Hilltown Families

..."Tibetan nun, Pema Chodron said, “Fear is the natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” The truth is, maybe things WILL go wrong. Completely, horribly, terribly wrong. Pema Chodron also...

When our children encounter difficulties, when they run into brick walls or have a problem that needs to be solved, we need to meet them where they are, help them grow...

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link

Monsters, ghosts, aliens, wizards, and magical librarians all make an appearance in Pretty Monsters, a multi-genre book of...

Let Them Grow by Candice Chouinard

Feeling Fall

Fall is such a busy time for the valley. Apple picking, pumpkin patches,...

“Safety is what we want for those we love. Autonomy is what we want for ourselves.” Hearing this quote on NPR, Pain Specialist and Yoga Instructor Ginny Hamilton recalls leaf piles...

J.J Johnson's young adult novel This Girl is Different centers around Evie, a homeschooler, entering school for the first time as a high school senior. This book flips the typical high...

"Three years ago I wrote a post about (daycare / preschool drop-off) separation and how to make it an adventure. This year, I am the mom, not the not the teacher,...

What was intended as a study of fall food and the culture surrounding it has turned into the creation of a small zoo of squashy creatures. Caterpillars make for a perfect...

With a growing child and aging parents, yoga instructor Ginny Hamilton is getting many bites at the mid-generation sandwich. Sometimes, one eclipses the other. Sometimes, they share the light of the...

Daniel Jose Older's young adult fantasy novel Shadowshaper (Published by Scholastic, Inc. 2015) accomplishes a great deal in under 300 pages. On the surface, Older weaves an exciting, at times creepy...

Imagine the world without roads. No highways, interstates, traffic lights, or roundabouts. For most of us, the only way of life we’ve ever known is shaped by our roads and the...

Spaghetti bowl tangles in our hormones and in our brain cells. Mellow mice. Neuroscience meets yoga to help us take a breather, anytime and anywhere, in this month’s Off the Mat:...

Rivers, as flowing water, can be soothing to the ear, or overpowering with noise, depending on the river's bed or soundscape. Protruding rocks may be the only visible evidence of what...

This week Candice takes us on a camping trip with kids. Camping can sound overwhelming with little ones, yet with a little preparation, camping can be a low cost, high...

Riding roller coasters. A bike with gears. Sleepovers and chapter books. And time for her own thoughts again. In this month’s Off the Mat: Reflections on the Practice of Parenting, Pain...

Rivers flow through our lives both metaphorically and realistically – sources of drinking water, energy and transportation, but also as symbols of life “flowing like a river.” Rivers have been dammed,...

My Pop Rocks Dad, Aba, Pappa, Baba, Daddy, Pop… Yesterday was Father’s Day and like any teacher or mother I was racking my brain to find the most unique way to...

A tale of two trees. Both serving specific purposes. One providing beauty and respite from the ugliness of the world, greeting those who visit our home with a cheery disposition...

Phoebe Gelbard debuts as Hilltown Families newest Contributing Writer, taking over "The Ripple: Stories About Western MA Rivers," a monthly column previous written by Kurt Heidinger. For her debut post, Phoebe...

Around two years old, most children can identify members of their family by name. Knowing the name of their caregivers can help a child if they are ever lost,...

Adulthood and motherhood. Becoming our mothers and cradling our children. Thinking ahead to Mother’s Day, Yoga Instructor Ginny Hamilton reflects on claiming the title of mother in this month’s Off...

Playing in the dirt is a joy at any age. Fostering a love of gardening will help sprout a true love of nature and with this, there is hope that the...

Yoga Instructor Ginny Hamilton needs time on her mat in order to approach life with the sort of mindful attention she wants to give her child, and herself. In this...

Let Them Grow: Anatomy Canvas for Preschoolers

For decades, Yoga Instructor Ginny Hamilton has taught people information about the external structures in which they work – navigating the subsidized housing system or the legislative process. Now she teaches...

Mindfulness practice can help us learn to understand and be at peace with impermanence, and self-regulate our emotions when dealing with our own desires to cling to the apparition of permanence....

Certain holidays are hard for small children to grasp. A great example of this is Presidents' Day. It’s a vague concept for young preschoolers and toddlers to understand there is a...

‘I hope she survives how enthusiastically she is loved,’ is how Pain Specialist and Yoga Instructor Ginny Hamilton described the hamster Santa brought. In this month’s Off the Mat: Reflections...

This month writer Sarah Mattison Buhl explores the indisputable truth of action, and what you can do to see beyond the “chaff."