What’s New in Overdrive? More Social Studies Picture Books!

Social studies Picture Books in Overdrive

We have recently added an extensive collection of Social Studies Picture Books into our Overdrive e-library. Topics worth checking out include; geography, social justice issues, and current events. They would be helpful in exploring outcomes from K-3 based on Needs and Wants, Communities, Families, Social Structures, How Physical Environments Influence Human Activities and Cultural Similarities and Differences. Here are a few of our new additions:

The Everlasting Embrace

The Everlasting Embrace by Gabrielle Emanuel

Each morning as the sun brightens the West African sky, mother and child prepare to start their day. They spend it bound together, the child riding on the mother’s back watching their world go past. Pounding millet, drawing water from the well, visiting friends, shopping at the outdoor market—days are shared in perfect step with one another. And even when the child grows big enough to go off and explore their world, the everlasting embrace endures.

Illustrated with E.B. Lewis’s stunning watercolors that bring to life the land and people of Mali, Gabrielle Emanuel’s tender story celebrates the universal bond between mother and child.

The Good Garden

The Good Garden by Katie Smith Milway

María’s family are poor Honduran farmers, growing barely enough to eat. Then a new teacher comes to town and shows María sustainable farming practices that yield good crops. An inspiring story, based on actual events, that shows us how farms and hopes are transformed as good gardens begin to grow.

If the World Were a Village

If the World Were a Village by David J. Smith

This bestseller is newly revised with updated statistics, new activities and completely new material on food security, energy and health. By shrinking the planet down to a village of just 100 people, children will discover how to grow up global and establish their own place in the world village.

Kenya's Song

Kenya’s Song by Linda Price

Kenya’s homework is to pick her favorite song and share it with her class. Sounds simple, but for Kenya, it’s anything but. With all that beautiful music in the world, how can she possibly choose? Her family and friends try to help by offering their favorite songs as choices, but it’s no help to Kenya. While those around her have made some great suggestions, Kenya has a hard time calling any one of them her favorite. For inspiration, Kenya accompanies her father to the Caribbean Cultural Center where he plays music. Kenya hears music from Cuba and Trinidad, Haiti and Puerto Rico. She hears music in all different languages—French, English, Spanish. But still, Kenya can’t decide which song she likes best. Finally, Kenya makes her decision—one that will surprise readers while inspiring them to listen to the world around them.

The Market Bowl

The Market Bowl by Jim Averbeck

Yoyo has listened to Mama Cécile’s song about how to make ndolé (bitterleaf stew) her entire life—long enough to know how to make it herself, now that she is finally old enough. But slicing the bitterleaf, grinding the pumpkin, measuring out the shrimp—it just takes too long. Yoyo is confident that her variation on the stew will be good enough. As Mama Cécile and Yoyo set off to market, Mama reminds Yoyo what will happen if she refuses a fair price for the stew—Brother Coin, the Great Spirit of the Market, will put a curse on their market bowl. When Yoyo refuses to heed Mama’s advice, she is faced with the task of trying to regain a blessing from the god himself. An original folktale set in modern-day Cameroon, THE MARKET BOWL teaches readers a lesson about patience, humility, and the value of a fair price. Back matter includes further information about Cameroon and its people and traditions as well as a recipe for ndolé—Cameroon’s national food dish.

Mimi's Village

Mimi’s Village by Katie Smith Milway

In this addition to the CitizenKid™ collection of inspiring stories from around the globe, Mimi Malaho and her family help bring basic health care to their community. By making small changes like sleeping under mosquito nets and big ones like building a clinic with outside help, the Malahos and their neighbors transform their Kenyan village from one afraid of illness to a thriving community.

“A great resource for introducing children to the issues surrounding global health and empowering them to get involved.” — Ophelia Dahl, Executive Director, Partners In Health

One Hen

One Hen by Katie Smith Milway

Inspired by true events, One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many.

One Well

One Well by Rochelle Strauss

Every raindrop, lake, underground river and glacier is part of a single global well. Discover the many ways water is used around the world, and what kids can do to protect it.

Razia's Ray of Hope

Razia’s Ray of Hope by Elizabeth Suneby

Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven’t been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls’ school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community.

