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.Buy Hanna Now »
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.
Purchase Hanna in paperback online:
Hanna available in these eBook editions.
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.
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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: