You would come to expect that as a Charlotte Mason homeschooling family, nature studies are part of our routine. I love having free afternoon time for our children to explore and discover, but any time that nature finds it way into our home, I'm willing! I would love to share with you how to study turtles, so you can make your children as happy as my sons are in this photo of them getting up close and personal with a turtle from our property.
How to Study Turtles
Learn about Turtle Habitats
If you don't know where to look for turtles, you may not be rewarded with your exploring in looking for them. Once you learn where they like to live, it will be easier for you to identify where potential turtles are living and discover them on your nature walks or exploring in free afternoons.
Learn to Identify the Different Kinds of Turtles
Most turtles are harmless and a great joy for children to pick up, study and observe. I have so many fond memories of my children finding turtles and building habitats in containers that I would allow them to use outside and take care of them for a few days before letting them go back into their natural habitat.
When my older children were younger and we lived in a different house, we were often visited by snapping turtles, one turtle to be aware of and learn to identify, because one wrong move with one of those and you can lose a finger. We have found large snapping turtles next to our front steps, stuck under my husband's motorcycle, gingerly walking through our back yard and sliding around in our back creek. Every spring, my children would gather several baby snapping turtles and would watch them for a few days and enjoy seeing them at such a cute stage.
Learn What They Eat
In order to care for a wild turtle for a few days, you will need to know what kinds of food they eat and be sure that you can provide for them. Some turtles like different things, so being able to identify them first is important and then gather the right nutrition for them is the next step. All wild creatures belong in the wild, so before your children start getting the idea of raising a new pet, be sure to set guidelines and limits to ‘observing' a turtle and hold them accountable to enforcing what was agreed upon.
Journal the Turtle
Once a turtle was found, even if they provide a homemade habitat to observe it, we would take a photo of it, so they could journal about it later and write the name of the kind of turtle in their journal to help them remember it. They would often times add their foods they ate and the habitat they found the turtle in while exploring.