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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.

Slowing down and making summer memories

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I‘ve read a lot – and even written a lot – on the internet over the last few weeks about summer activities, summer reading lists, summer bucket lists, and so on.

I’m all for summer activities. I signed up for Kids Bowl Free a month ago. I’ve got a copy of the cheap summer movie line-up on my phone. My kids are away at church camp even as I type this and there is plenty on their to-do list for when they get back home.

I can’t help think, though, that we need to be sure to take time to slow down and savor the summer. We, as a society, are busy. All. The. Time.

I think it’s important for families to slow down, be lazy, and put “make memories” at the top of those summer bucket lists – and not the go-go-go sort of memories either, but the kind that are often born of an empty schedule and time together. [Read more…]

Why your teen needs a mentor

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I can’t remember where I read it, but a few years ago I was introduced to the idea that kids, particularly teens, need mentors.

A mentor is an older, trusted adult in whom a teen can confide and who can be trusted to provide sound advice, guidance, and encouragement.

It sounds a lot like a parent, doesn’t it? But, it isn’t.

Why do kids need mentors?

We are older, trusted adults who are willing to provide guidance to our kids and we always have their best interests at heart, so why on earth would we need to bring someone else into the picture?

Because we’re the parents.

[Read more…]

Those little things I miss

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

You know how everyone is always talking about the things you’re going to miss when your kids are older? When you’re knee-deep in diapers and toddler tantrums, sometimes you don’t believe those older moms.

I’m not going to lie to you – I don’t miss diapers or tantrums. I have been known to whisper to my kids that I’m glad they’re grown when witnessing one of those tantrums.

As I – and my kids – have gotten older, I’d started to think that maybe I wasn’t as sentimental as most because I wasn’t exactly pining for those younger days. However, in recent weeks, those nostalgic feelings have hit with a vengeance – particularly in the face of teen trials.

I’m not sure which is worse, dealing with a toddler tantrum or worrying about your 19-year-old who is out on a date – because, you know what? When I look at her, I still see that cherub-faced toddler. Cherub-faced toddlers should not be dating!

If you’re in the trenches with little ones, I thought you might like to know what I’m missing, lest you think that being a mom to older kids is all rainbows and unicorns.

[Read more…]

Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with a 13, 15, &, 19-year-old)

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

It’s 7 a.m. when the alarm starts buzzing. I fumble for the snooze button – as always.

Both my husband and I have our own dual alarms and we both use the same technique – we set one warning alarm and one “I really have to get up” alarm for about 15 minutes later.

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On regular school days, I’m usually up by 7:30 for my workout because, if I don’t do it first thing, it doesn’t get done.
[Read more…]

How to create a stress-free homeschool this December

 

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

This is the time of year when my kids appreciate the fact that we started school in early July. We have been off since last week and will be off until after New Year’s.  We do this so that we can slow down and enjoy the Christmas season with less stress.

Many homeschooling families stick to their regular schedule throughout December because their kids do better with a consistent routine.

However, I know a lot of families are either taking some time off or are drastically scaling back their academic schedule.  If you fall into the latter group, you may be looking for ideas on how to create stress-free learning opportunities this month.

Before I offer my suggestions, let me first offer a disclaimer for families like mine so that you can carry on your December plans, guilt-free as well as stress-free. We start school in early July so that we can take December off. It is a scheduled school break for us.

That means there is lots of video game playing, TV watching, staying up late, and sleeping in. We sometimes bake together or do fun art projects (the girl, not the boy), but that’s the extent of December school for us.

If that describes your family, you may now resume watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, playing Words with Friends, or playing Just Dance with your kids and enjoy your time off. Do not feel an ounce of guilt from the following suggestions.

Now, for those of you who are still doing school, but want to scale back your academic schedule for December, may I suggest the following:
[Read more…]