Pajama School - stories from the life of a homeschool graduate

As a homeschool grad, author Natalie Wickham hears lots of questions about homeschooling. In fact, one of them — “Do you get to wear your pajamas to school?” — inspired the title of her book. At the heart of all the questions from parents, she sees “the unspoken search for the assurance that if they homeschool their children they will turn out okay.”

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.

As she tells the story of her own family’s homeschooling experience with honesty and vulnerability, she gives parents a way to look into the future and see that their children don’t have to have a perfect childhood in order to become creative, multi-faceted, successful, well-adjusted adults. Studying amidst all the normal hustle and bustle of a family of six children didn’t stop Natalie from working in a tea room, running a music studio, designing curriculum, teaching character in public schools and at homeschooling conferences… and even writing a book!

To young single women, Natalie presents a balanced way to resolve the dilemma of being a marriage-honoring woman…who isn’t married yet. She shares the way God continually expands her horizons while tempering her natural leadership skills with femininity, humility, and reliance on Him. And by opening up some of her inner struggles, she shows that God can be trusted to perfectly design each individual’s life course, bringing along the experiences necessary to bring both maturity and comfort.

“I love encouraging weary Moms not to give up, and sharing with them the daily struggles we encountered as a homeschool family,” Natalie says in her introduction. “I also love challenging children and teenagers to embrace these years of their life and make the most of their homeschool experience for the glory of God.” By living a life that is not just about accomplishments, but about character, Natalie Wickham does just that.

Drawing ended Tuesday, July 14, 2009.  Congrats to Melissa for being YLCF’s winner of Pajama School!

You can also purchase a copy of Pajama School at these sites:

  • Amazon
  • ABE Books
  • Sibro Publishing is making available a special discount code good for 20% off. When prompted, type in “YLCF.”
  • For more information, visit the official Pajama School website.

54 Comments

  1. My sister, Andrea, a homeschool, highschool graduate would also love to read this book.

  2. My favorite homeschool memory is being able to work full-time with my father and complete my highschool studies at night. Such good times and great memories.

  3. I also added a banner: web.me.com/astillsmallvoice .

  4. I posted a link for the giveaway on my site: web.me.com/astillsmallvoice .

  5. I think my sister, Samantha (a highschool-homeschool-graduate), would enjoy reading this book.

  6. My favorite memory about home-schooling is doing our nature studies at the park. We’d go when hardly anybody else was there and sit by the butterfly garden. I’d take lots of pictures and the little ones would draw. My eldest sister would take cookies along and bring some tea, so that we could have a little picnic. Sometimes we’d ride our bikes there, but most of the time we’d walk and absorb the sights slowly.

  7. Just one memory? I love the “life-long-learning” mindset that my parents have given me. I learn history by reenacting it, I learn science through gardening and cooking, math comes with sewing, etc.

    Any young couple who is considering homeschooling would benefit from this book. I think particularly of Kenny, who married a homeschool graduate last year. Not being homeschooled himself he may be hesitant to go that route with his own children.

    I posted both the banner and a link back here on my blog http://gnuhaus.com/jordan

  8. I think my younger sister would enjoy this—weirdly, she grew up homeschooled, I didn’t.

  9. My mom (Lisa) and several others (Abigail, Carrie, Emilie, Betsy, Hannah), as well as me (Kayla) would enjoy reading this book. 🙂

  10. My favorite memory of homeschooling is gathering around the table for meals. I don’t know why. Maybe because I like food almost as much as I like my family. 😀 But other memories include, going on field trips with other homeschooled families to places like the zoo and post office, reading as a family, and the opportunity to take time off “school” to do something for another family.

  11. OOh!! I’d love to enter!! My fav homeschool memory is probably just laying on my bed doing schoolwork in pj’s. =P lol Simple memory, but nevertheless wonderful!!

    Blessings
    Miss Toria

  12. When I was around 11 years old, my mom and I spent months (a year?) doing a unit study on Israel (I still have the binder full of information we gathered) and then went on a two week tour of the country. Talk about the field trip of a lifetime!

  13. When I started reading this post I immediately thought of my sister Theresa. She has thought about homeschooling her children but, because she works at a Christian school, her children can attend there free and homeschooling thus is the less economical option, besides being a hard thing to venture into. I wish I could encourage her to choose homeschooling.
    Otherwise, I think my friend Lyds, a homeschool graduate like myself, would really enjoy this book!

  14. Katrina Marie says:

    Oh, I forgot the mention the first name of the family with the 7 children. Becky is the name of the mother.

