It's one thing when you get criticized for your decision to homeschool from strangers or people you know but not very well. But what about when your close family or friends do not support your decision to homeschool?
It's hard and it hurts when those who you care about the most cannot respect your parenting decisions. A lot of times, people just do not want to understand and accept what is different. They think because they went to Public School or perhaps even teach in one that that is the best way for children to be educated. They think that because PS teachers go to school and get a degree they are better qualified to teach. They may believe the lie that if you homeschool your child will not get enough "socialization" and will not be able to function in "the real world." Even when you try to talk and explain your reasons for homeschooling they may get angry, tell you your crazy, or try to convince you that you are incapable of teaching your own children.
The Public School system is NOT the best way for children to be educated. In fact I truly believe that it is the worst possible learning environment for many reasons, but that is a different blog post entirely. The idea that homeschooles live a sheltered existence with no outside activities is absolutely ridiculous. Homeschooling allows for plenty of positive social, real life experiences. You are more than qualified and capable of teaching your children. But, the truth is there will be people that you cannot convince of that and some of them may be the ones closest to you.
So what can you do? Do NOT seek those people out looking for support or a listening ear about homeschooling. Seek out those who will encourage or give you support. If you don't know any other homeschoolers, look in your area for a local support group or even an online network. You will need a support system. Don't get into debates or spend your time trying to justify or convince them you made the right choice. Some people may come around when they see how well things are going, but others will not. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and spend your time talking about other things.
The bottom line is this. YOU are the parent. God has entrusted you with the raising and care of the children He blessed you with. You have to make the decisions that you think are best for your children. Other people may not agree with your decision, but they don't have to. It's YOUR decision and you made it for a reason. Stay strong, have faith, and be encouraged! Many other homeschoolers have gone through the same thing. Personally, some of my family and friends came around. Some didn't. But, I know to the bottom of my heart that our decision to homeschool was one of the best decisions we have ever made!