A home can be a place of refuge and rest. A place to take a deep breath and let go of the heaviness of the world.
When we started homeschooling, one of my main goals was to make our home a place of relaxation. When brains are stressed, it makes learning more difficult. I want my children to be able to soak in the world around them with a peaceful mind and keep their natural curiosity active!
Here are some ways that I create a cozy childhood.
1. Minimize scheduled activities
Having few scheduled activities is one of the very best ways to reduce the stress in your home. As a parent, it’s very hard to be peaceful when you are stressed about how to get this kid to point A and that kid to point B. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off isn’t cozy!
When kids can move through their day at their own pace, they can be active when they want to be and then they can explore or rest when they want. It gives them time to pick up a book, play a game, look for treasures under the snow etc.
2. Start the day with the TV off and some music on.
I love the days when we have our favorite music on in the background and the kids are finding little activities on their own. One might be drawing and another building with blocks. If we start the day with a quiet cozy vibe, it just seems to carry throughout the day! Getting started right is important.
My all time favorite Pandora station is the Curious George station. I adore it. It has music for kids that isn’t dumbed down and tons of music that I love. It’s like the soundtrack of a cozy home!
3. Have a daily quiet time.
I find that this is a habit we have that is so helpful to all of us. Establish a habit where everyone has a chance to recharge a bit. For me, I like a quiet room. My 3 year old likes to find a game to do. My 17 year old likes to write. It will look different for everyone, but make space in your calendar for it!
4. Practice compassion with your kids
There is nothing less cozy for a kid than an inflexible parent. Take time to be patient and understanding. Rarely do chores need to be done right this minute. Kids should be allowed to finish their game, their book or whatever project they are working on.
Speaking nicely to your kids helps them feel safe and warm at home. Total acceptance of their interests will make your home the best place in the world for them to be. They will want to be somewhere where they are accepted, loved and treated kindly.
Don’t just tolerate their interests. Take an active role in learning more about it. Ask questions. Watch with them. Play with them.
5. Cozy supplies!
A blanket and a fire will go a long way to help your home feel cozy and warm. Warm socks and comfy clothes. A mug of hot chocolate. A basket of books in a handy place will encourage reading. An accessible stack of board games will spark family fun.
You can simply leave some paper and crayons on the counter for art when they are ready. Some containers of playdough.
Transforming your home into a cozy corner will reduce stress and encourage creativity and bonding. And make it a wonderful place to be that your children will remember fondly!