We all need a little Hygge.

I love creating a warm and cozy space for my family during the cold, drizzly months that autumn and winter bring, especially since we are a homeschool family and find ourselves home a little more. I think that’s why autumn and winter are my favorite months, because I always long for that coziness feeling. A fire in the wood stove, shorter cooler days, knitted blankets, bread baking, and my special people all cuddled up on the couch. There is a word for this happy feeling; the name is Hygge.

“Hygge is all about being in the moment, feeling completely relaxed and centred, letting go of the hectic world around you, either alone or with loved ones. Hygge time in Scandinavia is enjoyed after a busy day of activities. No phones and computers allowed in those magical moments.” — Ole Henriksen, quoted in Vogue (Australia), 12 Aug. 2018

I believe that applying Hygge to our homeschool during these months is what keeps me from feeling down. I wanted to share some very simple ways for anyone who might need some encouragement and motivation. Homeschool or not, I promise that little bits here and there are a real mood booster, especially for any mamas that are home most of the day.

How I include Hygge in my homeschooled home environment

Health.

I usually like to workout in the morning. If I am not able to finish my usual 30-40 minute workout, then I’ll settle for even 15 minutes of gentle yoga or a walk around the block. Anything will make me feel put together. Working out in the morning relaxes me knowing I have moved my body somehow, especially with all they comfort food that this time of the year brings.

Rise slowly

For our family, we love to have cuddle time in the morning when we all wake in our big family bed. The best time is on weekends, when my husband isn’t working and we all slowly wake up together and cuddle while we discuss any plans for the day.

Oil diffuser

Sweet, spicey, and pleasant aromas that fill my home. My favorite go to oils are:

  • Christmas spirit
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Thieves
  • Orange
  • Spearmint
  • And Peppermint

Walks

Finding a balance between being inside and outside is really important We love taking a stroll in the golden sun. Holding hands with my husband while we watch our kids go ahead and crunch all of the crisp leaves. We try really hard to take the time to slow our walks so the kids can observe their surroundings, collect mossy sticks, count birds nests, or search for acorns.

Nature drives

Bundling up in our warm hats and coats, some knitted blankets, and hot cocoa, we pack the kids in the car for a nature drive as a family. Making stops to breathe the fresh air and being thankful for that moment. Nature drives and getting out to walk make for a gentle nature study.

Meals

Fresh homemade bread and soup, please. Cooking is a great family activity to do together. Mac and cheese, homemade butter, or chocolate chip cookies. We enjoy the memories we make in the kitchen together. Dinner time at the table, soft music, meaningful conversations, and candles or flowers that were picked by our sweet child’s hand. Clean up can be a fun family activity, too.

Warm beverages

Hot chocolate, tea, cider, and eggnog are popular beverages in our household during the cold months. My daughter loves when we do tea time and get dressed up in fancy clothes, hats, and gloves. It’s such a big bonus when we are able to have friends and family join us for tea time.

Blankets

Whether it be knitted, homemade quilts, comfortors, or weighted. Any kind really. Cuddling on the couch with my loves while reading a good book or as we watch a family movie with warm blanket in our cozy home is magical.

Fire

School books sprawled on the floor, sipping cider all while the warm fire crackles and we listen to the wind whistle outside.

Books

Books. Books. Books. Did I mention books? Books hold a special place in my heart, and it fills me with happiness knowing my children are surrounded by so many wonderful reads. I still dream that one day I will have a home library like the one Belle has in Beauty and the Beast.

Music.

I like to play soothing music during school time, when my youngest will let me turn off “when the wheels on the bus go round and round”. Some of my favorites:

  • Tim Janis
  • Kenny G
  • Anything Celtic
  • AnythingNative American
  • Any Christmas music
  • Paul Cardall
  • Classical

Fairy lights

We love stringing fairy lights throughout the whole house. Our house would look like the Griswalds if my husband allowed me to have that many lights.

Simplify

Simplify our school days time to time by taking out a subject for the day, taking a break, or just simply making our schedules less busy. I try to give myself a little grace when things do not go as planned.

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Comfortable clothing

Sweat pants, my husband shirts, leggings, sweaters (sadly, I get warm very easily, so sweaters aren’t common for me) and fuzzy socks. I’m a legging and bra off kind of gal when I’m at home.