  15. My friend Jennifer is a homeschool mom who would enjoy this book.

  16. … And here’s a comment for putting a banner on my blog. =D

  17. I just saw that I’m supposed to leave a comment for each thing, so here’s a comment for blogging about the giveaway…

  18. Okay… I blogged about your giveaway and put a banner on my site. So now I’ll tell you one of my favorite memories: We would always start off our mornings by reading together. I would sit on one side of my mom and my sis would sit on the other side so that we could both see the pictures. I think that one of my favorite books to read was The Story of Ping. I loved this part of the day so much that I think I’ll do it when I have kids!

  19. I think that a lady I know – Cheryl – would enjoy this book. She is homeschooling three children under the age of ten and has two little ones that aren’t in school yet. I think she would like to read about someone else’s experience.

  20. I forgot to mention that not only would I and my husband be interested in this book, but possibly my mom-in-law, as well. She and my father-in-law have homeschooled six children, already sent two through college, and they are involved in the homeschooling community in their state. She’s an experienced homeschooler, to say the least!

  21. I’m sure my mom would enjoy this book also. She loves reading up about things–and it’s neat to see somebody elses perspective on homeschooled life.

  22. Wow! What a great sounding book!

    One memory I have of growing up homeschooled is the various places I liked to get stuff done. A favorite was sitting on our garage roof. I liked this while I was doing math–not sure why algebra was the subject of choice there–I had to be careful or my pencil would roll off! I think it made mom a little nervous for me to be up there, so I didn’t do it too often. But the opportunities I did have were fun!

  23. A favorite memory happened during devotions one day. I was in my early teens, with braces, and my sister was probably about 8 years old. The two of us had done our Bible study for the day with mom, and we were wrapping up by praying together. It was my turn to pray. As I opened my mouth to speak, the rubber band on my braces broke, shot out, and hit my sister in the face! I suppose this could have happened any time, but where else would I get to be in such close proximity with my sister during the school day?

  24. Heather Prosch says:

    One person I think would enjoy reading this would be my sister, Hannah. She is moving from high school (home school) right to college at age 16. She loves art and has always been a very smart, creative person.

  25. Heather Prosch says:

    This book looks like a great read because it’s been written from a home school graduate’s perspective. I was home schooled “all my life,” and was encouraged by several people to get my GED instead of going through the trouble of graduating. However, even though I don’t have anything against GED’s, I wanted to graduate and feel glad I was able to. I love writing, and have often thought of writing a book myself about being home schooled. I look forward to reading this book!

  26. This book looks like so much fun!
    For my favorite homeschool memory…hmm…
    I always loved it when my older brother would be assigned to be our “science teacher.” My two sisters and I would crowd around the kitchen table while he read through the instructions and then aided us in the construction of a contraption or creation of a chemical! We always had so much fun and I still remember the basics of science which he instilled in me those days around the kitchen table.

    1. Entry number two any one?
      I think that my friend Lydia may like this book because she is in her last years of home-schooling with her seven siblings on a farm up north. Life can seem sort of reclusive (as I know) in that sort of lifestyle, so books like this can offer unlimited encouragement.

  27. I graduated from our home school 4 years ago and have many good memories of learning various things with my family. One of my favorite home school memories, though, comes from the year we studied Native Americans. We put on a little show by inviting some neighbors over and showing them some “Indian” games; food; and my little brother and I had made costumes out of dog food bags we had turned inside out and had decorated with bright colored markers. 🙂

  28. This sounds like a book my husband and I would enjoy reading aloud to one another! Neither of us were homeschooled, but we plan on homeschooling our children, and we’ve not read any literature on it. We won’t have children for a few more years yet, but it’s never too soon to start learning!

  29. I have a friend with three little kids. She is going to start homeschooling in the fall but is terrified because she feels inadequate and has no idea how she is “supposed” to homeschool (or how easy it can be!) She comes from a messed-up background, became a Christian in her early 20’s, and wants to teach her kids to love Jesus. I think she would really like this book.

  30. One of my favorite memories is the year we did California history. There was lots of reading aloud, drawing, and writing.

  31. I was homeschooled K-12 grades and it was such a blessing. My mom worries sometimes about having not taught us as much as she should have, but she shouldn’t because she and my dad taught us the most important things. To love God with all our hearts and to think and reason for ourselves. Along with that we learned all the basics of education, and some not so basic skills as well, such as how to build a house. I love reading about other homeschoolers. People who have never homeschooled do not often understand why we like it so much. Some think we’ve been pushed into it and like it because we don’t know anything else, but that is so far from the truth! I could list hundreds of reasons why homeschooling has been so great for me and why I love it and hope to one day homeschool my own children. But, I won’t, it would take up to much room.
    God Bless.

