How to Make Your Homeschool Space Cozy and Hygge
I bet you didn’t think you could bring hygge to homeschool! We love this concept of cozy-content-togetherness and thought it seemed like the perfect theme for our school days so we set about figuring out…
How to Make A Cozy, Hygge Homeschool Room
First, I have to be completely honest. After taking a break for the holidays, our schoolroom was a MESS. We use the sunroom on the back of our house for schooling. It’s sort of tucked away, out-of-sight so it’s easy to hide things in there. When January rolled around and we were ready to start back to school, I was SO OVERWHELMED.
We had missed 3-4 weeks of lessons, so I had no clue what my kids had retained. That’s 4 different age levels, multiple curriculums, and vastly different needs! And on top of all that, I was facing, this:
Project remnants, games, holiday decorations…. If you can look past all that you can see that we have an oblong room. There are windows on almost all the walls. There’s a door to the patio on one side and another door to the backyard on the other side. The dogs have made a den outside the second door so we never go out that way.
We had the table perpendicular to the window wall with two sets of IKEA cubbies on either side. The maps and marker board are just to the right in this photo (behind the *lovely* snowman gift sack). All our books are on the bookcase there behind the black stool. You can see we had another piece of furniture (IKEA Trofast with trays) to hold the kids’ coloring books and art supplies, a white table-desk, and the tumbling mat tucked up in the corner.
The first thing we did was clear the clutter.
It took my girls and me about half an hour to put everything away. Then we pulled out the graph paper!
Then we made a plan.
I don’t know if it’s the Interior Design degree or my upbringing, but I’ve always pulled out the graph paper when I need to rearrange a room that’s a complicated puzzle. And this was a complicated puzzle!
I quickly measured everything–not super specifically–and sketched out the room and furniture in 1:1/4″ scale. (That means that you use one little graph paper box for every foot/12 in. of measurement. So an 18″ piece of furniture would be one-and-a-half grid spaces.)
I drew the room and the furniture separately, cut out the furniture pieces and placed them on the paper.
Then… I got ALL the kids to help me rearrange and offer solutions!
Y’all… I would have NEVER attempted the design we ended up with on my own. I consider myself a pretty creative thinker, but the mind of a child is so open! They each added something to our solution.
I insisted the “Big Chair” go back in the corner. It was there for most of the time we have been in this house, and it’s where it belongs. The Big Chair has been with me since high school. It’s from the same era as Friends and Blue’s Clues (it reminds me of both Central Perk and The Thinking Chair.) It’s in desperate need of recovering and repair. Even the slipcover is looking worn out.
But it can’t go! It’s my snuggly, Bible-reading spot and a great place to share stories with the children. It has its own set of rules. It must be placed at an angle. It simply doesn’t do well to align with the walls.
And I love it back in the corner, where no one bothers me when I curl up with my Bible, journal, and coffee first thing in the morning.
Next, we thought it would be smart to put the art cubbies back where they had been before, under the window that looks into the kitchen. And it seemed like a good spot for Peter, the guinea pig, to be less neglected.
The white table-desk became a computer lab, a place for the girls to work on their math and spanish curriculum. They take turns, so the desk isn’t too crowded, but there are two computers if they ever need to work simultaneously.
My oldest came up with the idea of putting our main work table in the corner, which I thought was ridiculous, but it was the key that allowed us to open up the entire space and do more of what we wanted!
You may notice those frames on the wall. I plan to get another set of 3 for the other side of the window. They are so cool! You can open them up and easily change out the art. Right now, they’re still holding pictures from my son’s Wild Things birthday party, but soon, we’ll replace that with projects from the subjects we are currently studying.
The table in the corner is a nice quiet space now, separated from the rest of the room by the cubbies. Breaking up the big space into smaller work-zones has made it easier for my kids to concentrate while they each work on different subjects.
We placed the cubbies at right angles to one another and created this cozy learn-and-play space.
That’s the tumbling mat underneath a cover I made from a new canvas dropcloth. The kids can just slip it off when they want to tumble!
Each girl has her own cubby with school supplies box, magazine file to hold her curriculum and workbooks, and a binder to keep up with completed assignments. I also have a teacher’s cubby to hold the materials that we all use together.
The mat is now centered to the marker board and maps so rather than sitting at a desk or table all day, the kids can sit on the cozy mat and listen to their history, Bible, and science lessons which we all do together.
I added a small shelf above the calendar to keep up with the bell, the teacher marker and… a lighter.
When it’s time to start school, I ring the bell and light a candle. Each child should have completed her chores and breakfast and gotten to the mat by school time, or she will lose screen time for the day.
Hygge in Our Homeschool
We LOVE LOVE LOVE the added little ceremony of lighting the candle! It changes the atmosphere. Something about lighting a candle makes you think, slow down, relax. My children seem to learn better, sit still and feel happier when we do this.
For years I’ve been wanting a way to bring nature indoors and incorporate it as part of our school space. I never could figure out how to do it exactly. Somehow, it always turned into more mess and more clutter.
I’m hoping this tray is easy to keep up! We visited the park and gathered acorns, greenery, pinecones, pebbles…anything the children found interesting and added them to this tray.
As the seasons change, we hope to refresh it with different finds!
My favorite addition to our classroom is this chandelier…candle-lier?…that we made from a stick my Bitty Boy picked up a few months ago. My husband thought it was a little crazy that I let him bring the stick home and keep it around for a while, but hey, it’s a cool stick! I guess there’s a little girl inside me still that appreciates when a stick is smooth and sturdy and just the right lenght.
I went to the store to get some jute twine to hang it up with and found the perfect little lanterns to go with it. (I found them in the craft section at Walmart, but I can’t seem to find them online. You could do the same thing with these and some jars.) In just a few minutes, that junky stick was a fabulous new home decor find!
If you want to make your own cozy schoolroom, I suggest looking to add these key elements:
- A cozy space to sit and read.
- A clear space to work
- Nature inspired or collected elements
- Candles (use the flameless kind if you are worried about your kids and fire)
- Organization for materials…it doesn’t have to be fancy!
- A comfortable place to sit on the floor.
Get your kids involved in the process. They may surprise you with their ideas, and having a say in the design will definitely make them feel empowered and excited about being there.
Make the room a happy place to be in! Make it lovely. Make it inviting and pleasant! School isn’t always a fun thing to do. Awaken your (and your kids’) enthusiasm for school by making it a nice place to go.
You’ll create a space that you love to be in and your kids will too!
Cozy reading nooks and chocolate chips,
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