"I'm not sure any of us knew what they meant when Mom and Dad announced that they had decided to withdraw us from our beloved school and homeschool us. It was something akin to a death sentence."
And thus began Natalie Wickham's experience as a homeschooler.
Pajama School: Stories from the Life of a Homeschool Graduate, is exactly that. An autobiography by Natalie Wickham, who for the majority of her school experience was homeschooled. But what started out as a frightening homeschool journey, ended with a well-educated, Christian young woman.
Natalie describes how her mother started them off with desks set up neatly in a school room that first year. But with the introduction of a fourth child soon after, their little homeschool "began to fall apart." And they had to adapt.
And adapt they did. Natalie explains in Pajama School how God shifted their paradigm. They had tried to model their school after society's pattern for education, but God showed them what the true definition of education is. Amidst that turmoil in their early years of homeschooling, they began to understand that school was not to be their life, but life would be their school.
Although Natalie learned from traditional homeschool curriculum for some of her studies, her real education happened at conferences with her parents, during volunteer opportunities, while working jobs, and a number of other real-life experiences. In fact, one could nearly call her homeschooling experience un-schooling. Nearly.
Pajama School was an honest look into the life of a homeschooler who used the world as her schoolroom, yet always managed to remember to follow the Lord's leading in her life.
Natalie's writing was engaging, and Pajama School was an enjoyable book to read. However, a good portion of the last half of the book chronicled her involvement with a children's program she helped develop, called Adventures in Character. Understandably this was a major part of her life and she needed to write about it. I felt, however, that the book dragged a little at this point, and I would have loved to read about more than just the ins and outs of implementing the program in various venues.
Overall, Pajama School is an interesting read, and a unique look into the life of Christian homeschool family who used life as their schoolroom.
Disclosure: I received this book to review free from the author. However, the opinions offered in this review are entirely my own.
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