Hilltown Families

100 Links (August/September 2009) Nearly every day I add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family,...

If You Give a Kid a Shovel by Joe Gillespie Have you ever watched kids dig potatoes for the first time? It is like a treasure hunt. Or experienced the joy...

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood New Documentary Film Premiering in Northampton (2009) “The consumer embryo begins to develop during the first year of existence.  Children begin their consumer journey in...

The Power of Play Whether it’s a family checkers tournament or an afternoon spent examining anthills in the backyard, play is an integral part of a happy, healthy childhood. Parent-choice.org has...

Making a Family Museum Visit Fun … By Marilyn Anderson and Patricia Sullivan More Art, Please! Museums are places of wonderment, exploration, learning, and fun for the entire family. Just ask...

Cold-Weather Checklist Keep kids warm when the temperature drops. When the weather outside is frightful but your child thinks going out is delightful, it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines...

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) by Jacqueline L. Harris Coauthor, Marching to Freedom: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. “I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted...

Tainted Toys The Associated Press reported that on Wednesday the House of Representatives has passed legislation that would ban lead in toys and other children’s products. Following a 424-to-1 vote, it’s...

In school, we call these “sight words,” and in first grade, teachers spend lots of time purposely building a “word bank” so that kids can recognize and read them instantly. Having...

Are Children Too Clean? The Scotsman [April 29, 2008] There was a time, in the days before anti-bacterial wipes, sprays and ointments, when children and nature were at one, not separated...

Why Are Schools Designed Like Prisons? By Allison Arieff, New York Times [May 12, 2008] School design, particularly public school design, is often lumped in with the design of other institutional...

Vernal pools teem with life but only for a short time. So here is my suggestion. Walk to the biggest hardwood forest area you can find. Take your kids. Take your...

Parents Who Fight May Harm Children’s Future Emotional Development How parents handle everyday marital conflicts has a significant effect on how secure their children feel, which, in turn, significantly affects their...

Set and discuss limitations on having friends over, TV and computer time, kitchen and cooking, and the safety information mentioned above. Discuss what your child might do while you are gone....

The good news is that safe toys are possible. 28% of the products tested did not contain any lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury or PVC, including many made in China. Examples of...

Home School Happenings The Greenfield Recorder printed an article yesterday about a home school program at the Greenfield library. GREENFIELD — Home schooling can be as much of an education for...

Social First Graders More Likely To Become Good Readers Does your first grader help other children? Does he comfort other children when they are upset? If so, say a silent thanks...

Third Thursday in Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle writes: [Pittsfield, 06/22/07] – On a slightly rainy Thursday evening on North Street, when shops are usually closed, the sidewalks are usually empty and the...

Kellogg to Curb Marketing of Foods to Children [NY TIMES, Andrew Martin – 6/14/07] Froot Loops’ days on Saturday morning television may be numbered. The Kellogg Company announced today that it...

Failing Schools See a Solution in Longer Day By Diana J. Schemo [Fall River, MA., March 26, 2007] — States and school districts nationwide are moving to lengthen the day at...

Health Rules Delayed [Boston (AP)] – That’s what the headline on the front page of the Daily Hampshire Gazette reads today. According to the Gazette, “Requirements won’t kick in until early...

Biotechnology Summer Camp for girls Girls who want to explore the field of science will have a special opportunity to do just that this summer. Girls who are currently in 7th...

Should Sixth Grade Be in Elementary or Middle School? A recent study found that sixth graders in middle schools fare worse than their peers in elementary schools. It also found that...

Massachusetts health care plan moving forward BOSTON (AP) — The average uninsured Massachusetts resident could obtain health care coverage for as little as $175 a month under the state’s insurance law,...

Listen Listen and Listen Some More by Joe Kelly for Dads & Daughters Girls tend to be a riddle to fathers. Like any mystery, the relationship with our daughter can be...

How could Sanderson Academy be reused? “What if the Hilltown Charter School took over a vacant Sanderson Academy building?  “The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School serves Franklin and Hampshire County children....

A Heart-felt Dance Party by Victoria Worth for Hilltown Families The songs are still humming in my head, and when I look down, my feet are still moving to a recent...

The Fids & Kamily Awards by Bill Childs Late last year, two family music bloggers (Stefan Shepard of Zooglobble.com and Amy Davis of TheLovelyMrsDavis.com ) and myself organized the “Fids and...

Homeschooling: Key Facts and Resources Have you ever thought of teaching your children at home? More American families are choosing to homeschool their children every year. There are some surprising facts...

Tips for Dads & Daughters Watching the Super Bowl Together Dads & Daughters watching TV sports together–one of life’s pleasures. But what about those moments (like during some commercials) when you...