The purpose of this blog is to provide an archived resource of Personal thoughts, learning resources, and parent information.

Regular postings will be added on Mondays.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Motivation: Rewarding What We Value

As we pass the mid-point of the year, motivation can become an issue. Here is one idea that a parent shared with me that I think is brilliant. She gave me permission to share it. I would LOVE to hear other ideas that you have found successful.

“Yesterday we had our once monthly awards day for the "Stephens Academy for Higher Education".  At the beginning of the year I posted our motto on the wall: Pursuing Excellence in All Areas for the Glory of God - and we do this in three ways:  

1-  Diligence in our studies.

2 - Attitude - A willingness to be taught and teach others.

3 - Earning grades that accurately display our knowledge and abilities.  

On the last Friday of the month our family has a "ceremony" and we hand out awards to each of the kids for excellence in these areas (if they've earned it – there have been a couple of times where we had to delay in order to correct some behaviours/attitudes).  We make a big deal out of it and the kids absolutely love it!  

Each of the boys earn a lego mini-figure and our daughter earns a pet shop, we also usually give them some candy and a school item (new pencil, eraser etc).  Our children love it and we have found it a great motivational tool and a good way to remind them to do their best work and put in their greatest effort in all areas.”

I'm ready to begin receiving term two portfolios.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Small Acts = Huge Blessings

Yesterday was just “one of those days”. I was late for one meeting, forgot another, and finished only a fraction of the jobs that I set out to do. I stopped for milk on the way home while my mind was already preoccupied with the worship practice that was next on the day’s agenda.

As I walked through the door the milk slipped from my fingers and completely exploded on the floor. You haven’t had an adrenaline rush until you suddenly have four litres of 2% spreading like a frothy white tsunami across the floor towards the new carpet. Praise God, the linen closet with its stack of towels was within reach. Quickly I had built a dam, (Science: “Structures” learning outcomes), and began the unpleasant job of sopping up the mess. I completed the clean-up and was now looking at about 30 minutes for some emails, some copying, supper, and then out the door to band practice.

It was in the middle of this angst that our doorbell rang. My wife Niki answered the door. There on the doorstep was an angel. She had read my email and went out of her way to bring us a gift, a blessing in the form of a new jug of milk.

It was with a completely new heart and an uplifted spirit that I headed out the door a few minutes later. God is good. Friends who bless in HUGE ways through “small” acts are a true gift.  J

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

If Only Every Child Could be as Blessed as Yours’.

The week before Christmas my wife Niki and I were driving home close to 10pm. As we drove through an intersection we paused, looked at each other, and asked, “Did you just see what I think I saw?”  Spinning the car around we headed back up the street. Sure enough, there was a small girl in pyjamas and bare feet gingerly walking down the snowy sidewalk. Quickly we parked the car and Niki went to the little girl. We gave her a jacket and some spare shoes and began talking with her.

It turned out that she was eight years old and was walking from her Foster home to her mother’s, about 6 km away. Her School Christmas program had reminded her of how much she missed her mom, and she had snuck out of the house to go and see her.

This little girl’s father had been in and out of prison and is currently back in jail, Her mother had been a party girl who became an alcoholic, and as a result her girls were in Foster Care.

As we left her in the care of the RCMP, we were torn that any child so young would have to experience what she’s experienced at her age. We continue to pray for her, that God will continue to bring people into her life who will affirm her and share God’s love with her.

This experience also caused me to praise God for my own parents and for the wonderful families that I get to work with; families who love God, love each other, and love their children.

Library News


We are very excited to announce the 2012 Read around the World Readathon!  It will run for six weeks starting this Monday, January the 23rd and ending March 4th.  Top readers from each class will win a $20 Chapters Gift Card.  Everyone who reads the minimum number of minutes for the entire six weeks AND writes one review and posts it on Destiny Quest will be entered into the Grand Prize draws – Two Kobo Touch e-readers will be given away!

All of the details and forms can be found here at this link.  


Our Ning information is now on our website under Social Networking and Ning rules.  Check out some of the forums, and start your own forum.  This is a great place for parents to post information, or ask a question.    Don't forget our awesome social networking seminar on January 25 at 3.45.  An Elluminate reminder will be sent out next week.   Let us know if you need an invite to the ning,  or contact your support teacher for an invite.  


Our Flat Stanley launches on our website this week, and Steve Cox is launching with campus teachers this week.   We are very excited as to how this might bless our younger readers, from both virtual and physical commons!  The HCS campus teachers hope to share some of their student's learning with us and get the ball rolling.  Check it out here and let us know if you have any questions!  We look forward to seeing your students connect with the Flat Stanley community. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

FSA Information

By writing the FSAs your child will:
-           Support home learning by giving a baseline evaluation for grades 4 and 7
-           Support HCOS in our relationship with the Government and the continuation of funding for DL programs
-           Learn the valuable skill of "Test Taking"

Heritage Christian Online School would like to thank you for your support, effort and time. In appreciation each participant will receive $30 added to their curriculum budget, plus their name will be entered for a grand prize of a trip to the CHEC convention (April 27 and 28), up to a maximum of $500.  
The tests consist of two parts.  The first part is a multiple choice section that must be written on the computer.  Your support teacher will be contacting you to help you get set up on a computer for the multiple choice section.  The second part is a booklet for the written responses.  Both of these parts will be testing your child in the two subject areas of Language Arts and Mathematics.  

Early in January you should receive in the mail a package containing:
-           A booklet for the written part of the test
-           Directions for how to write the test
-           Invigilation directions
-           Passwords, etc.
-           A pre-paid, self-addressed envelope for returning the booklet once your child is finished with the test.  
NOTE: If you live overseas you will not be receiving a package in the mail but an email with the PDF format for the written booklet plus all directions listed above.  Your child's answers to the written portion need to be scanned and emailed to scodling@onlineschool.ca .

Please Note:
1.         The written portion of the tests needs to be returned in the pre-paid and self-addressed envelope and received by March 2. We would suggest putting it in the mail no later than February 24th, since that is the last day to write the FSA tests.  
2.         If your child is on an IEP, because they are not reading or writing up to grade level, arrangements can be made for a reader and /or a scribe or extra time to write.
3.         Please remember the results of these tests do not count towards your child's report card. We are looking for participation.   
4.         Your support teacher will be forwarding links of previous FSA tests and exercises which you may use, if desired, to prepare your child for the test.
5.         For more information please go to http://www.onlineschool.ca/handbook/HCOS_Parent_Handbook.pdf  starting on page 22.

Meeting With Jesus

In Luke 7:36-50 we read about a religious leader who wanted to meet with Jesus. He invited Jesus over for a meal and the opportunity to begin to know him better. Their meal was interrupted by a woman who arrived uninvited and fell at Jesus feet. With her tears she washed his feet, with her hair she dried them, and with expensive perfume she anointed them. This woman not only poured out her tears, she poured out her heart.

In the end it was the woman who truly met with Jesus. The religious leader with all of his education, piety, and religious authority only had Jesus in his house. He had Jesus in his house, but he totally missed actually MEETING with Jesus.

In our own walk isn’t it our desire to truly meet with Jesus? I think that the lesson here is that it is in the times when we shamelessly pour out our hearts before Him, that Jesus meets with us. Jesus is far less concerned with our religiosity and piety. Rather, He is far more concerned with the attitude of our heart.

What better lesson to teach and model for our children?