All my life I have loved losing myself in a fictional novel, traveling to other times and places and have adventures I would never be brave enough to experience in real life. I also fully enjoy visiting actual places such as Disneyland, The Polynesian Cultural Center, Antibellum Homes in the South, Museums, etc. where the atmosphere makes it easy for imagination to sweep me up and carry me into the theme or time of whatever. That is my definition of enchantment and that is what I want for Grandma’s Camp. I can’t decorate like Disneyland, but with kids it’s fairly simple to enter the land of Imagination. Planning it around a theme is what I think opens the door to enchantment and books offer themes that are fun to plan around. I also believe children remember what was done in which year better because they have a theme to relate to.
“Don’t pass up any teaching moments when your children are young. When they become teenagers, shut up, because they don’t listen to you anyway.” –Advice from Sammy Hawkins, my mother usually referred to by all who knew her as Sammyisms.
Each theme presents unique opportunities for teaching moments, so I analyze what character building lessons might naturally fit. For instance, in The Secret Garden, both Mary and Collin are difficult to be around because of their attitude toward life and people, so it is a perfect time to talk about how attitude and kind actions toward others effect our lives.
With Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling gives us a perfect opportunity to talk about how important our choices are in life. The Dark Arts gives us a chance to discuss our real defenses against evil in our world. There are many other character traits to be discussed through this book as well.