Your letter was a joy to read. I took a few moments to meditate upon your new adventure into homeschooling. I sense that you are an eager, docile, and loving mom who is trying very hard to be considerate and respectful of your in-laws. What a blessing for your husband and powerful witness for me.
Before we get into the answer to your question in detail, let me explain something about grades, etc. I have found that each state has very different regulations concerning homeschooling. It would be good to get in touch with persons in your particular state that can give you the truth about what a particular state requires.
Now for my opinions.
Grades at the elementary level are not at as crucial as they will become later in learning. When my older children were in public school, a "grade" usually consisted of a "S" (satisfactory if the skill had been mastered) or "U" (unsatisfactory if the skill being taught needed more work). Isn't this the most important information that we as parent/teachers need? It is our goal to instill a love for learning, a desire to master skills, and a sense of discovery which will lead to a life-long love for the academic process as it is manifested in all aspects of life. Many times when we focus upon grades for their own sake it destroys the joy of learning.
Our children are being prepared to enter into the Communion of Saints. CHC's motto is Educating for Eternity. This is the worthiest of priorities. I think it is safe to say that all mothers and fathers want to be reunited with their children in Heaven. Our instruction here on earth can make this not only possible but doable as well. Praise God.
Explain to your dear in-laws that you are following a call that has been heard in your heart. The Lord calls us into tasks and then in His infinite mercy and love, He alone has the power to empower us with the skills necessary to do what He asks of us. Isn't that comforting?
Your doubting in-laws love their grandchildren very much and probably are curious about the nature and the outcome of homeschooling. As time travels and they begin to see first hand the love and commitment and the fruits of Catholic homeschooling, they will no doubt be your biggest supporters. I say this because of something I sense in your letter.
When we are understanding and compassionate of those persons who misunderstand or are confused about our actions, the Lord not only graces us with the patience necessary to deal with these misunderstandings, but rewards our kindness with His strength.
Keep praying for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to gift you with the actions, explanations, and words that will ease your in-laws' concerns and perhaps draw them closer to the homeschooling lifestyle and their support of your choices.
Jesus, I ask for a fresh anointing of the wisdom which is of the Holy Spirit. If it be Your will please give this mom the words to say that will make it possible for her to explain homeschooling to her children's grandparents. Lord, we trust in Your care for each of us and Your overwhelming desire to have each of us with You in Heaven. Empower us with the graces necessary to keep this as our highest priority as well. We love You, Lord, and long to see Your face. Sacred Heart of Jesus, hold us near. Amen. 1 Peter 5:7
Sending out a prayer,