white pillar candles on brown wooden table

7 Ways to Create a Hygge Homeschool

Have you heard about hygge? Hygge is all about feeling cozy, content and connected. It's about enjoying your environment and the people you love. I'd love to share with you some practical, yet powerful, way to add a sense of comfort and coziness to your homeschool days.

Although winter can be challenging for homeschoolers – being cooped up inside – embracing hygge can make your homeschool nest a fun and cozy place to be. Hygge brings benefits year-round too, as you'll see.

Here in the PNW we have a long, long rainy season. Typically the rain starts at the end of October through mid-November, and we don't make it out of the rain and 50-degree temperatures until late June or July! We have a joke in our small town that summer begins after July 4th.

Making our home a cozy place to be – and incorporating some hygge habits – during the long grey is important, not only for our homeschool but for my mental health. I hope you'll be inspired by these ideas!

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What is hygge anyway?

Originating in Old Norwegian, hygge (pronounced hyoo-guh) first appeared in Danish literature in the 1800s and their culture is steeped in it. Denmark is known as one of the happiest countries in the world!

Hygge has everything to do with the mood of coziness and with feelings of wellness and contentment. It's about slowing down and connecting. How often do we find ourselves striving for contentment in our homeschools, and trying to do more? I know I'm guilty of the “if only” thoughts. You too?

When it comes to understanding hygge, think incorporating touches of joy and invitations for togetherness. It's definitely not a quick fix – it's about being present (which requires slowing our busy brains down).

7 Simple Tips for a More Hygge Homeschool

How do we adopt cozy concept into our homeschools? Here are a few practical tips you can start implementing today.

Don't worry – it's easy to bring a little hygge into your home!

A book about hygge on a blanket, with a candle, a hand holding a cup of coffee, and a sign that says, "Do whatever makes your soul shine."

Create an atmosphere of togetherness.

Sometimes just a little intentional homeschool planning can help you create more togetherness! Consider adding in a morning basket or after-lunch activities like read-alouds or art projects that everyone can enjoy together.

  • Morning baskets: Include read alouds, journals, poetry or craft projects
  • Art projects: I love Deep Space Sparkle for art ideas, and Art for Kids Hub too.
  • Listening: Podcasts, audio books, or music
  • Documentaries: A friend (and homeschool coach) watches documentaries with her kids at lunchtime!

Add more light in your home or homeschool space.

Winter is just a dark season. Even if you get tons of snow and experience the brightness of the sun reflecting, winter usually has a large share or dark, grey days. It's easy for me to feel sluggish and unmotivated during those dim days.

The solution to dark, grey, and drowsy? Adding light in your home! We love candles (note: my daughter is older now, use caution with littles) placed safely in the middle of our dining room table. I also have battery candles that have a nice glow!

I'm also a fan of small lamps with low-wattage bulbs placed in dark corners of your home to give a little glow. It changes the whole feeling of a room!

Twinkle lights are always a good idea, too.

Four glowing candles on a wooden tables with some dry leaves nearby.
Candles are so hygge! Use battery ones if you have littles.

The overall idea is to add soft bits of light all over your main living area so that even on the darkest days, your home feels welcoming.

Creating areas of light can grow into a few fun projects the entire family can enjoy doing together. Try making your own candles or refurbishing a thrift store lamp! See what other ideas your kids can come up with for adding light in dark corners.

Incorporate hygge-style activities to your homeschool days.

Many of these are pretty normal activities for homeschoolers, but sometimes we just see them as learning activities, hands-on parts of our curriculum, or hobbies.

Let's reframe them: these are hyggelig activities… like a warm embrace, cozy, enjoyable, togetherness.

  • Fiber arts: knitting, crochet, weaving
  • Paper crafts: scrapbooking, cardmaking, collage
  • Puzzles: spread out for everyone to fiddle with as they walk by
  • Cooking: baking, brewing up hot tea or cider
  • Reading: we are fans of stacks of library books and weighted blankets
  • Games: board games or long afternoon Dungeons & Dragons campaigns

Your family is unique – choose activities that you enjoy together!

Beautiful wooden crochet hooks surrounded by yarn and a crocheted scarf.
This looks like a perfect winter afternoon to me!

Let your clothing be cozy.

We homeschoolers love pajamas, am I right?

As the mom of a child with sensory processing issues, we've always had to live in cozy clothes. The elementary years dress code was super soft leggings and cozy tunics. Summer meant soft bike shorts and tunics or tee shirts. Shoes have to be padded and comfortable.

Feeling good in your skin, feeling secure and cozy in your clothing, is important! It doesn't mean we have to live in pajamas and ratty sweats all the time, but just understanding that being comfortable means easier learning and more joy!

