Winners!! Poetry Contest – Spring 2018


Winner by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

And the winners are…

Grade 1-7:

1st: Esther Lawe – The Mind Blowing Grace

2nd: Daniel Kaiser – Grace

3rd: Hannah Allsop – God’s Grace

Honorable Mentions:

Silas Bastian –  I gave you Grace

Erika Hupp – Spring is Here

Grade 8-12

1st: Lydia Doerschlag – Redeemed

2nd: Elaina Loewen – Forever You Are Mine

3rd: William Ngenda – Need

Honorable Mentions:

Acacia Mitchell – Sunset

Aven Duncan – Trash to Treasured

Thank you to everyone who entered and a very special thanks to Roberta MacDonald for judging! Good job everyone!

Spring Contests: Winners and More Fun

This spring the HCS Learning Commons & NING held some contests and our Talented Students showcased their skills.

#STEAM – A Project Based Learning Contest!
First Place: Jack Wilke – The Pop Machine
Second Place: Aven Duncan – My Quilt
Third Place: Emma Wiebe – My Project (dress)

Talent Show!!!! Spring 2018
First Place: Tiara Ilic – Forget the boy (last submission)
Second Place: Joshua Michael Wlodarczyk – Afterimages – Original Song)
Third Place: Avery Spark – My Favorite Things


Congratulations to our winners!! Thank you to everyone that entered and to those that judged! 

More fun: We still have one contest open. The Poetry Contest will run until the end of May and be judged the first week of June. The theme is Grace and it is open to HCOS students of all grades. If you or your students are interested please log into NING or email Erin Duncan ( for more information!

Poetry: Whats the word?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Poetry has been around for thousands of years. Long before it was written and read it was used orally to share stories, remember genealogy, teach laws. It was also used to: entertain in song and spoken word with historical accounts; tell tales of happenings in the day to day life; share fictional works that pass on the identity of a culture; and inspire with love stories and more.

Celebrate right now with Poetry eBooks on Overdrive here in this collection!


How do I write a poem? It can be hard to get started. What should it be about? Does it have to rhyme? Creative Writing Now’s site has the answers to those questions and more to help you get started! Creative Writing Now: Poetry

Poetry Games: Children’s Author Ken Nesbitt has a list of fun games to help kids learn about and enjoy poetry. Poetry Fun and Games

To Rhyme?: One fun aspect of many poems is making the poem rhyme. However, it can sometimes be hard to find words that rhyme and fit your poem. Thankfully there are tools to help with this. Rhyming Dictionary

Poetry in our culture today: One of the current most popular works of poetry and spoken word is the musical ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Lin’s inspiration was Alexander Hamilton, a man who used his talent in both written and spoken word to influence people, to ignite passionate opinions and ultimately to help shape the nation. Lin first introduced this concept at the White House Poetry Jam that the Obama’s held and it became a cultural sensation. One that has ignited a new generation’s passion for spoken word. I have included a link to a video of this first performance at the Whitehouse. Please know that there is some language used that today may not be considered the best, but is used in its correct historical context in this piece. Words are powerful! Lin-Manuel Miranda Performs at the White House Poetry Jam

Poetry Contest: Heritage Christian School Learning Commons and NING are hosting a Poetry contest open to all HCOS students running from April 2nd to May 25th. The theme for this year’s contest is Grace. The contest is hosted on NING: NING Poetry Contest – Spring 2018 NING is open to students Grade 8-12, parents and teachers. For students Grade 7 and under who would like to take part in this contest a family account can be made.  If you do not have a NING account and you would like more info on NING or the Poetry Contest please email Erin Duncan.

Let’s have fun and write poems!

Happy Poetry Month!!

Erin Duncan

Water Week, March 18-24: Fun Lessons and Activities


Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

What is something that every living thing needs to survive? Water! It is an important natural resource that too often we take for granted. In Canada, we have about 20% of the worlds fresh water supply in our country, however, this is a resource that we need to take care of so that everyone will have it for years to come. March 22 is World Water Day.

