Something Pia touched briefly on during our Expo session was her Care of Magical Creatures (COMC) class. This class has the potential for so much learning; in an interactive, & exciting way; that we felt it needed to be discussed in more detail.

There are two ways Pia uses her COMC classes: to teach about creatures in the magical world, & to teach about creatures in the Muggle world. The creatures in the first category are easy to list: unicorns, trolls, boggarts, elves, etc. I’m sure you can think of a dozen more without even trying. To give you an idea of what you can do, let’s focus on faeries.

I don’t know how much your kids know about faeries; if it’s not much (& if not, where are your priorities?), you’ll need to start with the basics. By the time we began COMC, our kids considered themselves experts on the subject, so Pia was able to jump right in.

Get a few books to read to them, or have them read on their own. You won’t have to look very hard at the library or bookshop; faeries are quite popular these days. Trusty Google shan’t let you down either. There are books that run the gamut from light-hearted stories, to books for the serious faeryologists.

You’ve gotten the basics out of the way, & are surrounded by faery experts of your own – now the fun can begin. You shall want to encourage faeries to visit, so you’ll need little houses. Ask your students to think about what type of home a faery would choose in the city, as opposed to the country. Encourage them to consider where you live, and in what type of home. How does that change their original idea of a faery home? Get out the paper & colored pencils, & get drawing!

Building the faery home is such great fun, that you’ll want to build one of your own along with them. The number of faery dwellings the HH Mamas have built, far surpassed that of our kids long ago.  Here is a gorgeous book  of faery homes for inspiration. You can build the houses from scratch, using items you find on nature walks, or even from your recycle bin. Better yet, you can purchase inexpensive bird houses, & embellish the day away. Paint, glitter, tiny treasures, shells, moss, bark, acorn caps; our students have used it all. Check your large, chain craft shops for these houses. We’ve found ones ranging $1 to $9, & we’re always keeping an eye on sale flyers to buy more.

Other ways you can incorporate faeries into lessons learned: cooking = faery food (bite-sized food), sewing = faery costumes (yes there are boy faeries my son will tell you), classic literature = a midsummer night’s dream, math = how tall is a faery home compared to a human home… & so on. You could even host a movie day, & discuss the differences between Tinkerbell in Hook & in the animated Peter Pan.  I’ll stop there; because if I don’t, this will be the post that never ended.

***

Now we come to the magical creatures of the Muggle world. What magical creatures? you ask. Lady bugs, butterflies, spiders, & their ilk! Do we have you thinking creatively now? Isn’t it easy once you think beyond the obvious? Let’s talk about my son’s favorite magical creature: his pet betta.

Hagrid; by way of Pia; sent each student a book titled Care O’ Magikal Creetures Booklet: Betta. In it was everything they needed to know, to raise & care for a betta fish. The information was taken from an amazing website, then Potterfied. Also sent was a request they each purchase a betta to care for, & a list of items they’d need. Pia went all-out, & gave them little jars with Potterfied labels; freeze dried toad warts, merefolk tears, etc; in which to house their supplies.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much my son has learned from caring for his beloved betta. Our Homeschooling doesn’t involve worksheets, or lessons beyond HH, so for him, the care has been the on-going education. If you want more, you can have them complete print-outs of various fish, keep a journal of their betta’s eating or playing habits, chart how quickly the water becomes dirty in summer vs. winter, & so on. You could follow up with a field trip to the aquarium if you like. You’re a Homeschooler, you know what to do.

We say it often, because it’s the core of what we do: use your child’s love of Harry Potter  to teach them. Don’t put education in one pile & fun in another; & don’t be restricted by what you see before you, alter it, tweak it to suit – the only limit to their learning through HH; or at all; is your own imagination.

~Kat

Advertisements