Welcome from the Learning Commons!

Dear Learning Commons patrons,

Welcome back to another exciting school year!

In our continuous effort to provide the very best service to you, I am delighted to introduce our vision, and our amazing team members who are here to help with your every need throughout the school year.

HCS Learning Commons!  Encouraging Community through Discipleship, Literacy, and Innovation.   

The mission of HCS Learning Commons is to provide Discipleship, Literacy and Innovation to all our patrons and staff.  As we purchase our collection of digital and non-digital resources, we try to discern what meets the needs of all our schools from a Christian perspective.  Our goal is to provide easy information retrieval, and quality resources for all your educational needs.   We also host a dynamic community on NING for our high school students, and run book clubs and STEAM workshops in your neck of the woods!

What is a Learning Commons?

“A Learning Commons is a common, or shared, learning ‘space’ that is both physical and virtual. It is more a perspective than a “place.” A Learning Commons perspective supports a student-centred approach that emphasizes active and collaborative engagement and encourages the co-creation of knowledge by all learners.

We love to work one-on-one with families and students to share resources and provide bibliographies to help meet the new curriculum standards.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us via email, phone, Skype, NING, Facebook, Twitter or Zoom.

New Patron Training

For those of our patrons who are new to our school here is a training document which will help you uncover what the Learning Commons has in store for you in 2017/18.

Team Learning Commons

Team pic HCS learning commons

( picture is missing Steve, Erin and Rachael)

My name is Pippa Davies (on the far right of the photo), and I work as our Learning Commons chair to facilitate our team, and help with reference, inquiry, reference queries and requests for new acquisitions.  Our Learning Commons is made up of an awesome group of dynamic library staff;  including Shandra Wiebe, Cynthia Duncalfe, Beth Johnson, Rachael Rennie, Erin Duncan, Kelly Wiebe, and in the campus arena are Steve Cox and  Justine Dehod.  Please click on our contact page to find out how to get hold of each team member, and understand how each team member works in our digital and physical commons!


  • Book clubs happening in your area!  Check them out on this page.
  • STEAM mentors in your area.  Click on this page.
  • Mentor Protégé Program.  Click on this page.
  • NEW Humanoid Robots! To be launched in the late Fall/Winter at a Community Connections centre near you !
  • New Grad page (more content to come this year).

We pray that your upcoming year will be full of amazing learning and joyful activities.  Don’t hesitate to send us your questions and we will be delighted to serve.

Blessings from the Learning Commons team!

Book your Kits and Resources!

Are you organizing your school year and planning which unit studies and resources to use? Did you know you can book your items right up until June of 2018? And it’s a good idea to book in advance as some resources are very popular and harder to book later in the school year.  We also have curriculum resources of all kinds, so you can “try before you buy” or, in many cases, just use ours! And don’t forget to check out our amazing Maker Ed items that your kid’s will love! We are adding more items to L4U this month! Here is a list which has many great suggestions including items available for loan.

Here is a list of all of the physical and digital unit studies by grade.

Not sure how to book them in L4U?  Visit our FAQ page.

Curriculum Sale!

We have added more items to the sale, and more will be added in the next two weeks! Some items are 50% off!

Lots of awesome deals to be had on:

Volume One: Zoology 

The Sassafras Science Adventures Volume One: Zoology SamplesThe Sassafras Science Adventures Volume One: Zoology begins the zip-lining science adventures for Blaine and Tracey Sassafras! The twins and your students, earn all about the amazing animals that can be found around the globe.

SONLIGHT  $170.00  Intro to World History, Year 1 of 2, (2015) Includes:

Sonlight B Instructor’s Guide (BCG), 24 Books, 1 CD.


Sonlight Language Arts Gr. 2,

 2015 Version

$65.00 Includes Instructor’s Guide, and 17 Readers pictured.



Visit both our google documents for Math and Curriculum sales!

As always, you can use your PO number, and shipping is free if combined with a library order!




TAKE 5! … we interrupt your summer to share FIVE Curriculum Option updates

The BC Day long weekend is over, and some of us may begin to turn some of our attention towards planning for another fruitful year of home learning.  Here are a FIVE IMPORTANT UPDATES to keep in mind as you plan:



  1. Updated Comprehensive Grade Level Resources Pages for K – 9, PLUS all new Grade 10 – 12 Resources Pages

  2. Updated Suggested Homeschooling Resources Pages

  3. We now have THREE comprehensive curriculum vendors in BC who have prepared Curriculum Options for HCOS students:

  4. New Unit Study Kits and Curriculum Correlation Packages

We now have Unit Study Kits for Grades K – 7, and so far this year, we’ve added:

5.  Our Overdrive Digital eBook and Audio Library has dozens of new books for you, and don’t forget to check out the great selection of curricular resources available to you in our L4U Physical Library!


