Thursday, May 16, 2013

Harry Potter

I've been waiting for the exact right time to introduce my kids to Harry Potter.

I'm not the kind of fan that would dress up like a character and I don't know the realm of wizardy the way some people do - as if they actually live there.

I have read every book and I did eagerly wait for their release in between books.  I devoured them when they came out.

I have stood in line for a midnight showing of a Harry Potter movie and I have shared Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans with people in line - great fun to hand someone a booger flavored bean!

I purchased a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a while back and have been waiting for the right time for it to become our family book.  And that time is now.

It started out pretty slow.  We read a chapter one night and then it was about a week before we picked it up again.  Then a few nights.  Read half a chapter.  But then we implemented our new schedule and reading time at bed time became a priority.  And missing Harry Potter time is a Big Deal.

Teagan is hooked.

I'm reading the book to both kids.  And Teagan is fully invested.  She remembers where we left off in the story, she asks questions about what things mean or why things have happened.  She has even asked for reading time in the middle of the day - we sat on the porch and read a chapter on Mother's Day.

We're about half way through the book and I'm falling in love with it all over again.  It's a different experience to read it 14 years later and also to read it out loud and see parts of it through my children's eyes.

We're at the part where Harry has just had his first flying lesson and gets caught by Professor McGonagall.  Fans know what happens next...

I love that Teagan wants to know what Hagrid looks like, what Harry looks like and that we get to talk about the descriptions of them in the book and come up with our own versions instead of my child already knowing the movie version of the characters.  I love that Zach sits quietly and listens - even though I know he is getting a different experience than Teagan.  I love that Teagan always wants to read more.  I love that she picks up the book and rereads chapters we've already read.

I also love that reading together as a family has meant that reading has kicked up as a hobby for all of us.  Zach loves it when Teagan reads Junie B. Jones books to him.  Jeff is almost always reading something.  I'm in the middle of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children now, too.

It's going to be a summer of reading!



KPCL Girl said...

That is awesome, Liz. Don't you love it when your kids glom onto something that's important to YOU.

Back when I was a teacher, I used to read aloud to my students. It was my favorite part of the day. I always read series books, or books by someone who had written a lot of books, such as the Harry Potter series, the Narnia series, Lois Lowry, Beverly Cleary, etc. I read the first book of Harry Potter several years in a row. I remember when I once again picked it up to read to my class AFTER I had finished the last of the books. I'm sure the kids thought I was crazy. I was constantly stopping and saying things like, "Here's where Harry meets Hagrid for the first time..." and actually tearing up over Hedwig and Professor Dumbledore's few shared words ("Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!"). I'm sure they thought I was nuts...

As for my kids, we not only have the hard copies, we have all seven books on CD. We, of course, read and listened to them when we traveled together as a family, and they continue to listen to them (and our CDs of The Lord of the Rings) over and over and over. Rowling is an excellent storyteller and excellent writer. Her use of language and imagery are superior and....I decided that there probably wasn't a better set of books for them to set to memory than the Harry Potter series. :-)

Bravo to you for starting them early.

Melissa said...

I've been thinking about the same thing lately. My kids are 5 and 6, and have recently gotten into the idea of "chapter books." (My mom gave us a copy of the first Little House book, so we started with that series, and they really enjoyed it.)

As much as my kids love all things sci-fi and fantasy, I have a feeling they'd really get into Harry Potter. The only thing I haven't decided is how far into the series to read with them at this point. The books start out fine for younger kids, but they get a lot darker as they go on. I haven't decided yet if I want to start the series now, but then have to wait a few years before finishing it, or if I just want to wait to start until they're a little older.

designHER Momma said...

so awesome! My daughter is on book 5, and while I'm not reading the books aloud to her I love the idea. Keep on going, such a great idea!

Average Parent said...

My youngest is too little to really sit for a book, but I love story time with my oldest. He has a thirst for learning (just like mommy) so I try to get books that teach us something new. I hope that we can some day read the harry potter books together too.

Crystal said...

I love this! I will admit I've never read Harry Potter, but I love family reading time in our house. I love that you're making reading a priority in your home.

Katherine said...

We starting reading Harry Potter as a family last summer. We still are not done with the series, but my boys love it. It is so much fun to share it with them.