The Red Bicycle

The Red Bicycle by Jude Isabella

Leo rides his beloved red bicycle to school, soccer practice and everywhere in between. He is devastated when he outgrows Big Red. But when Leo learns of a bicycle donation program, he perks up—someone who really needs his bike can give it a new life. Little does he know that Big Red will change other people’s lives, too. Follow the bike as it travels to West Africa, where it helps people in Burkina Faso bring goods to the market, and serves as a makeshift ambulance, proving that an ordinary bicycle can be truly extraordinary.

The Soccer Fence

The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner

In a country struggling with acceptance, hope can come in many different forms.
As a boy, Hector loved playing soccer in his small Johannesburg township. He dreamed of playing on a real pitch with the boys from another part of the city, but apartheid made that impossible. Then, in 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, and apartheid began to crumble. The march toward freedom in South Africa was a slow one, but when the beloved Bafana Bafana national soccer team won the African Cup of Nations, Hector realized that dreams once impossible could now come true.
This poignant story of friendship artfully depicts a brief but critical moment in South Africa’s history and the unique role that sports can play in bringing people together.

Talking Walls

Talking Walls by Margy Burns Knight

If walls could talk, what would they say? Perhaps they would tell us who built them and why. Maybe they could even tell us about people’s lives today. In this book walls really do talk, and oh, the stories they tell. Talking Walls: Discover Your World combines and updates two earlier books, Talking Walls (1992) and Talking Walls: The Stories Continue (1996), which have sold 170,000 copies. This new edition includes revised text that makes it more accessible to English Language Learners and easier to read aloud.

This Child, Every Child

This Child, Every Child by David J. Smith

The team behind If the World Were a Village returns with a revealing glimpse into the lives of children around the world. This Child, Every Child uses statistics and stories to draw kids into the world beyond their own borders and provide a window into the lives of fellow children.

reviews by Overdrive

Curriculum for Sale

Hi Folks,

We have some new and gently used curriculum for sale at great prices!
You can pay by HCOS PO number for 2015/2016 school year, cash or cheque. Shipping is extra, unless you combine with an order from the library.
Email Shandra at swiebe@onlineschool.ca with your method of payment, full name and address.

List 1

List 2

Happy Shopping!

July Learning Commons Newsletter!


Welcome to the start of summer holidays!  With all the gorgeous spring sunshine we are enjoying, maybe you are already planning out your camping and fishing trips or an exotic, wild adventure?  While you do that we would like to remind you to encourage your student’s literacy, by helping them go on their own reading adventures.  Statistics have shown that students who spend time on daily reading and math activities experience acceleration in literacy and numeric skills.  So kids go join your local public library reading club, and read fiction or non-fiction to inspire your mind,  and grow your vocabulary skills!

Find out more about accelerating literacy with Pippa’s article on Summer Reading Basics. 

Natalie shares on new Canadian historical fiction in Overdrive with her articles, part one and two.  She has linked the books to study guides for your convenience!  Find time to catch up on homeschooling and distance learning philosophies here.

Upcoming Webinar for New Patrons!

Pippa, Natalie and Shandra will host a one hour virtual Blackboard session for new learning commons patrons to HCOS on June 22nd from  10.30 am- 11.45 am. Come and hear how to find and retrieve awesome digital resources you can find in our physical and virtual learning commons. This session will be a 45 minute presentation and then 15 minutes for questions. Bring your devices!  Register here:

Fluidsurvey link

Current Awareness Newsletter with summer lesson ideas, and news on homeschooling and Magna Carta!

Updated Pages on the website!

Art Resources

Health and Career Resources.

Makered Resources.

BOOK AND CURRICULUM SALE!! The HCS Learning Commons is having a Book and Curriculum SALE on June 23rd and 24th (Tuesday and Wednesday). Drop in between 10am and 5pm to check out the great deals and FREE items! And you can pay with your PO number! We are located at 907 Badke RD in Kelowna (campus school building). We are also adding to our Book Sale Google doc, so if you are from out-of-town, you can still check out the deals! Adding more items daily, so check back often!
Book Sale Document


Do you use Sonlight curriculum, or just love their book lists? Well, we have purchased their Core program books for both the L4U library and Overdrive E-books! So if we don’t have the physical book, you can check for the e-book. What a great way to inspire your children with great reading, and save money too!


At this time, patrons cannot renew their items online. L4U is working on the problem. Please contact Shandra or Kelly to renew your items.

The physical commons will be closed for most of July but we look forward to helping you in August!

Blessings and joy to you and your families for the summer holidays!

