Our first week of Harry Potter Homeschool began during Harry Potter’s Birthdae. We completed lessons from the Waldock’s Wizards and Wands curriculum. We also read 2 chapters of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and watched the first two movies in the series.
On July 31st, our local library held a Harry Potter birthday celebration that included a fun and very well-organized birthday celebration. We attended The Owlery which was a birds of prey presentation from The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC. We’d been to the center before but it was fun to see the owls in an unusual environment like a Muggle library.
The Owlery: Learning about Owls and Birds of Prey
We learned quite a few new things from Jessie; she’d been our tour guide at the center when we went last Fall. She taught us that as birds of prey, owls have binocular vision. This means that both of their eyes have overlapping fields of view. We met an Asian Brown Wood Owl from Thailand. Jessie explained that owls have a neck rotation of 270 degrees in each direction and have 14 bones in their neck; twice as many as humans.
She also challenged us to check out other birds in our backyard. While more noticable with Owls, all birds have the ability to rotate their necks 270 degrees! Jessie also gave us some tips for classifying owls. A few of the other owls we learned about include the Barn Owl, the Great Horned Owl, Eastern Screech Owl and the Barred Owl. The Barred Owl, she said can be found in great numbers near where I live, in the Summerville area.
We also got to witness a Spectacled Owl in flight as she had it flying over the children’s heads in the middle of the library. Zac was particularly excited to see the Spectacled Owl because we had just seen babySpectacled Owls last fall at The Center for Birds of Prey. In our South Carolina owl research I found a place called Carolina Raptor Center in North Carolina that I think we’ll try to add to one of our roadschooling bucket list trips!
Chemistry and Potions:The Wizard’s Workshop
The Waldock Wizards and Wands Curriculum includes a unit on Potions that we dabbled in a bit that first week. I purchased the Wizards Workshop Kindle Book so we could go through and complete the unit. Unfortunately I didn’t have much of the ingredients needed on hand so we were only able to do done spell and make one potion but it was a good one!
A Little Bit of Alchemy and Magical Creatures
We definitely just dabbled in the Alchemy portion of our homeschool this first week. I have discovered that I will need to purchase My Books of Rocks and Minerals and I’ll likely start looking into to some of the rocks and minerals resources I mentioned in a previous post. We also jumped in to the Magical Creatures Unit in the Waldock’s Wizards and Wands curriculum. I purchased a digital version of the book A Field Guide to Griffins, Unicorns and Other Mythical Beasts and he completed a few of the lessons from that unit.
Books, Free Books, More Books and the Library
As mentioned, our local library did a fantastic job of engaging the kids and making Harry Potter’s Birthdae a fun experience. When we first arrived at Hogwarts, we were led to the Room of Requirement where kids were given pins and bookmarks and snacks. They were sorted into their Houses if they didn’t already know whether or not they were a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor or Slytherin. Since Zac already knew that he was a Hufflepuff thanks to the Pottermore.com website, he grabbed a Hufflepuff pin and a wand pin actually chose him! He was able to get an extra prize; a wooden wand with red swirls that he said reminded him of a candy cane. He also received an official Hogwarts School (Library) Letter!
In addition to visiting the library during our first week of Harry Potter Homeschool, we also went to a local bookstore to look around! Mr. K’s Books in North Charleston will purchase books from patrons in exchange for cash or store credit. I had a large bag of books from my own bookshelf that I really didn’t consider ‘keepers’ so I brought them in to Mr. K’s and managed to get $21 worth of store credit! With my credit that day I bought the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and a few other homeschool books for our bookshelves. I still have $17 to spend so we’ll definitely be heading back to Mr. K’s in the coming weeks!
Language Arts – Charms, Spells, Enchantments and Incantations
I sorto of bundled in Muggle Studies (History) with the Charms, Spells, Enchantments and Incantations portion of the Waldock Wizards and Wands curriculum. We read The Making of a Knight this week which traces a boy named James’ journey from page to squire to knight. We also completed quite a few pages from this unit in the curriculum and I used the Bravewriter method called “Jot it Down” to help him with the writing portion.
The Bravewriter Jot-it-Down method, which is also a curriculum is something that I truly hadn’t thought of before, but makes total sense. Often we drill into our kids, the physicality of ‘writing’ when in fact it’s the getting the story out of their heads and into the proper formatusing the proper elements of writing to make it easy to understand for the reader.
The parent, in the Jot-it-Down method, acts as a transcriber for young kids that have all of the ideas but maybe not necessarily the writing skills or attention span to actually hold the pencil and form the words on the paper. I really love this perspective because it fosters creativity without the stress of ‘getting the letters spaced just correctly’ That will come later, for now the idea is to have them love creating, love crafting and making up stories!
Creating a Harry Potter Homeschool Space in Our Home
One thing I’m working on as we go through this curriculum is incorporating a bit of fun and magic to our home. For one of our dinners we had a semi-traditional British meal of Shepherd’s Pie, as Harry does before his Quidditch match. Semi-traditional in the sense that we used ground turkey in place of ground lamb. I believe that when it is made with ground or minced beef it is called Cottage Pie so I’m not really sure what our ground turker version was.
The Colman’s Shepherd’s Pie mix packet that I found at Publix was delicious. I’ve made this on my own before just going by what I had in the pantry, but the Colman’s mix definitely made a difference in flavor! Now, I didn’t take a photo because in my experience, things like Shepherd’s Pie don’t photograph well (I definitely need to work on my skills) so you’ll have to take my word for it, that it was delicious.
While Harry and his friends don’t drink Butterbeer until much later in the series, I thought that Butterbeer cupcakes would be a great way to close out the week in our homeschool So, armed with a recipe and some of my own ideas, I came up with a version that almost replicates the Butterbeer flavor. We’ll be doing a lot of testing in the kitchen over the next few months and come back to the blog with a recipe to share!
Finally, I set up a small area on our stairway loft that will serve as my sons own Owlery. I included a shabby chic letter sorter from the thrift store and some stationery. We recently received a Pigments of Potter colored pencil set that I’ll add to the letter sorter drawer as well. The Owlery on our loft is a work in progress so I’ll be sure to show more pictures as it comes together.
Follow Along With Our Harry Potter Homeschool Year
I do hope you will continue to follow our Harry Potter Homeschool this year. Each week for #WizardingWednesday I’ll be sending updates to the mailing list and posting across social media. Follow the hasghtag #WizardingWorldofHomeschool on my Instagram account to see what we’re up to with our Waldock’s Wizard and Wands Curriculum. In addition to HP updates, I also send out other relevant homeschool and mom life info to my mailing list subscribers, so don’t miss out!
Other Harry Potter Projects That May Be of Interest:
- Introduction to Waldock Wizards and Wands Curriculum
- Learn How to Make a Harry Potter DIY Felt Bookmark