Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Harry Potter Summer: Group PBH*

Early in summer we planned to have a couple friends over.  THEY love Harry Potter.  WE love Harry Potter.  "Should we maybe do a couple Harry Potter crafts?" I asked their mom.  So, I pinned a few ideas and said, "Have your girls take a look and see if they like any of these."  Fine, good, they "like" a few, my kids and I go out on a Sunday evening and gather all the supplies (plus yarn in all the house colors -- just in case...)

Sunday night: kids go to sleep, I try to go to sleep but suddenly panic, "What if they don't really want to do the projects, and they were just being polite, and we are all TOTALLY PSYCHED here?!  Oh dear.  What have I set up?"  Fret, fret, fret.

Monday morning.  Our friends arrive.  I play it COOL.  One friend immediately asks Sela, "Do you have the Harry Potter station programmed into Pandora?"  The other friend is wearing her Harry Potter earrings.  We're GOOD.

What started out as "Harry Potter Week" became "Harry Potter Summer."  The kids (and I) took advantage of the time available and our shared interest and completely submerged into JK Rowling's magical world.  One project lead to another and another.  Many of the projects were so thoroughly explored that they lasted for days and sometimes weeks.  They worked together to decide what they wanted to do next.  They inspired each other and learned from each other.  They shared ideas and resources.  It was a true joy to watch and to be a part of.

They learned new skills and cultivated them through repeated practice.  I'm pretty sure they didn't see it this way -- they were just having fun.  The works they created stunned me.

tip of the iceberg

Two of the projects the group wanted to do involved lettering.  And when I realized I would need to be pretty involved in supporting Linus's choices, I noticed I was feeling pretty squirmy about it.  But, (of course), I set to work with him.  Between the canvas quotes and and village signs, I had to roll up my sleeves and get messy (figuratively speaking).  It was so interesting to notice just how anxious I felt at the thought of "lettering." (I mean -- people were going to SEE that I am not an expert.  My shabby work will be just *out there* for everyone to *see*.)  And then to work through it.  And then to discover it wasn't as difficult as I had made it out to be (for yeeeeeaaaarrrrrrs, apparently).  By digging in to the process, I learned so much about learning -- mine and the kids'.

I functioned as the word processor only - never underestimate kids' abilities

I didn't do the projects they did -- I was the support team for four industrious kids.  But, as I have a hard time getting to my bigger projects, I'm content to putter-craft while kids finish meals, when I need a creativity fix, and, you know, while we play Harry Potter word association at mealtimes.  While I already know how to cross-stitch and had stitched up a handful of HP projects ahead of time, I did learn to make (house-color) pom-poms, a house scarf bookmark on plastic canvas, and how to weave a pouch any Gryffindor would be proud to carry her Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons around in.

We shared our favorite parody videos - Dark Lord Funk and Before We Say Goodbye.  They shared this one with us.  They introduced us to Harry Potter Clue.

We're planning to reconvene for our Harry Potter Ornament Making meetings.  I can't wait.

*For more on Group Project-Based Homeschooling, go straight to the source!  Lori has a book, tip sheets, master classes, a blog, and a Facebook group.  She's a wealth of information, ideas, and support -- an invaluable resource, not just for homeschooling families, but for any family.


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