Learning with Harry Potter

learning with harry potter - hogwarts castle

Learning with Harry Potter

Our whole family loves learning with Harry Potter. We love the world of Harry Potter and have all read the books and watched the movies. My children and I have attended and volunteered for a Harry Potter summer camp, where I played Professor McGonagall. We even had the pleasure of going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida several years ago!

Do you love to read books from the Harry Potter series or watch the movies? There are many fun, learning activities you can enjoy in your home or homeschool – you can easily put together a Harry Potter unit study and enjoy learning with Harry Potter, too!

Lesson Plans

Check out these Harry Potter Lesson Plans! They include creative writing lessons, character analysis, creating a board game, writing a script, and more.

Science

Science can look a lot like magic. There are science experiments galore that fit in the Harry Potter universe Potions Class! Here are a few Harry Potter experiments to get you started. I enjoyed teaching these at a Harry Potter camp one summer.

Latin

Incendio! Latin abounds in the Harry Potter books. Almost all of the so-called spells are merely Latin words (with other languages peppered throughout). Children find it so much fun to translate these words because it’s almost like a secret code. Here are translations of a few. For more advanced students of Latin, pick up the Latin translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Crafts and Activities

Make your own Hogwarts Acceptance Letter. Use real sealing wax, available at craft stores, for the authentic look.

Whittle your own wands. My son used to use a simple knife and sandpaper or whittling tools to make interesting wands out of twigs. Or if you know somebody with a lathe, ask if they’ll show your child how to use it – you can make fancier wands this way.

Enjoy online activities on Scholastic’s Harry Potter page. Take the Wizard’s Challenge, Create a Creature, and more.

If you and your kids haven’t yet joined Pottermore, check it out to learn more about the wizarding world and enjoy ongoing Harry Potter stories, activities, and ebooks.

Make your own Butter Beer. We really enjoy this – it’s delicious! There are many recipes available online – try them all and see which one you like best.

learning with harry potter - drinking butterbeer

Literature Study

Study the literary archetype of The Hero’s Journey in the pages of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Join Scholastic’s Harry Potter Reading Club for discussion guides, monthly activities, and a kit full of stickers and more.

Learn About the Author

Learn more about author J.K. Rowling. Did you know she is a Christian and started writing the
Harry Potter series as a penniless single mother? Be sure to visit J.K. Rowling’s official site, where you can read all about her and the latest news.

Whether you use these ideas in your homeschool, or for a birthday, Halloween party, or summer camp, I hope you enjoy learning with Harry Potter as much as we have!

learning with Harry Potter - Harry Potter wands

Are you learning with Harry Potter? What are your favourite activities? Let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Fun Fantasy Fiction for Kids

fantasy fiction for kids

Fun Fantasy Fiction for Kids

If you’re like me and my Geek Schooling family, you may just love to read books in the fantsy genre. My whole family loves to sink our teeth into a good series of books. If you’re looking for more fantasy to read or want to be reminded of some favourites, here are some of ours.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you haven’t heard of Tolkien, you may have been hiding under a rock! Tolkien is the king of fantasy. These books have it all – adventure, excitement, fantastical locales and creatures.

The Hobbit is a great read-aloud even for younger children. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a huge, challenging work, which may be suitable for an advanced 10 or 11 year old, but often students aren’t ready until high school age or beyond. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies were brilliantly done, but do contain graphic violence, so be cautious with younger children. Go to http://www.theonering.net/ to chat about all things Lord of the Rings with other fans.

The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis

There is much debate on whether to start with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (which was written first) or The Magician’s Nephew (which is set chronologically first), but whichever book you start with, this is a great series. These books are suitable for all ages and make a great family read-aloud. There books are a big hit with Christians, because as you may know, they were written as a Biblical allegory, with the lion, Aslan, representing Jesus. However, I believe anyone can enjoy them.

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

This is a fun series of four books, penned by a homeschooler. Starting with the book, Eragon, it centres around a boy and his dragon, battling against evil. The books are probably suitable for about age 10 and up, and are just as enjoyable for adults. Click on the link above for the official website, complete with activities. But steer clear of the movie, Eragon, it’s an immense disappointment if you’ve read the book.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This series starts out with the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S. for some reason) and starts following Harry Potter as he turns 11 and finds out he is a wizard. He and his friends battle the forces of evil throughout the series of books, all while attending wizarding school.

Rowling is an excellent storyteller and the books get increasingly intricate (and longer) as the series progresses. As a result, this series is just as enjoyable for adults as for children. I would recommend it in general for children age 10 and up, although my advanced reader daughter started at age 8. Unlike some other movies, the movie adaptations of these books are very well done – naturally the books are better though! Click on the link above for the incredible, interactive Harry Potter website.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan

Starting off with The Lightning Thief, this series follows Percy as he finds out he’s actually a son of Poseidon, and thus a demi-god. Sounds a bit familiar, doesn’t it? But instead of a school, he attends a camp for demi-gods.

This series pales in comparison to The Harry Potter Series, but it is a fun way to bring mythological monsters and Greek godd to life, especially if you’re studying ancient Greece in your homeschool. Click on the official website link above to enjoy some games and activities. If you’ve read the book, the movie The Lightning Thief is a bit of a disappointment.

The Stone of Tymora Series by R.A. and Geno Salvatore

If you happen to be a fan of R.A. Salvatore’s works yourself, check out this Young Adult trilogy he and his son have written together! The story of teenaged Maimun is begun in the first installment, The Stowaway. Maimun comes across pirates, demons, and yes, Drizzt Do’Urden, too! (I have to mention that I had the distinct pleasure of meeting both Salvatores at Hal-Con in Halifax and they were delightful in person AND I got some books signed!)

The Wings of Fire Series by Tui T. Sutherland

This wonderful series for tweens is about young dragons known as the dragonets of destiny. They start out virtual prisoners and once they escape into the wide world of dragons they are plagued with doubts if they really are the dragonets of destiny from prophecy and if they are capable of making a real difference in the world. Sutherland These books make perfect read-alouds the whole family will enjoy.

What are some of your family’s favourite Fantasy series? We’re always looking for more!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly