Hilltown Families


Asian Studies Supplemented in the Pioneer Valley Exhibit, Educator Workshop, Guided Tours, Performance Art & Free Family Day Educational opportunities are numerous over the next few months for those interested in teaching and learning about Asian art!  The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be opening a new exhibit on Asian art beginning February 1st through May 26th, 2013.  Titled, Collecting Art of Asia, the exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary… Read More

Sophia Flips the Classroom with New Social Education Platform Are there topics that you want your kids to learn that haven’t yet been (or aren’t) covered in their school’s curriculum?  Are you a teacher looking for online information to supplement your student’s textbook or classroom notes, or a place to share your own curriculum?  Are you a homeschool or unschool learning facilitator wishing you had a map of topics in multiple disciplines? Sophia,… Read More

Hurricane Sandy and Halloween Offer Learning Opportunities Online Hurricane Sandy might have schools closed while we await her arrival, but the learning can continue at home (so long as you have power!). Check out these online resources to brush up on math, chemistry, physiology, language arts and world & local history: MATH After you’ve battening down the shutters and have prepared your home & family for Hurricane Sandy (and still have power),… Read More

Students Can Discover the Symphony During Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood: Summer 2012 This summer, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood are offering a unique FREE musical learning opportunity for kids in Lenox. MA!  Every Friday morning through August, the orchestra rehearses – and families, educators, homeschool groups, musicians, and other community members are invited to attend the rehearsals for free! Before each rehearsal, there will be a Youth Music Presentation (including… Read More

Discovering New England History with The Freedom Trail Foundation Daily Video Series Are your kids interested in Colonial History? Boston’s Freedom Trail Foundation offers a daily dose of history on their YouTube channel!  Every day, the group debuts a new clip (generally 30-40 seconds) offering information about an event that took place on that day in early American history!  Centered around the Revolutionary War, the clips feature historical re-enactors dressed in period… Read More

Art Assembly Program in the Berkshires MASS MoCA has released this year’s schedule of performances for kids! The shows are designed to allow students a chance to learn about the arts, and the museum offers free curriculum materials for educators to use before and after the performances. This year’s shows include music and dance with Lady Bee, musical ensemble Alloy Orchestra, and the Zany Umbrella Circus! Educators can use the performances as… Read More

Westfield State University ‘Discovers the World’ through Geographic Information Systems Westfield State University will host GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day free events on Wednesday, November 16th and Thursday, November 17th as part of National Geography Awareness Week, inviting high school students and teachers to attend. More than 10,000 organizations and 80 countries hold local events for GIS Day, which illustrates how GIS technology can be applied to our everyday lives. Global Positioning Systems (GPS),… Read More

Youth Against Hunger (YAH!) Curriculum for Teaching About Hunger The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts provides food and resources for people all over the region, and involvement with the organization is a great service learning opportunity for kids.  The Food Bank’s website includes a section for educators on ways to use involvement with the food bank to help kids learn about food insecurity and issues of inequality and socioeconomic status. On their website is a… Read More

Educational Programs for Kids at the Springfield Museums There are numerous educational opportunities and adventures to be had at the Springfield Museums! Visitors can explore topics and ideas anywhere from important figures in local history to coral reef ecosystems. There are five different museums, each with a theme of local history, natural science, and art. The museums offer guided tours as well as self-guided tours (which are really educational odysseys!) to groups… Read More

Student Tours at Hancock Shaker Village Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is a fantastic resource for learning about local history and Shaker culture, and the village even offers educational group tours!  Designed specifically to fit within the state’s learning standards, the tours teach kids all about life during the 19th century.  Though the tours are designed for classes, homeschool groups, scout troops, and other groups of kids can do the tours, too!… Read More

Medieval Faire & Armored Tournament Ventfort Hall in Lenox, MA Sunday, October 9 from 10am-5pm Medieval chivalry comes alive in the Berkshires at the Ventfort Hall 3rd Annual Medieval Faire & Armored Tournament in Lenox, MA on Sunday, October 9th from 10am-5pm … and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to one lucky family! The Medieval Faire & Armored Tournament is an excellent way to learn about medieval… Read More

Museums10 Gears up for Fall Education Outreach This fall as area colleges and schools get ready to welcome students and families, Museums10, a collaboration of 10 college-affiliated museums in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, announces fall activities to interest visitors of all ages. “Museums10 is an excellent resource and destination for area educators and students to explore the worlds of art, history, literature and science,” said Alexandra Kennedy, Executive Director of… Read More

Redcoats & Rebels at Old Sturbridge Village Weekend of August 6th & 7th History comes alive as Redcoats & Rebels, New England’s largest military reenactment, returns to Old Sturbridge on August 6th & 7th … and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway to one family for the weekend! Redcoats & Rebels is an excellent way to explore early American history with the family at one of our local… Read More

Students Can Discover the Symphony During Free Friday Mornings at Tanglewood: Summer 2011 Families, homeschoolers, educators, and community and youth groups in Western MA are invited to reserve Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood (Main Gate, 297 West St, Lenox, MA). It’s called the Friday Morning Rehearsal, and happens each Friday beginning July 8th at the Tanglewood Main gate 9-11am, running through August 26th, 2011…. Read More

