About Kris

Kris Bales is the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest voice behind Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She and her husband of over 25 years are parents to two amazing teens and a homeschool grad. Kris has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. She also seems intent on becoming the crazy cat lady long before she's old and alone.

How our mini co-op is holding me accountable


Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I heard this rumor that homeschooling families like to hear about what’s working well for other homeschooling families. So I wracked my brain trying to think of what I could share with you.

There’s Teaching Textbooks, which makes me so happy because I don’t have to teach algebra, but that would be a pretty short blog post. There’s the fact that my teens are now working mostly independently, but I’m not sure that would help moms of younger kids.

Then it hit me – our small weekly co-op!

If I had to pick just one thing that’s worked exceptionally well for us this year that could work just as well for other homeschooling families, it would be our mini co-op.

[Read more…]

Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with a 15-, 17-, and 21-year-old)

Kris's homeschool day in the life (with a 15-, 17- & 21-year-old)

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

After I turn off the alarm (usually by 7:45 at the latest), I turn on my phone. As soon as it boots up, there’s a text: “Up yet?”

I smile. That means that our new addition, a puppy, has not let her person sleep much – or woke her up too early.

“Let me take a shower, and I’ll watch her,” I reply. Because it’s not much easier to take a shower with a new puppy than it is with a new baby. At least the baby won’t eat your shoes while you wash your hair.

This is how our days have been starting out lately, though Belle, the shepherd/husky mix pup is getting better at letting her person, my 21-year-old, sleep until at least 7:30 or 8. Funny how that would have been an ungodly hour a few years ago.

A homeschool day in the life

This is the kid who liked to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning doing her school work so she could sleep until nearly noon the following day. I was warned that she’d never be able to adjust to “normal” hours. She has. Unless a puppy keeps her up half the night.

By 8:30 or so, I’m on puppy-sitting duty as I sip my morning Spark, a vitamin/energy drink that’s my alternative to the coffee for which I never developed a taste.

Puppy-sitting isn’t a bad deal. Belle is very smart and already whines at the door to go out. Mostly, I just keep an eye out to make sure she’s playing with the big dogs instead of chewing up something she shouldn’t or terrorizing the cats.

I work from home as a blogger, writer, and social media manager. Now that I have late-sleeping teens, I spend the first couple of hours of my day working. It’s much easier than when they were younger. I don’t even have to be exceptionally quiet. No one is going to wake up until I force them out of bed.

[Read more…]

How to navigate the ups and downs of the teen years

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

If you’re the parent of a teen or tween, you know that those can be some emotionally difficult years. If you’re not there yet, hold on! Get ready for a ride on a wild emotional roller coaster.

Don’t misunderstand. Teens get a bad rap when it comes to attitudes and teen angst. I happen to think most teens are really amazing people. However, with hormones run amok and young people beginning to face more grown-up situations, emotions run high through these years.

I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my teens – not because I want to shelter them and not because I wouldn’t be similarly involved in their lives if they went to a traditional school. Rather, it’s because I so appreciate the extra time I have with my teens to come alongside them in these emotionally-charged years.

Today I want to share some tips for helping your teens through emotionally difficult situations – tips that are universal, no matter where your kids attend school.

[Read more…]

It’s okay to say no

It's okay to say no
Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

A few years ago, it was very popular for mom bloggers to write about being the “yes mom.” There were blog posts, Facebook status updates, and Instagram photos capturing those yes mom moments.

I know because I wrote and snapped many of them myself.

Maybe it’s still a thing; I don’t know. In case it isn’t, the gist of it was don’t tell your kids no when you could just as easily say yes.

Yes, we can have ice cream before dinner tonight. Yes, you can jump in the mud puddle. Yes, we can play a board game.

It was a fabulous concept – one whose implementation resulted in some amazing memories with my kids.

However, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to say no, too. [Read more…]

On how maybe you never really have it all together – and that’s OK

On how

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

There are so many things I want to tell you in this little space I have with you.

They may seem random, but as I ponder what your heart may be longing to hear as you embark on a new homeschooling year (if you haven’t already), I realize that the random tidbits may be more cohesive and less insignificant than they seem at first glance.

[Read more…]