A Harry Potter Homeschool

Harry Potter banner

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 designed a Harry Potter homeschool.  At Michelle’s house we even have a “Dark Forest” out back.

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Below are some of the things we do to get the Hogwarts feel at our homes.  Click on an image to read the whole article. 

We equip our kids with wands . . . you can too, Karen teaches a wand making tutorial.

We equip our kids with wands . . . you can too, Karen teaches a wand making tutorial.

And we teach Wizarding subjects like Defense Against the Dark Arts, only ours has a real life purpose to fight againt real life evil.

And we teach Wizarding subjects like Defense Against the Dark Arts, only ours has a real life purpose to fight against real life evil.

We name our school in Hogwarts fashion and award OWLS instead of ABC's

We name our school in Hogwarts fashion and award OWLS instead of ABC’s

We award a House Cup to the house that earns the most points . . . Karen plays games to quiz for points

We award a House Cup to the house that earns the most points . . . Karen plays games to quiz for points

Harry Potter themed feasts kick off our school year!  See the menu.

Harry Potter themed feasts kick off our school year! See the menu.

We also hold an annual Halloween feast . . . this one had a mystery menu.

We also hold an annual Halloween feast . . . this one had a mystery menu.

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Harry Potter Magic School

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.

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.

House Banners

Prepare a prize.  At Hogwarts kids earn 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.

At Michelle’s house the top portion of an old high school trophy became the House Cup.  Karen painted a vase with gold spray paint to become her house cup.

You Need A 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.  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:

Charms (English)

Arithmancy (Math)

History of Magic (History)

Muggle Studies (Geography)

Herbology (Biology-plants)

Care of Magical Creatures (Biology-animals)

Potions (Chemistry)

Transfiguration (Physics)

Astronomy (Astronomy)

Ancient Runes (Latin and other Foreign Languages)

Defense Against the Dark Arts (Character Training/Religious Instruction)

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 “favorites feast” where everyone gets their very favorite foods.  We’ve done “breakfast feast” where it’s all the best breakfast foods.  Then there’s the Mexican feast, Italian feast, and All American feast.  You can design the feast any way you like.

harry potter feast chocolate frogs

Chocolate frogs are a hit at any feast

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”.

O.W.L.s

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

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What do you do to make your homeschool more fun?  Leave us a comment!

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to A Harry Potter Homeschool

  1. OMGawsh … when i show my children this in the morning, they are going to be SO many shades of jealous !!!

    • Layers of Learning says:

      Just a few little things create a whole world of homeschool fun! I recently saw a house on some real estate listings that resembled a castle, complete with a turret. Oh, how we all yearned for our own little Hogwart’s home, but unfortunately it was in another part of the country AND completely out of our price range. Guess we’ll just have to stick to house cups and OWLS. (:

  2. Jamie says:

    Can’t thank you enough for sharing this. I’m about to embark on a homeschooling adventure with my children, we’re also HUGE Harry Potter buffs and this is just perfect, I am so excited!!!

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