New Canadian Historical Fiction in Overdrive (Part 2)

Canadian Historical Fiction in Overdrive 2

Here is the second instalment highlighting our new Canadian Historical Fiction in Overdrive. There are many more great titles to explore. Enjoy!!

The Lamp, the Ice and a Boat called Fish

The Lamp, the Ice and the Boat Called Fish by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish tells the dramatic story of the Canadian Arctic expedition that set off in 1913 to explore the high north.

Lucky's Mountain

Lucky’s Mountain by Dianne Haycock

The year is 1935 and Maggie Sullivan’s world has fallen apart. Maggie has grown up in a close-knit mining community perched atop a mountain in British Columbia. But now her father has been killed in a mine explosion and she is being forced to leave the only home she has ever known. To make matters worse, she must also leave behind her best friend Lucky, the three-legged dog that was a special gift from Pa.

Note: Teacher’s Guide for Lucky’s Mountain here.

The Lynching of Louie Sam

The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart

Between 1882 and 1968 there were 4,742 lynchings in the United States. In Canada during the same period there was one—the hanging of American Indian Louie Sam.

The year is 1884, and 15-year-old George Gillies lives in the Washington Territory, near the border with British Columbia. In this newly settled land, white immigrants have an uneasy relationship with the Native Indians. When George and his siblings discover the murdered body of a local white man, suspicion immediately falls on a young Indian named Louie Sam. George and his best friend, Pete, follow a lynch mob north into Canada, where the terrified boy is seized and hung.

But even before the deed is done, George begins to have doubts. Louie Sam was a boy, only 14—could he really be a vicious murderer? Were the mob leaders motivated by justice, or were they hiding their own guilt? As George uncovers the truth—implicating Pete’s father and other prominent locals—tensions in the town rise, and he must face his own part in the tragedy. But standing up for justice has devastating consequences for George and his family.

Inspired by the true story of the lynching, recently acknowledged as a historical injustice by Washington State, this powerful novel offers a stark depiction of historical racism and the harshness of settler life. The story will provoke readers to reflect on the dangers of mob mentality and the importance of speaking up for what’s right.

Meyer's Creek

Meyer’s Creek by Connie Brummel Crook

A compelling story of the true experiences of a United Empire Loyalist family during a critical period of Canadian history. Mary Meyers is typical of any nineteen-year-old. She longs for adventure—and for freedom to live her own life.But in the year 1786, and the realities that face newly settled United Empire Loyalist families like Mary’s are often harsh. In this continuation of the Meyers family saga that began with the author’s first novel, Flight, Mary must come to terms with danger, the survival of her family, and love.”

Note: Study Guide (Ideas and Activities) for Meyers Creek is available here.

The Old Brown Suitcase

The Old Brown Suitcase by Lillian Boraks Nemetz

The Old Brown Suitcase, an award winning book that has sold extraordinarily well both nationally and internationally, now appears in a new edition by Ronsdale Press. The novel narrates the absorbing story of a young girl who survived the Holocaust against all odds.

At age fourteen, Slava comes to Canada with her parents and sister and a suitcase filled with memories of a lost childhood, memories that now haunt her new life. She cannot forget the hunger, stench and disease in the Warsaw Ghetto, nor the fear and humiliation of being incarcerated behind a high brick wall. She cannot forget her extraordinary escape from the Ghetto when she walked alone through the gate while the guards were looking the other way. Nor can she forget being swallowed up in a strange and unknown place to survive under a hidden identity.

The story juxtaposes heart-wrenching scenes from a child’s life in war-torn Poland with the life of a teenager trying to adjust to a new country in time of peace. In Canada, it is not easy for Slava to build a bridge between two cultures; nor is it easy to live with the turmoil of her immediate past. At the same time she must face the new challenges involved in being an immigrant, a Jew and a teenage girl. This new edition appends notes on the Warsaw ghetto and a bibliography for future reading.

The Phantoms Gold

The Phantom’s Gold by Eric Murphy

A year after a tragic accident, thirteen-year-old William McCoy runs away to Lunenberg, Nova Scotia to be with his late father’s family. He finds more than just memories: he also finds a high-stakes schooner race, clues to the location of a legendary stash of gold … and the ghost of his ancestor, the famous rum-runner Bill “The Real” McCoy!

