by Jill Evely
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) instead of working. My parents were against 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 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, finally 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 has 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.
Jill Evely is a homeschooling mom and a consultant/moderator for Sonlight Curriculum's forums. Her kids are grown now. She initially began homeschooling when her oldest son was in middle school, due to safety problems at the school, and her son's asthma. She writes, "My husband had more faith in me that I had in myself, but within a month Cris was whistling, a sound I hadn't heard for months. His asthma was non-existant. He was growing spiritually. We had made the right choice."