June 28, 2003

Gearing up for Hogwarts

We're going to do a trial run of the Hogwarts Summer Correspondence course. Just four weeks, I'm thinking, and if it goes well we'll do more next summer. I'm setting up lessons in Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Potions and a special class in Basic Charms and Spells for Muggle Witches. I was going to do Astronomy, but then I looked at the night sky near our house. There's so much light pollution that the lessons would have to consist of "Go outside, and peer at the sky until you can find a star, any star ..."

I will post the lessons when I'm finished with them. This will be fun :) I just have to decide on which "Magical Creature" we're going to do. If we buy Griffin a snake, then we'll make snakes our lesson.

If I can find some parchment paper today, they should get their introductory letters and registration forms by Monday. I just have to get creative about the "Owl Mail" thing. Hmmm. The owls may be very busy and have to leave the mail in the tree.

There are so many possibilities in this game! I just hope they don't burn out on Harry Potter before we're through with half of them!

Aidan just came into the house wearing a tomato cage on his head. "Look Mom, I'm a tomato that sprouted legs and walked away!"

Posted by Steph at June 28, 2003 11:23 AM

I love this idea! I can see us doing this in a few years. Theme school is so fun to plan, and the kids usually stay on track better.

Congratulations, you fun mom you!

Posted by: Sarah in Manitoba on June 30, 2003 09:02 AM

Do the office supply stores still offer "onionskin" typing paper? It has the antique look but was very inexpensive.

My younger brother used it for this purpose back in high school when his English class was studying Chaucer. The assignment was to write a Chaucerian description of someone. His was of a carver in stone (his trade now, thirty years later - stonecarver.com has much of educational value). After he typed it up, he translated it into Chaucerian English as best he could (a "Kerver in Stoon"), lettered it on the onionskin parchment, rolled it up and tied it with a ribbon. The teacher gave him an "A" before even noticing such details as "his wrists were not overly small."

Posted by: triticale on July 3, 2003 07:26 AM

Great idea, Steph!

I'm an amateur herpetologist, and I volunteer at Philly's Academy of Natural Sciences in the Butterfly Room, so let me know if you need information on either of those "magical" creatures...

Posted by: Kimberly on July 3, 2003 10:36 AM


For a magical creature, try fairies. You can do much of the prep work without having the actual fairies flittng about--and it's fun. Making food for fairies, learning about their habitat. Then, on Lughnasa, bake some fairy cakes and take your class outside at dusk. They'll see fairies. All kids do.

Posted by: jack on July 3, 2003 01:40 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions! I will check out the onionskin. I did find, and buy, real parchment. Very nice, but pricey.

Kimberly, we have been seriously considering buying a snake, so I may take you up on your offer.

Jack ... my boys don't believe in fairies. My boys claim to not believe in magic, or ghosts, or any such things (then how did they get me for a Mom?). I'm finding this a difficult line to walk; I want to encourage them to be imaginative and open to the unprovable, but I don't want them to abandon their natural logic and skepticism. In our house, the adults use logic, and science, and clear thinking processes, but still choose to believe in things that many consider to be unbelievable.

But I'm certainly willing to try. And Lughnasa is definitely a good time for it.

Posted by: Stephanie on July 3, 2003 02:57 PM
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