Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - VICTORY! Ear Lobe Genetics & Bat Baby Smells!

It has been quite a busy week for 'The Circus'.  While not much has been going on in the blogsphere, there's plenty happening in real life as we wrap up before break.


First of all, I must share a big victory and encourage those of you who have a child struggling with writing.

My oldest has struggled with creative writing from the beginning.  At the end of 3rd grade he could not write one sentence without tears.  This year, through our local co-op, a wonderful Mom who has a gift for writing and encouragement took the high school kids under her wing.  Admittedly, many of these kids don't have any writing issues.  But, it was beneficial for my son to hear the thought processes and writings from these kids in a non-judgemental environment.

I'm ecstatic to report that he made his first 'A' in writing!  He has come a LONG way in 6 years.  We continue to take this step by step and count each step forward (no matter how small) as a victory.  Slow and steady wins the race!

IEW Grade
Meanwhile, the youngers had some hands-on science fun!  This week we learned about bats.  Bats are unique in that they don't birth their young in nests - but, 'keep' them corporately in a nursery.  With hundreds of bat babies, bat mommies are able to find their young based on smell.  So, we pretended we were bat mommies looking for our babies.

After assembling a variety of cotton ball pairs with the same scent (vanilla, lemon, anise, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, spearmint, peppermint and plain) each 'parent' got a cotton ball with their specific scent on it.
Bat mommies and babies smell experiement
Bat mommies and babies 'smell' experiment


The rest of the cotton balls (babies) were mixed up in the center of the table.  Then the kids took turns trying to find their baby that matched their specific scent.  It made for lots of giggles as the kids tried to not only figure out their own scent but the matching 'baby' as well!


Bat babies and mommies smell experiment


Afterwards we returned to our assembled birdhouses to paint and decorate them.

Painting birdhouses


It was a combination science and art class!

Painting birdhouses

Even the Nip Napper had his own little birdhouse.

Painting birdhouses

Unfortunately between the paint and the clear enamel, the birdhouses couldn't come home with us until they finished drying.


While the youngers were busy, the olders worked on their experiments as well.  For the past two weeks, the high schoolers studied genetics.  Again, I was blessed to have my oldest son in a class lead by a parent who firmly understood the topic!!!

From the following info/pictures of our family, my son was able to compile a Punnet square based on attached and non-attached ear lobes:

Ear Lobes

Ear Lobes

Ear Lobes

Ear Lobes

Ear Lobes

Ear Lobes

Resulting Punnet Square:



Punnet Square
Punnet Square


While there was plenty of learning going on, there were some fun festivities as well!




Assembling a gingerbread hous
Assembling a gingerbread house

The finished product
The finished product



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