Easter Blessings


easter flowers

Spring is here, the bulbs are beginning to blossom,  and it is time to celebrate Easter and the amazing sacrifice of our Lord Jesus!

This newsletter we will share some of our favourite Easter resources on L4U, OverDrive eLibrary, and some web links.  We will also share some upcoming contests, including our poetry and talent contest on NING.  If you are new to the learning commons please read our welcome getting started for Newbies!

Subscriptions Use Survey

Results of our most recent survey may be found at Subscriptions Survey Results – 2017. A big thank you to all our patrons and staff for completing this survey, which helps inform our purchasing of resources.

Get Outdoors:  Engaging Spring Unit Study

Written by Natalie Sing and Available Now From Our L4U Physical Library

Spring Unit Study

 A Nature Study can be as comprehensive as you decide to make it. This short, six-week unit will hopefully serve as a springboard to many more hours of exciting learning, observations and time spent outdoors, as each season has its unique beauty and areas of study.

Why should we encourage our children to do a nature study? What better way to learn about God’s amazing Creation than to observe His handiwork firsthand, and learn how to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. We know that “The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” (Psalm 24:1)  SpringNatureStudyGuide .  Reserve your physical kit from our Library today!  


Spring and Easter Titles Available Now in the Overdrive Digital Library

Have you been using our Overdrive Digital Library?  There are so many excellent resources to check out!  We have a good selection of Spring and Easter titles available for you here.



One of my favourite truths about Easter is that God is relational. Jesus came to earth, died on a cross in our place, rose again to life and conquered the grave. He took our sin so that we may be restored to a place of relationship with God. Fellowship is a wonderful gift given to us, both in our relationship with God and with each other.

NING is an online platform, much like Facebook, but contained within the school.  NING provides homeschool families with the ability to have a school community, even if they do not live close together. It is open to students (Grades 8-12), parents and teachers. If you are interested in joining NING, or would like more information, please email Erin Duncan at eduncan@onlineschool.ca.

New contests on NING are open to students in grades 5-12. You will need a NING account to enter.  For students in Grades 5-7, the family or a parent account may be created to submit the entry on their behalf.

  • Talent Show – Open now and runs until April 30th. Share and enjoy some of the amazing talents that we have in our community! To enter, log into NING,  go to the Groups page and open “The HCOS & NING Talent Show!!!! Spring 2017”. Students are encouraged to share up to 2 talent show entries in a discussion on the NING Talent Show Group page. Everyone is welcome to take part by “liking” the entries. God made us all special and it is fun to share some of those talents in this way!
  • Poetry Contest – *Upcoming Contest* The Theme will be “New Growth”, be this personally, in the Lord, or in nature.  Contest Group Page will be accessible on NING first week  of April.

Web-Linking Library

NEW STEAM resources:

Easter and Spring Books in L4U

Looking for books about Easter or Spring/Nature Study?  In the L4U library, there are Topic Searches under 002 Books by Subject called “Spring/Nature Study and “Easter” which list many of the resources available.

Some favourite Easter books are:

  • The Week that Led to Easter
  • The Story of the Easter Robin
  • Benjamin’s Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs
  • Humphrey’s First Palm Sunday
  • The Case for Easter
  • Celebrating Jesus in the Biblical Feasts: Discovering Their Significance to You

Fun books for Spring:

  • Karen Andreola’s Pocketful of Pinecones
  • Keepers of Life
  • Environmental Detectives Teacher’s Guide Gr. 5 – 8
  • The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature
  • Are You Ready for Spring?
  • Take a City Nature Walk


Using Our Gizmos Subscription

Are you needing a great place for your student to learn and follow their curiosity?  Our Gizmos subscription allows you to do just that.  It is a place to learn math and science for grades 3-9.

Our Learning Commons has information for you about Gizmos.

To answer your questions about how to use the site, you can go to these links:


Gizmos main photo - smaller


If you have questions about subscriptions, please email me Beth Johnson.




Two NEW unit studies for Gr. 5 & 6!

World Government and Economics Gr. 6 Unit Studydownload

1. Governments Around the World by Heinemann Library
2. What is Trade? by Carolyn Andrews
3. What is Importing and Exporting? by Carolyn Andrews
4. What is Scarcity of Resources? by Jessica Cohn
5. Land Use by Janice L. Redlin
6. Avoiding Hunger and Finding Water by Andrew Langley
7. Using STEM to Investigate Alternative Energy by Barbara R. Sandall
8. Using STEM to Investigate Issues in Food Production by Barbara R. Sandall
9. Parent Guide

This informative unit covers different systems of government, economic policies and resource management, globalization and trade.
Rather than being divided by day, the unit plan uses the key questions to breakdown content, activities, and experiences.

Human Rights, Immigration and Discrimination unit study Gr. 5humanrights

1. As Long as the River Flows by Larry Loyie
2. Caged Eagles by Eric Walters
3. Coming to Canada by Susan Hughes
4. The Kids Book of Canadian Immigration by Deborah Hodge
5. Our New Home: Immigrant Children Speak by Emily Hearn
6. My Name is Seepeetza by Shirley Sterling
7. Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker
8. White Jade Tiger by Julie Lawson
9. Parent Guide

Learn about immigrants who came to Canada and their contributions to Canada’s development, as well as the discrimination they faced. Japanese internment camps, residential schools and the underground railroad will be covered along with discussion about Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

These unit studies are available for booking in L4U!

