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.

Homeschooling teens: The hardest part of Kris’s homeschool year

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

A year ago, I became the mom to a houseful of teens. My baby turned 13 and my oldest was 19 with a 15 year old sandwiched in the middle. Y’all, I thought parenting babies and toddlers was hard, but teens? They present a whole new reason for sleepless nights. And don’t even get me started on their meltdowns and temper tantrums.

Don’t misunderstand. Teens are really awesome people. Society and the media have given them a bad rap. The majority of the teens I know are thoughtful, respectful, amazing individuals who have some incredible insight to offer if you’ll take the time to listen to them.

That doesn’t mean that homeschooling – or parenting – them is a breeze, though.

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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.
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