Weekly Suggested Events for October 2-8, 2021
Are you looking for things to do in western Massachusetts? Seeking place-based learning ideas? Are you a self-directed, life-long, and/or experiential learner? Are you curious or wanting to support the interests of your family? Our weekly Suggested Events list includes suggested learning ideas, resources, and fun events for all ages, each week!
Scroll down to discover featured events, learning opportunities, and educational videos to support learning from home. And be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter so you never miss out!
SUGGESTED EVENTS: OCTOBER 2-8, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
Buxton School is a small, progressive, and diverse boarding and day college preparatory school nestled in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Since 1928, their faculty and staff have delighted in welcoming students in grades 9-12 to their egalitarian community to inspire and nurture their academic, artistic, and social growth. Buxton is an all-gender college preparatory school in Williamstown, MA, and is hosting an Admissions Open House on Monday, October 11 at 10am for prospective families to learn more. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-458-3919. For more information about Buxton School, visit them online at buxtonschool.org.
For homeschoolers and schoolers with five museums to mine for information and activities, the Springfield Museums does what few others can—combine art, history, science, and Dr. Seuss into fun-filled, engaging experiences that reinforce critical thinking and observation skills through inquiry-based learning. The Springfield Museums offer a broad range of educational programs for all ages and interest levels, and they are happy to custom-build an experience for your small group. For more information: email@example.com; 413-263-6800 x322; springfieldmuseums.org/groups/school.
FEATURED MUSICAL THEATER CLASSES
The Academy of Music Theatre
Florence & Holyoke, MA
Register now! Youth Fall Classes at the Academy of Music Theatre are open for enrollment. Come sing and dance in musical theater classes for ages 6-8, 9-11, and 13-18.
Classes will be held at Pine Box Studios in Florence and at El Mercado in Holyoke on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings starting October 19th.
For more information, visit www.aomtheatre.com.
Founded in 1869, Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS), an independent boarding & day school for girls in grades 7-12, has been a part of the Pioneer Valley for more than 150 years. SBS attracts dynamic students from more than 12 states and over 12 countries and is known for its powerful academics, debate & public speaking, performing & visual arts, and equestrian programs. SBS was the first girls’ school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and is the only secondary school in the U.S. to offer the British Horse Society Certification program. SBS’s boarding tuition is now 10% less than the national average while their day tuition is 17% less than the national average. For more information: 413-774-2711; sbschool.org.
FEATURED BEGINNER MUSIC CLASSES
Community Music School of Springfield
Community Music School of Springfield offers safe, weekly, in-person music classes for your youngest musician! Babies & toddlers and their parents/caregivers will love Little Notes, a class designed for bonding, brain development, fun, and musical connection with others. For your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten music lover, CMSS offers beginner classes in guitar, piano, Suzuki violin, and bucket drumming. No instruments or experience is required as your child is introduced to the instrument while collaborating and having fun with the others in their small group. Each class is taught by expert musicians committed to helping your little one develop a lifelong love for music and creativity. Enrolling is easy, and payment plans are available.
FEATURED MUSIC SCHOOL
Berkshire Music School
Berkshire Music School is enrolling for the fall 2021 semester! Take a private lesson or Community Group Class in-person at BMS’s historic campus or online. Private lessons are offered in any orchestral or band instrument as well as voice & theory. Lessons may be arranged for 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes each week to meet the needs of the individual student and may begin at any point during the year. Online lessons are conducted via Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype, and students should have access to a computer or iPad with internet connection. BMS’s fun Community Group Classes are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, with suggested tuition listed for each course. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-442-1411; www.berkshiremusicschool.org
See Your Ad Here
Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: email@example.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
EVENTS FOR SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Bluejays & Crows
Bluejays and American crows fill the early soundscape with their jeers and caws, warning one another of migrating broad-winged hawks overheard. The grey squirrel’s kuks & quaas can be heard from the branch-highway of oak, aspen, and maple trees they scurry upon as these deciduous trees slowly begin to drop their leaves. These are some of the sounds and movements of late summer and early autumn. Paying attention to our soundscape changes as we move through the seasons anchors us in the present moment and allows for investigation and appreciation. Take the time to stop and observe, seeing what thoughts and curiosities arise when you pay attention to your soundscape. Why are bluejays so quiet in the summer but not in the fall? How does the fall hawk migration influence their behavior? Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bluejay? How about crows? Do you know how long they live? Let these questions lead your learning this week, following your interests and connecting with the seasonal changes and behaviors of native species.
