Harry Potter Guide to Needing a Time Turner: Studying Tips and Homework Advice

“I wish I had more time, even just one hour,” is a statement students often make in moments of frustration, anger, or desperation.   Imagine what you could accomplish with a necklace enchanted with an hour-reversal charm called a “time turner”; one counter-clockwise turn would be one hour gained. If only magic were the answer. If a time turner isnt’ available, calling out “accio book,” or even “apparating,” into the kitchen for a snack could happen in an instant. But without fancy spell-checking quills and talking homework planners, students may still discover ample time can be achieved with a great plan. This month, the Harry Potter Guide will offer studying tips and homework advice from our favorite fictitious wizards.  

Entering the Fat Lady’s Portrait

After a long day of classes, it sounds wonderful that a place like the “Gryffindor common room” exists. With its warm fireplace, and scattering of couches, armchairs and tables, it certainly has a home-like ambiance. This year, find your own common room that banishes technology and provides comfort and great back support. As you plan your evenings, consider time to be the most important factor. Plan to include ten-minute breaks between study sessions. Do not wait until the clock strikes midnight to crawl into your four-poster bed; instead, include time laughing with family, chatting with great friends and quietly adoring your pet owl, rat, or cat.

Benefits of a Homework Planner:

While your homework planner may not sing out, “If you’ve dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, then you may do whatever you please!” recording daily assignments is one necessary tool in becoming a great student. Practice the following habits, and perhaps you may understand why Hermione bought Harry and Ron a homework planner for Christmas.

  • Keep the planner open while you are in class, so you can record assignments with ease.
  • Until it becomes second nature, remind yourself to read over daily class notes, or review returned quizzes and tests! (It’s a great form of pre-studying and will help you retain information.)
  • Cross off completed tasks. Why? It just feels good!
  • Short and long-term assignments should be transferred to the next day.

Challenging Schedules

There is much to learn from Hermione’s work ethic and ability to take great risks as a student. She made a choice to overload her schedule by adding (for fun) a few additional classes. For Hermione, it’s not the status quo, but the chance to expand her horizons and learn even more. Was it easy? No. Through the narrator, readers learn that “Hermione’s immense workload finally seemed to be getting to her. Every night, without fail, Hermione was to be seen in a corner of the common room, several tables spread with books, Arithmancy charts, rune dictionaries, diagrams of Muggles lifting heavy objects, and file upon file of extensive notes; she barely spoke to anybody and snapped when she was interrupted.”

We have all been there. It begins with the word “Yes,” and suddenly you have committed yourself to an impossible work load. Through Hermione, students can step beyond their comfort boundaries, learn new subjects and participate in new extracurricular activities. To eliminate snappish behavior and exhaustion, you should create a workable and breathable schedule. Remember, family and friends have to endure your decisions, and you, too!

“Weasley Is Our King”

“‘That’s the trouble with Quidditch,’ said Hermione absentmindedly, ‘…at least my happiness doesn’t depend on Ron’s goalkeeping ability.’”

As Gryffindor’s Keeper, Ron’s success was connected to his confidence. How often did the exchange occur: “‘I’m sorry,’” Ron mumbled, looking at his feet, ‘For thinking I can play Quidditch. I’m going to resign first thing tomorrow.’” Perhaps if you believe in yourself, the impossible can happen! Apply this credo to your most difficult subject, skill, or new sport, and allow the magic to happen. While the anthem, “Weasley can save anything. He never leaves a single ring. That’s why Gryffindors all sing: ‘Weasley is our King,’” may not be sung in personalized wording just for you, it’s a great feeling to realize that you can overcome ANY fear, just by trying!

While “Three turns back should do the trick,” you, as a student, do not need a time turner. Defying time did not work for Hermione, and did not save the day when the hero needed a Happily-Ever-After, either. (After all, Ron did end up in the hospital wing.) With all this scholastic planning, be sure to add time for fun. You certainly want to make time for “mischief managed!”

Next month, the Harry Potter Guide will discuss “From Professor Snape to Professor McGonagall: the Diversity of Teacher Personalities.”