning, and the blue sky was white by lunchtime. The kids found gloves and sleds, creating paths before the sun slipped down by mid-afternoon. Got to get me some homeschool hygge.
Homeschool hygge. Those two words go together like synonyms. And those two synonyms speak cozy all over. Yum.
What does hygge even mean? A quality of coziness, defined by Merriam Webster, that makes a person feel content and comfortable. See what I mean? Homeschool and hygge, synonyms.
My top twenty happy homeschool hygge practices:
- Kitty cats. Even if it’s a hamster, cuddly furry things help kids focus: kitties in the kids’ bedrooms with math is a happy homeschool hygge practice.
- Tea. A common homeschool beverage. In the fall and winter, it is a must. Have you tried yerba mate? That’ll wake you up. (My kids would add cookies too.)
- Candles. Lots and lots of candles. It’s just cozy. Last week was World Candlelighting Day. (Yup, there is a day for that and many other odd things).
- Fire and candles. Nothing says cozy like a warming fire, workbooks, textbooks, pencils and erasers in front of the fireplace.
- PJs. Does it need to be said that pajamas scream homeschool hygge? But what homeschool family isn’t already using this practice?
- Morning skincare routine. Perhaps you’ve been doing this for a coon’s age. I’m shamefully, relatively new to this skincare thing. Just.In.Time. for my 45 birthday. (Good thing I have teenage girls teaching me.)
- Chocolate and Wine. Two ounces of dark chocolate after dinner. Wine for weekends. Practices that make homeschool mama happy. (Really, I think we should have a homeschool mama wine club. Anyone in?)
- Morning cuddles with books and blankies. Afternoon cuddles with books and blankies. Evening cuddles with books, teddies and cute kids. (And yes, I have a blankie too).
- Neighborhood walks in the autumn morning frost or walks in the golden afternoon sun and crisp leaves: lots of walks, nature therapy, so I want to go inside and start a fire, grab a book, a cup of tea and my blankie.
- Afternoon skis on the canal in winter flurries. A ski with the puppy who is also as eager as I am to get outside. Living in a picture perfect moment, breathing in the great outdoors.
- Documentaries. Watching documentaries in the afternoon. Curiosity Stream, Knowledge Network and CBC are our present favourites.
- Hot food. Freshly baked bread and savoury soup for lunch.
- Fast food. Crockpot creations warming on the counter make dinner plans less complicated.
- Spotify warming the sound waves. We build our own playlists for morning studies (classical), afternoon reading (movie soundtracks), or Friday night dance party (our favourite songs).
- A hot tub dip at the end of the day (and because we don’t have that wood burning hot tub yet, I’ll also take a hot bath.)
- Sleeping in. A total advantage to homeschooling. I am not a master of sleeping in, unless you think 7 am is sleeping in. But we definitely can let the kids sleep in while we get a few more quiet moments.
- Coffee. Coffee belongs to every season, every single morning. Cappuccino with toast and homemade apricot jam in the garden for summer. Pumpkin spice latte for fall. Peppermint chocolate for winter. Two cappuccinos for dark days.
- Choose your schedule. Finish writing and math studies by lunch. And read read read the afternoon away. Or the opposite of whatever you normally do.
- Choose one subject a week and enjoy it thoroughly.
- Delete a subject. Or write on a slip of paper every subject, throw it in a jar and let the kids pick one out and not do that subject that week. Definitely homeschool hygge for the kids.
The sunlight is low, the outdoors is cold, and the routines are predictable, so it’s time to harness the homeschool hygge.
Teresa Wiedrick is eager to share the freedoms of the homeschool lifestyle with the skeptical, the intrigued, and the curious. Eleven years ago, she searched for arguments against homeschooling, and that search shifted her family’s next decade. She is a hearty advocate of home education, and encourages other homeschool families to live their charmed homeschool life, despite their challenges.
Yet, having homeschooled for more than eleven years, Teresa is very aware of the intensity and demandingness of this lifestyle. She has had much opportunity in honing her self-care practices and will soon release her book “Homeschool Mama Self-Care: Taking Care of Mama so she can Take Care of her Kids”.