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Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal:
Home Schooling vs Remote Learning

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, community-based education specialist and Hilltown Families’ Founder, 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 Friday, May 29, 2020 with Sienna and Patrick discussing the differences between these past couple of months of remote learning and full time home schooling.

Click on the video below to view.

During this past couple of months of distant learning at home, families with children in public school have experienced virtual facilitated learning at home, where their education has been physically isolated from their school community, teachers, and peers on assigned subjects in which the student may or may not be interested, and within prescribed timeframes and school deadline that may or may not work for their family.

Home-based learning can look a lot different than remote learning from home. It can be facilitated by the parent (homeschooling) or self-directed by the student (unschooling), and based on the interests and needs of the student and their family. And it will look different from family to family, depending on several factors:

  • Family Values & Dynamics.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Where they live (rural, urban, suburban).
  • Community-based educational & personal resources in which they have access.
  • Time of year.
  • Interests of the child/family.
  • Learning styles.

Things to consider when supporting your child’s learning from home:


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).

Speaking to teenagers’ desire for freedom, The Homeschool Liberation League chronicles a young teen’s quest for educational independence. Teaching readers about nontraditional education and the importance of relying on friends, family, and community when engaging in self-directed studies, the story promotes self confidence and educational independence in teens.

With chilly temperatures and icicles, we’re having the perfect winter for some great snow studies this year! The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered…

This week we take a look at PBS LearningMedia, a free online digital media service for preK-12 educators (formal & informal). PBS Learning Media provides a wide variety of educational resources to help curious families expand their learning with extensive content, presented in the form of videos, still images, games, audio clips, rich text, and lesson plans, covering a wide array of topics…

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

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining! Where are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site,… 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

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog… Read More

Peace Travelers: Kids Becoming World Citizens By HF Contributing Writer, Tony(a) Lemos Up until last year my daughter was in a homeschooling program that I co-wrote with my friend Kate O’Shea called Peace Travelers. The program is presently taking a hiatus, but the organization is still meeting and we are continuing the development of programs and curriculums. GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP & CONNECTEDNESS One of our favorite books for exploring global citizenship is One… Read More

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit The Chinese Lunar New Year is on February 3rd this year. If you’re considering celebrating this year’s Chinese New Year for the first time, there are many web sites to guide you on decorations, food, activities, and crafts, and to learn how the day is determined.The libraries have several titles to lend for your family to discover the cultural traditions of the Lunar New Year. There… Read More

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your… Read More

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog… 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

Tony(a) Lemos of Ashfield, MA writes: I would like to remind everyone about the Wednesday Kids’ Market that happens in Ashfield Center every Wednesday in the Summer from 4-6pm in the parking lot of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Kids can have a venue to sell their creations. Can be as simple as lemonade and popcorn, picked flowers, their favorite craft, a budding talent or even a service – Face Painting? Fortune Telling… 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

Springfield Museums to Join Public Reading of Frederick Douglass Speech Wednesday, June 30th at Noon The Springfield Museums are participating in a communal reading of Frederick Douglass’s fiery 1852 speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro.” The shared reading will take place at noon on June 30th in Court Square in Springfield and will be followed by a discussion at First Church. On July 5, 1852, Douglass, 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

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

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

Educational & Fun Competition for Students Promotes Awareness About Transportation, Technology and the Environment On Saturday, June 5th, area middle school students will gather at Reid Middle School in Pittsfield, MA to race their model solar-powered cars in the eleventh annual Berkshire Junior Solar Sprint (JSS). Participation is open to teachers, home educators and community groups. More than 80 students from Western Mass are expected to participate in the JSS this year…. 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

Follow Hilltown Families on 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… Read More

Celebration of New England in the Spring The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) will host its annual Sheep to Shawl Festival at its Sheep Hill headquarters in Williamstown Saturday, May 1st from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The festival is a celebration of spring and our New England heritage, with time-honored crafts and artisans, farm animals, and a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry. For the 7th year, sheep… 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

100 Links (February 2010/March 2010) 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, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog… 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

Heritage Museums and Gardens Celebrating the American Spirit Heading to the Cape this summer?  The Heritage Museums & Gardens located in Sandwich, Massachusetts is worth checking out. Heritage Museums & Gardens celebrates the American Spirit. The Museum fosters lifelong learning by preserving and sharing the history, industry, art and horticulture of America. They offer  a unique experience ranging from quiet contemplation to active exploration. Click here to check out what they have… Read More

100 Links (March 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, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader… Read More

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