Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with the turtle and the field trip

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week. It’s passed in a rather busy blur at my house. I’m not even sure what we did Monday other than typical school stuff.

Tuesday was “turtle release day.” A week or so ago, Josh found an Eastern box turtle in the yard. He really wanted to keep it, but we knew that wasn’t a good idea. We settled for observing it for awhile before putting it back where he found it.

We learned that he was a male, which you can tell by the eye color. Males have red-rimmed eyes and females have dark eyes. We also learned that they are primarily carnivores, eating slugs, snails, and worms. When people try to keep them in captivity, they tend to feed the turtles a more plant-based diet like lettuce and fruits. They’ll eat those things, but that’s not really what they’d eat in the wild.

The weather was super-nice most of the time the turtle was visiting, so I’d put him on our screened-in deck so he’d have plenty of room to move without any danger of getting hurt. I figured he had his shell to protect him from curious dogs and cats.


What I didn’t expect was for our dog Peanut to become so enraptured by the turtle. I always knew exactly where the turtle was by looking for Peanut, who never tried to hurt the turtle, but always stayed right with him.

At night, we brought the turtle inside and kept him in an aquarium in the living room. Peanut would lay beside the couch the entire time – unless someone approached the tank. Then, he’d get up and go stand between the intruder and the tank. Depending on his general tolerance of the intruder, Peanut would either watch his or her every move intently, whine, or growl.

Peanut is more tolerant of me, so I just got the intense stare. He’s less tolerant of Megan, so he growled at her. As soon as the intruder walked away, Peanut would go back to his spot beside the couch until the next person dared to approach the turtle tank. Weird animal.

Tuesday was also new ‘do day for Megan and me.


On Wednesday, we went back to the Kennesaw Museum of History and Holocaust Education for this month’s homeschool day. Our favorite activity was on the topic of Navajo Code Talkers. We were given a copy of the code and got to practice deciphering encrypted messages.


We also enjoyed hearing the first-hand account of life on the front-line from a 96-year-old WWII veteran.

Thursday was a busy day of catching up and today looks like another busy one – except we don’t have our government co-op class. As much as I enjoy it, I love having an unexpected day off.

And next week is my weekend moms’ retreat with friends. I can’t believe it’s finally here! I can’t wait!

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Interesting. I didn’t know turtles were carnivores. I definitely would have fed him a lettuce. What I want to know is who ended up searching for slugs in the garden to feed him?
    Have a great weekend, Kris!

    1. No slugs, though I would have given him one if I’d found one. We did give him lettuce, apples, and cucumber because they will eat those things, and we tried mill worms. He didn’t appear to be a fan.

  2. Hey, you have one of your very own “un-likely Friendships” stories! My boys love reading stories of odd animal friendships. So cute that your dog was so protective.

    1. Yes, Peanut was very agitated when we let the turtle go. We learned that Eastern box turtles have a very small home territory, so we hope we’ll see him again from time to time. The kids put a little strip of nail polish on his shell so we’ll know if it’s the same turtle. More nature study!

  3. That is the cutest thing ever about your dog! Ours play nursemaid and guard to the occasional lamb or chick, but guarding a turtle from you guys is wonderful. I love the quirkiness of dogs.

    Both of you look lovely with the new ‘dos. 🙂

  4. I just adore your homeschool and how you clearly love critters as much as I do. What a neat opportunity to observe the turtle– and good job releasing him. Love that your pup had a fondness for him, also!

  5. We’ve had a couple of temporary box turtle pets, too, but it’s been a while. They are pretty cool, and I remember learning that about the eye color but I still think it’s weird to determine gender that way. It’s hilarious that Peanut wanted to be his buddy/protector!

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