Pajama School is a unique book in the sense that very few books chronicle a school experience beginning as early as the fourth grade. But this book is much more than the story of a schoolgirl progressing through school with all the trials, fun, and games. This book is about a family and how God blessed this family because of their simple faith that what He says He will do. It will be a tremendous encouragement for any family who wants to obey God, but will especially bless the homeschool mom or child that needs a little encouragement to get through the day, the week, or even the school year. Natalie tells the story with brutal honesty and a refreshing prose. Without appearing to make an effort to lay down principles for living, with story after story, it’s like reading one of the parables, but much easier to see the principle that is being taught. This book is for anyone that doesn’t mind laughing, crying, and every other emotion – all in one page. The bottom line is that after you finish reading, you will say: “Natalie, when are you going to write your next book? I can’t wait.”
Many books have been written about homeschooling and much advice has been given. However, the real experts are those who go through the process. That’s what makes this book valuable. It provides perspectives that would help every parent and homeschool student.
Founder, Institute in Basic Life Principles
Natalie Wickham seems like a delightful young lady, and her homeschooling experiences have clearly contributed to her growth.
Pajama School is one of those rare books which allows readers full and generous access to the thoughts and judgments of a girl becoming a woman. It’s also a comprehensive record of “Cornerstone School,” where Natalie, Nicole, Nadine, Noelle, Naomi, and Joey Wickham learned their ABC’s and much else under the direction of their parents (and one another). Homeschooling takes many forms these days in America, but while the author is an eloquent advocate of her own experience, everyone who sets his or her own particular preference aside long enough to read Pajama School with an open mind will take real value from Miss Wickham’s observations. You’ll like this book, I feel certain.
~John Taylor Gatto
Author, Dumbing Us Down and Weapons of Mass Instruction
Natalie writes convincingly and cheerfully of the “other” side of homeschooling – that of the student. I enjoyed the honest, inside look at a homeschooling family navigating through the turbulent waters of modern day life. But beyond the humor is Natalie’s heart for living for the Lord as an adult. This book will be an inspirational resource for all those “others” who, like Natalie, have finished homeschooling and are seeking God’s will. This is a welcome addition to all the books on homeschooling!
Veteran Homeschool Mom of 3
Author, Who Should We Then Read?
Pajama School is a warm-hearted, exuberant, and thoughtful story of nurtured life in a homeschooling family, and a little more life after homeschooling!
Host, Generations Radio
Author, Upgrade, The Second Mayflower, and Numerous Other Family Resources
Homeschoolers will be inspired, blessed, and encouraged as they read Pajama School. Natalie masterfully relates how homeschooling both provided her with and prepared her for real life experiences. In addition, she challenges the reader to walk closely with the Lord and follow His leading.
Having also started our homeschooling journey with the chalkboard in the front of the room, and the kindergartner ready for a three hour school session, this book has real life comic relief. If families can find the delicate balance between the “life education” that we offer as we teach our children and the book learning that we know they need to learn, we will all be more successful in our endeavors. May Pajama School be a blessing to all who enter into this journey. And may you laugh along the way!
Natalie is a perfect example of a homeschooling success story and the kind of woman you want your daughter to grow up to be like. As a former member of the “Derby Group” and a homeschooling Mom myself, so many of the things Natalie has written hit home for me! Homeschooling isn’t an easy choice, but if God leads you to do it, He will bless your efforts.
Natalie never ceases to amaze me with her accomplishments and activities. We’ve discussed many topics, including how to live Christianity in politics, and had some very memorable experiences in the process! Eventually, we both came to understand that valuable change comes not from the influence of political power, but through Christ’s transforming power in the hearts of men.
Natalie shares her homeschool experience, but not from the teacher’s side of the desk (OK, homeschoolers don’t always use desks, but you get the idea). Homeschoolers are often criticized for sheltering their children from the “real world.” Natalie’s story reveals how practical and enriching the “real world” of homeschooling can be.
We are encouraged by Natalie’s illustrations of God’s faithfulness and provision through His people in the midst of the storm. That is the ultimate homeschool lesson!
~The Steve Kientz Family
Knowing how to manage one’s money and exercise financial finesse is a crucial life skill, a life skill Natalie has learned well. Natalie and I serve together on the convention committee for our local homeschool board. She is conscientious about her spending and is constantly finding ways to achieve more with less cost. On more than one occasion, I have heard her say, “Just tell me my budget, and I’ll stay within it.” What a testimony to the financial education her parents gave her!
Natalie captures profound truths that can transform anyone who is willing to learn. Her journey is one of hope, humility, and experiencing God’s amazing grace in her life.