Rescue at Fort Edmonton

Rescue at Fort Edmonton by Rita Feutl

Janey doesn’t want to spend the summer away from her friends in Toronto – and certainly not in Edmonton with the grandmother she hardly knows. But her parents will be away – her mother in Turkey designing housing for earthquake victims, her dad on business trips.Her first surprise is her feisty grandma, who meets her at the airport in her vintage Cadillac, Marilyn. The second comes when she visits the Fort Edmonton historic park and time travels to 1907. The third is learning the real reason she’s in Edmonton. Her grandma is going through cancer treatment and needs someone to be with her.Janey makes four trips, each to a different period of Fort Edmonton’s history. What draws her into the past? Only on the last trip does she discover the meaning of her adventures – and their crucial connection to her own family.Rita Feutl’s first novel features a deftly handled plot and a wealth of fascinating characters from prairie history.

Note: Novel Study Guide for Rescue at Fort Edmonton is available here.

The Reunion

The Reunion by Jacqueline Pearce

Shannon is excited about spending a week at her friend Rina’s house, but she’s a little nervous too. Rina seems to be able to do everything better than she can and her home is chaotic compared to Shannon’s own. When things fall apart, Rina’s grandmother is there to tell them a story from her past, early in the Second World War. The story is about a rift between her and her childhood friend, Mitsu, a rift that could never be healed because Mitsu and her family were taken away from the small town of Paldi and interned with other Japanese Canadians. Rina’s grandmother, Jas, never saw Mitsu again. That is, not until Shannon and Rina find a handful of forgotten beads in the bottom of a cardboard box.

Note: Teacher’s Guide for The Reunion here.

Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon by Becky Citra

The year is 1838 and Ellie’s grandmother has arrived all the way from England. Ellie is horrified to discover that the forbidding old woman intends to take her back to Britain to be raised properly. Ellie is determined that she will not go, but what can a nine-year-old girl do in the face of an adult with her mind made up?

Note: Teacher Guide for Strawberry Moon is available here.

Willa's New World

Willa’s New World by Barbara Demers

Willa is a thirteen-year-old orphan shipped to the new world in 1795. Resourceful and strong-willed, she survives many hardships before travelling on foot from Hudson’s Bay to Fort Edmonton with native companions who show her a genuinely “new” world.Life doesn’t look promising for Willa when her family is wiped out by the London plague. Her uncaring uncle ships her to York Factory on Hudson’s Bay, scarcely expecting her to survive the trip. But she’s stronger than he knows. Not only does she make it to the new world, but she also survives unscrupulous thieves by going to work for Master George, the fort commander, and by befriending Amelia, the aboriginal cook.Through her successful work and the support of Amelia, Willa begins to be something she has never dreamed of – a strong and independent person. After Willa refuses Master George’s surprise offer of marriage, she decides she must leave again. As Amelia’s relatives lead her across the northern wilderness to Fort Edmonton, they show her a land of great beauty and teach Willa how to live in accord with this natural world.

Winds of L'Acadie

Winds of L’Acadie by Lois Donovan

When sixteen-year-old Sarah from Toronto learns that she is to spend the summer with her grandparents in Nova Scotia, she is convinced that it will be the most tedious summer ever. She gets off to a rough start when she meets Luke, the nephew of her grandmother’s friend, and one unfortunate event leads to another. Just when she thinks her summer cannot get much worse, she finds herself transported to Acadia in 1755.

Here she meets Anne and learns much about the Acadian culture and history and the Acadians’ relations with the Mi’kmac people. She also experiences the warmth she has always wanted of a closely knit family. When Sarah realizes that the peace-loving Acadians are about to be torn from their homes and banished to distant shores, she is desperate to find a way to help them. Forced to abandon her pampered, stylish lifestyle, Sarah uncovers a strength and determination she did not know she possessed.

Although Sarah has to come to terms with the fact that “you can’t change history,” she is willing to risk her life to do everything in her power to help her Acadian family, and finds a surprising ally in Luke. Winds of L’Acadie, a historical novel for readers ten and up, reveals a painful part of Canadian history through the relationship of two young women from different centuries.

Note: Teacher Guide for Winds of L’Acadie is available here.

Reviews by Overdrive

New Canadian Historical Fiction in Overdrive Part 1


Canadian Historical Fiction 1

We have added many historical fiction novels into Overdrive this week. Many of them are for our younger readers. We will highlight them in two parts and here is part one:

After Peaches

After Peaches by Michelle Mulder

Ten-year-old Rosario Ramirez and her family are political refugees from Mexico, trying to make a new life in Canada. After being teased at school, Rosario vows not to speak English again until she can speak with an accent that’s one hundred percent Canadian. Since she and her parents plan to spend the whole summer working on BC fruit farms, she will be surrounded by Spanish speakers again. But when her family’s closest friend Jose gets terribly sick, Rosario’s plans start to unravel. Neither Jose nor Rosario’s parents speak English well enough to get him the help he needs. Like it or not, Rosario must face her fears about letting her voice be heard.

