hannagraduation Hanna, Homeschooler

"Decidedly different and a delightful surprise!"

                - Diane Flynn Keith

Hanna, Homeschooler

A new home, a new city, and lots of new kids. Seven-year-old Hanna sits at the front window of Gram's house watching her new neighbors go to school. She wonders why she doesn't get to go, too. Hanna’s starting over, and it's not always easy. Living with Gram is hard, Dad is hardly ever home anymore, and some of the kids are mean. But all the time Hanna is learning and growing, making friends, and enjoying the freedom and creativity of homeschooling.

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"Homeschoolers need a Ramona"

One day my homeschooled daughter stood in front of the chapter book section at our public library and asked a question: "Why are all chapter book series about school?" She was right. Chapter books are in large part set in school, with school concerns guiding the central conflict.

With Hanna, I wanted to show another view of what it means to be a child in the world. Hanna's particular world is filled with newness; it's the first time she has noticed that to be a homeschooler is to be different. It's also the first time that she has faced the norms of a more restrictive social arena, having moved to her grandmother's house so that her father could afford to go back to school.

Although the number of homeschoolers has swelled substantially in recent years, it is still a non-traditional choice which leads to a new view, not only of education, but of our place in the world. I hope that homeschoolers enjoy seeing themselves as the norm in this book, looking at school from the wider world of child-led education.

Illustrations by Megan Trever Ryan.

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Buy Hanna, Homeschooler

· Paperback ·

ISBN 978-0-9661452-7-4

Purchase Hanna in paperback online:

Paperback from Amazon.com » Paperback from BN.com » Paperback from BookshopSantaCruz.com »

Hanna is also stocked by Bookshop Santa Cruz (order online and pick up in person for free!) and Hicklebee's in San Jose.

· E-book ·

ISBN 978-0-9661452-8-1

Hanna available in these eBook editions.

Kindle from Amazon.com » Nook from Barnes & Noble »


Hanna, Homeschooler Fundraiser for your Homeschool Group

Do your children attend a public homeschooling program or a homeschool co-op? I am offering homeschool groups the opportunity to sell copies of the Hanna paperback and receive a percentage of the proceeds as a donation (whether or not the organization is a registered nonprofit). Please contact me at sukiATsukiwesslingDOTcom for more information.


Hanna, Homeschooler News

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Hanna, Homeschooler Reviews

Have you read Hanna?

This book is a godsend to us right now, especially my daughter. I heard this described as “Ramona for Homeschoolers,” and I think that’s it. It’s just her living her life and trying to figure out everything. My daughter grabbed it and didn’t give it back to me. All of a sudden she has a best friend in Hanna Homeschooler. We want our kids to have friends in books. She says, “Me and Hanna, we should be friends—we have so much in common.” Thank you so much from a mother’s heart for writing a book like this!

- Megan Mai
Homeschool For Two [Watch video review]


Warning! Reading Hanna Homeschooler, a chapter book written for young readers, may open your mind to the joys, benefits and tribulations of homeschooling. Life in the world of Hanna, age 6 or so, who's coping with a move away from a best friend and experiencing time demands of a baby brother on her mother, the interactions of three generations living together, a dad who's busy retraining for a new career, is a year of change and growth.

For our young protagonist Hanna, age 6 or so, homeschooling is all she has ever known. However a necessary move to a new town exposes her to alternative modes of education, mean kids, nice kids, family generational conflicts and resolutions, and many new opportunities for learning.

Through Hanna's eyes we see questioning of Hanna's home schooling by her contemporaries, her parents' friends, even her grandmother, paralleling a peek into how Hanna is gently guided and encouraged toward taking responsibility for her own learning via everyday activities in the home, neighborhood, with friends, in local businesses. Her learning includes math, history, geography, handwriting, spelling, art, music, science and literature and also making choices about whom to befriend, understanding personalities different from her own, being kind and compassionate to others, etc.

A few lessons:

  • Make choices right for you.
  • Be curious. Ask questions.
  • Provide a secure, loving environment for your children.
  • Allow your children to make and learn from mistakes.
  • Find the good in all efforts.
  • Be kind.
  • Choose friends wisely.
  • Listen.
  • Be creative.
  • Find experts and learn from them.
  • Nourish and keep an open mind.
  • Model the behavior you seek from your children. Watch them practice that very behavior with younger children.
  • Be comfortable, strong and modest in your right choices.
SantaCruzParent.com [Read full review]

I just finished reading it aloud tonight to my two daughters, ages 9 and 12. They really enjoyed it. We decided it was a lot like Milly, Molly, Mandy or the Betsy-Tacy books in that it's about the everyday life of a little girl- but this girl happens to be a homeschooler. My nine year old was especially eager to hear the next few chapters each night. Most books about homeschoolers make them be secretly vampires or some other crazy reason they can't go to school or the homeschoolers become caricatures rather than real people. Suki has a real family in this book that is like the families we know. There's some subtle tension between Hanna and kids in the neighborhood who go to school but it was very much like our own experiences and not an exaggeration. We give the book three thumbs up and recommend you go to Bookshop and get a copy! :-)
- Heddi Craft, Discovery Learning Center