We can see in Natalie the reason she is so qualified to write this book. She is a successful homeschool graduate who has excelled in academics. But more importantly, her desire is to know and do the will of God above all else. That, in any parent’s eyes, is truly a successful education.
~Richard and Susan Neu
Strength and ductility are two important qualities in steel. Character is like steel. There must be standards (strength) that one lives by, but without love, humor, and creativity (ductility) to diffuse difficult situations, the standards give way to legalism. Natalie has shown by her example the quality of the character that God has molded in her life. She is a testimony to the faithfulness of God when we are faithful to wait, listen, and obey.
~Chase and Tiffany Hiebsch
As difficult as it is for our earth-dwelling hearts to grasp, life is not about the here and the now, about marriage or singleness. It is about glorifying God, giving all we are to Him – starting today, and spilling into all of eternity. That is the heart of Natalie’s message.
Author, His Chosen Bride
The secular, feministic culture in which we live plagues most women with confusion and uncertainty about their role identities. Natalie is an exception to this phenomenon. Christ’s Sovereign Lordship replaced a striving, competitive spirit with a contented heart that seeks to please the Lord and help make others successful. This process occurred over numerous years in a precious Christian homeschool family. Each of our family members are ever sharpened by Natalie’s example to embrace her God-given roles with zeal, honor, and joyfulness. Her parents’ lives challenge us to the same. Pajama School captures how the Lord graciously transforms His people within the lifestyle of a home educated family.
Some of my fondest memories involve serving beside my dear friend Natalie in various local homeschool ministry opportunities. Natalie truly captures the essence of the homeschooling experience through her humorous, yet touching recollections of the times we had as young homeschool graduates growing and learning countless lessons together.
Author, What Every Girl Should Know
Natalie’s amazing ability to bring out the best in her students is reflective in the creative way she teaches and lives her life. Her students come to her to hone their musical gifts – and they learn to play beautiful pieces. But they walk away with life lessons – and they learn to live beautiful lives!
Natalie is a model learner and a respected professional piano teacher. She pursues her varied interests and excels at each one. As her piano teacher/mentor, I often refer my college piano pedagogy students to her exemplary work, even though she did not attend college herself.
Author, Thinking As You Play
Natalie’s initiative and desire to serve others shows the tremendous impact one life can have on others. Good intentions are good; good results are even better. I’ve witnessed this throughout her entire life. She helps to show us what’s possible.
One of the beauties of homeschooling is the freedom it allows students to pursue their individual interests and hone their personal strengths. Natalie made the most of those opportunities as a student. Now she has an amazing skill set that she uses to invest in others and motivate them on to higher achievement.
Natalie has an ability to creatively communicate, and her talent as an author is clearly seen within the pages of Pajama School. Unique life experiences have allowed her to provide an insightful and entertaining read. Her heart is to glorify God and to bless others, and through this book she has done just that.
Natalie is a beacon on a hill for Christ. Every child and teacher who comes through the doors of AIC is blessed by her fervent study of God’s Word, and her ability to use it to encourage those around her. She is an inspiration to me of how mightily the Lord can use an individual who is completely devoted to Him!
Who would have thought that among her many responsibilities, volunteer work, and the countless number of lives she makes a point to invest in, Natalie would also have the time to write a book? With her sincere personality, good sense of humor, and creative mind, Pajama School is a guaranteed great read for everybody!
~Kyle and Jynae Wilson
God very often uses a change of scenery and circumstances to display His sovereignty and strength to us. Natalie relates this truth in Pajama School, and it was a blessing for us to share part of her journey with her.
~Jared and Kim Meidal
Pajama School is a must read for any discouraged homeschool parent or frustrated homeschool student. Natalie captures the essence of what home education is all about by letting the reader get up-close and experience the joys and struggles of life in a homeschool family.
Natalie always had a sense of maturity beyond her years. She was our regular sitter for weekly date nights for several years, and it wasn’t until later that we found out she was only a few years older than our oldest! She became a part of our life and family – a great blessing to all of us.
~The Kent Hobbs Family
It has been a joy to watch Natalie grow up over the years. Her father’s instruction, consistency, planning, and servant’s heart have been expressed and lived out through the lives of his children. Loving discipline and focused effort have brought forth their good fruit. Many families, including ours, have benefited from John’s unwavering commitment to his family.
Friend, Co-laborer, and Kansas State Representative
Natalie vibrantly captures the essence of what it means to be a homeschooling mom. Having been frequent beneficiaries of the Wickham family’s “open-door policy” we can attest to the truth of Natalie’s vivid description of life in their home and the selfless nature of the Godly woman she calls mom.