Battery candles.

Oh, how I love candles, but a lot of them give me a headaches and I have a very rambunctious two year old. Battery candles have just the same warm glow as the real ones and I dont need to worry about my son around them!

These are my tips for creating a Hygge environment in your home and/or homeschool.

Bringing hygge to your homeschool or home, whether it be a big or small change is to bring light and cheer into your life when you might need it. What might be considered Hygge for me might not be for you and that’s ok! Make your life magical and meaningful. We all need a little Hygge in our lives

I’d love to know how you add Hygge to your home and/or homeschool!

-M

Homeschool Journal Highlights

Monday

We kicked off the week reading The Tailor of Gloucester from
A Year of Tales curriculum. This one was a harder story for both Lynni and me to get into, so we did not read it the other days suggested in the curriculum.

For science we revisited the months of the year and talked about the weather and how the temperature can have an effect on the weather. I showed her a chart of our state and the average temperatures for each month. When we moved onto the seasons, she learned that the Earth tilts as it rotates around the sun, which is why the seasons change. When we were all done with this lesson, I taught her the four seasons in American Sign Language. She asked to draw a picture of the four seasons and wrote four different descriptions for each season in her lesson book

Lynni’s illastration of the four seasons.

We also started a geography unit this week from A Year of Tales. Geography is one of Little Miss’s favorite subject and I’m trying to add a little here and there for her until our second part of the year when it will be more frequent.

We did a fun little project called “Me on a Map” and had a discussion about where in this big universe she fits. We talked about our street name, town, state, country, continent, and planet. She also took the time to recite the order of the planets and our galaxy, which we studied two years ago.

The Year At Maple Hill Farm // A Stroll Through The Seasons // The Squirrels Busy Year // Around the Year

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Books for Monday

Tuesday

Little Miss started this sunny day by acing another math test and got 100% on her practice on Khan Academy.

We took her to her grandparents for a few hours to work on her patch work pillow case with her grandma. This project took a few days to finish.

Another little fun thing that we did was go around the house and observe all the different kinds of fabric that we have and picked out our favorites and why they were are favorites.

Books for Tuesday

The Rag Coat // Fiona’s Lace // The Patchwork Quilt

Wednesday

While Little Man napped, Little Miss and I took some mommy/daughter time and worked on a dream catcher her Nana bought her.

Wednesday

Continuing on the weather topic, I copied the chart from the curriculum to start documenting the weather we were having.

Our fun handicraft for weather was making weather peg dolls. I think next time I will order a larger set, but these were just fine to start out with. I remember years ago when I was just focused on Waldorf Education, I made these for Lynni and made them with hats! I don’t know where those cute little guys ever wound up. This was a great project and we shared many giggles while we made these together.

Books for Wednesday (Some not photographed)

Thursday

Just reading a little twaddle during her free time. We were having a slow and slightly rough morning, I had her pick out whatever she wanted to read for twenty minutes while I got breakfast going for her and her brother.

One of the things that I mangaged to get a picture of for the day was keeping track of the rain we have been getting. She’s been documenting it in her journal and adding the differences each time we check it.

I asked her what kind of weather she was interested in learning more about. She told me blizzards, so we read the books I had on blizzards and looked on the internet for some more facts. We created a snowflake with glue and glitter, but I didn’t get around to getting a picture of it before it was destroyed by little baby hands.

We met up with friends in the evening at our library to make paper circuit valentines for STEM!

Finally, Little Miss did about fifteen minutes of French on Dulingo in the evening.

Books for Thursday

Over and Under the snow // The Story of Snow // Blizzards (not shown)

Part of our language arts for the week was creating a formal thank you letter to someone. She learned the parts of creating a letter and how to address an envelope. We will be doing more handwritten letters; she loved how personal it was and putting extra special things in the envelope. This letter was to her Nana for some of the toys she bought the kids.

Friday

I didn’t catch any school related pictures this day. After school we just enjoyed a lot of free play with out spielgaben set and read some stories.

This is the final product of her patch work pillow her and her grandma worked on! Lynni picked out some of the fabric I had in our craft area so I didn’t have to order anymore. She was so proud of it and I am so proud of her. She had fun doing it and asked if she could start sewing more. It looks wonderful in her room.