  32. One of my favorite homeschooling memories is making large gingerbread men cookies and painting them with frosting according to how much water, muscle, etc. was in our bodies. 🙂 A few other of the “hands-on” favorite memories would include making our own volcano with paper mache and ancient Babylon with Legos. Oh, yes, and our model of Jerusalem that was built with my dad’s engineering skills with the correct topography, etc. on a small scale. That was great!

  33. Having gone all the way through school being homeschooled, I’d say my best memories are having the opportunity to serve and help in various ministries because of the “extra” time I had. Whether serving meals at the seniors get-togethers, or painting a church building, every day was a new way to serve the Lord. I’m sure it’ll be a helpful book for future, Lord-willing, homeschooling days down the road of my own children.

  34. My favorite homeschool memories are of fun field trips with my family to places like Daddy’s office, the grocery store, and the post office. Road trips and the educational stops along the way were always enjoyable too. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. I was homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade, or as I often tell others, I was homeschooled from the day I was born! 🙂
    All of my life I have been an avid reader. I learned to read at the age of 4 and by the time I was 7 I could read and comprehend Old English! One of my fondest memories is of a time when I was about 7 and I was reading a book written in O.E. when one of my mom’s friends asked me what I was reading. I told her and she looked at the book and didn’t really believe that I could understand it, so she asked me what the book was about. I filled her in on the story! She was shocked!!

  36. Katrina Marie says:

    Wow – this books sounds like a great read! Just reading the review of it brings back countless memories of my own homeschool days. One of my favorite memories is from 5th grade when we made a covered wagon out of a refrigerator box during a study of the pioneers! We covered the top of the box with rods and sheet to look like the covered wagon, used a little bench for the seat, and a jump rope for the reins. 🙂 It was great fun, and great learning!

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this give-away!

  37. I’ve been wanting to read the book. Though I don’t know Natalie personally I’ve seen her work in action as I live quite near to her. A very inspiring woman.

  38. This does sound like an interesting book to read…. My husband and I (and our siblings) were homeschooled from kindergarten through our senior year. I can remember many people asking me—some critical and others simply curious— what homeschooling was like. My extended family, neighbors, the doctor and the dentist , the librarian… everyone. And nearly all of them leaned a little closer and asked me directly, “How do you like being homeschooled?” Of course my answer was: “I like it!” And I really did. I never felt I missed out on anything. I have since felt I have been granted an honor to be homeschooled by my parents and raised in a loving, learning atmosphere. God willing, our own children will be homeschooled, as well!

  39. Hi! I graduated from homeschooling this past May and one of my favorite memories was my graduation. There were 13 other homeschoolers in the ceremony and each father gave their child an encouraging charge. At the end of my dad’s charge he faced the audience and asked my five little sisters who they wanted to be like when they grew up and they all screamed, “Luci!!!”. It was sooo sweet! My dad had planned that as a surprise in front of all those people. Being homeschooled has been such a blessing in my life. I thank God for that special time and I hope to have children of my own one day so that I can give them this privilege too!!! Thank you for your website! God bless!!!

  40. This is a book I would enjoy loaning out to my friends who are on the fence about homeschooling. Sounds like it would be very entertaining and a worthy read for many.

  41. I think my Mum would enjoy this book to read the story of one who has BEEN homeschooled, rather than someone who has homeschooled their kids. I think our whole family would like it!

  42. One of my favorite memories is starting our day off with worship. Us kids would bang on “drums” and strum guitars as best we could. It gave us a love for music and praising God. Just look where that’s taken us now! (see website)

  43. My mom (Angie) would enjoy reading this book. As I am to graduate next year, she has been facing the temptation to worry about whether she really did a good job homeschooling me all my school years…or not! As we face my senior year, I have been praying that she would be encouraged and trust, as well as these things for myself. I think it would be great to be able to present her with this book and tell her, “Look, this is from someone who’s been there and did ‘turn out all right!'”
    By the way, I can completely relate! That is the number one question I get when I tell people I’m homeschooled! “So you do school in your pajamas?”

  44. I think my mom, Karla, as well as my 4 younger siblings would enjoy this book as a read-aloud. 🙂

  45. As a homeschool graduate this year I have thought back over my 13 years of being homeschooled. Probably one of my most memorable homeschooling adventures was our trip “out west” in 2003. We did math in the car as we drove, took field trips to various attractions (including Old Faithful on my 12th birthday) and us 3 older kids documented the entire trip with daily journal entries.

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