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Thread: Harry Potter Parenting Question

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    Default Harry Potter Parenting Question

    So, my wife and I are both big fans of Harry Potter. Her a little moreso than I am, I think because I'm a little older, whereas she was pretty much the exact target demographic for both the books and the movies.

    Now, we've got two daughters, the older of whom is coming up on 4, and really starting to get into longer narratives in the stories we read and the shows/movies she watches. I know some of the themes in Harry Potter can be a little dark, so I'm just looking for comparisons as to when other parents have introduced their kids to this series. It's right up there with Redwall and some Star Wars young adult novels for series that I would love to be able to share with her. For whatever reason, I'm just really struggling to kind of place how interesting/appropriate the Potter series would be, age-wise. At this point, I'm thinking we might be best off to wait a couple more years. My biggest desire though is to get to be the one who reads it with her; it's one of my things, and I don't want one of her teachers beating me to it.
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    I wouldn't read them to her before the age of 10.

    But I guess the best way to ensure that a teacher isn't going to read them before you get a chance to is to discuss the curriculum with the teachers or ask them in advance. This works if you live in a small town..

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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Teachers wouldn't start until at least grade 1 or 2 I don't think.
    I'm a '94 baby, so I was held back from finishing it by the release dates. Got into it at the age of 7 or so with my mom reading it, and my brother who was 4 also listened in.

    I do think 4 is a little early to be starting now, because you'll get into the later parts of the series before she is 7 or 8 or so, and I don't know if I would advise that. The first three books are a little better than the last 4 (especially 5 & 6 get a little darker).
    That being said, kids are growing up even faster nowadays, and Harry Potter is probably one of the better ways they can be exposed to a lot of these topics. So I wouldn't bother waiting too long. If it seems to be getting too dark or if they can't get into it, then you can always put it back on the shelf for a year.

    *Take all of this with a grain of salt, because I am not a parent and don't have that hands on experience yet.
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Yeah, having been a little older when I first read them myself there were never any themes that I hadn't already come across. Love your point EB about the first couple being a lot lighter in tone. Might just be a matter of looking into how we pace them so we're hitting those darker books as she's getting a little older. I was thinking about doing like, one chapter a night when we do start, so each book would only take a few weeks. Might want to go a little slower just to space things out.

    PH, I love where your head's at about talking to her teachers before each year. We live in Hamilton, so definitely not a small town; but so far the teachers and administration at her school for next fall have been pretty easy to get in contact with. She's starting JK next year, and I'm sure they won't be getting to the Potter books for a few years. Also helps that she's in a French school, so they might not read it at all, if they focus more on Francophone authors as opposed to translated books.

    I doubt I'll be able to wait til she's 10 though, heck, I'd be surprised if she hadn't started to read them on her own by that point just because she loves books so much. I do think that maybe 7-8 is more appropriate though for a start than any time soon. We wizzed through The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and I'm realizing that there aren't too many other books I remember from childhood that are age appropriate for her, so any suggestions would be fantastic!

    On the flip side of it, she's also really into math and hockey, so I've already started explaining statistics to her. Not long before I'm asking her for fantasy advice, hah.
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    W, L, GA, SHO, SV (Goal)
    Start 12 F 6 D 2 G
    11 Player Bench (Max 2 Bench G)
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    F: Kucherov, Kuznetsov, Kovalchuk, Teravainen, Fabbri, Buchnevich, Skinner, Lucic, Gourde, Little, Neal, Stastny, DeBrusk, Eberle, Vrana, Sheary, Okposo, Brassard, Dadonov
    D: Barrie, Krug, Faulk, Vatanen, Miller, Yandle, Schultz, Martinez
    G: Rask, Talbot, Raanta, Gibson
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Fair points for sure.

    The reason for my suggestion of 10 is cause I figured it would be nice to read through them at the same age Harry is in the books. Then the kids can relate to the books as if they are the same age as Harry and co!
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    If you need some good stories with a hockey theme (without getting too dark), the Screech Owls series will give you a ton of mileage! Can't say it ever really too dark. I read it through once, and my brother read it through twice, both before we hit the age of 11 I think. It's written by Roy McGregor who has been writing in the sports section of the Globe for years, and is one of my favourites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PenguinHunter View Post
    Fair points for sure.

    The reason for my suggestion of 10 is cause I figured it would be nice to read through them at the same age Harry is in the books. Then the kids can relate to the books as if they are the same age as Harry and co!
    Hadn't thought of that, though I don't think you're holding them back to one a year once they get going!
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eskimo Brother View Post
    If you need some good stories with a hockey theme (without getting too dark), the Screech Owls series will give you a ton of mileage! Can't say it ever really too dark. I read it through once, and my brother read it through twice, both before we hit the age of 11 I think. It's written by Roy McGregor who has been writing in the sports section of the Globe for years, and is one of my favourites.

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    Hadn't thought of that, though I don't think you're holding them back to one a year once they get going!
    Schreech Owls are amazing... i cannot wait until my son is at an age to start reading them together.

    Wish there was somewhere I could buy the whole series!
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Wife & I did a lot of reading with our daughters over the years, who are now 4 & 8.
    Our older has a great attention span and reading level (8th grade avg... currently in 2nd!).
    Our younger has a limited attention span - so we keep books to picture-style with 5-20 words per page.

    It will depend on the kid.
    And also on whether they have any fears about the evil characters.
    Sometimes what is not scary to you & I... can be scary for a kid.

    Personally, until a kid knows that magic is NOT real... I wouldn't entertain Harry Potter.
    Once your kid is completely on board 100% with understanding there are NO monsters in your house... that's when they are ready for Harry Potter.

    For me, my 8-year old... yes, she gets it... but it was only within last year...
    My 4-year old... no... we still have to check the closet & the bed occasionally... LOL.

    Longer series we read over a few months time when my older was about 4:
    *Charlotte's Web
    *Lion, Witch, Wardrobe... though this may have been closer to 5... the witch is a bit scary
    *Stuart Little
    *The Faraway Tree (this was personally one of my faves because one can really have fun with the accents for some of the odd charachters.)
    *The Secret Garden

    [*And don't forget that your kids will be a bit different from you. I've already had to give up on athletics, incl. hockey & soccer for my oldest daughter... ah... well...]

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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pengwin7 View Post
    Personally, until a kid knows that magic is NOT real... I wouldn't entertain Harry Potter.
    Once your kid is completely on board 100% with understanding there are NO monsters in your house... that's when they are ready for Harry Potter.
    That's a pretty good way to put it.
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    it doesn't get really dark until end of Goblet of Fire IMO.
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Don't have kids yet but they're coming in the next few years....I would guess I wouldn't introduce them to this until 8,9, 10 ages.

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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by LuigiC173 View Post
    it doesn't get really dark until end of Goblet of Fire IMO.
    I know what you mean, but Dementors, werewolves, giant spiders, 60foot killer snakes and someone chopping off a finger to fake their own death isn't exactly light reading
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eskimo Brother View Post
    I know what you mean, but Dementors, werewolves, giant spiders, 60foot killer snakes and someone chopping off a finger to fake their own death isn't exactly light reading

    it builds character real quick lol
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Eskimo Brother View Post
    I know what you mean, but Dementors, werewolves, giant spiders, 60foot killer snakes and someone chopping off a finger to fake their own death isn't exactly light reading
    You also forgot controlling someone by having them read your diary!
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    Default Re: Harry Potter Parenting Question

    Never read the Potter books but when I was young I recall going to the local library and checking out and reading Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys, and the Jack London stories....

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