This is our seventh year of homeschooling. I have been blessed to have the acceptance of most of our immediate and extended families. There are a few older relatives that don't grasp the concept, but at least they don't criticize.
Our dealings with the public have generally been good as well. Most of the time we go unnoticed. There are a lot of year round schools in the area, so seeing a child out on a school day is normal. Once in a while someone asks about school, and when they hear that we homeschool, they usually say good for you.
Then there are the comments from the ignorant. I usually can come up with a wise crack comment--two days later. Here are some of my favorites.
Setting: Grocery store line, late August 2004. Baby Wild Thing is gnawing his foot. The Crafter is by my side.
Person in line to the Crafter: It's too bad you weren't old enough to go to school this year. I bet you'll be glad to be in kindergarten next year.
Me: Well, she's already doing kindergarten work. We're homeschooling.
Person in line: Oh, I heard about homeschooling. There were some people in Texas that homeschooled and beat their children.
Two days later response: Yes, and there was a third grader assaulted on the bus last week in this town.
Setting: Walmart line, midsummer
Me: I'll be glad when the school supplies go on sale.
Casual Acquaintance: Why? Don't you homeschool?
Me: Uh, well we still need school supplies.
Two days later response: Well, I decided that it was time to try pencils and paper instead of writing with a stick in the dirt.
Setting: The college where I teach a math class. The Crafter was with me because we intended to shop for birthday party supplies.
College Student to the Crafter: Oh, are you out of school today?
The Crafter: I'm homeschooled. I'm going to do my math while Mama teaches her class. Then we're going shopping for my birthday party.
College Student: How can you have any friends if you don't go to school?
The Crafter: Um...I go to church and a theater class.
Two days later response by the Chemist: None. Some statements are just too stupid for a reply.