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Meet our Turtle Wurtle!

Hello, this post is part of our creative writing linkup for teens and tweens. It is dedicated to my turtle, named Wurtle.

Middle and High School Linkup for Students and Moms!

 

His name was originally Kristal when we thought it was a girl, then we thought it was a boy and renamed it Kris. We still are not sure what its gender is, so its nick-name, Wurtle has sort of become its permanent nickname / real name.  Wurtle is a red-eared slider that we found in our pool. My dad was getting the pool ready after the winter and was putting Shock in the pool. After he had poured the Shock in, he found the turtle. He brought it in the house in a container and showed it to us. We were in the classroom doing history at the time and were studying Kristallnacht (Also known as The Night of Breaking Glass). When he told us he had just used Shock in the pool we were scared we might have blinded the poor turtle so we decided to keep it.

 

Wurtle

When we first got Wurtle, he was about the size of a quarter, now he has grown to about the size of my hand. He is a huge eater… eating close to a can of turtle food in a month. My brother, Chase, trained our turtle to bite your fingers. We used to hand feed Wurtle and when he bit you when he was little, it did not hurt. Recently, when I was hand feeding Wurtle, he bit my hand and just wouldn’t let go! I could have dragged him around the tank with him still attached to my finger. That was unusual, most of the time he let go after a few seconds. I have been working on getting it out of the biting stage and now, it won’t even eat out of my hand anymore! So now I put the food in the water and on a fake log for it to eat.

Disclosure

Our turtle is in our classroom, and it just so happens that it is right beside my brother Gage and close to me. The reason why I like this is because it is very calming to watch and hear. Turtle swims around the tank a lot and dives off the rocks. The sound of water is nice and our filter has a waterfall, so it’s pretty to look at too! Since the turtle is in our classroom, it became part of our school work too. Mom wrote a post about some of the works we used to study about turtles.

When we first got Wurtle, we had to do lots of research to learn all about red-eared sliders. We needed to know how to take care of it so we researched things like:

  • What it likes to eat
  • what its tank needed to have
  • how big it would grow
  • how warm to keep the water
  • what kind of heat lamp to use, and
  • many other things about how to care for Wurtle.

These are the books we used to research turtles:

We quickly learned that keeping a turtle healthy and happy is a little bit of work. Not so much that we didn’t want to keep it, but more than we expected. One thing that we found out the first week… turtle tanks get dirty and FAST! That was the worst part of taking care of the turtle in the beginning. We had to clean the entire tank every week to keep the water clean. Until mom bought a Viquarium. That was the best thing we found to help keep the turtle tank clean. Here is a video from the company that makes it.  We highly recommend it!!

Do you have a turtle or other reptile?  Tell us about it!

New Feature for 2014 – Montessori Made Affordable

We are a Montessori homeschooling family.  I have been homeschooling for five years and prior to that, I was the Chairman of the Board for a local Montessori School for three years.  We LOVE the Montessori pedagogy and believe it is one of the reasons our boys are so advanced in their education… Montessori created a strong foundation to build on.  However, Montessori materials are expensive which makes many of the items out of reach for homeschoolers. Because I really believe in the Montessori method, I want to help you by creating a new feature for 2014 – Montessori Made Affordable.

Montessori Made Affordable

As I find items that are either a less expensive version of a traditional Montessori work or material or a deal I’ve stumbled upon, I’ll post them here on our blog and on our Facebook page.  It may be an article on how to make the item, it may be a link to a sale, it may be a used item… but any and all will be opportunities to help you implement Montessori concepts in your homeschool more economically.

This blog is actually part of our upper level Montessori homeschool curriculum.  We teach creative writing via Institute for Excellence in Writing and part of my boys’ creative writing curriculum is to blog here at Live and Learn Farm. (Note:  We are starting a link up for tweens and teens in 2014 for other homeschoolers to have an outlet for their children to blog as part of their writing curriculum too!)

In addition to the blog being part of our boys’ creative writing curriculum, it is also part of their Montessori practical life studies. Maria Montessori suggested an Erdkinder environment for children in upper level grades.  We have created our version of an Erdkinder here at Live and Learn Farm… we call it farmschooling.  All of our boys have farm businesses, and they will also be blogging about their businesses.  In this plane of development, Montessori encouraged teaching our children a means to financial independence.

Maria Montessori Four Planes of Development

Along that line, and in the interest of full disclosure… we are an affiliate with some organizations (Amazon, for instance) and are paid a commission if you purchase due to our recommendation.  We will ALWAYS be honest in our recommendation and only recommend items we have used or would use in our homeschool. There is ZERO additional cost to you and it is a tiny (and I mean tiny) amount to us.  That is part of teaching the boys how to earn a living by doing something they LOVE to do (and me too) … writing.

If you are enjoying this post and want to see more, please sign up for our newsletter, join us on Facebook and Google+, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest or sign up on the right to follow our blog.

We hope by showing you how we are continuing to use the Montessori educational philosophy to teach our boys in the upper grades, sharing what is working, how we are implementing it and being genuine in our failures, that you will be blessed by our blog and that it will help you continue to Montessori homeschool into the upper grades.  If we succeed, we hope you will consider our efforts to share our experiences worthwhile and will help – by not only using our links when we introduce the items if they make sense for your homeschool – but also by sharing them with your friends.  We will learn together and help each other!

Thank you for being part of our community and we look forward to presenting Montessori Made Affordable in 2014!

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Another Reason I love homeschooling

Tuesdays.  They are not my favorite days.  Not because of the day of the week, but because we are on the road for 40 minutes one way to our local homeschool co-op.  I love how much the boys are getting out of their art Class (Thanks Ms. Mary), but I just hate driving that far for one class.  This is our second year taking art classes and the boys’ skills are improving dramatically. (Remember, I am determined they will not grow up to be an art vacuum like me, so we will soldier through.) However, this Tuesday was different. It was one of those days that remind me of why I love homeschooling.

This morning we worked on their Institute for Excellence in Writing, Student Writing Intensive A. it is really review, but is a great place to start before they leap into major history writing via Trisms.  Because it is review, success is almost guaranteed. We love those scenarios! After we finished IEW and lunch, we piled into the car for the drive to co-op.  Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of the book my nine-year old has in hand. This book.

Light Reading

Blake brought it along for the boys to quiz each other about the elements… for FUN! Have I mentioned lately I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING! I’m sure over the course of writing I’ll end up sharing the other 999,999,999 reasons along the way.  

Until next time!  

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