Achieving Goals with my Son: Our Harry Potter Marathon

By Leo Babauta

In December, my son Rain (who turned 9 in January) and I set out on a quest: to read the first five Harry Potter books before the movie comes out on July 13, 2007. That gave us about seven months to read five books, but if you’ve read those books, you know that they’re pretty long (especially the last few).

It’s also more of a challenge because my son only lives with me for three days a week. But as my daughter said, Rain and I are both very determined people, and we’re proving to be up to the challenge.

So far we zipped through the first two books and are almost done with the third. That leaves us with two long books to read in five months, and I’m positive we can do that. We might even start on Book 6 before the movie comes out. On the days that Rain is with me, we read in the evenings, and then I wake him up early (usually at 5:30 a.m.) to read again in the mornings. And when he’s not with me, I often call him up and read over the phone in the evenings, as he reads along with his own copy at his mom’s house.

It’s been a great experience, doing this Harry Potter marathon with Rain. We’ve read before, but never with this frequency, and we’re spending more quality time alone than ever before. It’s also great trying to achieve a goal with him, because not only does it give me a good feeling as we achieve our milestones along the way, but it gives him that great feeling too. So not only are we spending great time together, and having fun, but I am teaching him how to accomplish goals as well.

This has been so great that I want to do the same kind of thing with my other kids. I have six of them, so that makes it a bit of a challenge. I want to do something that is different for each of them, something that we can have fun doing while learning to achieve goals together.