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While visiting a local wildflower garden, I spotted a white butterfly.

It contrasted nicely against the dark red flower.

Although you might have thought I was referring to the color, the common name of these butterflies is "white." The family name is Pieridae and the subfamily is Pierinae.

It can be difficult to identify whites to species because the color varies, sometimes between seasons. The one above is likely a checkered white.

This is a cabbage white from last fall.


March 14 was National Learn About Butterflies Day.

If you'd like to celebrate all week, try:

Please let us know if you have any questions.


A friend contacted me today because her grandchildren's school is closed. She knew I had homeschooling experience and asked if I had any resources to recommend. Since many of you might be in the same boat, I thought I'd share here.

First of all, there might be a silver lining. Not going to school is an exciting opportunity to let children learn about topics they are passionate about. Use your youngsters' interests as a way to step into learning at home and to keep them engaged.


I. Online Lessons:

A great place to start for a traditional learning experience is Khan Academy.  It requires a sign in for record keeping, but is free and you can try it without signing in. I’ve used it extensively and found it to be very good because it progresses in a logical manner. A lot of videos to help explain things step-by-step, too.

Enchanted Learning is a paid service that has been around forever and has everything under the sun.  They are offering it for free to students whose schools are closed, but you have to fill out a form.

PBSKids is a good resource, too. You can sign up for daily tips and activities for learning designed for the recent school closings.

BBC has Bitesize lessons, which has a cool British flair.

Also check out Starfall. It has game-like cartoon illustrations which kids enjoy.

Growing With Science has tons of hands-on science activities. See the growing list.

Great science at The Happy Scientist.

New additions:  A dedicated group of STEAM authors has put together a list of links to many activities at STEAM Team 2020.

Wow! Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators (SCBWI) has put together a giant digital resource list of activity pages and teacher's guides.  Well worth diving into for some amazingly creative materials.

II. Books

Libraries are wonderful resources — with ebooks available if you don’t want to leave the house. Some libraries stock homeschool curricula. Favorite educational series are The American Girl, Dear America, or My Name is America series for history; The Magic School Bus series for science; The Magic Treehouse series for history or science; and Discover America State by State for geography.

I have lists of great STEM books by topic at Science Books for Kids  See also the list of books to learn about the 50 States at Reading Through the States.

III. Videos

YouTube has a video for anything you can imagine, but you have to know how to search. Examples:

IV. Virtual Museum Tours

List of Links to get you started.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you'd like any further information.

Final note:  Take this as an opportunity to enjoy nature every day. You'll be glad you did.

Now Pi Day March 14 (3.14) has become International Day of Mathematics as well. Let's celebrate with math books and activities!

Pi is based on the relationship (ratio) between circumference of a circle and its diameter. If you're a bit rusty in math, the diameter is a straight line segment that passes through the center of a circle and has endpoints on the circle. The circumference is the distance around the outside of the circle.

π = C/d

It is a fascinating number because it is so useful, but it is also irrational. That means it is an infinite, non-repeating decimal.

Pi Day activities can run the gamut from serious to seriously lighthearted.

You might want to check out

One great way to celebrate Pi Day is to read a book about math. See our growing list of children's math books for Pi Day and every day at Science Books for Kids and our list of Women Who Count, biographies of women mathematicians (also useful for Women's History Month).


Visit our Pi Day Pinterest Board for even more ideas.