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Note: This guest post was written by my dear friend Candy, who used to share a blog with me at PatAndCandy.com.
I haven't always said no to outside activities. Years ago, you'd find us participating in many weekly activities. Park group, homeschool co-op, church meetings and small groups (for adults AND kids), and visits with extended family were a part of our normal weekly routine. Extra-curricular interests, such as sports and swimming, field trips, camping trips, and various other homeschool events filled most days of the month.
Our 3rd son developed a rare, life-changing seizure syndrome. Without going into all the details, let me just say -everything changed! Anything that wasn't mandatory was dropped. Homeschooling, of course, made the cut, but all the extra stuff that had mattered so much before didn't.
Years later, he recovered and life returned to normal. We started filling in our calendar and enjoying more time away from home and then I was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly my calendar was filled with hospital visits, chemo, surgery, radiation, and all the other things that go along with a cancer diagnosis. Once again, everything that wasn't absolutely necessary came to a screeching halt. We continued to homeschool, but most everything else was dropped.
Though all is well now, we've continued to keep our calendar fairly clear. I guess I never really thought about the "why" of our mostly stay-at-home homeschooling until recently, but it makes sense that we just value our time at home a little bit more than we used to. That's not to say that those who have busy schedules don't value their time at home - just that we've needed a few years to simply be here more than before.
As my 3rd son enters high school this year, we'll be branching out a bit more to give him more opportunities for social activities and community service. That'll include joining our local homeschool group again and a membership in Key Club. We're encouraging more participation in our church's youth group and some of the activities provided through that venue. And, of course, we'll still get together with Pat and her kids each week!
I have a feeling, though, that even as our calendar fills, it'll not resemble the earlier years of hustle-bustle. I've found that our days flow more smoothly and are more productive when the majority of our time is spent close to home.