It's not that we had never talked about homeschooling before. In fact, my oldest had been begging for it for years. My hubby had suggested it many times. Even her elementary school principal had told me during one of our many thousands of meetings that he thought homeschooling might be her place to shine. It was just that I wasn't ready. School was like day care for me. It allowed me to work and was a welcome reprieve from the stress of raising a child who was strong willed, independent and seemingly unmotivated. Even after I closed my business, I still wasn't on board.. My oldest and I just didn't get along that well and I couldn't imagine that homeschooling with me at the helm could work. I had no idea how to get through to her. Despite my training as a therapist, I was lost.
But in 6th grade a tiny opening in my heart started to grow. My oldest attended a private school for gifted kids that year and it was a complete and heartbreaking disaster. She loved the way they taught but developed severe stomach issues that kept her out of school often- like 2-3 days a week at times. . She had few friends and was struggling physically and emotionally. My heart was breaking for her as I watched her day after day crying that she wanted to go to school but she just couldn't. I felt very isolated and alone. School just wasn't supposed to be like this. My daughter was smart and curious but that bright light in her was fading. Something changed in me after we blew through yet another school. I started to see that school not just as a place to learn but a place where one should be able to live to one's whole potential and I just didn't see how I was going to find that anywhere but home.
So in 7th grade when I got that phone call from her teacher, in our 3rd school in 3 years my hope was beginning to fade. And after the obligatory meeting where the school told me all that was wrong with my child and how she needed to get engaged but offered no real plan for how they were going to help her get there and after we finally had her tested by a psychologist to confirm what we suspected all along- that she was profoundly gifted- I saw that no one was going to be able to fix this for my child but me and if I wasn't up for the task= I had better darn well get ready.