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What have you missed over on our Facebook page? Check out some of our top posts!

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What have you missed over on our Facebook page? Check out some of our top posts from this past week!

Join us on Facebook, and be sure to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter too: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=exwricdab&p=oi&m=1102808931044&sit=8w7zndteb&f=0383bd7b-6431-490b-85cd-f5c4412d7cf2

What have you missed over on our Facebook page? Check out some of our top posts from this past week!

Join us on Facebook, and be sure to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter too: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=exwricdab&p=oi&m=1102808931044&sit=8w7zndteb&f=0383bd7b-6431-490b-85cd-f5c4412d7cf2

For the 5th summer in a row, the New York Times is offering an additional way for teens to learn and grow through summer reading; however, instead of focusing on major literary works, the program uses the Times’ own content as “required” reading. Open to students ages 13-19, the contest is a great way to stimulate teen intellectual curiosity through current affairs…

Into the midst of the educational upheaval happening in Holyoke enters LightHouse Holyoke, Personalized Education for Teens, a new school alternative opening in September. LightHouse offers teens aged 13-18 the opportunity to direct their own learning, and to study their own interests in a supportive, academic, and creative community. Intrigued? Interested? Read on and find out about the upcoming info session.

Science Quest is an exciting opportunity for high school students to visit the UMass Amherst campus and engage in hands-on science activities, demonstrations, and guided lab tours. All presentations are organized by UMass faculty members and designed for high school-aged students. Science Quest is a one-day free event happening in April. It fills up quickly, so Hilltown Families readers should sign up soon!

Hong Kong. A city of more than seven million people, is a global financial center known for its film industry and manufacturing sector. And more recently, known for the protests that have brought tens of thousands to its streets, all demonstrating for free and fair democratic elections. Recently, students at Gateway Regional High School in Huntington, MA, put together a campaign to raise awareness of the events in Hong Kong and to show support for the pro-democracy protesters half a world away.

As fall darkens and begins to give way to winter, our hibernation instincts begin to kick in, inspiring us to hunker down and spend more time inside. While it’s sad to give up the long, bright days, there’s no reason not to make the best of the darkness! Families can spend November writing, by participating in either 30 Poems in November or National Novel Writing Month – two writing projects that challenge participants to create a large amount of new work throughout the month.

Is education, communication and an expectation of responsibility around alcohol more useful in keeping our kids safe than raising the legal drinking age? Shana shares her thoughts this month in “Parenting Possibilities” and invites readers to share their thoughts too….

We all have heard the term, “cut the cord,” and most seem to generalize it to birth and our children’s transition to adulthood. However, that phrase is so much more. Here are 5 things Hilltown Families contributing writer, Logan Fisher, has learned about cords and cutting…

The Art Garden is offering free art classes for teens this school year for students in Franklin County. Teens can discover skills and be creative in a relaxed atmosphere with wonderful art facilitators. Deadline to apply for this free program is Monday, October 7th…

Teen Trail Crew Work Opportunities this Summer Many teenagers do their summertime growing-up while working for minimum wage.  Structured activities (such as part-time jobs) with specific and clear expectations provide teens with more than just something to occupy their time – they learn responsibility, methods of effective communication, punctuality, reliability, and other useful real-world skills.  Important though such attributes are, most of the jobs available to teens involve spending time indoors (often… Read More

Hampshire County Law Day 2013 Spoken Word Contest for Middle & High School Youth As we teach our children how to conceptualize the world, they are most certainly forming their own opinions about what it means to live and exist within it.  We give them lots of information on the past, and perhaps even more than that, we give them advice and guidance for navigating today and the future.  We share with… Read More

Special She’s just a girl. Not special. Not any different than any other toddler. She’s infatuated with Princess Sofia and Doc McStuffins. She has a stuffed lamb, Mi Mi, who she can’t be without. She adores her daddy and loves playing school because her mommy is a teacher. She’s a pint size philosopher who packs a punch with wise words that are seemingly beyond MY years. But she isn’t special. She’s just… Read More

Leaving Stressors Outside the Front Door for the New Year! January; the month of promises to change, to improve, to start anew. We usually are gung-ho, walkin’ that treadmill, drinking those smoothies, foregoing those nasty cigarettes for…well…awhile. But let’s be honest, Hindsight tells us that we rarely CHANGE…I mean REALLY CHANGE. Pretty soon that treadmill is collecting laundry that hasn’t quite dried, those smoothies are impossible to drink because the blender is… Read More

Happy Holidays, Everyone! Our friend, Hindsight has been really busy this season. He is working overtime reminding me of the mistakes I made over the many Christmases with my sons. He’s reminded me of the ridiculous pickles I had gotten myself into, and the misery irrationally placed upon me because of perceived have-to’s and should-do’s. And like the loyal friend that he is, he has taught me much this season, or I… Read More