Note: There is a teacher’s guide to After Peaches here.

Back to Batoche

Back to Batoche by Cheryl Chad

“A century is only a spoke in the wheel of everlasting time.” -Louis Riel.

In 1885, Batoche is a dangerous place to be! The discovery of a magic pocket watch at the Batoche National Historical Site hurls Max, Kaeleigh and Liam back in time to the eve of the greatest battle fought in the North West: the Battle of Batoche!

The North West Field Force sent by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald is about to attack the Métis of the small village. Soldiers march and the bell of Batoche rings out in warning as the three time-travelling siblings, together with their new friend Isidore, find a way to help Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel lead their people during the North West Resistance. It’s an adventure like nothing they could have imagined, full of danger, intrigue and mystery!

Note: There is a teacher’s guide for Back to Batoche here.

Belle's Journey

Belle’s Journey by Marilynn Reynolds

Set on the prairies during the twenties, Belle’s Journey is a moving story of steadfast devotion and a heroic fight for survival.

The Big Snapper

The Big Snapper by Katherine Holubitsky

Ten-year-old Eddie lives with his mom and grandparents in a small cabin on the Queen Charlotte Islands. A year earlier, Eddie’s dad took the ferry to the mainland and never returned. Eddie loves going fishing with Granddad and listening to his tall tales about the big snapper. Eddie believes if they catch such a fish, it might change his family’s fortune. Mom decides to turn their cabin into a bed and breakfast. Some of the guests appreciate island life, but many do not. When Granddad falls ill and must go away for treatment, Eddie worries that he too may not come back. Already hurt and confused by his father’s disappearance, upset by the attitudes of the tourists, and now missing his beloved grandfather, Eddie goes fishing alone in Granddad’s skiff. Soon he is struggling with more than the need to stay afloat.

Note: You can find a Teacher’s Guide for Big Snapper here.

Camp X

Camp X by Eric Walters

It’s 1943, and nearly-12-year-old George and his older brother Jack are spending a restless wartime summer in Whitby, Ontario, where their mom is working at a munitions plant while their dad is off fighting the Germans. One afternoon, the boys stumble across Canada’s top-secret spy camp-and so begins an exciting and terrifying adventure as George and Jack get caught up in the covert activities of Camp X.

Fascinated by Camp X and its secrets, the boys begin to suspect local townspeople of being spies. Is the police chief keeping tabs on people for enemy purposes? Is Jack’s boss at the newspaper really amassing information for sinister reasons?

Unable to resist the camp’s allure, the boys keep going back to find out more details of what’s going on-they even meet William Stephenson, the Man Called Intrepid himself. They also attract the attention of a very sinister character, someone who is determined to use George and Jack’s knowledge against the Allies, no matter the consequences . . . or the casualties.

Catching Spring

Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen

The year is 1957, and Bobby lives on the Tsartlip First Nation reserve on Vancouver Island where his family has lived for generations and generations. He loves his weekend job at the nearby marina. He loves to play marbles with his friends. And he loves being able to give half his weekly earnings to his mother to eke out the grocery money, but he longs to enter the up-coming fishing derby. With the help of his uncle and Dan from the marina his wish just might come true.

Note: You can find a Teacher’s Guide to Catching Spring here.

Chaos in Halifax

Chaos in Halifax by Cathy Beaveridge

Twelve-year-old Jolene is determined to find independence from her brother, Michael, during a family trip to research the Halifax explosion of 1917 for her father’s Museum of Disasters. When her grandfather finds a time crease into the past, Jolene discovers a new friend and the importance of family and loyalty in a world torn apart by World War I. Once Michael joins them, however, the past suddenly becomes much more complicated. He inadvertently threatens Jolene’s friendship with a grieving family, and his careless comments spark speculation that they are spies. Together, the twins try to reconcile the honour and horrors of the Great War as they struggle with the knowledge that Halifax will soon be devastated by the collision in the harbour between the Mont Blanc, laden with explosives, and the Imo. When Michael attempts to change history, the twins are led to the brink of destruction.

