From the archives, a review that is worth a second look ...
It was with great excitement that I picked up my copy of Natalie Wickham’s book. I, too, am a homeschool graduate, and I could not wait to read an honest account of growing up counter-culture. Imagine my delight, upon beginning the first chapter, to discover that Natalie’s homeschool beginnings were so like my own. I identified with her first day of school-at-home: the carefully arranged desks in the meticulously prepared homeschool-room; the carefully-chosen wall-charts, assignment notebooks, and workbooks; and the nervous excitement while saying the pledges to the flags. I also relished Natalie’s honestyregarding the natural emotions homeschoolers face when the newness wears off: the anxiety about leaving friends from the former church-school and feeling like an outsider at times during church activities; the struggle with family relationships in the first year while siblings adjust to being home all day together; the periods of adjustment every time Mom re-evaluates her teaching styles; and the strain of trials on the entire family as they deal with tragedy while learning together. She shares each of these with us, and how they overcome them with joy and strength.
Pajama School is not merely an account of homeschool success, though you will certainly come away encouraged in your teaching by reading Natalie’s story. And it is not merely an amusing tale of growing up at home, though the irrepressible homeschool humor shines through on many occasions. It is not even a treatment of biblical principles, although Natalie does discuss her wrestlings with peer-dependency, feminism, courtship, politics, entrepreneurship, bitterness, institutionalization, higher learning, and pride. More than these, Pajama School is a transparent look at how the Lord can use family discipleship to begin a life-long relationship with Himself.
Natalieis honest, painfully honest at times, regarding how God used her unconventional education, her committed parents, and her own sinful yet broken heart to accomplish His will in her life. As she says,
The Lord has a way of using the right people at the right time to teach me, counsel me, and help me understand different areas of life from His perspective. That’s an education far above and beyond what I could have ever learned from a textbook!
– Pajama School, page 50
You can find out more information on Natalie Wickham’s Pajama School – Stories from the Life of a Homeschool Graduate on the Pajama School website. Natalie offered a special discount at the end of her “Ask the Grad” profile this week; use the code at Sibro Publishing to buy your own copy of Pajama School today!