This Christmas it’s okay…

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

It’s official. The Christmas season is upon us and many of us are already feeling the stress of the holiday crunch.

It’s a shame that the time of year that should be focused on Christ, peace, and hope becomes such a busy stressful time – but that’s reality for many of us.

The truth is that Christmas is not a holly jolly time for everyone. For many, it is one of the most difficult times of the year. [Read more…]

5 high school truths I wish I’d known

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Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

We graduated our first homeschooled student in 2014.

While homeschooling high school wasn’t a bad experience for us the first time around, there are things I wish I had known because I would have done them a bit differently.

They would have made our good experience an even better one:

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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…]