~The Donnie Williamson Family
My family sees the Lord in Natalie’s daily life. She has used her gifts to bless others, and I believe homeschooling helped her learn how to make wise decisions. She is definitely letting her light shine for the Lord (Matthew 5:16).
I really enjoyed Pajama School, and I think Natalie has done a fine job in providing a glimpse into one family’s homeschool journey with a compelling writing style that is both gentle and humorous.
The book is written as an autobiography. [Natalie’s] memories and stories are enjoyable, entertaining and informative. I hope she writes another book soon!
A homeschooling memoir, Pajama School serves not only as a fascinating biography, but also as an assurance to moms out there wondering Am I really doing everything right? Homeschooled through college, take a look into the life of one homeschool graduate who decided to share the ins and outs of her educational odyssey!
Read ChristianBook.com’s review of Pajama School on their website.
Pajama School is a delightful and insightful read about one girl’s homeschool journey from childhood through graduation and beyond. Natalie Wickham writes in an honest and enjoyable style of her many adventures and experiences as a homeschool student.
Pajama School is a very interesting read, full of reality, humor, and encouragement–that offers a glimpse inside the life of a homeschooling family who heard the call to follow a different path! Great read!
Another homeschooling Mom first mentioned this book to me. She shared one of the real life learning examples from the book, and I wanted to read it for myself. Soon after that, I had the privilege of hearing Natalie Wickham speak at the HOTM conference, and I wanted to hear more of her success story. That isn’t how she markets the book – as a success story, but that is my own view of it.
It is so refreshing to read a book about a “real” family, that is not only filled with wonderful, precious moments, but also honest about the very real struggles that we all encounter in family life. Although her homeschool experience is different than the path we have chosen, I was encouraged and inspired how God worked out His plan for the Wickham family.
As a homeschooling mom to three boys, Pajama School brought me both sighs of relief and smiles. The author’s recollection of her homeschooling days gave me much needed encouragement…[She] was homeschooled through high school, and is now the owner of her own piano studio, is the director of Adventures in Character, and a gifted writer. Her testimony reminds me homeschooling is a vital and outstanding form of education.
In Pajama School, Natalie provides specific, real-life encouragement for all ages. To students encountering homeschooling for the first time, Natalie gives reassurance that studying at home is not meant to cut them off from the real world, but to make the real world their classroom. It was Natalie’s passport to personalized, hands-on experience in entrepreneurial enterprises, politics, education, music, and more.
Page by page, Natalie shares her life, speaking, from the heart, about her experiences as a homeschooler, from her struggles, to her triumphs, and all of those great family stories in between. As a homeschool graduate myself, one who started homeschooling around the same age that Natalie did, I identified with so much of her story. The book had me laughing and thinking.
Her book gives many ideas of how a family can incorporate real life experiences into a home school. It’s a motivational book, yet it didn’t make me feel inadequate with who I am because Natalie was genuine. Besides showing her beautiful heart and diligent efforts, she also revealed her struggles and inadequcies. Pajama School is an encouraging and interesting book that will make you feel you spent some time with God (there’s a lot of precious scripture to learn from).
Pajama School is a delightful book that I would recommend to anyone, not just a homeschooler.
This book is a tremendous encouragement for any homeschool family. It is a long book, 334 pages. Natalie goes into detail on how she sought the Lord for all the decisions of her life. The Lord was always faithful to help her in her struggles. I do recommend this book, Pajama School. You will enjoy the stories from the life of a homeschool graduate, Natalie Wickham.
If you want an inspirational story about a home schooler who hasn’t completely fouled up their life, this is a great book. Natalie Wickham is an excellent writer and shares her heart and her passions very well with her reader.
Since the book is written from her perspective and not that of her mother, you will not find organizational tips or teaching methods but rather a heart warming look at the life of a young Christian women who was homeschooled successfully and is happy to share her personal life experiences.
If, as a homeschooling parent, you have concerns about specific areas of your child’s education (how will they learn higher math if I don’t remember how to do it!?, etc) you will find this book reassuring.
I would recommend this book to those who are home schooling, those who want an un-sugar coated look at home schooling and those who are considering home schooling.
I believe that Pajama School isn’t just hope for homeschool moms, but for our growing young daughters…This is definitely a book that Christian parents, homeschooling families can glean from and one that I highly recommend them to read…Even if you don’t homeschool, it will allow you to understand what it means to homeschool – from a graduate’s student’s perspective.
I found Natalie’s story very encouraging and interesting. She really brings the point across that homeschooling is much different looking on the outside than traditional schooling, but it can be a success, in spite of many barriers.