Weekly Suggested Events for October 9-15, 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 9-15, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
Art in the Field Family Program,
October 16, 2021, 1–3pm. [CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER] Location: Smith College Museum of Art and tent on Seelye Lawn in Northampton, MA (between Neilson Library and SCMA). Free, drop-in, no registration required. Masks welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor artmaking, scavenger hunts, and special guests from Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses. Art featuring horses can be found on every floor of the museum. How did each artist bring the animals to life through movement, creative use of color, and even interesting textures? Create an artful interpretation of horses using cardboard and patterned papers and then go on a scavenger hunt for equine art in the museum. Happy trails! In case of rain, organizers will cancel this event.
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.
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.
The Bement School
The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, is a co-educational day and boarding school serving 200 students in kindergarten through grade 9. While Bement is scheduling individual campus tours in person, a series of virtual open houses are offered. To learn more about the upper school (grades 6 through 9) join the October 26 event or October 28 to learn about the lower school (kindergarten through grade 5). A member of the admission office and faculty will share what makes Bement an incredible education. Registration is required. Zoom invitations will be sent upon registration. Applications for fall 2022 are being accepted now. Contact the admission office at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to register for an open house.
West Chesterfield, MA
Kids & Canines! Balto & Togo! Topaz & Trixie! Serum Run & Iditarod! What do these all have in common? Sled Dogs & Working Dogs. Siberian Huskies & Alaskan Huskies Life Saving Run by Dog Team to Nome & Thrilling Race by Dog Team to Nome. Dogs who love kids & kids who love dogs! All can be found at Hilltown Sleddogs with Musher, Marla BB & her 16 huskies. They spent the last 2 winters in Alaska, mushing 750 miles from Nenana to Nome on the Serum Run Trail. Then racing 300 & 200 miles on the Yukon Quest Trail in preparation for Iditarod. Slide show, video, & children’s book presentation is available for classrooms, assembly programs, educational demonstrations & fairs indoors or outdoors. Homeschool programs are offered too. Always with these dogs! For more information: email@example.com; 413-296-0187; www.hilltownsleddogs.com.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: HARVEST SEASON
During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with activities that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. Teaching our children the value of connection with seasonal traditions through self-directed learning can help them learn and grow in endless ways. Children who understand and connect with their local landscape are much more likely to value environmental conservation as adults while building awareness of the variety of cultures represented within a community and across time. Connecting to where we live through the seasons can help children appreciate and understand the places(s) they call home. In addition to participating in seasonal patterns of community engagement, learning about harvest seasons in other parts of the world is a point of entry for self-directed learning that can help us to better understand culture through the harvest lens, including cinnamon, pecans, seaweed, cork, and kalo.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: LOCAL RUINS
Western Massachusetts isn’t under threat of sinking into the ocean any time soon; however, plenty of local ruins serve as reminders of the past. From cellar holes to quarries, the region’s ruins speak volumes about its history. Families can explore old hotels, drowned towns, abandoned quarries, and old mill sites safely to learn about life in the past and to explore the ways in which nature can reclaim spaces. Discover more in our post, Exploring Ruins Reveals Local History and Culture.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: CORN & WHEAT HARVEST SEASON
The word “harvest” is originally derived from the Old English “Haerfest,” meaning “autumn.” In ancient Britain and other European communities, the fall harvest marked the reaping and gathering of wheat. Victorian folklorist James George Frazer recounts several northern European’ corn dolly’ customs, corn being an ancient term for any kind of grain: “In the neighbourhood of Danzig the person who cuts the last ears of corn makes them into a doll, which is called the Corn-mother or the Old Woman and is brought home on the last waggon. In some parts of Holstein the last sheaf is dressed in women’s clothes and called the Corn-mother. It is carried home on the last waggon, and then thoroughly drenched with water. The drenching with water is doubtless a rain-charm.” All over the world, harvest time is an occasion to thank the earth for providing us with food. Looking through the lens of the grain harvest, today’s self-directed learning module supports interests in European culture, Native American customs, and colonial food history through the lens of corn & wheat.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: WEATHER FOLKLORE
Can Woolley Bears (Pyrrharctia isabella) offer us an indication as to the severity of the coming winter? Common North American folklore says that a broad brown band calls for a mild winter, and a narrow one calls for a severe winter. While there is no scientific evidence for this prediction, looking for these little guys and examining them closely with your kids opens up channels for learning while connecting to the seasons. For today’s self-directed learning module, learn more about caterpillars and let your curiosity of Woolley Bears and other weather-based folklore lead the way!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: SCIENCE & MATH SONGS
For many young learners, rhythm and repetition can be an effective way of learning new words and remembering the names of things. Children quickly learn commonly sung songs with lyrics of all kinds, and we use their ability to memorize verses as a way to share information. Take the ABC’s for example – it’s a fun and easy song that we use to teach the English alphabet. Matching the names of letters to different parts of the rhythm helps children remember the order that they go in. But songs don’t just have to be used to convey basic ideas to the youngest learners, though – there are educational songs for kids of all ages and about all kinds of things! The University of Washington’s Sing About Science and Math Project offers an online database of over 7,000 songs that cover an immense variety of topics in technology, biology, environmental science, physics, chemistry, math, engineering, and medicine. Educators and parents supporting self-directed learners can find lesson plans inspired by some of the songs in the database.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: SCARECROWS
Scarecrows are known around the world as mommets, hodmedods, spaventapasseri, vogelscheuche, fugleskremsel, and kakashi, and have been used to protect crops for over 3,000 years! Studies of this traditional autumn icon can reveal not only the international roots of the straw-stuffed beings. Still, they can lead to creative-free play, intergenerational creative collaboration, and exploration of folk farming techniques used locally and worldwide. Read more in our post, “Scarecrow Studies Illuminate Cultural History and Creative-Free Play.”
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: MUSHROOM SEASON
October 15 is National Mushroom Day! The kingdom of mushrooms is truly magical. The fleshy, spore-covered protuberance that we see growing above the ground is only a portion of the whole organism. One ancient and massive fungal organism can be found in the Malheur National Forest in Oregon, which is more than 2,400 years old and extends over 2,200 acres! The largest above-ground mushroom, or “fruiting body,” was recently discovered in China. This mammoth mushroom was thirty-six feet tall and weighed more than a thousand pounds. Because the vast majority of its body is underground, mushrooms can often appear and disappear rapidly, with some species that literally appear overnight and then retract by the afternoon of the next day. Mushrooms are mysterious, but we know that they play a crucial role in forest ecosystems. Autumn is an excellent time of year to support an interest in ecology, biology, natural history, and culinary arts through the lens of mushrooms.
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.