Hygge Homeschooling – Homeschooling with the Seasons: Winter is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.
While many homeschoolers take some time off from formal lessons during the beginning of winter to relax and process major holidays, the rest of winter is also a wonderful time to shift gears and adjust your learning rhythms to better fit homeschooling with the seasons.
Even though we’re specifically talking about homeschooling, all of these ideas are perfect for families with traditionally schooled children who just want to spend the winter with some intentional cozy family time.
The cold, dark months of winter are a perfect time to spend a little more time indoors, take it easy, work on projects, and set goals for the rest of the year.
You could consider it hygge homeschooling.
Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.” (The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living)
While you’re snuggling up by the fire or sharing hot chocolate this winter, consider incorporating a few of these learning opportunities and adjusting your rhythms to flow with the season instead of fighting against it.
Hygge Homeschooling – Homeschooling with the Seasons: Winter
Read, Read, Read
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up for read alouds, listen to audiobooks while crafting, or find separate blankets to do lots of independent reading.
Here are fun ideas for keeping hands and minds busy during read alouds, if read alouds are difficult at your house.
Honor the Dark and Quiet
Many people do this during a Winter Solstice celebration, but you can incorporate similar winter traditions throughout the season:
- Talk about why the days are shorter.
- Regularly light candles, a fireplace, or a fire pit.
- Make lanterns. (Here are some fun tin can lantern directions to make.)
- Dedicate one night a week to no electronics after sunset and let your body truly experience the darkness and silence of winter.
Work on Projects
December is often spent making handmade gifts, but you can continue that momentum throughout the rest of winter. Schedule lots of project days and guide your children to follow their passions and dig deeper into something that truly interests them.
Create More Art
People tend to pick up nature studies in the spring, but there’s still lots to learn and observe in the winter:
- Make a bird feeder and participate in Project Feeder Watch.
- Join Project Noah to document species in your backyard and discover new species from around the world.
- Plan a spring vegetable, herb, or flower garden. (Ideas for Gardening with Kids)
Rest & Recharge
Welcome this time of rest as a way to gather up energy before the busier days of spring take over.
- Go to bed early.
- Start a family gratitude journal and have each person write in at least one thing they are grateful for at the beginning or end of each day.
- Commit to fewer activities and enjoy the ones you keep even more.
Make it a point to handle winter a little differently with your family this year. Make it cozier, slower, and more intentional. You may find that your whole family looks forward to winter all year long.
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This post was originally published on December 17, 2012. It was updated in January 2018.
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