When I was growing up we had “school clothes” and “at home clothes.” School clothes shopping was an important part of every August and a fun memory. School clothes, though, for her, had to be a little more formal. It's funny to think back to the fact that it was a special day for me to be allowed to wear my Duran Duran t-shirt to school… OK, I'm just dating myself now.

Today with online shopping (didn't exist when I was a kid) we have a world of different clothing options for ourselves and our kiddos. Talk to your kids about what they are wearing, things that bother them, and choose clothing that invokes hygge feelings of cozy contentment!

Do things your family enjoys.

Think about the games you like to play, music you enjoy listening to, hobbies you love, and TV or movie genres you love.

Being out in nature, riding bikes, exploring new restaurants, taking weekend trips.

Spending time in the kitchen, exploring new recipes. Doing house projects, redecorating, thrift shopping, yard sale shopping. Gardening.

A man and a girl holding Nintendo Switch controllers.
Yep. Gaming is hygge.

What do your people like to do? Because learning never stops, all of these things count as learning. But they also build your family relationships.

When we take the time to not only support our kids' interests, but take part in them and make them part of our family culture, it builds contentment, joy, and feelings of safety and understanding. All these things, this feeling of well-being, are part of hygge.

Plan time with important people.

In the daily rhythm of trying to reach our homeschool goals, keep our homes relatively tidy, shuttle kids to and from activities, make sure there's clean clothes, and keep everyone fed, the days can slip away alarmingly fast.

Kids on a playground.
Time with friends is always hygge.

I was once challenged by my homeschool coach to choose the relationships I wanted to grow and pour into and to write these down and schedule time every week purposefully. The time spent looked different depending on the relationship:

  • For my husband, it means date nights or letting the kiddo game and having dinner for just us at the table.
  • For a long distance friend/family, it means sending a Marco Polo, an email, or making a phone call to check in.
  • For local friends/family, it means scheduling time together.
  • For homeschool friends, it means planning activities and time to just play and have fun.

With our busy days, it takes being intentional to build relationships and keep them healthy. It's definitely self-care, too.

Spend some time yourself, and with your kids, talking about who you want to be in your circle of close relationships and brainstorm ideas for ways to keep in touch!

Get good rest.

Rest is hard for homeschool moms.

There is always more to plan, more to do, more laundry, more meals, more…

But rest is critical. And it doesn't just mean good sleep – although that's worth attending to as well. But I'm talking about the kind of rest that comes from time spent doing things purely because they bring you joy.

What do you love to do? For me, reading, crafting, watching cooking shows on Netflix, organizing closets (yes, I'm weird), organizing and editing pictures, and being near the ocean all rate high on my list.

A book and a cup of tea with a fire glowing in the background.
A book, a warm fire, something warm to drink.

A lot of times, we get into the habit of postponing rest until everything is done. The trouble is, there will always be more, and it's never ALL done! We need to stop postponing rest and be intentional about blocks of time in our days to do things we love.

Planning a self care weekend (or even just one weekend day) can also help recharge your batteries and give you some deep rest.

Rest = happier mom = happier homeschool. And rest is definitely hygge.

Hygge can transform your homeschool!

Adding hygge to your homeschool doesn’t have to be overwhelming. More than switching up a few activities or adding something new, it's about thinking about daily life a little differently.

More cozy. More togetherness. More light.

It’s okay to have poetry tea times and family movie days. It’s okay to wrap up in a blanket and cuddle while playing games. You can create your own cozy, hygge homeschool!

Here are a couple of wonderful books to learn more about hygge and how to embrace this Danish concept in your home and life:

The Little Book of Hygge:
Danish Secrets to Happy Living

This is one of my favorite hygge books.

The author, Meik Wiking, is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. Who better to deep dive into learning hygge with? This is an easy, fun read that you'll refer back to again and again.

My Hygge Home:
How to Make Home Your Happy Place

Another book from Meik Wiking, this time all about incorporating hygge into making your home a happy, cozy place and fostering relationships with your family.

Perfect for creating your hygge homeschool!

Time to Hygge: A Joy and Happiness Coloring Book

A fun and beautiful way to reduce stress.

I also find that working on something near my daughter helps her focus on her homeschool work, and this kind of activity is perfect. I'm not focusing on something so much that it's easy to answer questions.

American Cozy: Hygge-Inspired Ways to Create Comfort and Happiness

Another little book I love and refer to often!

I love how the author takes the concept of hygge and applies it to some of the things that stress us Americans out: overworking, too much stuff, busy schedules, entertaining.

How can you embrace winter and create a more hygge homeschool? Let's chat in the comments!

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