Thanks for reading about our Homeschool Journal Week Three! What are you up to this week for your homeschool?

Homeschool Journal Highlights

Monday

Character trait of the week

Little Miss acted out the Tale of Benjamin Bunny with her Nins from Grapat. This was to practice sequencing and to encourage her to be more specific with her details when telling me a story. After sequencing she went over the story again and she pointed out all of the prepositions and how they connected the sentences together.

We also took the time to dig deeper into learning about Lavender and Tobacco. What the differences are, the health risks that using tobacco brings, what lavender is used for, etc.

The curriculum mentions to draw a diagram of a bunny if we hadn’t already done so, but since we had, Little Miss asked to draw one of a squirrel.

We also took some time to do creative activities. This is a little art garden with their Grimms Rainbow and Leonardo Sticks

We didn’t get to the knitting project that was for this weeks handicraft, but we will eventually get to it.

Books for Mondays book basket

Tuesday

Using our Farm Anatomy book we went over the diagram of an onion. She drew and labeled the parts in her Leuchtturm journal she puts all her lessons in.

We dyed muslin dishcloths instead of handkerchiefs. We used beets, turmeric, and red onion skin. If you use turmeric, make sure to rinse before you wash it with other clothes or wash separate in case of bleeding.

Wednesday

Little Miss took a good forty minutes reading in her rabbit care book, where I had her write some important notes if she were a rabbit owner. (I don’t mind the incorrect spelling for these quick notes she takes.)

For her typing lesson, she wrote her own rabbit story. She needed to have story where she added quotation marks for her Language lesson we were working on this week.

We just printed out a picture that would fit the day’s theme for her to color while I read our read aloud.



Books for Wednesday

The Velveteen Rabbit // Pet care guides for kids Rabbit // How Does My Garden Grow

Thursday

We read so many pleasant gardening books today! We are planning on making a garden this spring and it was the perfect oppertunity to come up with some sort of a garden layout plan. This is what Little Miss thought our garden should look like and what we should grow. I’m really excited to start this process, not only to grow some of our own food, but to teach the kids these skills.

Lynni bug was teaching her brother colors.

Just getting some fresh air. The rain never stops us from having a good time!

Lynni Bug volunteered to help daddy make dinner! We had pancakes, scrambled eggs, and ribs from the night before. She really enjoys daddy/daughter time.

Books for Thursday

We are the Gardeners Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard Secrets in the Garden The Curious Garden

Friday

We took today off for Valentines Day.

Independent time

Saturday

Little Miss and I had mommy/daughter time at a local greenhouse while Little Man and daddy were at home playing.

I taught Lynni what the symbols meant on the back of the plant tags so she will be able to help pick out plants for different parts of the yard.

We decided we would get some herbs while we were there.

They had so many baby chicks for sale! We spent a good ten minutes looking at their cuteness.

Thanks for joining us on here and reading what we’ve been up to!

-M

17-18 Month Toddler Update

I do not know where the time has gone with our little man turning 17-months-old this month. The past couple of months we have noticed such a change in his overall development. He is understanding what ‘no’ means, what we mean by ‘gentle hands’, how to hand things to others instead of throw, and he’s even apologizing when he doesn’t get it quite right. He is also trying to say and sign more words, which really helps to understand what he needs. When we ask him to bring us his shoes or a certain toy, he understands and goes and gets it.

Talking

He isn’t saying two words sentences, but we have noticed him trying to say words after us. It’s adorable when we are singing to him and he says a word here and there. These are all of the words RT says that are understandable.

  • Dada
  • Mama
  • Issy (sissy)
  • More, it sounds like Mah
  • Milk
  • Ball
  • Book
  • Dog

Signs

American Sign Language is used in our house every day throughout the day. It has really helped us understand his needs when he isn’t capable of telling us yet. These are words that he has mastered (well, at least he does them well enough that we understand him).

  • All done
  • More
  • Mama
  • Dog
  • Again
  • Music
  • Thank you
  • Please
  • Eat/food

Signs that we are working on a lot at the moment

  • Outside
  • Help
  • Water
  • Shower
Sister playing tickle. I was just messing around with a paper towel roll when I took this.

