Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts

Pretend that a first-year student at Hogwarts would take three electives; better yet, pretend that arithmancy, ancient runes, and muggle studies are not electives. Do continue to view divination and care of magical creatures as electives, since that explains their omission from this list.

I've been working on my Hogwarts schooling idea from two different directions. I've started the knitting, and I've been compiling my lists of subjects and thinking about how to make all of this work, not to mention attempting to find curricula.

Ancient Runes
Ancient runes is roughly the equivalent of studying a foreign language. EG will study German next year, through tutoring and possibly a Saturday school. EG has expressed interest in resuming studying Greek (she has Elementary Greek Year 1), and that will be considered as the year progresses.

Mathematics is the logical equivalent to arithmancy. EG will be studying geometry next year, using Life of Fred Geometry as her primary text (as she prefers it), with Art of Problem Solving's Introduction to Geometry providing review and challenge problems as well as more in-depth coverage. She may continue with Life of Fred Trigonometry before the end of next year.

Astronomy is astronomy, whether in the magical or muggle world. Tentatively, we'll do a light study of astronomy each year, rather than focusing on it in depth. I plan to find a star-watching group and have EG attend several times, as well as visit the local planetarium. In addition, there is a course available through Duke's TIP program, Math & the Cosmos that looks like an excellent 'spine' for a light study of astronomy.

In lieu of a clear equivalency, I elected to deem charms the equivalent of fine arts. EG will continue her survey of art history using Art as her primary spine, as well as her survey of music history, using The Complete Idiot's Guide to Music History and its suggested recordings as her spine. I hope that she will be able to take an outside art class, focused on pottery (her interest) or drawing (I'd like to see proficiency in the next few years). Alternatively, I will buy the DVD lessons and supplies to go with Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (we already own the text and workbook). She will continue taking private piano lessons, most likely with a new teacher. She will also continue her involvement in homeschool band, playing trumpet, and possibly take the Beginning Jazz class there. She'll continue with her current instructor for private trumpet lessons.

Defense Against the Dark Arts
Logic defends the mind in so many ways, and so it is my choice for DADA. EG will use The Snake and The Fox, at least for the first semester. I will also require her to read the book Nonsense, which discusses various fallacies. For the second semester, we may continue with a study of fallacies, or she may begin a more formal logic course. There are several possible options, which I am going to have to investigate before proceeding with making a decision.

Botany and herbology are clearly closely tied, though I also eventually want to bring an element of herbalism into her study. We'll do botany quite lightly, using Ellen McHenry's Botany in Eight Lessons over sixteen to twenty-four weeks. I anticipate only doing botany once a week, or if by some miracle, it were offered as an enrichment class locally. We will also visit the botanical gardens periodically. In the spring, botany will become hands-on as we plan and plant and tend a garden.

History of Magic
History and the social sciences are the obvious analogues here. Social science is the most open-ended category for EG for next year, as it depends strongly on what is covered this year, and I have not yet reworked this year's history! I do know I'd like to do a very light American government study (perhaps as little as three or four weeks). Options that I'd like to see her explore between now and the end of seventh grade include Ellen McHenry's Excavating English, Ellen McHenry's Mapping the World with Art, a home-brew economics overview, a history of the world via the lens of food, and a history of the world via the lens of technology.

Muggle Studies
Technology is inherently muggle! The goal for the rest of this school year and the summer is to improve EG's typing speed and have her finish working through the book Macs for Dummies, so that she can participate in some workshops at the local Apple store. That will probably be extent of her technology studies for next year, unless she does some basic HTML programming during the second semester.

Chemistry is analogous to potions, and chemistry will be EG's primary focus for science in the coming year. We're tentatively planning to use Spectrum Chemistry, despite the sectarian beliefs of the publisher, since it's complete and nicely laid out. I hope it lives up to my expectations. I have a few supplemental books that I will require EG to read, as well, including The Joy of Chemistry and The Elements.

And, finally, we come to English. For literature, I am still investigating several options, including Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings, another Duke TIP program called The Reader's Journey, and the programs from Excellence in Literature. For spelling, we will continue with the All About Spelling series, finishing whatever we do not finish from Level Six, and continuing with the projected Level Seven. I also want to revisit cursive handwriting with her, using SmithHand. She needs to get these foundational skills down, no matter how difficult they may be for her. Consequently, I'm not sure how I feel about continuing with the Michael Clay Thompson series full steam ahead. If we go full steam ahead, I'm afraid both she and I will feel overwhelmed. If we don't go full steam ahead, though, we'll have part of the program remaining in ninth grade–and I have other plans for the study of writing, especially, in ninth grade. I'm going to be taking a careful look at the program at the convention and seeing if I can 'tease' the levels apart to some extent. Additionally, I'm going to look at Bravewriter as a possible alternative for a portion of the year. Finally, I may need an alternate grammar text for a portion of the year if we do go at MCT slower. That is quite a lot of ifs and maybes.

Despite the ifs and maybes, though, I feel pretty good about where we are headed for next year. I'm glad I'll have the opportunity at the convention to look at so many resources before having to make my decisions. I think my Hogwarts-esque plan doesn't look too terrible, though I know it seems science-heavy. Blame J.K.R.


Melanie said...

You, my dear, are the most brilliant mom ever.

Kash said...

Aww, thank you!

Lyn Fairchild Hawks said...

Hello, Kash,

I happen to work at Duke TIP and have overseen curriculum development there. I'm also a Harry Potter fan.

Our Growing Up Heroic course on Greek mythology is a Language Arts/Social Studies hybrid, showing the "transfigurational" and "defense against the dark arts" powers of various Greek teen heroes. That might also be of interest to you. Our Discovering King Arthur workbook also taps into these themes and the hero's journey that Arthur (much like Harry)takes.


Lyn Fairchild Hawks

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