Newsletter November 1, 2016

HCOS Newsletter November 1, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, November 1, 2016

Insights

Life Map
Drawing a Life Map

Make your own life map

Yesterday Nancy found another great idea: a life map. I would love if each of you would do this with your children. Here's a great little document to downlnoad that shows what a life map might be like and how to make your own. It's a nice little activity that really helps teach kids of about health and career. I also learned a while back that the website "Excellent Science" is holding its yearlong free services promotion.

 

Mystery Science 

There's also a neat web site called https://mysteryscience.com/. This site is particularly good if you want to ease into inquiry-based hands on science. If anyone is using it or starts using it, please let me know about your experience.

 

Education's Finest Moment

 Weather kids take a Mathematical, Social, or Scientific, or Bible-oriented approach to solving them, these mysteries are gripping. Little upsets to our understanding of the universal order of things open a door to education's greatest moments since Anselm of Canterbury, who in the year 1077 asked if he could prove the existence of God through pure reasoning said, Ad magnum et delectabile quiddam me subito perduxit haec mea meditatio!  "Suddenly my meditation brought me to a great and interesting point!" I like the "suddenly". The work he penned, Fides Quaerens Intellectum, has amazed and delighted scholars of the Christian faith for nearly a millennium. To upset your apple card and open the door to your own great discovery try solving some of these mysteries. Your aha moment is waiting for you. 

 

Rob

Upcoming Events

November 1 to 10: I plan to contact each of you by phone just to see how things are going and to plan an update visit.

November 1 to 10: See-Saw! This is where I'll get see-saw going with a few of you who were interested.

November 11: First portfolios due. Invite me for a portfolio visit by Zoom (Skype). Keep sending those wonderful samples of kids work.

November 30: Term #1 Report card due

December 19- January 3: Christmas Break

late-fall-cabin

 

Newsletter October 27, 2016

HCOS Newsletter October 27, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, October 27, 2016

Keep On Truckin'

Resources and Activities

Earlier this week I sent you something to get you started thinking about the Article A Day Program at ReadWorks. I want to thank Clarice Lomavatu one of my colleagues from William's Lake for this content; and Nancy Gullision, who sent it earlier this week.  Here's the rest of that.

Building Comprehension Skills

ReadWorks is a good resource for finding materials to build comprehension skills.  One of the practices they suggest is called:  Article-A-Day.  This is a "high-impact, 10-15 minute daily routine where students choose and read one high-quality nonfiction article every day, as part of a weekly, topically-related article set. In K-1st grades, the teacher reads the article out loud to the students.  You only need about 10-15 minutes each day to do Article-A-Day, as part of your students’ daily routine. And it is worth it!"

Try doing Article-A-Day first thing each morning, or before/after a transition to lunch or a special. Students will know that this is their daily routine and will be able to get into it right away.   The goal of Article-A-Day is for children to become stronger readers by giving them exposure to new vocabulary and non-fiction materials.  It’s like exercising muscles, only these are reading muscles.  

After reading the children can write down or draw a picture of  - 3 things they learned from reading in their own “Book of Knowledge”.  

After making an entry into their Book of Knowledge, the children can share with someone else what they learned and would like to remember.  

I also found this video on the program, seemed like a helpful introduction:

 

Nancy also provided, this word document with more detailed information about how to use program. Click the link to download it.

Rob

Upcoming Events

goodreads
Click to enlarge

October 26: It's great to be back from a mad caper to Saskatoon. I hope that nonsense is done now. I have a few last minute work samples to upload. They are due by the 30th.

November 1 to 10: I plan to contact each of you by phone just to see how things are going and to discuss how best to keep me updated on things. This is where I'll get see-saw going with a few of you who were interested.

November 11: First Portfolios due.

 

 

Newsletter October 17, 2016

HCOS Newsletter October 17, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, October 17, 2016

Insights

Resources and Activities

 

October is half done! In this letter I'll let you know what's going on with me and then finish off with a few things I've learned over these last two weeks.

  1. All the Student Learning Plans should be done. If you haven't signed off or you were expecting a learning plan from me, better get hold of me, we're derelict in our duties!
  2. I'm processing your learning samples and getting to know more about where each learner is in their growth. I'm also learning about the pros and cons of scanners. CamScanner is quick but the images aren't so great if the light's not great. Thanks to Adon Wiebe I'm switching to Microsoft Lens for a while.
  3. SeeSaw for sharing with kids and families is still in the works. We've all had other priorities, but there's time to get this started. Please refer back to the previous post about SeeSaw.
  4. I'm working with families to get a two-way flow of information going. Each family is unique because some of great internet and some don't. Some want to be on computers and some don't, or don't have them. I could go on but you get the idea.

