I was going to post this at a later date--this is something I wrote a few years ago, but a friend of mine asked me to encourage a discouraged homeschool mom whose family disapproves. So, I thought I would post it now so she could read it. Perhaps it will encourage others as well.
When Family Disapproves, by Jill © 2003
I come from a family of teachers, in fact I have a teaching degree but chose to stay home and have a large family (5 children) instead of working. My parents were opposed to homeschooling from the start---and that was in 1990. We treated homeschooling as the proverbial "Elephant in the Room" -- we didn't talk about it. My dad did teach the boys drafting and woodshop, but my parents felt the kids needed a classroom setting in order to be able to go on to college, etc. At that time we were in a church of about 3000, and we were the only home educators in our church.
I was raised with the premise that education is your salvation. It is how my dad pulled himself out of poverty, so it is no wonder they were skeptical. Although Christians, they did not understand any of our convictions for educating our 5 children at home.
After SEVEN YEARS, my dad came and sat at the table where I was checking over some math papers and said, "You know we never approved of you homeschooling the kids. (Long Pause) But I see what great kids you have, and the closeness they have, how well they are doing and want to tell you your sacrifice was worth it. You have done a great job and you made the right decision."
Sometimes you just have to live it out---you can't talk it out or prove it with statistics, you have to live it out, just like your faith---day by day. My dad died a few years later, and oh what a sweet memory the above is for me. How glad I am that we stuck to it, that we lived it out, that we were kind and gentle with scoffers. Hopefully you will be able to tell your own stories of acceptance in the years to come.