When my oldest daughter was in Grade 2 we started the school year off by reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. I did all the reading and only asked her to get lost in the story. She did. Reading Harry Potter became sacred time between us. I had never read the book myself, so it was a treat for me too. Of course, she knew that there was a movie and every once in a while she’d say “Can’t we just watch the movie?”. “Nuh-uh, no way”, was my reply. “We are going to spend years with this story and read it the way it’s supposed to be read”. When we finished the first book, we made a special date for the two of us to sit down and watch the movie. In Grade 3, we finished the second book and sat down to watch both movies back to back. I expect when we’re done all the books (when she’s in Grade 8!) we’ll have quite the movie marathon.
This year, my youngest started Grade 2 and she’s been eagerly anticipating the introduction to Harry Potter all summer. After all, she felt a little excluded from all the fun I was having with my other daughter. Plus, I forbid my oldest from talking about it with her. I really wanted it to be special for her too when she got to the right age. The night before school started we began the first book and she’s already spellbound (no pun intended). So, currently I am reading The Philosopher’s Stone with one and The Prisoner of Azkaban with the other. I think that we are reading these books the way J.K. Rowling intended them to be read. Slowly, year by year, as the child ages and matures, because there is no doubt that the books get progressively darker and more mature as Harry grows.
What I love most about doing this with my daughters though is that I’ve guaranteed seven years of magic sharing these books with them.