Suggestion for homeschooling

I've been reminded once again this year of the power of getting kids writing. I've been struck once again by how effective writing is to train the mind to reason clearly. We can easily talk like we know something, but try to write it down! Indulge me for a moment while I tell you a mystery. We learn in the beginning of the opening of Book of John that "In the beginning was the Logos" (or Word). We also get our word 'logic' from the same Greek word.  The logos makes sense because it is the logic of the creator. Ultimately in John we learn that Jesus is the Logos, the underlying sense and object of the Christian faith. The universe is comprehensible to us, at least in part, because it is creative work of logos. The rules of grammar are how we make sense of creation. We also learn to make sense of our experience. Writing teaches us to keep our ideas together, to state them in the simplest possible terms, to support and expand on them. Whether you are a mechanic, an engineer, a poet or a scientist we need to let others know how we are making sense of what we know. There is little outside of pure mathematics that you cannot learn simply by attempting to write about it. 

For this reason I recommend writing as a staple for home schooling. Some of the samples I see seem very promising even when there are clear learning needs.

 

Communication Planning

Communication can be a challenge. One of the things I'm learning is that parents don't know what to report about. A good rule of thumb is student output, but there's always more to it. Some of you will be getting a communication planner, intended to make it easier for you to know what to send you. To make these I produce a simplified curriculum (based mostly on single words and very short phrases like 'Ohm's Law') and suggest some ways of how you could demonstrate learning. Once you catch on, you'll know more ways to do this than I do. If you would like a communication planner you'll be my next priority. Please let me know if that describes you.

 

May God Richly Bless you and your family. May your children find favour in his sight.

Rob

Upcoming Events

October 21: Last day to submit samples of student's work.

September 21 to 26: In obedience to the 5th commandment, I am away, making an emergency trip to Saskatoon to rescue him from Bethany Manor. He's had enough coddling and wants to live on his own again, but he's too old to move out on his own.

November 11: First Portfolios due.

lightened- Aspen Tree Fall Yellow Color off Tioga Pass and Conway Summit north of Lee Vining CA off Virginia Lake Road.  2011-10-14-to-17 San Luis Obispo, CA Camera Club SLOCC Eastern Sierra trip Bodie Mono Lake Tufas Mammoth Lakes Devils Postpile, June Lake Loop, and Canway Summit to Virginia Lake, etc.  October 14th - 17th 2011 trip - The Beauty of the Eastern Sierra:  Fall Colors, Mono Lake, Bodie, and Beyond.  Field trip Committee:  Ralph George (Chairman), Malcolm Carlaw, Bob Mihelic, Peggy Jansson, Peggy Carlaw, Cheryl Strahl.   Experience the Beauty of Eastern Sierra Fall Colors, Mono Lake, Bodie, and Beyond   October 14th - 17th  2011.  Highlights:  Fall colors. Capture the richness of nature's palette as the seasons change.  The Tufas of Mono Lake. These unique natural monuments lend themselves to beautiful captures at sunrise and sunset. Be there early and create your own masterpiece.  Special Bodie photo opportunity. On the 15th the park service will open the town at sunrise for photographers only. 30 minutes before sunrise (approximately 7:00 am) to 9:00 am when the public arrives.  Reservations: terri@bodiefoundation.org. $50 entry fee. Itinerary:   Friday, 10/14/2011 - Travel day. North through Yosemite (us, i.e., Jerry Kirkhart and Mike Baird) or south through Bishop. Check weather conditions at Tioga Pass 800-427-7623. Saturday, 10/15/2011 - Special Bodie photo opportunity - sunrise entry. Arrive 30 minutes before sunrise. We have access until 9 am when the public arrives.  $50 entry fee.  Sunday, 10/16/2011 South Tufa area, Mono Lake at sunrise (around 7:00 am). After breakfast explore the Silver Lake and June Lake area (hwy 158) for fall colors.  Monday, 10/17 - Travel day. If you take the southern route, stop at the Manzanar WWII relocation camp and the Alabama Hills.  Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner: TBD Field Trip Show Director: Malcolm Carlaw. Submit your images to Malcolm malcolm.carlaw {at] yahoo d o t com at the November, 2011 meeting or email them to him at  Your images will be presented at the January, 2012 meeting. Photo © 2011 “Mike” Michael L. Baird, mike {at] mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com, Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens, tripod, circular polarizer, RAW.
To use this photo, see access, attribution, and commenting recommendations at http://www.flickr.com/people/mikebaird/#credit - Please add comments/notes/tags to add to or correct information, identification, etc.  Please, no comments or invites with badges, unrelated images, flashing icons, links to your photos, multiple invites, or invites with award levels and/or award/post rules.   Critique is always welcomed.

