I was talking to a new homeschool mom a while ago and we were talking about our extended family approving of our decision to homeschool. Of course it is always nice to have their approval, but is it important if they don't approve?
On the defence I would say "I don't need your approval". But on the inside it sure would be nice to have their approval because there is support that will be needed at times. It is so much easier to get through those hard days with support from family and friends. But you cannot force them to be supportive or force their approval.
When I first started homeschooling (9 years ago), I got some strange looks from some family members. I couldn't really blame them though because it isn't common.... so I thought. I just kept my chin up when answering all the questions being thrown at me, not just by family but by friends. I made up in my mind that I was doing this and it was the best decision for my family. I wasn't going to beg for their approval or ask them their opinion even. My husband and I made up our minds that we were doing this.
I tried not to act like I had all the answers, because I still (again 9 yrs. later) do not have all the answers. But what I do know is that we WILL be ok. My children were learning something everyday whether it be from a book, movie, audio or hands on learning..... they were learning. If a question was asked that I didn't know, I just stated that we will cross that bridge when we come to it and it will be ok.
After a while the questioning stopped. Then came the drilling. People would then start asking my children "What did you do in 'school' today?". I've always told my children to be honest. And believe me....when asked that question, they are! And remember, you won't please these people with any answer when their goal is to 'drill' or prove that you aren't doing your job.
Then one day, several months later, the unbelievable happened. Some started 'inquiring' about homeschooling. They themselves were interested in homeschooling their children! I wanted to shout "Oh really? All those negative comments....now YOU want to homeschool?". But of course I didn't. I just gave the best advice I could and was there for them.
Don't get me wrong. I still have some friends that still wonder what is wrong with me for not wanting my children to be 'social' and all. ;)
But again, I don't need or want their approval. True friends will stand behind you and support you....even if they think you may doing the wrong thing..... true friends are supportive. But I don't go rubbing it in their faces. Although I do make sure I post all my positive homeschooling moments and reached goals on my facebook page! :)