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Learning from home can be facilitated by the parent or self-directed by the student, and based on the interests and needs of the student and their family.

Of all of the subjects that are taught in elementary school, math can be the hardest one to explore creatively at home; however, Halloween presents an opportunity for some fun informal at-home math studies, including basic logic, data collection, and statistical analysis…

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. This month Sienna and Seth talked about ways to engage in our community in the late fall. Reviewing the newest edition of Learning Ahead, Seth and Sienna talk about learning through the lens of the food, habitat and culture found in the Nov/Dec issue of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA:

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening sense of place.

Looking through a seasonal lens, our Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for November and December includes…

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Foliage, Pumpkins & Hauntings Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield,  joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!). This monthly segment continued on… Read More

Featured here are contemporary conversations about modern day education, including the voices of “inspiring and forward-looking leaders and thinkers on the topic of learning, including Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson, Sir Ken Robinson and Geoffrey Canada, among others.” Hear what many of these folks have to share in this this TED Talk special on education…

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, August 29, 2016. This month Sienna and Lauren talked about agricultural fairs, fall festivals, one room schoolhouses and apples featured in the debut of “Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA.”

Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Funded in part by Mass Humanities, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a NEW bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

By emphasizing place-based exploration through humanities inquiry, these cultural itineraries connect residents of all ages to their place, helping to shape a more comprehensive understanding of our cultural identity, heritage, and history. This contributes to establishing meaningful relationships between young people and elders, and more active citizens.

With these FREE downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history and a strengthened sense of place. Click through to download a free 38-page PDF!

Introducing the concept of homeschooling to young audiences, Jonathan Bean’s loosely autobiographical book takes a close look at a day in the life of a busy and constantly learning homeschooling family. The concise text and dense illustrations offer up a fascinating tale of nontraditional education, and paired with our literary guide, the book offers itself as a portal into the examination of nontraditional education and personal learning style.

Serving as the sequel to 2011’s Race to Nowhere, director Vicki Abeles’ Beyond Measure offers a heartening look at the possibilities for meaningful change within the American education system. Pairing real-life examples with hard data, the film makes a powerful argument in support of a less standardized means of educating. Families can attend an upcoming screening at Bay Path University!

This month, Hilltown Families will be entering our 10th year! We will also be participating in our 1st ever Annual Appeal through Valley Gives this Wednesday, December 10th! Your tax deductible donation to Hilltown Families during Valley Gives will help us continue to support community building and community learning initiatives throughout western MA! Supporting Education through Community Engagement For nearly a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable… Read More

The Lost Art of Cursive… new exhibit debuts at Hatfield Fall Festival this weekend. Visit the exhibit and learn interesting historical facts and the art of cursive writing, and check out these articles on the links between handwriting and education…

S.D. Nelson’s “Buffalo Bird Girl” tells the story of a young Hidatsa girl, following her through a year’s worth of seasonal change and detailing the activities that take place in her life based upon the changes taking place in the natural world. Helping readers learn about Native American culture, the story presents families with information that challenges them to compare their own lives to those of members of the Hidatsa tribe – and accompanying hands-on activities offer experiential learning centered around local Native American culture.

Running all summer, our highly popular and comprehensive series of literary guides are written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England. They are designed to enrich the reading experience of your child. Each week a new book is featured.

This week’s book is for 5th graders and for kids at middle school level, and it’s a literary treat of intrigue and mystery! “When You Reach Me,” by Rebecca Stead is one giant enigma built upon clever riddles, as it covers two children interacting with Manhattan. The literary guide hones in on maximizing the developmental skills of detail tracking, note-taking, supporting inferences with evidence, and building a system of connections as the story progresses.

The literary guides have proven to be popular this summer. Read on to see how you can further develop your child’s reading experience with these wonderful guides!

Running all summer, our highly popular and comprehensive series of literary guides are written by graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England. They are designed to enrich the reading experience of your child. Each week a new book is featured.

This week we have a peach of a read called “Alec’s Primer,” by Mildred Pitts Walter. It’s a true story of freedom that spends time just up the road in Grafton, Vermont. It’s an inspiring narrative of perseverance and the spirit of self-education. The literary guide will direct you to enable your elementary school age children to explore themes of freedom, slavery and the Civil War. In addition to supporting place-based studies of the Civil War and the abolition movement, a reading of the book can spark discussion on topics such as what it means to be free, the ethics of restricting access to knowledge, courage, determination, and strength.

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