To encourage my 6 year old son who is not too enthusiastic about school, I've come up with a way to add a bit of interest-based learning to his lessons. The kids love Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone movie. We do read aloud on Fridays, but I wanted to add a bit more. I found the Hogwarts Summer Correspondence Course at Yahoo Groups. It's a huge database of lesson plans and forms from other moms that use this during the summer for fun and learning. I wanted to use the lessons in the afternoon for science and other things we need to do anyway. Just turning it into a magical Hogwarts experience could be enough to keep him interested. So here's what I have so far.
1. Join HSCS groups - all of them. There's a lot of info, so be prepared to spend an entire day just sifting through the vast amounts of zip files.
2. Download the first year starter packet. This has the invitation letter to the correspondence course, acceptance letters, course selection, sorting questions, house letter and rules.
3. Customize your letters from the starter pack.
4. Organize the courses you would like to cover. These are mine:
First Years Introductory Lessons
- Wands and Woods - Learn about trees then make your own wand at the end of the course.
- Know Yer Habitats - Hagrid's pre-course to the other Magical Creatures courses. Teaches all about habitats and biomes.
- Care of Magical Creatures: Familiars - Learn about toads, cats and owls. Dissect owl pellets. Learn about each animals habitats, what they eat, where they live and more. They get to choose a stuffed familiar when the course is complete.
- House Lessons - One of the first courses - studying the origin of each house, what character traits they represent, our own house lessons and rules, bullies.
- Arithmancy - Math - Easily change math program to magical terms.
- Astronomy - Learn about the constellations.
- Study of Magical Creatures: Fairies - Read fairy stories, make a fairy house using Fairy Houses . . . Everywhere! (The Fairy Houses Series), make fairy wings, draw fairies, make our own Pressed Fairy Book, play with Flower Fairies Paper Dolls.
- Study of Magical Creatures: Dragons - Read dragon stories, learn about the different kinds, try to draw our own dragons. Read How to Train Your Dragon Series.
- Study of Magical Creatures: Snakes - Learn about the different types, study markings, poisonous or not, what they eat, where they live and more.
- Study of Magical Creatures: Bats - Learn about bats using Scholastic Dollar Sale book.
- Study of Magical Creatures:A-L and M-Z. Read stories about the magical creatures. Read Harry Potter Schoolbooks: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Read Spiderwick Chronicles and make your own field guide of magical creatures. This could go with the Fairies study, but I have a lot there already. Don't forget Care and Feeding of Sprites from the Spiderwick Series also.
- Potions & Alchemy - I have Scientific Explorer's The Magic Science for Wizards Only , crystal growing kit, a liquids and solids kit, this would be a good time to make our own slime. I have Bubbleology that would probably fit in here.
- Herbology - A nature study on plants, grow our own herbs, a trip to the botanical gardens, I have a fungi and bacteria kit to use from Magic School Bus Science. There's also A Fungus Among Us at Currclick.
- Transfiguration - Learn about the metamorphosis of butterflies, grow crystals (?), still working on this one.
- Folklore & Literature - The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter, Third Edition ties the books to tales of folklore. This is also when we would do a lit study on the Sorcerer's Stone. I will probably be saving this for last.
- Charms & Spells - Study the names of spells. Decipher what it means, memorize the spells.
- Quills and Spelling - Practice handwriting through copywork of quotes of the books. Practice dictation and narration through this as well.
- Wizards Chess - Learn chess through No Stress Chess game.
- Honeydukes Home Economics - Cook our way through The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook from the library.
- Honeydukes Arts and Crafts -
- Quidditch - Use Harry Potter Schoolbooks: Quidditch Through the Ages and study the sport. Compare to other sports us Muggles play. At the end of this course they each get a broom.