I volunteered in the school library when my son was in second grade.
I loved it.
The weekly trip to the library was kind-of a big deal for my son’s class and he loved seeing me there in the middle of his school day.
The first time I really understood the allure of Harry Potter was in that dark, little library, when a sweet girl, with a scar drawn on her forehead in red marker, stumbled up to the check-out desk with a gigantic stack of thick books.
Immediately, the librarian came over and said, “Helen, you can only check out one Harry Potter book at a time. Pick one and then next week, you can return it and check out another one.”
Helen started crying.
“But I neeeeeeeed them all.”
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Seven years later, I feel little Helen’s pain.
Both of my boys, my husband and now, by sheer proximity, me, are complete and total fans. (We pull up a Harry Potter quiz app at the dinner table and compete against each other, y’all. It’s bad.)
So I guess I shouldn’t have been at all surprised when I asked what we should study this summer and my youngest said he wanted to go to Hogwarts instead. (This is the boy convinced that the owl got lost on his 11th birthday and will eventually show up and prove he is a muggle born wizard.)
At first, I laughed. But then, the more I thought about it, the more the ideas starting flowing.
Homeschool at Hogwarts? Why not?
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Harry Potter Homeschool: Hands-On Activities For Every Aspiring Wizard
We transitioned to this learning a couple of weeks ago, and while I am still fine tuning some of the details, it has been nothing short of awesome.
These are the Harry Potter activities we have completed so far.
Writing With Quills
I have two boys that avoid holding pencils at all costs. But put a quill in front of them with some “Flourish and Blotts” ink and they will write anything. Copy work and math practice just got a lot easier (and more fun).
Pottermore House Sorting and Patronus Assignment
This free website is ridiculously fun. We spent an entire morning reading lore, getting sorted into houses and finding out our Patronus. (I’m Hufflepuff and my Patronus is a Saint Bernard. Sounds about right on both counts.)
These books are written by J.K. Rowling as if they are the actual textbooks at Hogwarts. So far, we have read two stories from The Tales of Beedle the Bard and have completed one chapter from Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Crossing The Midline Wand Exercises
It’s amazing how fast my son will complete his usual exercises when we incorporate a little wand pointing.
Because my sons both have social differences that require a little extra attention, I have incorporated in some of our social skills exercises to character studies. Asking questions like, “How do you think Harry felt when that happened?” and “Why would Snape say that?” has replaced our usual social skills work.
What’s on our Hogwart’s class schedule next?
Profiles in Wizardry
and the class we are the most excited to attend –
Just in time, my sweet friend Kara released an ebook all about how to attend Herbology class at Hogwarts.
Herbology: Harry Potter-Inspired Growing Projects to Do With Your Kids is right up our alley with hands-on projects all done as if we were actually in Herbology class at Hogwarts!
Homeschool At Hogwarts
So far, school at Hogwarts is going quite well.
My boys are engaged and excited. I feel like we are doing something a bit different from the rest of the school year (well, and if I am completely honest, I’m kinda geeking out on all the Harry Potter things too).
The more we read the books together, the more conversations we have about real things – courage, making hard choices, and most of all, the power of love against darkness.
I can’t imagine a better way to add a little fun in our homeschool.
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Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.