Food

RT is PICKY when it comes to eating. Before we started getting more strict with him, he would only nurse and eat fruit packs and only occasionally our food, but my husband and I finally had a conversation about how to tackle the problem. Now, its the food we eat. We still keep puffs and his other snacky foods from time to time, but his main source of food comes from our food, nursing, and healthy smoothies that I make the kids most mornings.

  • Mommy’s milk
  • Yogurt
  • Homemade smoothies
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Spaghetti
  • Rice dishes
  • Healthy muffins
  • Crackers
  • Fruit

Mr. R is very independent when it comes to feeding himself. He’s getting better each day at using his utensils the right way. We often have food flung on the floor and walls that I have been starting to teach him to clean up.

Activities and Toys

  • RT LOVES being outside. He doesn’t really even play with anything out there right now; he just loves to walk around and splash in puddles. He also likes to go into the street… Luckily we don’t live on a busy street, so it’s a good place to start learning street safety.
  • Dancing. This kid is into anything with a good beat.
  • Water. Whether it be in the shower, bath, puddles, rain, or just washing his hands.
  • The Pikler set. His grandpa built his whole set for Christmas, and it’s amazing! If you don’t have a woodworker in the family, Etsy has SO many different options and Amazon has a couple I’ve seen. He hasn’t really shown an interest in climbing, but he loves walking and crawling up the slide, rolling his cars and balls down, and sliding down.
  • He also loves his Wood City wooden stacker and sorter . He really likes when I count as he stacks or when I say “Where does the blue circle go?” This toy never gets rotated on his shelves because it gets played with multiple times each day.
  • When we chase him around the house. We get big giggles and oh, how we love that noise!
  • Cars. This is his favorite set that he plays with throughout the day. He loves just watching the wheels. Sometimes, he will place his head on the floor as he rolls them and roll them back and forth.
  • Another toy that doesn’t get rotated is the Montessori Imbucare box. Little man entertains himself for a good 15 minutes just dropping the ball it came with or parts from his Wooden City Stacker Sorter (see above).
  • Throwing beanbags and balls. We still have some work on learning to catch, but he’s a great thrower. I have to redirect him a lot to throw only soft items.
  • Montessori Knobbed Cylinder Sorter is another favorite toy in our house. It comes with four individual sets and each of those come with five pieces to place. Note that little ones need to be supervised because the pieces are on the small side.

His dinosaur. He got it for Christmas from his great grandparents and loves it. It’s one of the few plastic toys we rotate in for him. It makes a cute little noise and walks on its own.

Other likes

  • Wearing shoes
  • Wearing shoes on his hands 🙂
  • Wearing socks
  • Swing on our indoor swing

Dislikes

  • Staying inside for too long
  • When we make him come inside
  • Diaper changes
  • Being in the car too long

Favorite Songs

  • The Ants Go Marching
  • Old McDonald
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Make You Believe, by Lucy Hale
  • Phineas and Ferb music
  • Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, by Selena Gomez
  • Let It Go (from Frozen)
  • 1950’s rock music

Books

Little Man hasn’t shown too much interest in books. He likes to flip the pages himself, but he doesn’t seem to care for sitting and listening, except when he nurses. Here are some of the ones we are focusing on:

First Words

This book was his sisters and she has graciously given it to him.

Cars an Trucks and Things That Go

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever

The Little House

I am taking a Montessori/ Waldorf approach in his learning environment. His little play area is where we spend a good chunk of the day with activities I have laid out that spark his interest. These shelves get rotated out once a week.

Thanks for reading about little man’s progress!

Homeschool Journal Highlights

Welcome to week ONE of our homeschool journal where I will be sharing the highlights of our week!

Books for the week

These are most of the books that we used for this week.

This link contains Amazon affiliate links. See disclosure page.

Amelia’s Road

Farm

Farm Anatomy

Farming

From seed to plant

How a seed grows

Natural World

On the farm and the market

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Monday

We started the week off by reading a brief intro on Beatrix Potter. I had never really learned much about her and honestly only had read a couple of her stories. Little Miss and I wanted to learn more about the author whose stories we would be reading for many weeks to come, so I ordered the book Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter for us to read. We reviewed where England is located and I had her guess how far she thought it was from where we live. Her guess was 150 miles (way off). I googled it and wrote it down beside her answer, and she did the math on the difference.

