Archive Post: Lunch på Ikea

We had a fun morning at Ikea with a Swedish friend. It was horribly busy, but after we’d finished lunch, my friend showed me the shortcuts through the store so we could escape without dragging the children all the way round.

We reminisced about all the things we missed from Sweden (that you can’t buy at Ikea!): päronsoda and sockerdricka are my two favourites, but I consoled myself with a couple of cans of Kopparberg non-alcoholic pear cider and a big block of Daim chocklad! Mumms!

We also talked about how hard it is to buy Swedish books abroad, even online, since most Swedish bookshops require a Personnummer (well I do have one, but I don’t actually know it… I probably have a card somewhere, but it goes against the grain to use it really) and most of them won’t actually ship utomlands. Ahp! (with a sharp intake of breath)!

Just for fun, I’ll leave you with a video on pronouncing the Ikea product names!


Archive Post: Dagens Nyheter – Flodhäst

Archive post from the Svengelska Hemskolan blog

I got a notice from telling me that I hadn’t posted in 30 days. Wow, 30 days! I knew I hadn’t posted recently, but I didn’t realise it had been so long. Well, apparently, that’s because I haven’t had anything Sweden-related to relate.

I did meet my local Swedish-Finnish friend briefly in passing and had a quick samtal på svenska, and we both agreed that we must meet again for coffee, but didn’t make a date.

We’re not actually actively learning Swedish for school at the moment, so I don’t focus my thoughts on Sweden and Swedish as I would if we still were. Perhaps we’ll try again another time, but at the moment it’s a struggle just to do the ‘three R’s’.

I do have a poster map of Sweden up on the wall alongside a post-card of Mamma Mu (the singing cow) and a beautifully painted calligraphed Swedish alphabet including the three ‘extra letters’: å, ä and ö, and these caught Pony-rider’s eye a few days ago, so that prompted a little conversation, but no real interest in learning the language.

When I get round to it, I will post some reviews of Sweden-related things that we enjoy.

In the meantime, I thought I would give you a Swedish word to try on for size:

Flodhäst – Hippopotamus

(literally, river-horse) Dragon-tamers is just telling me, “that’s what Hippopotamus actually means!”

pronounced: flowed-hest

When we lived in Sweden, there was a children’s television programme about horses entitled ‘Hippo’.

Don’t ask me why I chose that word, no reason at all that I can think of. Just a word I like the sound of. 😀

Archive Post: Gunga och Rutschkana på Parken

We met our Swedish-Finnish friend Tieja again for our monthly coffee date, this time at the park by the lake (we thought we’d reserve Ikea for rainy days!).

It’s funny how you remember words you haven’t thought of for years when you hear them – like the word ‘gunga’ – swing (noun and verb, just like in English), and ‘rutschkana’ – slide (just a noun, as far as I know).

When we lived in Sweden and Dragon-tamer was little, the ‘rutschkana’ was their absolute favourite thing in the playground. I can hardly believe it was 10* years ago now.

I asked them if they still had any memories of Dagis (short for ‘daghem’ – day-home; in other words ‘nursery’). They hardly remember it at all really, apart from a favourite toy – an amazing water track contraption. I wondered whether the Dagis teachers were still there. It would be nice to go back and visit. I thought we’d do it last year, but we still don’t even have passports, so it’s looking less and less likely that we’ll even manage it this year, but you never know.

Homeschool is being drowned out a bit by ‘life’ at the moment, but I keep thinking that I would like to try and teach the children some Swedish so they’d be able to speak a little if and when we do visit. They do recognise the sound of it, which is good, I think – they can tell it apart from French or German or Hebrew.

Well, we’ll see how we go. I’m looking out for any good teaching materials for Swedish as a second language for children. If I find any, I’ll let you know.



[This post was originally published on the Svengelska Hemskolan blog, * it is now 20 years ago!]

Homeschooling in New Sweden


I discovered recently that my home town is twinned with – amongst other towns – Wilmington, Delaware in the USA. My immediate thought was to wonder whether it would be possible to get into contact with homeschoolers there (everybody homeschools in America, right?)

Imagine my surprise then, when I discovered this week that the town of Wilmington was founded by Swedish pilgrims! The town is so deeply influenced by its Scandinavian foundations (its architecture, for instance, is recognizably ‘Nordisk’, known particularly as well for a Finnish style of building) that it really is known as ‘New Sweden’. I was astounded to learn that over a million Swedes emigrated, suggesting that there are probably more descendants of Swedes in Wilmington than in the whole of Sweden itself!

My attempts to contact homeschoolers in Wilmington has fallen flat on its face so far, but I was so thrilled to discover the connection that I thought it would be worthwhile to try and encourage some interest in our twin towns (or ‘sister cities’ as they are apparently known in the US).

If you would like to know more about Wilmington, and Swedish migration to the US, take a look at these links:

When I was doing my year abroad in Stockholm as part of my Scandinavian Studies degree, I met lots of American students, but never thought to enquire where they originated.

For anybody who might be interested, here is 2015’s list of the best universities / colleges offering Scandinavian Studies degrees.

Hopefully more on this to follow!
Hej, Hej!

Originally posted on the Svengelska Hemskolan blog on

Välkommen till Svengelska Hemskolan

n Sweden-politcal-map

Years ago, when the children were little, I kept a blog called ‘Svengelska Hemskolan’.

“Svengelska Hemskolan: Homeschooling in the UK with links to Sweden with intentions to follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy, mostly using Sonlight Curriculum, and also themes / projects / unit-studies, lapbooking and which usually looks a lot like unschooling!”

Since the platform is about to close, and there isn’t an option to just directly import posts into wordpress, I thought it would be mice to copy them over. so the next few posts will be on the theme of homeschooling with a Swedish twist 🙂 Some of the posts were also posted on Multiply, which I loved while it lasted, but lost access to my posts as I couldn’t figure out at the time how to export them before it closed, so I’m glad to find some of them again.

Well, I’m not sure how much of this will be Swedish and how much English… I guess we’ll just see how it evolves! Det kanske blir rätt svengelskt!
By way of introduction, we are homeschooling in the UK but lived in Stockholm for a while and are keen to keep our Swedish going. Stora pojken gick i Dagis och kan lite svenska, och alla barnen går nu i svenska skolan en gång i fjorton dagar för att träna i svenska.
Svengelska Skola