BC Hydro has planned some fun and educational free lessons and activities to help us learn and appreciate the water around us.

Guess the Mystery Water Animal Game Play a game with Grades K-3 to guess the names of animals who live in water habitats by looking at clues about the animals.

Every Drop Counts – Group Project Grades 4-7 take a look at how water is used. How much of the world’s water is wasted? What can we personally do to conserve water and make a difference?

How Big is your Water Footprint? – Group Project Grades 8-12 Will look at their personal water footprint. How much water do you use? (Hint* it is more than just what your drink, shower and wash with.) How much water was used in the making of your clothes? How much did it take to make all of the food you eat? How much water was used to make the electricity in your house? What can we do to responsibly use water?

Don’t forget to drink a large refreshing glass of water and be thankful for the blessings that we have in the water around us! On that note, I think it is time to put on some rubber boots and go and play in a spring puddle. Have a great water week!


Erin Duncan


Photo by Oscar Blair on Unsplash






*WINNERS* The HCOS & NING Talent show!!!! Spring 2017

As a fun celebration of all things ART, we put on an HCOS/NING Talent Show!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest, and liked the entries. It is so fun to see some of the God given talents from our high school community.  A very special thanks to Lori Taetz for her help in judging this contest. Good job to all of our participants!

And the Winners are:

1st: Tiara Ilic – ‘You Raise Me Up’. She had great voice control and demonstrated a natural talent.

2nd: Peter Roddis – “Something I Wrote.” He created a beautiful song with very complex rhythms and key changes.

3rd: Rebecca Harper – “Self Choreography”. She used some very original dance combinations and demonstrated the ability to smoothly complete them.

Winners are advised to contact Pippa Davies to receive their prizes.

Our NING Community is open to students Grades 8-12, or a family account can be made for those with younger students. It is a closed environment within the school, username and password access by invite only.   Ning is monitored by HCOS staff to create a safe online outlet for our students. If you would like to join NING or would like more information you can email Erin Duncan at

Valentine’s Day Cards & Treats

Valentine’s Day is a ‘love’ly holiday. Some love it, some love to hate it because of the connotation that it is for couples only, but no matter where you stand it is a great reminder to tell those close to us that we love them. When I was younger, my Sunday School Teacher would use Valentine’s Day as a precursor lesson to the Easter Story. What would you give someone to show how much you love them? God gave Jesus for/to us! John 3:16

Here are some Valentine’s Day gift, card, and craft ideas from our Web-Link Library to help make your Valentine’s Day special.

Wax Resist Valentines’s Cards – All ages

Sewn Heart Cards – A thread and needle are used in this craft. Intermediate Level Art

Pop-up Heart Card  – This card is made with paper cutting techniques using an Exacto-knife. Fun and impressive art, use care while creating!

Pop-Up Flower Bouquet Card – This card is a beautiful flowery surprise. Different colors can be used for the flowers and the background. If you have square origami paper this works well for the flowers but any thin paper (or even construction paper if you crease it well) will work. You can make the flower bouquet smaller by using smaller squares of paper. Leaves and other details are optional, just remember to not attach them until after the bouquet is made and attached to the card.

Valentine’s Day Treats and Eats – Themed food for the holidays is always a fun addition to the day. No matter if you need, sugar-free, gluten free, vegan, non-desserts or just ideas here are 101 ideas to inspire you. Some of these, your kids can cook for you!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. As one of my favourite veggies likes to say: “God made you special, and He loves you very much!” – Bob Tomato




Opening our Spiritual Gifts from God

Each of us has been wonderfully made in God’s hands. He has given us spiritual gifts that help to make us unique individuals. Knowing the spiritual gifts that God has given us can help us throughout life, be it personal or business, work or play.