After our short geography lesson, we dove into the much loved tale of Peter Rabbit.

Little Miss’s drawing of Peter and Mr. McGregor’s garden.

I had her narrate the story back to me and narrate a version where Peter had listened to his mother. That’s when the character trait of the week got brought up.

Obedience

We had a discussion on the importance of being obedient to your parents, and she gave me some examples of being obedient and what the consequences could be for disobeying.

I decided to hang up our character trait each week above the kids little activity table, low enough for both of them to see it.

The first copy work of the new year was a success! How wonderful it is to not have copy work be a big battle Every. Single. Time. We made another compromise that she could pick out the fairies (from her Fairy book I mentioned here) each week. The first one she choose was the Snowdrop Fairy.

Our Science topic was learning about bunnies. She adores learning about animals. We were learning about all the breeds and the difference between all of them! Learning about the bunnies reminded her of one summer when she got to help care for some baby bunnies after the mother left them.

Small bunnies, Meat bunnies, Angora bunnies, and Make Believe bunny.

Tuesday

Today Miss 8 learned how to sew on buttons as our handicraft. She wanted to trace her designs with the cookie cutters she got for Christmas. She chose to do a unicorn and cloud design for this craft.

I got these Buttons and felt on Amazon. She loved them for the different colors and sizes for her projects. The nesting trays came from Etsy from a cute little shop WillowPineTN. RT uses them for play and they make cute little trays for crafts or activities.

For Science and Nature Studies, we learned the cycle of a plant, discussed photosynthesis, (she can pronounce it better than I can!) and went over all the different kinds of seeds there are. I had her choose how she wanted to show me the cycle of a plant, and she loved the diagram idea. Luckily, I had an extra box she could use. She picked out felt and paint and used some modeling clay. It turned out lovely and she had a lot of fun in the process of making it and explaining the process to me.

Lynni’s drawing of the plant stages. She accidentally drew them out of order.

Wednesday

Today we went to co-op and Miss 8 practiced for the puppet play she and her class are in. When we got home, we completed Math, English, Copywork, and handwriting quickly.

I had her sign her words to me this week, since she knew how to spell all of them. Instead of writing down her vocab words, I had her use them in a sentence after finding them in the dictionary. I only give her two or three vocab words a day.

sibling love

One of the books we read today was Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt. Little Miss loved the illustrations in this book. We talked about what we want our garden to have this coming Summer and what kinds of tools we might need for it. She designed her own vegetable garden in her notebook. For her craft of the day, she wanted to make a diagram of the book we read.

What goes on under and above the dirt during the Summer.

The last book we read for today, was called Amelia’s Road. After we read it, we talked about how she thought it would end or what would happen if there were to be another book. It was a sweet little story,

Thursday

Today was a shorter day for us for school. We didn’t get to everything in A year of tales, but that’s okay. My husband and Little Miss set up her robotic crab she got as a Christmas gift. This thing is so neat, and it keeps our little guy entertained!

Robotic Crab

Instead of only using the stories from Jot It Down, she picked out some of her favorite fairy tale stories that we already owned. She chose The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which used to be one of my favorites; my mom would read it to me when I was little, and it’s one I have made sure to read to my kids. When all of school was done, I found an old movie on Youtube that my mom use to rent from the library called The Dancing Princesses Faerie Tale Theatre to watch. Youtube has a whole bunch of different fairy tale videos!

Lynni’s narration of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.
RT loves playing peek-a-boo

Friday

This whole week we reviewed proper and common nouns, all the different kinds of verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. We reinforced these with a few activities, like breaking the parts of a sentence onto individual note cards. This English curriculum has been a breath of fresh air for us and has made it her favorite subject, leaving geography in second!

Friday is a day for tea parties and yummy food that we make together, along with her other subjects and a field trip, if possible. The treat this week was tarts. This was our first time making them, and they turned out really good! I love that this curriculum incorporates recipes and tea time.

I didn’t have any tart pans so did have to order some from Amazon. These are the ones that I got.

Tart pans

I hope you enjoyed week one! I’d love to know what you and your kids are learning this week!