Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Download literary guide for This is My Home, This is My School

Jonathan Bean’s This is My Home, This is My School introduces young readers to the idea of self-directed learning. Centered around a somewhat chaotic household and its many inhabitants, the story points out that, for the homeschooled narrator, home and school are one and the same – making home a place for living and a place for learning. Based on the author/illustrator’s childhood, the book helps readers see the ways in which a family can use their everyday experiences to support the acquisition of almost any kind of knowledge.

Beginning with pages that repeat the story’s title, the book follows the narrator through a quick tour of his home, wherein it is learned that his siblings are his classmates, his mom is his teacher (and dad the substitute), his kitchen is his cafeteria, his back yard is his playground, his family van is his school bus, and all of the rooms of his home (as well as the outdoor spaces nearby) serve as his classrooms. Readers see family members (students!) engaged in a wide variety of activities during the tour, from traditional “school-style” activities like computer research and worksheets to less structured activities like basement science experiments, cooking projects, family music jams, treehouse building, and stream exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Literary Guide for Jonathan Bean’s “This is My House, This is My School”

Download literary guide for This is My Home, This is My School

Jonathan Bean’s This is My Home, This is My School introduces young readers to the idea of self-directed learning. Centered around a somewhat chaotic household and its many inhabitants, the story points out that, for the homeschooled narrator, home and school are one and the same – making home a place for living and a place for learning. Based on the author/illustrator’s childhood, the book helps readers see the ways in which a family can use their everyday experiences to support the acquisition of almost any kind of knowledge.

Beginning with pages that repeat the story’s title, the book follows the narrator through a quick tour of his home, wherein it is learned that his siblings are his classmates, his mom is his teacher (and dad the substitute), his kitchen is his cafeteria, his back yard is his playground, his family van is his school bus, and all of the rooms of his home (as well as the outdoor spaces nearby) serve as his classrooms. Readers see family members (students!) engaged in a wide variety of activities during the tour, from traditional “school-style” activities like computer research and worksheets to less structured activities like basement science experiments, cooking projects, family music jams, treehouse building, and stream exploration. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Supports Interest-Based Learning

Summer Supports Interest-Based Learning

Author and educator John Holt wrote in his book, Learning All the Time: “Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.”

Even amongst parental fears about “summer learning loss,” the phenomenon of children losing academic skills and knowledge over the summer months, there are many free and inexpensive ways to encourage learning for people of all ages during the summer. What’s more- programs, workshops, and educational events in the summer can give kids outside of school the chance to direct their own learning and develop new interests! The following are a brief selection of interest-based learning opportunities for children, self-directed teens, and lifelong learners:  Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 4th-10th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Summer Camps in Western MA

Nearly 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 4

Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst for their 11th Annual Children’s Book Festival: Games Galore on Saturday, June 4, from 10am-4pm. The event celebrates games—from scavenger hunts and board games to art projects and outdoor fun! Families can play oversized games like Connect Four, Checkers or giant Jenga, as well as enjoy a nature scavenger hunt through the Museum’s grounds. Enjoy the amazing Yo-Yo People. Games Galore welcomes artists Emily Neuburger who will create hairdo shaped papers and Jeff Mack will read from his new book, Playtime?. Visitors can also create their own board games in The Carle’s Art Studio. All activities are free with Museum admission. See www.carlemuseum.org for schedule or call 413-658-1100.

Jun 5

Join Lander-Grinspoon Academy for a day of carnival fun! When? Sunday, June 5th. Where? LGA, 257 Prospect St., Northampton. There will be Games, Prizes, Face painting, Dunk tank, Bounce obstacle course and more! Food & drink from Holyoke Hummus Company, Chanterelle-To-Go, LGA Bake shop, Herrell’s Ice Cream & Fort Hill Brewery. Tons of fun for the entire family. Event takes place rain or shine. Entrance is free but activities will require tickets. Email office@landergrinspoon.org if you have any questions.

Jun 5

Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “Raising Spiritually Intelligent Children,” a Sunday, June 5 workshop at Eastworks in Easthampton, MA with author, psychologist, and teacher Dr. Christopher Willard. Participants will learn how to cultivate virtues like Effort, Patience, Determination, Truthfulness, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity. Dr. Willard is the author of Child’s Mind, Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety, and Growing Up Mindful. This workshop is appropriate for parents, caregivers, educators, therapists, social workers, and all who work with and care about the next generation. Suggested contribution: $25-$40 plus a voluntary donation to Dr. Willard. Please pre-register. Questions: general@insightpv.org.

