On obesity & overcoming: A homeschooling mom’s story

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Hi, my name is Kris and I used to be obese.

Sometimes I wonder if that’s how I should introduce myself. On the one hand, it’s cool seeing the look on people’s faces when they hear how much weight I’ve lost. (Just being transparent…I’ve never accomplished anything quite so impressive as losing nearly 100 pounds before.)

On the other hand, it’s also nice having people only know me as “skinny me.” (Skinny being a term I use rather loosely considering I’m still “overweight” on most charts.)

Usually, I opt to tell my story, though – not to brag, but to inspire. You see, after 16 or so years of obesity and multiple failed weight-loss attempts, I do believe that if I can lose weight, anyone can. There are no magic pills or special diets. It’s just a lot of hard work and determination. It’s completely changing your lifestyle and your eating habits. It’s not easy, but so worth it.

So how does a busy homeschool mom find time to completely change her life?
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How to organize your homeschool supplies (Back to School Week)

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

You’ve purchased all your curriculum. You’ve stocked up on pencils, paper, and glue sticks. You’ve stockpiled enough manipulatives to outfit a small school. Now, what are you supposed to do with it all? Where are you going to store it so that your family can still use the dining room table for, well, dining?

After 10 years of homeschooling, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding places to store school stuff…and my husband has come to terms with the fact that people will know we homeschool when they sit in our dining room.

Some of my favorite simple storage solutions include:
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Summer art and science fun

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Once a year, our local museums – children’s, history, art, and one aquarium – have a night in which, if you’re a member of one, you can rotate through all the museums. They have a shuttle that takes members from one museum to another and you can spend as much time as you like at each.

We did the tour several years ago when my kids were younger and we had a membership to the children’s museum.

We were having a blast…until we got to the art museum.
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ABC books for elementary and beyond

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

ABC books are just for young children learning to recognize their letters, right? Wrong! Homemade ABC books can be a great learning tool for elementary and beyond.

ABC books are a versatile tool that provide a simple formula for students to follow in organizing their thoughts and ideas, an easy outline for sharing them, and room for creativity in expressing them. It’s easy to vary the level of difficulty to cover a wide span of ages and abilities.
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Trail Guide to Learning (Curriculum Fair 2012)

Written by contributor Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Children’s ages: 16, 12, and 10
Educational Philosophy Influences: Classical, Charlotte Mason, Eclectic

I‘m really excited about the 2012-2013 school year! That’s because we’ll be continuing with curriculum that we found this year – curriculum that we love! Trail Guide to Learning. My older daughter will be continuing with Switched on Schoolhouse, which works well for her in this season of her educational life.

We began using Trail Guide to Learning (Paths of Settlement) in January of this year and have thoroughly enjoyed it! Trail Guide, published by the folks at Geography Matters, is an all-inclusive curriculum that covers everything except math.

I never thought I was an all-inclusive curriculum kind of gal, so I was a little skeptical about trying it. However, we were really floundering for a history curriculum that my kids would enjoy and Trail Guide sounded like what I had in mind – heavy on biographies and historical fiction, with lots of hands-on learning.

I was in seventh heaven when the UPS showed up with “the big box.”
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