 

Newsletter October 3, 2016

HCOS Newsletter October 3, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, October 3, 2016

Insights

Resources and Activities

October is here! In this newsletter I'll feature some of the great online resources I've come across this last month.

  1. SeeSaw for sharing what kids are learning:
    1. is new to me but seems ideal for how I like to work with families. I do have at least two families that want to try it out. Getting it set up the first time is going to be the hardest part.
    2. is like a blog where students can keep and journal their progress through the year. It would reduce or even eliminate the need for a separate portfolio.
    3. is integrated with Google Docs so requires a Google account. There are three options for Google Accounts
      1. Use an existing Google Account
      2. Create a Google Account
      3. Ask me to create an email account for your child on nwonlinelearning.ca. This is a my legacy Google Apps domain which they gave away for free about 10 years ago and which now costs $50 per user per year. This would allow for sharing among others who have accounts in this domain, which at this point is just me.
  2. Voice Lessons with Debbie Buxton. Debbie is I go way back to the 1980's and have been attending together at Terrace Alliance Church for about half our lives.
  3. MathMammon: Untold wealth in math materials.  And while we're on Math, here's a list of Math Placement Tests.
  4. Mystery Science have a year long free promotion that is still available provided you did not get it last year.
  5. Check this out! The Phylo Game for Science which is for older students who like to do simulation games. 
  6. Programs at the Terrace Aquatic Centre.

My goal for this next two weeks is to establish how we are going to set up for portfolios so I know how your child is doing in the various subjects but you're not overdoing it.

Blessings,

Rob

Upcoming Events

October 1: Please start collecting samples of student work with their name and the date clearly visible. These need to be sent to me by scanning and email.

October 10: Possible Sports Day put on my the Wiebes, Adon and Emma. They are planning to organize a sports day and thinking of the 12th of October. They are wondering how many other students there are in our grade that could help them. The sports day would have different games and sports for all ages. It would probably be after lunch. If you are interested email me (Rob) and I'll connect you up. If you want to know more, please contact Adon Wiebe: [email protected]

October 15: Please sign off on SLPs by this day. To do this log into Encom and look for this icon.slp-signoffslp-signoff2

October 17: Recommend that three samples of work be sent in by this date. That leaves time to get back to you with any additional needs.

October 21: Last day to submit samples of student's work.

September 21 to 26: In obedience to the 5th commandment, I am away, making an emergency trip to Saskatoon to rescue him from Bethany Manor. He's had enough coddling and wants to live on his own again, but he's too old to move out on his own.

November 11: First Portfolios due.

 

Newsletter September 26, 2016

HCOS Newsletter September 20, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, September 5, 2016

Insights

In the throw of things

Time to get really practical and let everyone know what's going on in a few areas.

  1. Learning Plans (SLP)
    1. Learning plans are all drafted and sent to parents. I'm waiting on each of you to sent them back. It's important that you add whatever you might do or what like to do. You'll never be required to do something just because it's in the SLP, it's just so that others can see that we've thought ahead. Lets let them see the richness of our ideas, dreams and plans.
    2. I need your plans by October 10th. 
    3. After I've sent your SLP to Encom I'll need you to login to Encom to sign off.
  2. Encom is at https://encom.onlineschool.ca/. You were sent a username and password when your registered. You can also click "lost your password" and follow the instructions to get a new password. If that doesn't work, then call HCOS tech support: 1-877-630-TECH (8324).
  3. Library. It seems like the library is going to be more important this year than ever.
    1. Learning Commons: The HCOS library system starts from what's called an online "Learning Commons". The Learning Commons is a nice blog and a central hub to hang everything off of. For example online subscriptions, events and ideas. The menus at the top or critical.
    2. L4U: Means library for you. L4U is provides six week loans on physical resources. Resource kits that are set up for subjects like Canadian Government (Social Studies). You have one account per family. The account is separate from Encom.
    3. Overdrive: It's the E-Library. E-Library is a way to find the good and relevant material quickly. It has subscriptions to copyrighted material that you can't get on the open web. It's the same account as L4U and also student codes.
    4. Appointments:  The learning commons, library and digital collections are somewhat separate from HCOS main system. They have their own passwords and support. Shandra Wiebe will provide support if you email her and set up a phone appointment. She will  provide passwords and walk you through the process. 
    5. Library How To Resources: (download the PDF)
      1. Welcome Letter with links to introductory videos
      2. Accessing L4U
      3. Booking Unit Studies (very valuable).
  4. Weekly Reports: I plan to phone each of you this week to talk about your reporting. The key is to send me enough information that I can tell how students are doing. Really more is better. I do have different strategies for each of you: online, email, facebook and print. I find the best way is just to send lots of scans and pictures that show what your child can do. The main interest is the artifacts he or she creates as part of her schooling, along with your comments, if possible.  I don't always have time to respond to emails where you've attached student work, but I consider them very valuable. The work goes in a folder and builds your portfolio. I go through the portfolio at report card time. Weekly reports are also a great time to stay in touch.
  5. Samples of Work: Two critical steps for us are 1. SLP Sign Off. 2. I need three samples of work the student did. It should be done on paper and can include art. It must be the work of their hand. It must have their name on it and have the date on it. The date must be between October 1 and October 21, but I need it by October 15, and October 10 would be better. It's a narrow window because you need time to get the work and I need time to check it and put comments on it and upload it.  Thanks for pay attention to this.