NEW Gr. 8 Curriculum Correlation Packages Available August 1st in the L4U Physical Library

The purpose of the Curriculum Correlations Guide is to outline how a specific curriculum aligns with BC’s standards, showing you which sections of the material to complete.  Please note, these are NOT Unit Study Kits. (Unit Study Kits for Grades 8 and 9 are coming later in the fall once our Curriculum Writer, Rachael Rennie is back from maternity leave).

These Guides have been designed to help you prioritize your time and effort, assisting you in addressing the relevant content and core competencies.

The Curriculum Correlations Package may be borrowed from our L4U Library, and includes the Curriculum Correlations Guide, AND the necessary curriculum. We recommend that you complete these Packages in consultation with your teacher so that your student’s learning style and needs can be addressed.

Correlations Guides for Social Studies

These Guides use the “Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries” curriculum by Diana Waring.  You may borrow the Curriculum Correlations Package from the L4U Physical Library, which includes the Guide, and the required curriculum.

Correlations Guide for Science

This Guide uses “God’s Design for the Physical World:  Heat & Energy” by Answers in Genesis.  You may borrow the Curriculum Correlations Package from the L4U Physical Library, which includes the Guide, and the required curriculum.

Also New!

Correlated Grade 8 Science Resources in L4U Physical Library


Find all available resources on our Grade 8 web page

Coming Soon!

Grade 9 Curriculum Correlations Packages


L4U and Overdrive Offline

L4U will not be available today July 12 between 11am – 2pm due to maintenance.

Overdrive is down July 13 due to an upgrade in our server with L4U.  Thanks for your patience as we resolve the issue.

July 17th Overdrive is now working!  Thanks for your patience as we resolved the issue.

Your learning commons team.

New Grade 7 Physical Unit Studies in L4U!

Chemistry: Matter and Elements Unit Studyelements

Dive into the complex world of chemicals, compounds, elements, reactions, and crystals. This kit will serve as a terrific introduction to the remarkable world of chemistry. Design your own experiment, grow crystals, create amazing chemical reactions, analyze unknown substances, and much more!


Creation and Evolution Unit Studyearth

This unit is designed to explore the various perspectives on the creation of life on earth. Students will be able to grapple with challenging books, conduct research, and develop and support their own opinions and understandings, all while completing engaging projects and activities. Become a philosopher, design and build an ecosystem, engineer a biodome, and explore God’s fascinating creation!


Energy and Electromagnetism  Unit Studyelectro

There is an entire world of energy out there just waiting to be explored! This unit will introduce students to the fascinating world of renewable energy sources, as well as the concept of electromagnetism. Build your own electromagnet, become an engineer and solve a global power challenge, design a new energy source, build a solar oven, and much more!


Fossil Record and Climate Change Unit Studyfos

Did you know that our earth is home to billions of fossils? This unit will introduce students to the fossil record, climate changes through time, and the incredible biodiversity on our beautiful planet. Explore our world through experimenting, researching, reading, viewing, and creating! Become a travel agent to the past, bring fossils to life, and even try creating your own fossils!
This engaging unit features a variety of excellent digital and physical resources which look into the amazing world of fossils, as well as exploring the eras in which these fossils walked the earth. Students will be invited to explore this subject through reading, interactive assignments, videos, games and websites. They will conduct research, defend their beliefs, and practice writing strong, well-supported opinion pieces.

These unit studies are available to book for 7 weeks in L4U.  Book early to avoid disappointment!

Last Chance to ORDER or BUY!

LAST CHANCE~ to order books for the summer and/or buy curriculum on sale!

Go to L4U to order your summer reading! Remember to add your shipping days, so if you are 5 shipping days away, you need to book your item for June 30th or the system will say the item is not available. It will show dates that are available:


Buy! Great deals on books and curriculum.

Friday, June 23rd is the last day to put in your orders!



More Curriculum for sale!

Check out the deals!  Some items are older, good for supplementing but will not cover new standards on their own.  Shipping is free with orders from the library!  Pay with student funds or via Paypal.  Contact Shandra Wiebe swiebe@onlineschool.ca

Link:  Curriculum Sale


With Summer almost here its time to have fun outdoors and experience some STEAM learning, and catch up on Internet safety, and social studies.  To discover more about STEAM and our STEAM mentor’s updates check out our school website.