Discovering Emily by Jacqueline Pearce and Emily’s Dream by Jacqueline Pearce

Young Emily Carr has no interest in learning to be a lady. She loves animals and the outdoors, and she is beginning to discover that what she loves most of all is drawing and painting. Will she find a way to develop her talent in the straitlaced world of nineteenth-century Victoria, British Columbia? Discovering Emily is the first of two books in a series.

Note: You can find novel studies for these two books on Jacqueline Pearce’s website.

Ellie’s New Home by Becky Citra

Ellie and her little brother Max find themselves moving from their grandmother’s comfortable home in England to Upper Canada. Their mother is dead, Father wants to start over again, and in 1835 there are many opportunities for settlers in British North America. Despite the strangeness of this vast new world, Ellie is sure things will turn out all right, as long as the family stays together. But once they are in Upper Canada, Father leaves Ellie and Max with strangers on an isolated homestead, while he goes on ahead to find land and build a cabin. Although the mother and father are kind to her, Ellie makes an enemy of their daughter Mary, who is insulted by the newcomer’s distant manners, fine clothes and talk of her London home. Ellie’s loneliness and discomfort, however, gradually turns into a growing fear. Where is Father? Why hasn’t he come back to them? A gripping story for young readers that explored the world of early settlers.

The Glory Wind by Valerie Sherrard

A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in rural 1950s Ontario when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met – fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother’s past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

Reviews by Overdrive

Summer Reading Basics


Literacy skills are essential for student’s success, and we hope that by the end of third grade our students are understanding the written word, and reading with some fluency at grade level.  How do we make sure our students don’t fall behind?

As accountable parents and teachers we provide intervention where necessary, and try to close the gaps. Preventative factors are critically important in the early years if we want to make sure we don’t have to intervene.  Effective teaching instruction in the K-2 reading years is vital if we want to make sure our students gain the foundational skills needed for reading in the upper grades.

If we wait until our students show up in grades 4 and above, with discrepancies in their phonetic ability we are failing to prepare them for the high school years.  In grade 4 students should be reading books that have multi-syllable words.

Here are some summer reading tips for helping your younger K-2 student stay on task over the summer and beyond! Remember that for struggling students accelerating skill development to reach grade level expectations takes a high level of instructional intensity.  Offer lots of rewards and treats on a weekly basis!

1.  Log into our Overdrive E Library for some amazing picture books that now come with embedded audio content.  We have recently ordered many of the critically acclaimed Sonlight picture books.  If you have a student with reading difficulties make sure to turn on the Dyslexic font in the settings menu.  To find picture books go to our subject menu and click on Picture Books.

2.  Do daily practice with your Reading Eggs and RAZ Kids Subscription to ensure phonics, and reading comprehension is up to scratch.  Record your student reading at the beginning of the summer on RAZKids and then at the end of summer share with your teacher as a progress/assessment tool!  Contact Beth Johnson if you need to sign up for the coming year!

3.  Include multiple texts including manuals, graphs, infographics, video, and websites, signs and non-fiction to encourage your students’ wide interests.  Discover the awesome subscription Pebble Go for students K-4 to learn more about science and social studies.

4.  Play word games in the car on holiday.  Do you remember those old fashioned games like name the animal?

The Animal Name Game

Ages 6 and up: One person names an animal. Then each person in order has to name another animal (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories such as cities or countries.

Twenty Questions

Ages 4 and up: One person secretly thinks of either an animal, mineral, or vegetable. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Can it fly?” or “Does it grow in the ground?” After the players have asked 20 questions, each player gets a chance to make a guess.


Ages 4 and up: A child whispers a story to someone else in the car. That person whispers the same story — as close to a word-for-word recount as possible — to a third person, and so on. The last person to hear the story repeats it out loud so everyone can hear. Invariably, some of the story will have been lost in the translation, and the resulting garbled message usually inspires a good laugh.

The Alphabet Game

Ages 5 and up: One person chooses the right-hand side of the road, and someone else the left. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on signs or license plates on their side. The object of the game is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to spot the entire alphabet wins.

Help your student P.I.C.K. out the right book for their reading and interest level using this article for guidance!

If your student still needs intervention make sure to contact your teacher who can get your student the required scaffolding with diagnostic testing.  This method of intervention will help match your student to the right materials and his or her unique style of learning.  Feel free to contact me if you need suggestions for your student’s reading materials!