The Experience of Hindsight Hindsight. It isn’t just for parents who have raised children for 10-20 years. It really is a super power that ANYONE can have. Making friends with and becoming wise because of Hindsight can happen to each and every human who has ever made a mistake or has been dissatisfied with any aspect of their lives. John Reyes once said, “Over the last few years my education was not… Read More

UMass’ Science Quest Saturday, October 27th Students learn about a wide variety of STEM topics in school – everything from the periodic table to the Pythagorean Theorem – but often aren’t shown the interesting, practical, and often surprising ways that STEM topics can be applied to real life! High school aged youth are invited to UMass’ Science Quest, an annual free event that offers students the opportunity to learn firsthand about science… Read More

The Northampton Bike Path and Stubborn Teens You might be thinking, “What the heck does the path and teens have in common?” It might be a stretch, but bear with me. You see, it all started when I took my grandkids on a walk on the Northampton Bike Path one day. I love that walk and if you’ve never been, the next time you’re in Northampton, go check it out. Using the… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS At what age do you think dating would be appropriate for your child(ren)? Brianna Lamke writes, “35” Ilyza Sarah Earle writes, “LOL, what a question! I second that, 35.” Meg Lefkowitz writes, “Group dates at 14-15, depending in maturity of the kid. Single dates at 16-17, again depending on maturity.” William Cortis writes, “I agree with Meg. Maturity and responsibility play a huge role in the factor.” Kara Kitchen… Read More

Everyone has a question. What’s yours? Google Science Fair 2012 Calling all curious kids!  Google is hosting their own science fair for kids ages 13-18!  Students who enter are asked to develop a project based on a question of their own, then design a website giving information about the project and create a video or taped presentation about their work!  Kids can enter alone or in groups of two or three.  The… Read More

Embracing Difference Empowers Individuality Although all of my previous posts have dealt with the lessons I learned and taught inside my classroom, some of the most profound moments have come when my students walk out of these doors to create the next chapter of their lives. Today I received an email from a former student simply entitled “Thank You.” When I saw who the sender was, I couldn’t help but smile. Here… Read More

Defining Responsibility My ultimate goal as a teacher was to turn teens on to themselves and to guide each of them to their own unique value in this world. One of the paths that I chose to accomplish this was through the texts that we explored. In my last post, I illustrated how each of the “four obstacles” that Paulo Coelho expresses in his book, The Alchemist , could be applied to… Read More

The World Can Be Tough The world can be tough. If you are soft or Pollyanna-ish, it can really do a number on you. I am beginning to believe that in our current days one of the most important things we can do as parents is to prepare, not shield, our children from the unfair and sometimes downright cruel things that take place whether worldly or locally, whether in families or with… Read More

An Awkward Dance Yesterday I saw my youngest son for the first time in five weeks. He wasn’t away at camp or on vacation, and he still lived just a mere 7 miles away with his dad. But for reasons I won’t go into here, he didn’t want to see me or any of us who lived in the little house in which he used to reside. So it came as a… Read More

What Makes a Good Mom? Do you have a running reel in your mom brain?  You know what I mean.  Words that you say to yourself, questions you are constantly posing, reprimands with which you punish yourself?  Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I should be called Sybil.  Who knows? My running reel is lengthy and complicated and persistent, and includes a pesky question that really has become my mantra for motherhood.  “What… Read More

My Back and Help Please Instead of the Birds and the Bees Our teens are bombarded with images…constant pictures, messages, videos, television shows that promote promiscuity and sexual exploration. I recently ran across a particular show that glorified teen moms, and while the show didn’t sugar coat the trial and tribulations that come with parenting, the mere fact that these teen couples are on a very popular television station makes it tempting… Read More

Crazy About Being A Mom So I have been struggling with what to write this week because, well honestly, I don’t want to sound schizophrenic, psychotic, crazy, loony tony…you get what I mean. You see looking over that last few columns it sounds like life has just been peachy here in teenage boy land. But well that just not true. It truly is a see saw here, or a roller coaster, or… Read More

Guilty Mom I can’t watch the new Rice Krispies commercials.  They make me sick with guilt.  Do you know the ones I am talking about?  They usually portray a very attentive mom and a toddler/preschooler on her lap.  She is helping the child stir marshmallow into the bowl of Rice Krispies.  She’s talking quietly, face beaming.  The child is enraptured by his or her mama…and after watching this mommy bliss the tag… Read More

Together for Better or for Worse I used to be afraid to leave them alone—together. It seemed that every time I went grocery shopping, to the dentist, over to a friend’s house, I’d come back to what was equivalent to Armageddon. Chairs would be tipped. Food on the counter, on the table, down the stairs, all over the basement couch. Wrappers littered the living room floor, the front steps, the driveway, front… Read More

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