ERAC has some new websites now available on their curated  website which have been previewed for viewing accuracy and appropriate content.

Ideas for learning outdoors may be found on our web linking library under Outdoor Education.

Here are some new sites we found for you to help with your summer research and learning!


Discover investigations and games with the Lawrence Hall of Science!

“How fast does the wind blow? What makes things sticky? Where do insects live and plants grow? What is the best way to clean up the environment? How do humans measure up in the animal kingdom?

So many questions—and so many ways to find answers! In these interactives, use your hands, feet, eyes, ears, brain, imagination and cool tools to experiment, design, test and discover amazing things about the world around you. It’s science and it’s fun!”

Engineering For Good- Middle Grades

Engineering for Good is a three-week, project-based learning unit for middle school science classrooms focused on developing solutions for negative impacts of plastics on the environment. In these NGSS-aligned lessons, students use the engineering design process to define a problem, brainstorm solutions, develop prototypes and iterate on their designs. The project culminates with students producing videos about their solutions to share with the community.

        Four Directions Teachings.com   

The goal for the project was to create an engaging site where people could experience Indigenous knowledge and philosophy and where educators could incorporate the site into their curriculum. FourDirectionsTeachings.com honors oral traditions by creating an environment where visitors are encouraged to listen with intent as each elder/ traditional teacher shares a teaching from their perspective on the richness and value of cultural traditions from their nation.

Teach your students about Cyber safety with CynjaSpace

CynjaSpace is a revolutionary internet security app combining the safety, control, and activity reports parents need, with the fun and freedom of using the web and chatting with friends that kids want.

Now there’s an app that allows children to chat with approved contacts and learn responsible digital behavior, while parents easily manage kids’ online presence with convenient controls, alerts, time limits, and activity monitors.

Canada A Country by Consent 

A Country by Consent is a national history of Canada which studies the major political events that have shaped the country, presented in a cohesive, chronological narrative. Many of these main events are introduced by an audiovisual overview, enlivened by narration, sound effects and music.

This was the first digital, multimedia history of Canada. It started out as a laserdisc in 1993 and the CD-ROM version has been used in schools across the country. This online, public domain site is the fifth edition of the project.


Legacy of Hope Foundation

The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Indigenous-led, charitable organization founded in 2000 with the goal of educating and raising awareness about the history and many legacies of the Residential School System. These include the direct and ongoing impacts on First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Survivors, their communities, and their descendants. Our mission is to educate towards creating just and equal relationships of reconciliation and healing for all Canadians, to expand awareness of and access to the rich legacy of the contributions of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the world, and to make known the histories of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including the histories of injustice.

PHET Interactive Simulations

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.


“ThinkCERCA is an online program designed to support individualized instruction in critical thinking for students in grades 4-12. The CERCA acronym (Claims, Evidence, Reasoning, Counterarguments, Audience) represents the site’s structured approach to teaching critical thinking and argumentation. While reading one of the program’s numerous text selections, students can make claims about what they’re reading. They’re then prompted to support these claims with evidence from the text, explain their reasoning, and address possible counterarguments. Throughout, students are prompted to use audience-appropriate language as they write.

The basic, free version offers teachers texts (leveled by grade band), CCSS-aligned close reading assessments, and student and class data, as well as support and planning ideas. ThinkCERCA’s full, paid version also includes ready-made lessons, a school-wide writing and assessment platform, district-wide data reporting, college and career portfolio storage, and the aforementioned close reading and argumentation lessons, which are really the heart of the program. These ThinkCERCA lesson sets each connect a text with some performance of understanding, whether it’s creating a summary or completing a dynamic graphic organizer to form an argument. From there, students can draft an essay that teachers can score online.”  CommonSense review.


This list of websites and apps from TeachHub has some great suggestions in regards to developing financial literacy for early, middle and high school grades.

New Resources for Grades 8 and 9

Many of you are already planning what resources you will be using for the fall, so we thought it would be the perfect time to let you know that we’ve got even more available to you for Grades 8 and 9 than ever before!

Updated Grade Level Pages

These pages have been organized by grade AND subject to make it easy for you to find available resources.

Simply go to our Learning Commons website, hover your mouse over the “BC’s New Curriculum” tab on the lower menu, and select “Resources by Grade“.

How to find Grade pages

You will find new offerings in ADST, Arts, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and more!  Here is the new Grade 8 Resources page, and the new Grade 9 Resources page.

