Have you got a Harry Potter fan in your home? Capitalize on the interest with Chelsea’s Harry Potter homeschooling ideas worthy of Hogwarts.
Recently, my husband and I have had the pleasure of introducing the Harry Potter book series to our son. We are both huge Potter fans and have been anxiously awaiting the day our kid could finally join the fandom fun. Fortunately, the seven-year-old is just as crazy about the series as we are, making storytime incredibly fun for the whole family.
Because of my son’s newfound interest in all things Wizarding World, I have been brainstorming ways to tie the magical world of Potter into our schooling. We are pretty laid-back homeschoolers. Some might even go so far as to call us unschoolers. That said, I can’t resist a good project that captures the interest of the whole family, and Harry Potter projects are sure to do just that.
Harry Potter Homeschooling Ideas
Below are a few of the Harry Potter homeschooling I’ve come up with so far. We plan to dive into these in the coming weeks, and I hope some of you can do the same, making your lessons just a little bit more magical.
Writing with Quills
In the Harry Potter books, students at Hogwarts write with quill pens. This activity is surprisingly challenging, but it’s also quite fun. So, a quill pen and a bottle of “Flourish and Blotts” ink might encourage even the most reluctant writer to put pen to paper. What a fun way to practice creative writing, spelling, and handwriting!
Have younger kids who want in on the fun but can’t quite handle the quill pen challenge? Try gluing a feather to a regular pen or pencil, and allow them to write Hogwarts-style along with the rest of the family.
Most kids find the science of plants intriguing. I haven’t met too many kids who weren’t keen on growing a bean plant in the window. Capitalize on this natural interest and take your plant science projects a bit further by turning them into Herbology lessons.
Your “Herbology class” could be as simple as growing that same bean plant, but giving it a more magical name. Or, you could use one of the much more elaborate ideas from this fabulous Herbology ebook.
Potions is a must-have class for Potter fans, but you don’t have to be as hard on your students as Professor Snape. Instead, have fun with it!
You can label nearly any chemistry project a potions lesson. However, you might want to try some Harry Potter beauty potions, too. Other options include making slime or creating an eruption using the classic baking-soda-and-vinegar mixture.
Remember to talk about the “magic” (aka science) that makes these projects work!
History of Magic
If your student is interested in Harry Potter, they might also be interested in the history of magic in mythology and folklore.
While Harry Potter is a modern tale, the books feature many references to various myths and legends. Knowing a bit about the original tales can help readers uncover extra little tidbits or Easter eggs throughout the stories. Try the book, The Sorcerer’s Companion to help your family discover the many links the Harry Potter series has to these stories.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to read the official book, A History of Magic. It provides even more fun Potter reading that pulls stories of magic from the real world into the spotlight.
The Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures
Do you have an animal lover on your hands? If so, “The Care and Keeping of Magical Creatures” is a class you’ll want to include. Begin by reading the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Pick a few of the creatures and learn more about them through internet research. You may also try finding your creatures of choice in various myths and legends.
Other options for this class include such projects as dissecting owl pellets, observing bats at a local zoo, and giving the kids responsibilities helping with household pets.
The students of Hogwarts are required to study astronomy. Why not do the same with your little witch or wizard? Setting up a telescope and observing the night sky is always an exciting experience. Finding constellations can also be a lot of fun, especially if you study the myths behind these characters of the night sky.
Try a book like A Child’s Introduction to the Night Sky to complement your studies.
Transfiguration is a class that might seem impossible to replicate at home in the Muggle world. However, changing one thing into another is entirely possible using the magic of science!
The project I recommend for this Harry Potter homeschooling class is crystal growing. Both salt crystals and sugar crystals work quite nicely, as they are simple projects that don’t require any special tools or ingredients. Besides, the way they appear overnight truly is quite magical. Go ahead and try your hand at transfiguring salt or sugar water to crystals!
Charms (aka Deciphering Spells)
Okay, so clearly you can’t actually use a wand to cast spells. However, this is no reason you can’t have a bit of fun with the many charms found throughout the Potter series.
If you’ve ever read the Potter books, you’ve probably noticed that the words in the spells come from other languages. Latin words are particularly prevalent, but the occasional Greek word will slip in, as well as those from other origins. Pick some of your favorite spells from the Wizarding World and see if you can decipher their meaning or languages of origin.
Try tips from the Pottermore site if you get stuck.
Extra Reading and Activities
Looking for even more Harry Potter fun and learning? I thought these books looked like fun additional reading, and some also include exciting activities:
The Science of Harry Potter — Learn all about how you can find science in the world of Harry Potter. This very cool nonfiction book that is sure to fascinate the older Potter fans out there.
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook — We all know how educational cooking can be. Tie your cooking math lessons to your Harry Potter unit study using this cookbook.
Have you done any Harry Potter homeschooling? What were some of your family’s favorite activities?