I liked it! It was an interesting story and I am hoping it will teach my mother a few things. >:-{ Kids who are interested about homeschooling would like the story.
- Erin, age 9

Hanna, Homeschooler is a homeschooling story with the perfect mix of kid trouble (to spark good dinnertime conversations) and slightly disapproving neighbors and relations (to remind us of why we homeschool instead of taking the traditional path). And all along, the story is gentle and sweet.
   My favorite scenes included the reception of neighbor friends to Hanna’s homemade gift; the father’s explanation of what makes people mean; and how a child’s question turns into a field trip. My homeschooler is in high school now -- I read this book for pure fun. But it became a family activity, as moments in the book provided an opportunity to talk about why we homeschool and to remember our own purpose for learning.
   I highly recommend it!
- Melissa K.
Hanna, Homeschooler provides a glimpse into what the life of a young child is like without schooling. It follows the flow of one family’s rhythm and routine throughout a year. We see how Hanna learns from everything and everyone in her environment. She learns about measuring while baking, discovers sound waves on a nature walk with her mom, sings to the aged and infirmed at a convalescent hospital with her father, experiences the nuances of social interaction with neighborhood friends, explores medieval history in a co-op class with other homeschoolers, and artistically maps the cycle of life from seed to tree to fruit to product to compost. As she goes about her daily investigations, fueled by her own intellectual curiosity, you get a clear idea of how math, reading, writing, spelling, history, and science are seamlessly woven into the fabric of her life. The reader learns along with Hanna as she explores not only the three R’s but the many facets of intellectual, social, and emotional development. If you ever wondered how children could become wholly educated through the process of self-directed learning, this story explains it in a way that you and your children will enjoy reading together. [Read full newsletter]
- Diane Flynn Keith
  Editor, http://www.Homefires.com
  Author, http://www.Carschooling.com
  Founder, http://www.UniversalPreschool.com
  Founder, http://www.ClickSchooling.com
  Author, http://www.PapasPearls.com

A particularly poignant chapter centers on Gram recounting experiences during World War II: meeting her future husband, Hanna’s grandfather, his military assignment as a fighter pilot and MIA status the last two years of the war. History is not just written words in an outdated textbook, it is part of the oral history of a family. And Hanna does not discount her grandmother as a cranky, out of touch elderly woman. She is a sponge absorbing all the love, caring, insights, knowledge and history Gram offers on a very personal level.
   I strongly recommend Hanna, Homeschooler. It is a rich, captivating book with much to offer including an understanding of homeschooling as what might be described as non-regimented, child-guided, integrated learning. Personally knowing little about homeschooling, this story was both fascinating and informative. Ms Wessling, in bringing a fictional homeschooled young girl to life, has created a young reader chapter book that expands the available literature recognizing all kinds of diversity. I predict it will be a delight to homeschoolers, curious schoolschoolers and all who enjoy interesting characters and a good story."
- Growing Up in Santa Cruz [read full review]

I have to rave about this book for a little bit. I think this book is great for kids, for people who know kids, and for people who were once kids. And if they are interested in homeschooling (e.g., homeschool kids and grandparents), they might love the book extra strongly. I'll rave about this book in three bullet points:
   ONE. Satisfying and Entertaining.
   The feeling I got after reading _Hanna, Homeschooler_ is the feeling I got after reading _The Snowy Day_ by Ezra Jack Keats. I think of _Hanna, Homeschooler_ as "our" _The Snowy Day_.
   TWO. Entertaining and Satisfying.
   My 7yo girl, who has never homeschooled and has never wanted to homeschool, finished the book in two sittings, (and it would have been one sitting had bedtime not intervened). Right afterward, she said, without knowing the author, other than that we know her:
   "It was fantastic! Really good. I need another book. Can you ask her to write another one?"
   THREE. Shows the feel of homeschooling
   _Hanna, Homeschooler_ shows, and does not just tell, the *feel* of what homeschooling is all about. It's a remarkable achievement in storytelling. I would recommend this book, or buy this book, for any parent who is interested in possibly homeschooling their kids, for any kid who is interested in homeschooling, or for any grandparent who wants to understand homeschooling on a "feel" or "aha" level. I just ordered a copy of the book from Amazon for a gift purpose."
- George

Both of my kids - who've never been to school - loved this book! And they are ultra-, super-bibliophiles. John is 11, his sister Christine is 9. I will have all of my clients' kids read this book (I'm a homeschooling coach). Thanks to Suki for filling a glaring void out there in libraries!
- Dan Louzonis
HomeschoolDad.com
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