Other K-9 Resources by Grade pages can be found here.

Updated Overdrive Digital Library e-Book Lists

It is really easy to find all the wonderful digital resources available to you through our Overdrive eBook Library.

Just go to our Learning Commons website, hover your mouse over “Overdrive Digital Library” in the top menu bar, and then select “Grade Level Lists“.

How to find audiobooks

We’ve just purchased a ton of new resources, and we’ve organized our Grade 8 and 9 Science and Socials titles according to the new curriculum “Big Ideas” to make things even more convenient for you!

Grade 8 ScienceGrade 8 Socials

Grade 9 ScienceGrade 9 Socials

All Overdrive eBook Library K-9 Grade Level Lists can be found here.


Homeschool Philosophies & Encouragement

Summer Reading for Parents!

If you are new to homeschooling or just need to gain some new perspectives and be refreshed, we have books for you!  Take some time to read up on different methods of teaching so you can make adjustments to your learning plans. Take time to be refreshed and inspired so you can motivate your students!

We have some awesome resources available:

Books by some of our Keynote Speakers at past CHEC conventions:

The Ultimate guide to homeschooling by Debra Bell

A manual for every family involved in home-based learning. Provides vision for the joys of homeschooling and the essential tools for success. Includes teaching middle and high school, guide to internet and technology, six ingredients of a successful homeschool, resources for curriculum suppliers, creative solutions for burnout, budgets, toddlers and time.

The Well-trained mind by Susan Wise Bauer

Offers parents step-by-step instructions for helping their child make the most of their education from preschool through high school, while becoming well-rounded and curious about learning.

Charlotte Mason companion :  by Karen Andreola

This book on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy by well-known speaker and columnist K. Andreola provides a wealth of insight, practical advice and narratives illustrating how the ideas of the famed turn-of-the-century educator actually works in “real life”. Discover the gentle art of learning using methods that help your child succeed.

If I’m diapering a watermelon, then where’d I leave the baby? :
help for the highly distractible mom  by Carol Barnier

At last, a gloriously unregimented mom shares stories and strategies that help other highly distractible moms run a genuine, joyful, and successful home and homeschool! This books offers lots of practical tools to keep chaos at bay, and helps moms develop their strongest qualities – qualities that perhaps have been seen as weaknesses. Best of all, you will find new reasons to be excited about who you are, and you will discover how the qualities you possess are true gifts from God that make you a real asset to your family. Learn how working with your personality traits instead of constantly fighting against them makes it possible for you to: keep track of items that get lost at the worst possible moment, actually arrive on time or even early, access whatever information you need whenever you need it, limit the pesky interruptions that get you off task, get stuff to organize itself so you have more time to spend with your family, and organize and run a “delight-driven” home and/or homeschool.

homeschool books

 More great books:

I Hate School by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

What can you do when your child hates school? Your child is unique, with a personal learning style that needs to be understood and respected. Filled with practical applications and insights as commonsense as they are revolutionary.

The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child by Linda Dobson

This book on Charlotte Mason’s philosophy by well-known speaker and columnist K. Andreola provides a wealth of insight, practical advice and narratives illustrating how the idea of the famed turn-of-the-century educator actually works in “real life”. Discover the gentle art of learning using methods that help your child succeed.

Homeschooling High School by Jeanne Gowen Dennis

You can design a solid high school program that both maximizes educational freedom and leads to successful college admission.

Educating the wholehearted child :  a handbook for Christian home education  by             Clarkson, Clay.

“God did not forget to include “school” in his biblical design for raising children: home education is a natural expression of all that God intended for parents and their children. Clay and Sally Clarkson’s Educating the WholeHearted Child is about rediscovering God’s original design for the family. What you’ll find in this book is a homeschooling model that makes sense. It’s an approach that is based on sound biblical principles of nurture, discipleship, instruction, and learning.


This is just a small sampling of what we have on the shelves.

You can find more of our resources by logging into L4U and clicking on the TOPIC SEARCH tab.

Then click on the 001 Resources icon and scroll through the list to the Home Education Icon.



The Home Education icon lists 95 books related to this topic! Be sure to check out all of the other lists like Apologetics, Character, Manners and Values, and Novel studies!

Homeschool catalogues are a great resource.  If you see a title you are interested in, search for it in our library.  If we have it, you can check it out instead of buying it!  If we don’t have it and you think we should, let us know!

Forgot how to book resources?  Find that information here!



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