I hope you don't think that the whole  year will be this technical. Soon we'll be back to encouraging your kids to learn. It's all stuff at the beginning of the year we have to do to get funded.

Upcoming Events

October 1: Accepting invoices for lessons, start collecting samples on student work with date and name. 

October 10: Possible Sports Day put on my the Wiebes, Adon and Emma. They are planning to organize a sports day and thinking of  the 12th of October.  They are wondering how many other students there are in our grade that could help them.  The sports day would have different games and sports for all ages. It would probably be after lunch.  If you are interested email me (Rob) and I'll connect you up.

October 15: Have all your work samples in to me by October 15. Rob's drop-dead date for SLP's.

November 11: First Portfolios due

 

Week Of Welcome

We had a great time at Lakelese Lake. I don't know about you, but I loved hanging out with everyone over the hotdogs. Even better, Angelica impressed us all with the bug she found. I'll finish with this nice picture we took together.

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Newsletter September 20, 2016

HCOS Newsletter September 20, 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, September 5, 2016

Insights

Honour and your Children

Wow what a ride it's been for the last two weeks. I've been visiting each of you, working with a new curriculum and attempting honour each of your hopes and dreams for homeschooling and do so within the possibilities for a school in the BC Independent Schools System. My mother-in-law, for those of you who are wondering, also passed away. So it's been a time to honour her memory and those whom she loved in her lifetime. There was no funeral or memorial but my wife went to Chilliwack for a couple of weeks, along with dad-and-captionher siblings. My days have been more filled with talking on the phone and texting with relatives so that I can honour them in a time of grief. Speaking of grief, my own mother just passed away last April. My father, still healthy and clear of mind at 81, now has wanderlust.  The author of two books, he's moving out of his Saskatoon retirement centre and looking for a condo in Parksville, BC. That won't happen without our support. So I will honour my father by giving him the independence which is rightfully his with a trip to Saskatoon late next month.  

I will always honour your choice of learning resources. Currently I am working hard on your Student Learning Plans or SLP. To make an SLP I have to use the HCOS template, take the material you want to use, and show how using that material still lets you follow the BC Curriculum. This is not about learning outcomes, that's just a detail. It's about honoring those that God has put over us in the government. The BC School Act generously gives us the right to home-school, so we have options when our values do not agree with those of the public system. It makes what we do entirely legitimate, but we also agree to deliver the curriculum in some way. The curriculum is no longer about learning outcomes. Its about skills, deep understanding about big ideas, and topics of study. We can find these skills and topics of study most any material, but we still have to find them.

It's interesting that in the Bible we are told to honour more than to respect. We are told to honour one another, and to honour our parents, and to give honour to whom honour is due. Respect is a general word and can mean honour or it cdaniel-with-captionan mean to esteem someone. The Biblical meaning of honour comes from the Hebrew word Kabod, which means weight. It's origins are in the experience that precious metals are heavy or weighty. When the Bible speaks of honour it speaks of feeling the weight of a person's position, authority, spiritual anointing, or place in your life. We honour our parents and we honour our government. We obey the laws of the land so that we can be right with God. And so I would implore each osarah-with-captionf you to honour the BC School Act when you consider purchasing materials. It doesn't mean you can't use almost anything out there, but it does mean it might not be enough.

