At both Michelle’s and Karen’s houses we’re big Harry Potter fans. We have Harry Potter ring tones, read Harry Potter books, watch Harry Potter movies, play Harry Potter video games, dress up as Harry Potter for Halloween, and add some Harry Potter magic into our homeschools. We even live in on acreage and have “Dark Forests” behind our houses. Read on if you’d like to make your own Harry Potter homeschool.
Design Your School
Pick a name for your school. Michelle’s family picked Copher School of Mishaps and Mayhem, a title both accurate and Hogwartish.
Pick symbols and names for your houses. If you have a small family you may have only one house, but it’s still fun to know you belong to a house. You might want to design a crest that represents your family, house, or homeschool.
Here are some ideas:
House Name House Symbol House Colors
Arcturus Hippogryph light blue & silver
Polaris Dragon dark blue & gold
Vega Centaur red & gold
Sirius 3-Headed Dog orange & black
Orion Unicorn white & silver
Michelle made simple banners to represent each of the houses. The banners hang in the school room all year long and on feast days they are moved to the dining “hall” where they adorn the walls. The house symbols were drawn on in pencil first, then traced over in permanent marker. Then the banners were trimmed with a metallic ribbon.
At Hogwarts kids earn house points for doing well at school and in life. They lose points for bad behavior. At the end of term the house cup is awarded to the house with the most points. If you have two or more houses you can use the same system. Keep track of house points with jars and beans or marbles. If you have only one house, keep track and when the jar gets to a certain pre-determined level, have a prize prepared.
We have house points challenges as well, which are like little quiz games where the kids answer review questions from what we’ve been studying. We usually have a house points challenge on Fridays to sum up what we’ve learned during the past week or two. The more difficult the question, the more points they earn. They encompass all subjects, and even cover things that weren’t officially “school” topics. I jot down questions on index cards that sit on my desk. I keep all the questions we’ve ever used and they stay in the game, so eventually there are repeats. If no one answers the question right I try to put it towards the top where we’ll hit it again really soon. Everyone gets caught up in the fun, and we all get a great review time.
Your house cup can be part of an trophy or just a vase or goblet spray painted gold. We award our house cup at the end of each term (usually twice a year).
An Official “Hogwarts” Letter
It’s not every kid who gets picked to attend your school of magic. It’s a big deal. There’s an official letter delivered by magical means. There’s a list of requirements including books and supplies, purchased in Diagon Alley of course, school uniforms, purchased at Madam Malkins or Wizard Glad Rags for the more flamboyant, and, if you’re lucky, a racing broomstick. Make sure to have your list in hand before you go school shopping. Oh, and you’ll also need a wand. Here’s a tutorial to make your own wand in case you can’t afford one of Ollivander’s. There’s an official date by which students must arrive at school. And there’s a list of subjects and the teachers who will be teaching them.
Here are the subjects that have been taught in our Homeschool of Magic with their traditional subject translations:
History of Magic (History)
Muggle Studies (Geography)
Care of Magical Creatures (Biology-animals)
Ancient Runes (Latin and other Foreign Languages)
Defense Against the Dark Arts (Character Training/Religious Instruction) – Click on this to read more about it.
Magical Arts (Art)
Kick It Off With A Feast
The night before the first day of school we always have a feast. Sometimes it’s Harry Potter themed food and sometimes it’s another theme. We’ve done a “favorites feast” where everyone gets to choose their very favorite food as one of the dishes served. We’ve done a “breakfast feast” where it’s all the best breakfast foods. Then there’s the Mexican feast, Italian feast, and All American feast. You can also choose a color and have a feast based around that. You could even have a “finger foods feast.” You can design the feast any way you like. We have feasts at the Start of Term, at Halloween, and also at the end of the final term of the school year.
Here are a few fun feasts we’ve had to give you some ideas:
During the feast the kids get their school books with their list of classes they’ll be taking for the year. They also get sorted into their houses. We have a Halloween witches hat we place on their heads. We only did the sorting once, the first time we had a Start of Term feast, but you can do it every year, changing up the houses.
Also, this is a great chance for the headmaster or mistress to give “Start of Term Notices.”
We don’t give out regular grades, we give out O.W.L.s. (Actually if it weren’t for Harry we probably wouldn’t give out any grades at all, but it’s just too much fun. ) At the end of term feast each student receives a ribbon tied scroll containing their “marks” for that term. At the bottom are some words of encouragement for each child as well.
Here’s the grading scheme:
O – Outstanding
E – Exceeds Expectations
A – Acceptable
P – Poor
D – Dreadful
T – Troll
What do you do to make your homeschool more fun? Leave us a comment!