Weekly Suggested Events for January 1-7, 2022
Are you looking for fun 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 list of Weekly Suggested Events 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: JANUARY 1-7, 2022
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
Whole Children in Hadley, MA, is pleased to offer a Virtual & In-Person Winter Program for school-age kids and teens. Their 6-week program will be offered Monday through Saturday, January 10 – February 19, 2022 and will include a full roster of virtual classes and a selection of in-person classes, including photography, theater, Joyful Chorus, Friendship Band, and more! Price: $125 for six weeks of unlimited classes! For more information, visit wholechildren.org/class-schedule or call 413-585-8010.
Give the gift of a clean home this holiday season with GreenLove Eco Cleaning! Get 30% off a Gift Certificate with their Holiday Special, available to purchase on their website through 12/31/21. GreenLove’s fully insured and bonded team offers greener, healthier lifestyle services to their community as part of the greater sustainability movement and focuses on building resilient communities through fair pay, healthy lifestyle education, and family-first values. This past year marked their 11th year in business, and after coming through last year’s pandemic, they are stronger than ever! The GreenLove Team is currently working on transitioning to a worker-owned cooperative model in early 2022. Sign up for a cleaning at www.greenloveclean.com.
The Bement School
The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, MA, is a co-educational day and boarding school serving 200 students from kindergarten through grade 9. While Bement is scheduling individual campus tours in person, a series of virtual open houses are offered from January 11-13, 2022. 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 email@example.com with questions or to register for one of the open houses.
The Academy at Charlemont
The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Learn more about The Academy at a Virtual Info Session on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 (7-8pm), and visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River for a personalized visit day. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Find details & Info Session registration at www.charlemont.org.
East Longmeadow, MA
At Sensory SpOT, children explore ways to foster the growth of their emotional well-being, a strong mind-body connection, & strengthen their foundational skills necessary for learning. They create a positive learning environment that builds on your child’s strengths to allow them to flourish and grow their skills. Located in East Longmeadow, MA, Sensory SpOT offers individualized & group-based occupational therapy services and wellness groups for children provided by a Licensed Occupational Therapist and/or Occupational Therapy staff. Sessions are 45-60 mins. They are registering now for January 2022 SpOT and Wellness groups. Space is limited & registration required for services. Visit sensoryspotma.com for info & registration.
Amherst Montessori School
Amherst Montessori School believes your child is inherently intelligent and that hands-on learning is critical to their developing brains. In mixed-age classrooms, your child is empowered to explore, discover, and learn through all five senses. In a beautiful new building designed uniquely for children, classrooms are filled with sunlight, natural materials, and views outside to playgrounds. Trained Montessori teachers nurture each child’s innate curiosity and independence. For more information: 413-253-3101; firstname.lastname@example.org; amherstmontessori.org.
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts
Charter Public School
South Hadley, MA
Do you know a student who would thrive in a creative, collaborative, arts-focused learning environment? The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in South Hadley, MA, is accepting applications for the 2022/2023 school year for students entering grades 7-11. Enrollment to PVPA is open to all MA residents on a space-available basis. Application Deadline: Feb 1, 2022. Enrollment Lottery: Feb 14, 2022. As a public charter school with 400 students from 60+ communities, PVPA offers a free, college-prep education with arts at the heart of all they do. Apply at www.pvpa.org. Info session on Thursday, Jan 20, 2022, from 6:30-8pm. Registration online. For more info, call 413-552-1580 x134 or email
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
SATURDAY, JANUARY 1, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Calendars
Julian calendar, Gregorian calendar, Lunisolar calendar, Sumerian calendar, Mayan calendar… with the new year, let’s talk about calendars! Have you ever wondered about the history of the modern calendar? Why is the contemporary calendar based on the cycles of the sun rather than the moon? Who was the first civilization to switch from lunar to solar, and which modern-day calendars remain lunar-based? Get curious and discover the history of calendars and how time and the cycles of nature are embedded within.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 2, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Time
If humans can measure something as ephemeral as time, what else might we be able to measure? Horology, the study and measurement of time through the art of making clocks and watches, is one of many points of entry to learning through the lens of time. Getting curious about time can also support an interest in history, physics, and the humanities.
MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Card Games
Card games have a rich history and are a popular family pastime. Over a decade ago, we asked our readers to share their favorite family card games, and they had many great games to recommend! But if all you have on hand is a deck of playing cards, knowing the rules to a few popular games can result in hours of fun and a load of learning! Today, our self-directed learning module looks through the lens of playing cards. There are many sociological and emotional developmental benefits for children when playing cards together. Start by getting curious about playing cards, their history, how they are manufactured, the cultural differences between the suites, and the origin of associated folk games. Learn about the different types of card games (i.e., trick-taking, matching, shedding, fishing, etc.), and then select games you’d like to learn to play (or teach to your kids).
TUESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Science 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.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Snowflakes & Frost
Snow in New England not only offers opportunities for sledding, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost is just waiting to be discovered! Kids can use snow, ice, and frost to learn about crystals. Snowflakes are a beautiful form of crystals, each one showing off a microscopic symmetrical design of spears, points, indents, and cutouts. (Be sure to read the book Snowflake Bentley!). Families can explore the formation of crystals with science experiments, including a giant snowflake made out of a Borax solution and homemade rock candy. These experiments create crystals slowly and on a scale that kids can examine for themselves. To maximize the learning possibilities, do both experiments simultaneously and make comparisons – determine which one grows faster, grows larger crystals, and makes the most transparent crystals. Another great topic to include in a study of winter precipitation is frost. See if you can find out the difference between snow and frost, and then see if you can identify the specific types of frost. You might even try creating your own frost flowers by soaking fallen branches or bits of logs and freezing them – a comparison between an outside log and a log frozen in a home freezer might present exciting results! The many different frost types are found during various weather and moisture conditions, and some are very rare.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Three King’s Day
On January 6th in many Hispanic countries, the Day of the Three Kings, or Los Reyes, is celebrated. This day marks the biblical adoration of the magi or the three kings that came to visit the newborn baby Jesus. Learn about the extended holiday season and the traditions and celebrations accompanying Three King’s Day through reading, baking, crafting, and celebrating in our post, Three King’s Day Offers Multi-Cultural Learning. The intersection of food and culture is an excellent way to make learning connections! Make Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) at home and discover this delicious food tradition!
FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Hydroponics
What is required for plants to grow? This simple question can steer learning in many directions, including botany and agriculture. In the winter, getting curious about ways to grow food indoors can support learning about agriculture. Experiments like growing a bean plant with only a paper towel, paper cup, and a little bit of water offer lessons in botany. Building your own hydroponic system at home gives a hands-on opportunity to learn. Researching how ancient cultures grew food on floating mats dive deep into cultural studies and human history. Hydroponics! A lovely winter lesson when the days are cold and the nights are long.
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.