Finally along the theme of honour: we get to honour our children. They are our children, but really they are God's children. Children are entrusted to us by God so that they can become all they can be. This too is the nature of love, which does not seek it's own good; but rather is supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. I heard a man whom I admire say, "Children will believe what we tell them to believe," but we all know that's wrong. They will put their faith in Christ because they have known his love and grace in their lives. They will embrace the values we live out and seek truth with the skills and attitudes they learn from us. This is why when we're looking for curriculum, I look for the curriculum that above all honours the child's natural curiosity and teaches them that they can be learners. Children are not half-formed adults that some day will 'turn out' like a cake. They are exactly as God made them. With capacity to learn and solve problems independently. When we plan their schooling, we should think less about covering information and more about how our children will learn to learn. 

 

Blessings,

Rob

 

Upcoming Events

Friday September 23rd: WOW (Week of Welcome): Don't forget we have a picnic at Lakelse Lake this Picnic site. We'll bring some salads, gluten free hot-dogs, and submarine slices. It would be nice to know if you're coming so I'm not fretting that I'll be out there alone! Regardless come and we'll share some food and laughs. I don't have a program, but I'll supply the food and we have each other.

September 30: Target Date for Learning Plans (Must have at least one course done)

October 1: Accepting invoices for lessons, start collecting samples on student work with date and name. 

October 10: Possible Sports Day put on my the Wiebes, Adon and Emma. They are planning to organize a sports day and thinking of  the 12th of October.  They are wondering how many other students there are in our grade that could help them.  The sports day would have different games and sports for all ages. It would probably be after lunch.  If you are interested email me (Rob) and I'll connect you up.

October 15: Have all your work samples in to me by October 15. Rob's drop-dead date for SLP's.

November 11: First Portfolios due

Welcome to a New School Year: September 2016

Masthead Fall 2016

Newsletter, September, 2016

Welcome

It is a great privilege to welcome you to this school year on behalf of myself, Nancy our regional administrator, our principal Bruce and all of the great staff at Heritage Online. September is filled with formalities and there’s a big pile of info to pass over to you, but through it all I hope that we’re filled with enthusiasm for what the new year offers. Remember always that children are built to learn.

I do plan to visit each of you at home with your families to get a feel for how you are as a family. My role isn’t to shoe-horn you into a program, my role is to build an educationally sound program around who you are as a family. I do zoomwant to have some important conversations with you around what you need, what I need, and most of all around what your children need. I would encourage you to have a list of talking points when I arrive. Here are some of mine:

  • How do you like to integrate your faith with your education?
  • What role do you see for parents, students and teachers?
  • How do you like to communicate?
    • Can I ask you to use email whenever appropriate?
    • Please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call me. Encom
    • Would you be willing and able to use Zoom? Would you like to connect online? If so please allow me to lead you through the process since we have an enterprise license.
  • What is the speed and quality of your Internet connection?
  • How do you plan to implement Fire and Earthquake drills?
  • Have you logged into HCOS system “Encom” and can you continue to do so?
  • On the basis of our conversations I will prepare a Student Learning Plan. I will need to discuss with you any plans and resources you already have or wish to use. I’ll make you aware of the big ideas and important skills required by the Ministry of Education.  I’ll also want to get a sense of:wordpress
    • In your household, who owns the learning?
    • Would you like to use more Project-Based and Inquiry-Based learning?
    • Would you like to connect to learn more about implementing Inquiry and Project Based Learning?
    • How do you want to include coding into your school year?
    • Is there an anti-bully program in your curriculum?
    • Would you like to make use of Blogging or SeeSaw?
  • How will you prepare your children for the self-evaluation required this year?
  • Parents will need to login to sign off on the Student Learning Plan once it is complete.
  • It is very important for each learner to connect with the teacher at least once each week. That mayseesaw be facilitated by parents as required. Each week I will need to have some kind of work sample so I can provide feedback and direction for the learner’s education.

 

Upcoming Events

  • Week of Welcome (WOW) Event in Terrace is tentatively scheduled for Friday September 23rd at 12:00 noon at the Lakelse Lake Picnic Site. Please let me know if you have a better idea. I’m always open to ideas.
  • Family visits and Student Learning Plans in progress from September 2 to to 22.
  • First weekly student work submissions are due September 16.
  • SLP Signoff is due September 30
  • Ministry requires dated samples of student work with their name on it by October 21, but I will need it well before then so I have time to upload the samples. Most families should be able to submit student work samples dated between October 1 and October 7.

 

Best Wishes and Blessing

I trust I haven’t overwhelmed you with detail, which is natural because I often feel a little overwhelmed too. Despite that we always manage to coach everyone through. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Most of all I wish you God’s blessing on this new year. We must never lose sight of the fact that God is at work leading and guiding in our families, in our lives and the lives of our children.

Click for full sized image.

Psalm 46