EVENTS FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Honey Harvest
Come early autumn, most local honey has been harvested. You can find sweet amber bottles (sometimes with a slice of honeycomb) at co-ops, farmers’ markets, and roadside farm stands. Follow interests in world culture, culinary arts, confectionery art, conservation, geometry, and entomology through the lens of honey! Let the end of the honey harvest lead your learning for this week.
EVENTS FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Apple Season
Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an essential part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples and makeup over two-thirds of the region’s apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts. Families can enjoy this year’s apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check with these local apple orchards for picking conditions and opportunities this year: Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton), Outlook Farm (Westhampton), Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield), Quonquont Farm (Whately), Clarkdale Fruit Farms (Deerfield), and Bashista Orchards (Southampton). Before heading out, learn about the history of the apple pie, and then while visiting these properties, take a picnic lunch and read Robert Frost’s “After Apple-Picking” and William Cullen Bryant’s “The Planting of an Apple-Tree.”
EVENTS FOR TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Hawk Migration Season
Autumn is the season of Hawk migration. But Hawks aren’t the only bird of prey you can spot migrating this month. According to Mass Audubon, “Most numerous is the broad-winged hawk, which at times can be seen in flocks, or kettles, of hundreds, occasionally thousands of birds, “boiling” high into the sky. The next most commonly seen early fall migrants are the feisty sharp-shinned hawk, American kestrel, osprey, northern harrier (marsh hawk), and turkey vulture.” This seasonal phenomenon can be a catalyst for learning about ornithology and meteorology. Knowing the differences between different raptors and how weather patterns impact migration conditions support interests and education and can also help us connect to seasonal changes through native species and local habitats. Learn more about hawk migration, what to listen for, and other raptors of the world to compare and contrast with these videos.
EVENTS FOR WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Autumn Foliage
Autumn in Western Mass is when nature literally takes center stage; a destination visitors outside the area flock to because of the gorgeous dynamism of the season. The trees and their changing foliage are excellent connectors for kids (in a sense, they connect to themselves!) to the outdoors and their sense of place. In this change lies fantastic community-based educational opportunities tied to art and science. Read our post, Autumn Leaf Collecting Supports Art & Science, to see how you can get your kid hooked on fall by collecting, creating, and learning in their backyards, local parks, and nature conservation areas! Also, check out these videos to support learning about botany, chemistry, dendrology, and ecology through the lens of fall foliage!
EVENTS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Seed Saving
Once you’ve reaped the delicious benefits of a summer’s harvest, look to your dinner plate to find a purpose for what you’ve grown. Seed saving is a way to practice self-sufficiency and resilience and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning, supporting interests in botany, gardening, literacy, and food security. Read more in our post, Seed Capital Provides Return for Nature-Based Education.
EVENTS FOR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Caterpillars
Tomato hornworm. Tent Caterpillar. Monarch Caterpillar. Yellow Woolly Bears. These are New England caterpillars’ names, many of us know, which is limited when considering that there are 20,000 different species of known caterpillars around the world! In the late summer and early autumn, searching for caterpillars in veggie gardens, meadows, and trees’ leaves before turning autumnal colors can be a catalyst for learning about botany, entomology, and ecology. Getting curious and asking “why-what-how-who” questions is an excellent place to start! Why is this caterpillar on this plant? How did it get there? What is its defense mechanism? Who is it protecting itself from? How does the caterpillar turn into a butterfly? Is it a butterfly, or is it a moth? When will it metamorphose? Sketch or photograph your discoveries. Search for answers online or ask a local naturalist. Understanding the nature and behavior of native species helps strengthen a sense of place by reading our landscape through flora and fauna surrounding us and how everything fits into seasonal patterns.
Online and in-person events and resources shared above are done so as a courtesy and not as an endorsement. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm information, age appropriateness, registration requirements, safety protocols, and associated costs.
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Agawam, Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Chester, Chesterfield, Chicopee, Colrain, Dalton, Deerfield, Easthampton, Gill, Goshen, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Heath, Hinsdale/Peru, Holyoke, Huntington, Leyden, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, New Salem, Northern Berkshire, Northfield, Palmer, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Springfield, Tolland, Tyringham, Westhampton, Windsor, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.