About Kris

Kris, who blogs at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, is a homeschooling mom to three amazing kids and wife to her unbelievably supportive husband. She enjoys photography, running, and drinking sweet tea. You can connect with Kris on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

How to foster independence in your homeschool student

krismainpicmo

The following post is written by contributing writer Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I‘ll go out on a limb here and say that the majority of parents who’ve homeschooled more than a year or two start thinking about creating independent learners.

Once our kids have mastered the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, we’re ready to start preparing them for learning on their own.

It’s not, I don’t think, that we are eager to get away from our kids. It’s just that, by that point, we’ve spent a lot of time pouring in to them and we’re ready for them to start working on their own a bit.

You know, long enough for us to do a load of laundry, put away the dirty dishes, or make a quick phone call.

Or go to the bathroom alone.

I don’t really expect a lot of independence from my kids until they’re about middle school age, but there are little things that we can start doing to prepare them before then. [Read more...]

Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with a 12-, 14-, and 18-year old)

kris'sdayinlife

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

This homeschooling year, our 11th, has been one of the best we’ve had in a few years. I attribute that to the fact that I now have two middle school students and one mostly-graduated. (I’ll explain how “mostly-graduated” works in a bit.)

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The preschool years are so much fun. Everything is new and exciting.

Elementary is a time of delving into some of my favorite topics (American history, for example) for the first time.

The middle school years, though … well, for a mom who’s been at this for awhile, it’s a time of transitioning to having a houseful of independent learners. To some of you that may sound sad — like I’m not enjoying being knee-deep in school with my kids all day long. For others, it sounds like the light at the end of the tunnel. [Read more...]

5 tips for taking the stress out of Christmas

Less-Stressful-Christmas

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

As beautiful as the Christmas season is, it can also be an extremely stressful time of year.

There are often many more commitments than normal – plays, parties, service opportunities – and then there is the pressure to find special gifts for the people in our lives. Trying to maintain a normal school schedule becomes much more difficult.

How do you enjoy the season, individually or as a family, without all the stress? [Read more...]

4 keys to a good homeschool day

4 keys to a good homeschool day
Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

In the day-to-day of life, every homeschool parent hopes for good homeschool days.

Sure, we know they aren’t all going to look like that photo on the front of the homeschooling magazine. We also know that bad days are inevitable. However, there are steps we can take to ensure that that good days outweigh the bad.

Our family works on a six weeks on/one week off schedule. Last week was our break week. You’d expect that it would have been a great week, but, surprisingly enough, the week before went more smoothly and was far less stressful than break week.

In considering what might be the cause behind break week being more stressful than a school week, I identified a few key factors that seem to contribute to a good day, homeschool or otherwise.
[Read more...]

Using technology in your homeschool

teens and technology

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

A couple of weeks ago, I had finally saved enough money to do something that I’d wanted to do for several months – get my two younger kids laptops. We don’t spend a lot of money on curriculum and, now that they’re both in middle school, I saw a lot of positives to them each having their own computers (rather than using mine or the ancient desktop that’s on its last leg).

The two immediate benefits I saw were math and typing. We use computer-based math programs and both kids are going to be learning typing this year. The fact that the kids are now able to do those things on their own devices is definitely a sanity-saver. However, I’m seeing lots of other benefits as well.
[Read more...]