Sometimes it is hard to know what our spiritual gifts are. Sometimes it is very apparent to ourselves or to others that we are gifted a certain way. A fun thing about spiritual gifts is that they are gifts. We don’t have to earn them. We don’t have a limit on how many we get. God will give us what we need as we serve Him throughout our lives.

Young adults

The main spiritual gifts often have personality traits that help us know that they are there. Over the years quite a few fun tests have been created to help us both find out and better understand what our spiritual gifts are. We have a few of these tests available through our HCOS Web-Link Library ,and invite you to use them to find out what spiritual gift you have been given so far.

You can also check out our RightNowMedia library for more Bible studies on spiritual gifts; like Your Divine Design by Chuck Ingram.  Our grad students discover more about their spiritual gifts be mentoring younger students in our mentoring program, and Forum moderation leadership on the Ning.

Primary students

If you have a younger primary student they might prefer the resource God Given Gifts in our Overdrive e library.

Blessings Erin

FMT leader.

New Year’s Lessons


Welcome to 2017!

Welcome to New Year and a snowy Winter wonderland.  New Year is an exciting holiday, and blends in with many of the Christmas festivities in North America. It is a fun time where many kids get to stay up much past their bed times, and couples try to kiss in the new year. Resolutions are made, some of them even kept. However, New Years looks different around the world.

In China, New Years is a festival celebrating the coming spring of the new year. Unlike North America it is more than a one-day holiday spanning from the end of December to the middle or end of January. Some special aspects of the Chines New Year are fireworks, dancing dragons and special foods like mandarin oranges. Bring some Chinese New Year fun into your lesson plans by:

The Jewish New Year is called Rosh Hashanah and is celebrated in September during harvest time not January during the winter. The North American tradition of making New Year’s resolutions  may have come from Rosh Hashanah as it is a time where people think about the past year, make any wrongs right, seek forgiveness if needed to rebuild relationships and think of how to make the new year better.  Bring some Rosh Hashanah fun into your lesson plans by:

In Thailand, New years is celebrated April 13th-15th and is both the celebration of spring and change. Traditionally people will return to their home villages and have a meal with friends and family. Elders of the families will be honoured for the care they have given and the wisdom that they pass along. It is also traditional to have a water and baby powder fight.   When you are covered with the powder you are protected from sunburn, symbolizing good luck in the year to come. Bring some Thai New Year’s fun into your lesson plans by:

In Canada’s First Nations Tribe, Nisga’a, New year is called Hobiyee and is Celebrated in February. This tribe figured out that the phases of the moon were connected to the changing of the seasons, how full the moon was at the time of their celebration foretold how bountiful the year’s harvest would be.

As Christians New Years may not be a Biblical holiday but it is a great time to thank God for all that He has done in your life and to dedicate the next year to Living for Him.

God Bless you this year. May you see His hand at work in your lives, may you draw closer to Him than ever before and may you know to a greater degree how much He loves you. Happy New Year





HCOS Secret Santa Card&Gift Exchange

Secret Santa!


It’s that time of year again! For those of you that have never played this game with HCOS/NING, Secret Santa is a fun card/gift exchange.

To play, you commit to sending someone a card/gift worth $5 or less. Send Erin Duncan your mailing address ( I will stop accepting names on Nov 30th. At the beginning of December, I will scramble the names and send you the name and address of the person that you will be sending a card/gift to. I do not keep the addresses after the game is over and the only other person that will see your address is you Secret Santa.

Some good ideas on gifts are gift cards (these will fit in an envelope and not require extra shipping), Christmas ornaments, candy, stickers, books, and puzzles. You may not know your recipient so they and pick something that anyone could enjoy. All card/gifts NEED to be sent out by December 12 so that it reaches the recipient on time.

We (HCOS/NING) are not responsible for any late, lost or damaged card/gifts. If you want to play you are agreeing to commit to sending a card/gift.  And get one if return.  Spread the word, the more people we get the more fun it is. =) Feel free to email me with any questions.


