I always do school with the kids year-round, but this summer we’re going to add something that will make school REALLY fun and get the kids very excited about learning. A friend at our homeschool co-op got the ball rolling, and some others have joined in, making this a truly fun and awesome adventure (thanks Monica, Rebecca, and Tricia!).
What we’re doing: a term at Hogwarts correspondence school, with letters, lessons, and supplies arriving through Owl Post!
How it works: I prepared acceptance letters for each child, and addressed them in true Potter style, such as:
Miss Ciara Hellewell
Large Pink Room, upstairs
The letters mysteriously arrive in the night and the kids find them the next morning. Thursday night I left mine on a chair in the hall, complete with a little stuffed owl sitting on top:
They were excited (and a little confused) when they got their letters. I had told them nothing beforehand except that “school this summer is going to be different and exciting.” (Bran said: “School’s boring! How can it be exciting?” I guess we’ve been spending a little too much time on worksheets and books. My goal is to change his mind. :)) Once I explained a little about attending Hogwarts by mail, since we live in America, they started to get really excited.
“Do you mean owls will bring us stuff lots of days?”
“Will we even get WANDS?”
“What classes are we going to have?!”
The first letters: Acceptance to Hogwarts and Sorting Hat quiz
They do realize, underneath it all, that of course I’m the one doing it, but we are all having a lot of fun pretending. After they filled out the Sorting Hat quiz on Friday and left the quiz for the owls to pick up that night, they were lying in their beds, wondering which House they would end up in. Some “mysterious” hooting noises floated up the stairs, and I heard Nia say “Guys! I just heard OWL NOISES!!”
Saturday morning they woke up and rushed to the hall to see if the owls had left them fresh letters. Sure enough, their House results had arrived! The Sorting Hat sorted them: Ciara into Ravenclaw, Bran into Hufflepuff house, and Nia into Gryffindor. The letters went into detail about why exactly they were chosen and what good traits they had that made them perfect for each house. Bran and Ciara were a little depressed that they weren’t in Griffindor, but I’m hoping to capitalize on all their individual talents and abilities to really help them see how unique each child is.
Tonight’s Owl Post will feature a letter from Hagrid on selecting a proper magical pet to be their friend at Hogwarts, with instructions to write him a letter back letting him know which pet they prefer. Future classes will include learning all about the care, history, and characteristics of these pets and how they have been viewed in legends and stories.
I’m still figuring this out, with the help of the wonderful moms who are already doing it. They’ve posted awesome and clever lessons on Trolls (taught by Gilderoy Lockhart), Potions (taught by Theodore Nott), and others, such as several hilarious and un-grammatical Care of Magical Creatures lessons by Hagrid; also Nature lessons by Luna Lovegood and Hogwarts History with guest professor Hermione. I’ve got lots of ideas boiling in my mind right now about more classes to add.
Other lessons or ideas the moms have created so far:
* House elf Home Ec (cooking and sewing) taught by Dobby
* Quills and Magical Writing (penmanship, calligraphy, etc.)
Please leave me comments or ideas of what other classes we could do and any other helpful ideas you have. It’s a lot of fun so far!