Homeschool Convention!

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Save the dates!  Visit BC Convention to register!  Earlybird deadline is March 31st!

More L4U Library Units!

Motion of Objects unit study  Gr. K

  •  Let’s Move by Pan Canadian Science Place Teammotion
  • Give it a Push, Give it a Pull
  • Captain Kidd’s Crew Experiments with sinking and Floating
  • The Three Little Pigs

How can you make objects move?  How does the shape or size of an object effect the object’s movement?  How does the material the object is made of effect the object’s movement?

These and more questions will be explored using interesting books and some great activities! Kids love acting out The Three Little Pigs story by creating their own houses!


Water Unit Study Gr. 2wat

  •  Young Discoverer Flying and Floating Science Facts and Experiments by David Glover
  • A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney
  • Water Cycle by Bobbie Kalman
  • Down comes the Rain by Franklyn M. Branley
  • Water: Little Scientist by Martha E. H. Rustad

Water is essential to all living things! Learn about the water cycle and how important it is in our daily lives. Watch some videos and have fun with experiments!

Energy unit study Gr. 4energy

  • DK Eyewitness Books: Energy
  • Energy: It’s Forms, Changes and Functions
  • Janice VanCleave’s Energy for Every Kid
  • Why Should I Save Energy?

Energy – it’s a fascinating topic! What is energy? What forms does it take? Make a balloon car or witness a chain reaction in Stixplosion! Your student will have a lot of fun choosing experiments to learn the answers to so many questions!

Solutions, Chemistry Gr. 5 Unit Studymat

  1. Properties of Matter by Debbie and Richard Lawrence
  2. Chemistry Matters from AIMS

Chemistry can be a daunting subject to teach.  This short unit, which can be done in 4 weeks, covers solutions, solubility, properties of solutions and how they are used. Enjoy watching videos and choosing experiments – ice cream might be involved!

All of these kits are available for booking in L4U!


Library kits for YOU!

Natural resources Social Studies and Science Physical Unit Study Kit Gr. 5

1. Explorrocke Rocks and Minerals with 25 Great Projectsby Cynthia Light Brown
2. Explore Water with 25 Great Projects by Anita Yasuda
3. Our Resources by Pan Canadian Science
4. British Columbia, It’s Land, Water and Mineral Resources by Sandy Frances Duncan
5. Environmentalists from our First Nations by Vincent Schilling
6. Keepers of the Earth by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac

This rich unit covers a number of important topics from a Christian perspective such as respecting our environment and sustainable resources. It also covers the rock cycle and the structure of our planet.  Many engaging activities are included for you to choose from!

Human body unit study Gr. 5skel

This unit includes some very engaging books, great activities and projects! Iit even includes a blood pressure monitor kit and a card game:

  1. Your Circulatory System by Conrad J. Storad
  2. Your Digestive System by Rebecca L. Johnson
  3. Your Muscular System by Rebecca L. Johnson
  4.  Your Respiratory System by Judith Jango-Cohen
  5.  Your Skeletal System by Caroline Arnold
  6. Bodyworks by Pan Canadian Science
  7. The Human Body – 25 Projects
  8. Blood Pressure Monitor Kit
  9. Human Body Card Game

What a great way to cover this topic and have some fun as well!

Body Systems unit study Gr. 6human

Continue learning about the different body systems with this unit. This is a shorter unit that can be completed in just 4 weeks! Pick your favorite activities – there are lots to choose from!

  1. The Digestive and Excretory Systemsby Susan Dudley Gold
  2. The Human Bodyby Kathleen M. Reilly
  3. The Nervous System by Joelle Riley
  4. The Reproductive System by Steve Parker

All of these kits are available for booking in L4U!


Looking for a Unit Study?

It’s that time of year when parents start looking at what needs to be done by June, or earlier, so everyone can enjoy a summer break!  Unit study kits that were booked months ago are no longer needed because the topic was covered in a co-op. Or the reverse: Oh my goodness, Johnny needs to cover Simple Machines!!  What to do?  If you review your advanced bookings and find things you no longer need, please delete your booking so another family can use the item.

If you review your advanced bookings and find things you no longer need, please delete your booking so another family can use the item.

If you have gaps that need filling, check L4U for physical units that can be shipped direct to your door!  We have a number of unit studies available right now, so gettem’ while they’re hot!