~Erin Duncan



Spring Poetry Contest 2016!! WINNERS!



For the Final LC & NING Contest  of the 2015/2016 school year we hosted a Poetry contest with the Theme of Hope and Spring. We had some wonderful entries, and we would like to share the winning ones with you. I hope that you are blessed and refreshed as you enjoy these original works on Hope and Spring!

Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to everyone who participated in this contest!

Elementary-School Winner

1st Place:

Lydia Doerschlag . Winters End


High-School Winners

1st place:

Emma Wiebe.  Hope for Spring 

2nd place:

Aven Duncan. A Love Letter For A Rainy Day 

Adon Wiebe. Spring

3rd place:

Emily Pearson. Hope Once Again



Web-Library Highlights!

Here is some of the great stuff to be found on our Web-linking Library this week!

Mother’s day:

Prayer and Poems for inspiration to use on/in cards or gifts.

Sunday school Teacher’s Guide to Mother’s day.

Tips on making it through mother’s day when your mom is no longer with you and ways to honor her.

Inquiry and STEM Lesson ideas

Teach STEM with LEGO Learning –  50 Activities, free Printables, Games and More!

STEM– a resource for teachers, mentors, parents, STEM professionals, volunteers, and everyone passionate about getting children eager to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math

ReadWriteThink animal Inquiry lesson plans

Educational Games: (Thanks Ryan)

Monkey Tales is a math game for Grades 2 and up. It was not originally created in English so some of the translated phrases are a little off for the normal cadence of English speech but it will not affect the game play. Games average at $20.

Lure of the Labyrinth is a digital game for middle-school pre-algebra students. It includes a wealth of intriguing math-based puzzles wrapped into an exciting narrative game in which students work to find their lost pet – and save the world from monsters! Linked to both (NCTM) standards, the game gives students a chance to actually think like mathematicians.

Dragon Box– Algebra puzzles that kids seem to really enjoy. It is incredible to see what they can do using this resource. Ages 5 and up, it costs $5:

Blessings Erin and the learning commons team

Collaboration in the learning commons!

This year we have 3 great programs that you and your students could consider to help get you connected!

NING: This is a social network created for our own school environment to help homeschoolers (and their parents) connect with each other more. It functions much like Facebook does in that you have your profile, you can add friends, talk to people, enter contests, play games and find out about upcoming events. However it is a much safer online environment, only accessible through the school site with a username and password. Distance learning may at times be isolating, and the NING offers a way to fellowship more and bring us closer together as a community.

If you would like more information on the NING please contact Pippa Davies ( ) or Erin Duncan ( ).  Students need to be 13 or older to join.

FMT: FMT Stands for Forum Moderation Team. It is a volunteer  peer mentorship team that is put together at the start of every school year to help keep the HCOS Moodle Discussion Forums and the NING running smoothly. Forum moderators will  alert the overseeing staff if there are any problems or disagreements on the Forums or NING that may need addressing, and point people in the right direction to get any questions about these social networks answered. It is approximately a 3 hour a week commitment that includes spending time on the Forums/NING, writing weekly reports on the parts of the Forums/NING that they are assigned to and attending weekly meetings/bible studies. We currently need 2-4 more students, from grade 10-12 to join the team. Being on this team allows you to count the hours toward your volunteer and work experience needed for graduation, and you will receive a letter of reference. If you are interested in this program please contact Erin Duncan ( ).

HCOS Mentor and Protege Program High School Students: This is a group that we are starting this year pairing up an older high school student with a younger one. Mentors (grade 10-12 students) get to help their protege through the transition into the high school system, answering questions and giving tips on how the system works, what studying habits worked well for them and being there as part of the Protege’s support system. The Protégé (grade 8/9 students) gains helpful information and support from a peer, and the Mentor is able to count the hours toward volunteer and work experience needed for graduation.  If you are interested in this program please look at the Mentor and Protege Program group on the NING events tab or contact Pippa Davies ( ) and add your name

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