The Bement School’s summer programs offer the fun of traditional day camp with the flexibility of a range of unique activities. The Adventure Day Camp offers engaging games, crafts, & swimming with activity choices that include cooking, rocketry, sports, nature, art, & swimming. Outdoor Challenge Weeks are an exciting collaboration between Bement & Adventure In Adventure Out. The CIT program gives teens experience working with children & developing valuable job skills while still enjoying camp. The Junior Camp provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for our youngest campers, who enjoy thematic activities, including games, arts & crafts, & outdoor play, as well as field trips & daily swim lessons. Contact summer@bement.org with questions!

Now Hiring

Tinkergarten, a fast-growing Northampton-based company with the mission to get kids learning through outdoor play, is currently hiring for the PT position of Parks & Green Space Advocate. This position is responsible for liaising between Tinkergarten and the parks and greenspaces nationally in which they run their programs. The ideal candidate is an exceptional diplomat, negotiator and communicator; enjoys advocating for an idea, cause or mission; and is excited about the fluidity, informality, and fast pace of working for a startup. For more information, see tinkergarten.com. If interested, send your LinkedIn profile or resume and a note about why you are interested in the role to support@tinkergarten.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 4-10, 2016

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Learning Through Fall Harvests

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: September Segment
Learning Through Fall Harvests

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 Thursday, September 24, 2015, the first day of Autumn. This month Sienna and Ashley talked about community-based educational opportunities embedded in fall harvests, fall foliage and fall festivals:

Click to see video.

Looking at where you live through the lens of seasonal changes and learning about your local landscape by means of community engagement, helps strengthen a sense of place through interconnections.

Feeling connected to where you live is a vital ingredient in the recipe for creating sustainable and resilient communities. Autumn is just one example of a seasonal catalyst to use to help connect you and your family to where you live through community-based learning.

Discover information and ideas highlighted in this month’s segment in the following posts:


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).  Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Thursday, October 22!

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Back-To-School with Community-Based Education

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: August Segment
Community-Based Education, Your Year Round Back-to-School Resource!

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 Thursday, August 19, 2015, for their back-to-school week, this time looking at how community-based education supports learning all year round! Sienna and Ashley talk about community engagement as a way of supporting self-initiated self-directed learning, or even a classroom-based curriculum or subject, including history, math, architecture, science, art, botany and biology.

Looking at your community through the lens of an interest is just one point of entry to community-based education. With back-to-school in the air we wanted to encourage our readers, parents, teachers and administrators to remember Hilltown Families as your community resource for supporting interests and education, both inside the classroom and at home.

Discover information and ideas highlighted here in our post,
Community-Based Education Makes Every Day Back-To-School Day

To stay tapped in to community-based educational opportunities happening in western MA, tune in to Hilltown Families by subscribing to our free weekly eNewsletter and receive an update every Thursday!


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).  Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be Thursday, September 24!

Community-Based Education Makes Every Day Back-To-School Day

Hilltown Families: Your Back-to-School Resource, All Year Long!


During the summer months, most children have enjoyed following their interests through outdoor play, reading books they have selected, day-trips with their family, and adventures out in their community. Once late August and early September roll around however, these carefree months of following their own interests and daily rhythms turn towards more organized learning experiences; and for many, the excitement starts to build as families become involved in back-to-school preparations. Maybe this school year will be your child’s first time away from home, or your child is mentally preparing for middle school, or this is their final year in high school… whatever the case, back-to-school can be an exciting time of year for most.

Whether or not your kids are excited about going back to school, or maybe your family homeschools or unschools, that freedom of self-directed learning experienced in the summer months can continue all year round through community engagement outside of the classroom day via community-based education. Read the rest of this entry »

Personalized Education for Teens in Holyoke Draws Upon Community-Based Learning

 Welcome LightHouse Holyoke to Hampden County!

Into the midst of the educational upheaval happening in Holyoke enters LightHouse Holyoke, Personalized Education for Teens, a new school alternative opening in September 2015. Located in the Innovation District of Holyoke, MA, LightHouse will support teens to pursue individualized educational paths while drawing upon community-based learning opportunities and courses.

Each student’s use of the program is personalized, and LightHouse offers four optional Pathways as a foundation: Entrepreneurship, Arts, Tech, and College Prep.  Learning overlaps in the 8-week classes. Additionally, students learn through tutorials – one-on-one, individualized learning experiences that generally (but not always) focus on core academic areas. Students further their learning by engaging with community organizations, allowing them to put theory into practice in real-life contexts.  Read the rest of this entry »

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