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.

ADD teen struggles and how you can help

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I used to joke (except it wasn’t entirely a joke) that my job in our early years of homeschooling was to hover near my oldest and say, “Do your work” every few seconds.

Having a child (or two) who struggles with attention and focus can be challenging, particularly as they move into the middle and high school years. The teen years are when most of us hope to start seeing our students transition to independent learners, but that can be difficult for kids who have trouble staying on task.

Many areas can be affected by difficulty focusing. I won’t say that the following are the main areas because that can vary significantly from child to child, but these are areas of struggle that I’ve seen in my kids. They are also areas that I’ve had other parents of ADD or just hard-to-focus kids ask me about.
[Read more…]

Kris’s homeschool day in the life (with a 16-, 18- and 22-year-old )

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

I am a creature of habit who thrives on routine so, unless there is something special going on, most of my days start out the same. (And, I use the term “special” loosely. It could mean anything from breakfast with one of my kids {truly special} to a doctor’s appointment {not so special}.)

I’m so predictable that even the dogs and cats know the routine. I get up by 8:00 a.m. First up is feeding the creatures, letting them out, and giving them treats. They never let me forget the treats. Then, and only then, do I get myself ready for the day.  That means teeth, shower, and hair. Those are the things that wake me up and make me feel human.

I put on my homeschool mom uniform (yoga pants and a tank top), and I’m ready to go out – unless it’s one of those special days. Then it’s jeans and a tank top with a long-sleeved t-shirt to dress things up. [Read more…]

10 morning routines to get your homeschooled kids up and moving

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Some days it can be challenging to get your family out of bed and ready for the homeschool day, but having a consistent morning routine can help.

Try these ten easy morning routines to get your homeschooled kids up and moving.

1. Exercise

Some kids wake up with energy that you need to harness. Others roll out of bed feeling sluggish and need something to get their energy flowing. For either type of kid (or adult), starting the day with morning exercise is a great idea!

Take the dog for a walk, get outside and jump on the trampoline, work out to an exercise video, or do a short yoga routine. Taking even 15-20 minutes to exercise each morning can be the perfect way to get everyone ready to start school with focus.

2. Breakfast and chores

If you’re like me and clutter drives you batty, beginning the day with breakfast and household chores may prove to be the perfect solution. When my kids were little (and all the way through middle school), they knew to check our chore chart first thing every morning.

I would straighten up the kitchen and dining room (our school area) or run the vacuum while the kids completed their chores. It gave everyone a chance to wake up and allowed us to start school in a clutter-free (for about 5 minutes at least!) space.
[Read more…]

4 sure-fire ways to squash your child’s love of learning

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

We’ve all heard that children have an innate sense of curiosity and a love of learning. I don’t think any of us intentionally set out to squash either.

Sometimes we do it, though. We often don’t recognize the role we play in putting out that fire of curiosity.

Are you guilty of any of these?

[Read more…]

How to homeschool home ec

Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

I’m getting ready to show my age. Back when I was in junior high (See? The age-showing is happening already because middle school wasn’t even a thing back then), we took our first elective class in 8th grade. Except it wasn’t really an elective.

All the boys took shop and, directly across the hall, all the girls took home ec. (See? More age showing with all that “boys build things/girls cook and sew things” stuff.)

I still remember proudly making biscuits, as I’d learned in home ec, for my dad one weekend.

(He was either being exceptionally kind or I have totally forgotten those 8th grade lessons because I can’t make biscuits worth a flip anymore.)

There is still an embroidered, apple-shaped pillow somewhere, and the latch-hook rug I made for my grandmother still hangs on her bedroom wall, even though she passed away many years ago.

What is home ec?

We’re long past the “boys take shop/girls take home ec” days, but that doesn’t mean we should be past teaching the skills of home economics.

Home economics encompasses all the skills needed to maintain a home such as:

  • Preparing healthy meals
  • Sewing (at least enough for simple repairs like replacing a button)
  • Housekeeping
  • Basic household repairs
  • Menu planning and grocery shopping
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Balancing a check book/finances
  • Laundry
  • Lawn care
  • Making appointments (Some people hate calling to make a doctor’s appointment, but it’s something we all have to do at some point.)

Basically, what was once called home ec is what most of us now refer to as life skills – and it includes skills that both boys and girls need.

[Read more…]

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