  • Motion of Objects unit study  Gr. K
  • Daily and Seasonal Changes Unit Study Gr. K
  • Light and sound unit study Gr. 1
  • Local Environment Unit Study Gr. 1
  • What is a Community? Unit Study, Gr. 1

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  • Forces Unit Study Gr. 2
  • Water Unit Study Gr. 2
  • Matter can Undergo Physical and Chemical Changes Gr. 2 unit study
  • Life Cycle of Plants and Animals gr. 2 unit study
  • History of British Columbia unit study gr. 4
  • Solids, liquids, and gases unit study Gr. 4
  • Energy unit study Gr. 4
  • Explorers Unit Study Gr. 4:
  • Discovering Canada’s Governments Gr. 5 Unit Study
  • Human body unit study Gr. 5
  • Natural resources unit study Gr. 5
  • Simple machines Gr. 5 unit study
  • Solutions Chemistry Gr. 5 Unit Study
  • War and Conflict Unit Study Gr. 6
  • Body Systems unit study Gr. 6
  • Solar system unit study Gr. 6
  • Mixtures and solutions Gr. 6 Unit Study
  • Extreme Environments unit study Gr. 6
  • Fossils Unit Study Gr. 7
  • Ancient Egypt Unit Study Gr. 7
  •  Ancient Mesopotamia Unit Study Gr. 7
  • Life in the Middle Ages Gr. 8 Unit Study

Just log in to L4U and search for the title. Use the term “unit study” to narrow your results!

Tips for Tuning-Up Your Grammar Skills

Annual Grammar Day is March 4th





1.  Try Out a New Tool

Grammarly:  This online proofreading tool checks your text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector.  It is available as an add-on for Office, for Windows, and as a Chrome Extension.

2.  Follow a Facebook Page With a Little Humour

  • Grammar Girl:  This page is a good mix of light-hearted fun, and short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Grammar Girl makes complex grammar concepts simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules.
  • The Grammar Police:  Because sometimes we need a bit of humour to engage our minds with grammar.  And yes, I just began and sentence with “because”.  Oh, and there again with “and”…


3.  Check Out Some Books in Overdrive


overdrive-bookSkin Like Milk, Hair of Silk:  What Are Similes and Metaphors? by Brian P. Cleary.    

Overdrive description:  Are you as clever as a fox? Or perhaps you’re as sharp as any spike? If so, this book will be a piece of cake! Clever rhymes from Brian P. Cleary and humorous illustrations from Brian Gable present similes and metaphors. When it comes to grammar, this team is not as slow as thick molasses. Oh no, they’re as bright as polished pennies! Each simile and metaphor is printed in colour for easy identification in this gem of a book. Read it aloud and share in the delight of the sense – and nonsense – of words. 


the-grammar-teachers-activity-a-dayThe Grammar Teacher’s Activity-a-Day180 Ready-to-Use Lessons to Teach Grammar and Usage by Jack Umstatter

Overdrive description:  This must-have resource features 180 practical, ready-to-use grammar and usage lessons and activities–one for each day of the school year. The activities included help students in grades 5-12 to acquire, improve, and expand their grammar skills, and become more adept and confident writers.


4.  Have Some Fun with Apps, Videos, and BrainPop

  • Grammar Wonderland Apps available on iTunes and Google Play

STEM Integration Webinar

Happening tomorrow! Lunch n Learn with Kathy Whittome and STEM/STEAM integration in your classroom!


The learning commons is very excited to welcome you to a STEM/STEAM Integration workshop, with our STEM mentor leader Kathy Whittome.

Who may come?  Students, staff, and teachers.

When?  February 24th @12-1 pm PAC.

Where?  Zoom conference.

Pippa Davies is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/759979571

Or iPhone one-tap (Canada Toll): +16475580588,759979571#

Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 647 558 0588 (Canada Toll)

Meeting ID: 759 979 571

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=-tyBax_eOww58EtMLFxbYtwgQLqImEt7

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Read Around the World Event

Welcome to the Read Around the World Book Club!  Join Pippa Davies, teacher librarian, as she celebrates beautiful picture books from around the world, during two sessions in March.  Each week we will read books from different parts of the world, celebrating all of the continents.  Here is a list to get you started on your reading using Overdrive e books.  Parents can help their students by starting a passport for reading around the world. More activities can be found on this page to help support your student’s reading.   Then students can continue with their reading after the two weeks.   If they read 20 or more picture books from around the world by the end of March, they will be entered into a draw for a $50 Amazon gift certificate for more books!  Please register/s your student once they have completed their reading on this form.

Who may attend?  Students and parents in grades K-6

Where will this happen?  Zoom videoconferencing room.

Pippa Davies is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

 Read around the World Celebrating Picture Books 
Time: Mar 8,  and 15th 2017 11:00 AM- 12 PM PAC time

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/585395427

Or iPhone one-tap (Canada Toll): +16475580588,585395427#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 647 558 0588 (Canada Toll)
Meeting ID: 585 395 427
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=xWY-QWAogGJIs54iSSwMPUW0-N16p5_b

Cost:  Free

Please register at this poll here.

Micro: Bits and more!

Hello Folks,

We have just added over 100+ new items to the L4U catalogue!  Did you know you can easily find all of the recently added items quickly and easily from the Home page by scrolling through the New Items or clicking the View More button to see them all:


We have added some great new hands-on items as well:

Happy Atoms will help your students learn about how atoms form.  View more here.

Micro: Bits are the newest, coolest gadgets to learn about coding!  View more here. You will need to log into L4U to place your bookings!


You can view all of the MakerEd items available by clicking on Topic Search, then 001 Resources, then click on Maker Education (STEAM):






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