Educational Philosophies – Summer Reading for Parents

Educational Philosophies

Are you looking to learn more this summer about a specific educational philosophy? Summer is a great time to read more! In Overdrive we have some tried and true titles as well as some new ideas in Education for you to read about. We are truly blessed at HCOS that we have the support to embrace a wide variety of philosophies and styles. Enjoy exploring!

The Absorbent Mind

The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori as well as The Montessori Method and the Montessori Reader

The Absorbent Mind was Maria Montessori’s most in-depth work on her educational theory, based on decades of scientific observation of children. Her view on children and their absorbent minds was a landmark departure from the educational model at the time. This book helped start a revolution in education. Since this book first appeared there have been both cognitive and neurological studies that have confirmed what Maria Montessori knew decades ago.

A Biblical Home Education

A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick

One of the most trusted homeschool voices today explains why and how the Bible should be the center of classroom learning and provides teaching helps for parents.

The Case for Classical Education

A Case for Classical Education by Douglas Wilson

America’s public schools are failing. Douglas Wilson advocates are turn to classical Christian education with its discipline, hard work, and recovery of the ancient division of learning geared to child development stages.

Every Child Can Succeed

Every Child Can Succeed  and The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

This enlightening source shows parents how to utilize a “learning styles” approach to help their kids live up to their potential and find success in life.

The Everything Homeschooling Book

The Everything Homeschooling Book by Sherri Linselbach

Homeschooling isn’t about teaching—it’s about learning together with your child. In this indispensible guide, author and homeschooler Sherri Linsenbach provides you with the encouragement, inspiration, and ideas you need to explore this option for your family. It’s packed full of ideas to make the experience easy, affordable, and, most of all, fun. Even veteran homeschoolers will find new ideas and techniques that help keep home education interesting and exciting.

Family Matters

Family Matters by David Guterson

An honest, perceptive discussion of children, education, and our common life as a nation by the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars. A high school English teacher, Guterson and his wife educate their own children at home. “A literate primer for anyone who wants to know more about alternatives to the schools” (Kirkus Reviews).

Home Learning Year by Year

Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp

Finally, homeschoolers have a comprehensive guide to designing a homeschool curriculum, from one of the country’s foremost homeschooling experts. , Rebecca Rupp presents a structured plan to ensure that your children will learn what they need to know when they need to know it, from preschool through high school. Based on the traditional pre-K through 12th-grade structure, Home Learning Year by Year features:

The integral subjects to be covered within each grade

Standards for knowledge that should be acquired by your child at each level

Recommended books to use as texts for every subject

Guidelines for the importance of each topic: which knowledge is essential and which is best for more expansive study based on your child’s personal interests

Suggestions for how to sensitively approach less academic subjects, such as sex education and physical fitness

Homeschooling Methods

Homeschooling Methods by Paul and Gena Suarez

Details the most viable homeschool education models, helping parents formulate an educational game plan and choose teaching methodologies.

Reviews by Overdrive

The HCOS Weekly: Vol. 2, Ed. 17

The final instalment of our 2014-2015 paper! Enjoy. :)

Source: http://issuu.com/jubileechiu/docs/the-hcos-weekly-20150608-2058

Lovely last newsletter of the year from our HCOS Weekly team.  So proud of all their journalistic skills!

OverDrive updates: Dyslexic font options and improved waiting list displays | OverDrive Blogs

Source: blogs.overdrive.com

Now readers with Dyslexic tendencies have even more reason to read with an e reader!

2015 HCOS Writers Awards on Ning

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2015 Ning writing and poetry contest!


A huge thank you to our guest judge and teacher Mrs. Roberta MacDonald for all her hard work marking.

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who took part in our contest. We had some talented writers this year, and it was a tough choice selecting the winners!   Keep on writing and being creative!

All winners please email Mrs. Pippa Davies with your mailing address so that she can send you your prize!

High School Winners:

Victor Penner, The Three Pilgrims

http://heritageschoolslearningcommons.ning.com/group/writing-and-poetry-contest/forum/topics/here-s-my-second-story            &nbsp

Nicole Cooper, Short story


Jennica WoldarczykListening to See


Ria Soames, The Wilting Rose


Melody Brocke, Rain Drops 


Elementary winners:

Marcus Coetzee, Fiddling for the Flood


Emma WiebeIn Progess


Acacia Mitchell, Watchful Star 


If you would like to read the Ning writing samples please contact Pippa or Erin Duncan for an invite to join the Ning.


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