I hit that homeschool slump, or the winter blues, or whatever we call it. The holidays were over, winter set in, and we didn’t get out as much. The twins started a lovely sleep regression while getting more teeth. Hubs started traveling more for work and I started running on empty most days. I was frustrated and burnt out with the demands of being a stay-at-home mom with two toddlers and a homeschool teacher. Things always seemed to be a little more chaotic than I would have liked and I was just tired. My home felt cluttered and I felt myself getting deeper into a place where I couldn’t get in a better mood. I was frustrated and I knew I needed to get things together. I had no idea I needed hygge.
There are still days like this here and there but recently I found something to push me forward and focus my attention on.

Why do I need hygge in our homeschool?

Because when you are burnt out, stressed, tired, etc., it will affect your homeschool and kids no matter what amazing curriculum you are using. I have learned strategies to fix that and I am eager to share them with you. It is amazing what happens when we create a space for things to be simpler, calmer, cozier, and cleaner.

One of the things I have learned recently is that there really is no separation between my homeschool and my everyday life. My role as a homeschool teacher and mother has no start and end times. They are blended together just as much as M’s roles as daughter and learner are. We teach, learn, parent, and live all day and night with no set hours. Even though we have a routine where we do most of our curriculum-type things during the day, learning and teaching happen in lots of ways all the time. We sometimes do school-type things in the evenings and educational activities even on the weekends. Lots of times an average weekday morning is spent playing games, doing chores, and reading instead of doing any bookwork.

Homeschooling has gradually just become part of our every day. Our home life and homeschool just kind of blend together all of the time. When I think of our everyday lives in this way, I know that anything that I do to improve our day-to-day will improve our homeschool. Anything that I can do to make my day run smoother will make me happy. And this all will have a direct and lasting effect on our homeschool experience.

Because of this, I have focussed on creating hygge in my home, in my everyday, and in myself.

So what is hygge? And why do I need it in my homeschool?

Hygge is a Danish word that is hard to translate because it means so many things.

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh, not hoo-gah) is a feeling or moment associated with feelings of coziness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, fellowship, simpleness, and living well.

Hygge can be experienced alone or with friends, at home or out. It doesn’t require buying anything. Actually, it is not even a thing. The idea is more about the conscious appreciation and slowness that we initially take to be present and enjoy the moment.

The feeling or mood that comes from taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary everyday things simply extraordinary is hygge.

How I am creating hygge?

Here are some ideas and ways to create hygge in your home:

  • Get warm and comfy. Try quiet reading time in a clean uncluttered space. Light a candle. Decorate with fresh flowers.
  • Take a break.
  • Being present for those that you love. Teaching our kids that relationships with each other are important is easier when we are focussing on being present and involved with our kids. Something I have to continue to remind myself of!
  • Creating simplicity in your home and in your life. Simplicity is such a basic word that can be directed in so many areas of life. For me, we are working on:
    • simplifying our schedule
    • simplifying our home/space by decluttering
    • simplifying our routine by removing unneeded expectations to get so much done each day. For school, we are now focussing on a few key subjects to continue the rest of the year and are using the rest of our time to connect through games, reading, outdoor walks/play, time with friends, time to make more homemade meals, and time to be spontaneous and do something new and unplanned in the moment.
  • Create a calm atmosphere. Add natural candles. I admittedly have a pretty bad sensitivity to overwhelming scents and so I never really loved having scented candles in my home. Since reading The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, I remembered how much I loved beeswax candles. So, a few weeks ago, I purchased a bunch of pure beeswax candles and have decorated our main living space with them. M has been loving them in her homeschool space and it has been relaxing for her to work with them lit. I must admit they are just lovely to have around the house. The natural scent is subtle and very relaxing.
  • For spring hygge, decorate your space with fresh flowers and natural plants. I adore spring flowers this time of year and so we have had some in the house the last few weeks. It always makes me so happy. It is amazing how it can really transform a space.
  • Clear clutter from your home and life. After reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing my perspective about stuff in my home has changed. Decluttering your home immediately brings visual results. This was the pick-me-up I really needed to relieve some stress and anxiety and be able to focus on creating a calm environment. My process of decluttering is still underway and will likely be a process that takes a bit. It doesn’t happen overnight but I will say that every time I work on it, I see improvements and feel better.
  • Spend time with your tribe and focus on building relationships. Try adding a new game to your homeschool. Adding more games to our week has been such a fun way for M and me to reconnect. It is also a great way to reset a day if things don’t start well. There are tons of games to sneak in educational stuff that you may be working on as well.
  • Enjoy comfort food. Try to keep food simple, such as a homemade soup, a simple roast chicken, or homemade cookies. Last week, we made a winter bean soup I don’t often make. Just having a simple soup on the stove for a few hours was comforting and made me happy. This week, I plan to make time to make homemade bread with M and teach her how to make some homemade comfort foods that our family loves. Since I think we are going to have some more cold days this week, spending time in the kitchen with her making warm comfort food will be a fun way to connect and teach at the same time. I’m feeling all cozy right now just thinking about it!
  • Live in the moment. Intentionally find joy in the season you are in right now.
  • Get outside. There is more to hygge than just staying cooped up inside. It is about balance and living good and happy. Going out in nature is good for everyone. I have been following the weather’s lead this week. We were lucky to have a few beautiful days and so we got out and enjoyed it. Whatever I had on the agenda that day got adjusted so we could go enjoy the warmth while it was here.

Book recommendations

I am excited to share what I have been reading. These books are the ones that have inspired me. Each book dives so much deeper into the ideas in this post and is helping me see things differently. I hope you get a chance to check some of these out. Take a look and see if one of them really inspires you. Maybe add a few to your summer reading list. They are all so great.

The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country is a super fascinating book that introduced me to the idea of hygge. This book follows a journalist who spends a year living in Denmark and studies the reasons behind the idea that Danes are the happiest people on earth.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing is an interesting book that talks about how to declutter your house by determining if your things “spark joy” or not. I will say this book has given me a new perspective on clutter and how to get to a place where I can enjoy a tidier home. So far, every time I declutter using the method in this book, I feel calmer, happier, and more motivated to really transform our space.

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids is a book that follows along the lines of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and talks about the importance of a decluttered simplified space but it goes further and talks about how this affects childhood and the importance of creating a home environment that doesn’t overstimulate. Some may find the ideas in this book a bit extreme, but I have gone into it just looking for ideas. Some of the things in here I can see being really useful for us.

Hygge challenge

There are so many things big and small you can start doing today to create hygge in your homeschool and in your life. For me, just being conscious of it has resulted in daily choices that center around creating warmth and simplicity in my home as well as fostering deeper connections with my family and friends. I hope that this post has inspired you.

This week, I encourage you to simplify, create coziness, and connect with those you love. Taking some time to plan out how you can personally do this in your own life will help you be even more successful. If you get a chance, check out the awesome books I have read and I know they will interest you and motivate you even more. Aim to pick one and read it this week or add these titles to your summer reading list. They have been fantastic for me.

Are you excited to learn everything you can about hygge now? I was surprised to learn that I am late to the ball game. The term has been floating around for a while apparently.

If you can, I’d love to hear about your experience with Hygge. Any of your ideas about the topic of creating Hygge in your homeschool would be great to hear about. Feel free to join the conversation!