Discover the History of Valentine’s Day Saint Valentine Biography History of Valentine’s Day History of Valentine Cards Lace Paper Valentines Cupid and Psyche Many Faces of Valentine’s Day A Valentine’s Day Chocolate Curriculum Comic Valentine’s Victorian Valentine Cards Send an electronic Valentine Card Send one in French! Valentine Crafts Everything Valentine’s Swedish Paper Hearts Valentine Mouse Valentine Cookie Pouches Valentine’s Keeper Pocket Heart Garland  

The Winter Solstice Ellen Jackson’s book, The Winter Solstice, (published by Millbrook Press) takes a look at the many different cultures throughout history who have celebrated the Winter Solstice and developed customs for this shortest day of the year. With a simple storyline and attractive watercolor illustrations by Jan Davey Ellis, Jackson’s book is a nice addition to a social studies curriculum for children ages 4-8 this time of the year. The… Read More

I Love Trash! Late autumn here in New England and the light is leaving us. The sun is down almost as soon as we have eaten our after school snack. Everyone in my house becomes slightly grumpy as the light fades and we spend less time outdoors. The boys know their screen time allowance goes up and I fight my own lack of energy to keep us out, about and moving. We… Read More

Kurt Heidinger, Executive Director of Biocitizen School of Westhampton, MA writes: How many times have you looked at a river thinking, how beautiful—and pulled out your camera to capture the swells of whitewater, a striking blue heron, or blazing maple tree in the autumn overhanging its banks? A river is not just beautiful, though; it’s alive, and those who witness this life, this bios, never look at or appreciate a river the… Read More

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Education and Community Programs Present Free Friday Mornings for the Tanglewood 2010 Season Homeschool parents, educators, and community and youth groups in Western MA are invited to reserve Shed seating for a closed rehearsal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood (Main Gate, 297 West St, Lenox, MA). It’s called the Friday Morning Rehearsal, and happens each Friday at the Tanglewood Main gate at 8:30am. It is a… Read More

Fall 2010 Programs for Home School Families at Old Sturbridge Village “Hop into History” overnight program August 14th Home School Days September 14th and November 10th Living history museum Old Sturbridge Village (OSV) will offer programs just for home school families, beginning with a Hop into History Overnight sleepover on Sat., August 14th, and continuing with a special September 14th Home School Day on Travel: People and Goods in Motion, and a… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening,… Read More

Underground Railroad Talk Museum of Springfield History April 11th @ 2pm Many families emailed to let me know how much they appreciated the Underground Railroad Episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show as a supplement to their children’s studies. Another opportunity for older students to learn about the Underground Railroad will be this Sunday, April 11th in Springfield, MA. At 2pm, the new Museum of Springfield History will host a talk titled… Read More

RH Conwell Community Education Center A Homeschooling Co-Op in Worthington Parents of R.H Conwell Students are invited to learn more about an option to start a Community Education Center in the town of Worthington, MA this fall.  A group of parents and town members will be hosting a meeting to discuss their goal to provide a local, community directed educational experience for Worthington area elementary students (preschool-6th). The meeting will be at… Read More

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. “I Have A Dream” Speech Families interested in discovering more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement with their children might enjoy the following resources: FamilyEducation.com has Martin Luther King Jr Day Activities and Resources for Kids Kaboose.com has a great list of Black History Links Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights is a lesson on Scholastic.com that describes her pivotal role in… Read More

National Science and Engineering Competition for Third to Sixth Graders Created by Jim Metzner and funded by a four-year grant from The National Science Foundation, the Kids’ Science Challenge will continue for the second year to offer third to sixth graders the opportunity to practice real science and work directly with cutting-edge scientists and engineers. Students are asked to propose an original question, problem or experiment that relates to the group of… Read More

Links to Share & Learn About Hanukkah with the Family The History of the Dreidel The History of Hanukkah (video) Hanukkah Recipes Hanukkah Songs and Poems (blog) Send a Chanukah Ecard Cooking Latkes (recipe) History of Channuka (web site) Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights (curriculum) Make a Driedel (printable) Celebrating Hanukkah (web site) Dreidel Game (web site) Hanukkah Crafts for Kids (blog) How to Play Dreidel: Rules for the Popular Hanukkah Game… Read More

Seven Car-Time Activities to Do with the Kids While Traveling Diane Flynn Keith, author of Carschooling, recently wrote an article, Turn Holiday Travel Time Into Learning Time! In her article she shares fun activities that will not only entertain your young passengers, but will “boost your kids’ brain power” too. In her article she include the classic car game, Alphabet Hunt, along with some simple games that incorporate concepts of speech, geometry,… Read More

Homeschool Harvest Day at the Historic Deerfield Museum Homeschool families are invited for an educational celebration of the fall harvest on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009.   Go on an agricultural walking tour, card wool, weave on a loom, and help hearth cooks make seasonal foods. Visit the Sheldon House to see how a farm family lived between 1790 and 1810. The Wapping Schoolhouse will be open for early 19th-century lessons. Enjoy a… Read More

Turkey dinners, footballs and parades–these are the modern-day trappings of the holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. But Thanksgiving is more than just a day of food and festivity.

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