Introducing Different By Design Learning

A sweet friend of mine just pulled her youngest son out of public school.

Things weren’t terrible, but they weren’t the best either. He recently tested in the highly gifted range with some asynchronous development in writing and attention, making the traditional classroom a challenge.

When she told me, I was excited for her. I wanted to encourage her and support her in any way I could, and offered as much.

How she responded surprised me.

“I am glad he is home, learning again with me. But I am not you, Shawna. I did not go to school to be a teacher. I have always wanted to do things nowhere near the education field. I really admire the way you have focused on your boys strengths and helped them learn, but I have no idea even where to start with all of it.”

Strength Based Learning Plan for Nontraditional Learners -  Introducing Different By Design Learning.  #specialneedsmoms #differentlywiredkids #2e #homeschoolmomhelp

She’s right. My entire life, I have wanted to be a teacher. I used to make my sister be the student on the weekends, while I taught her all the things I had learned at school during the week. 

In college, I learned all about helping children, especially children with differences, learn. And when I discovered that I was not a good fit for teaching in a traditional classroom, I still became a corporate trainer and consultant, focused on continuing to help people learn and grow.

I know all of this about my background. But until my friend said that out loud, I never really thought about when it meant for me today, as a writer and someone trying to encourage and help other families with children that are nontraditional learners. 

learning plan

Strength Based Individualized Learning Plans

The reality is that my experience and background have uniquely prepared me to help my own sons learn. It has also equipped me to better serve you and your kiddos as well.

It feels strange writing this because as sure as I am about my own passions and interests, I am just as confident that you are the expert on your child. You already have access to everything you need to help them learn and develop. You know more than anyone else about your child’s strengths, opportunities for growth and interests.

An idea began to form – what if I could find a way to put the two together?

My experience and background + your expert knowledge of your child = my new project.

Introducing Different By Design Learning

After much thought, prayer and discussion with those who know me best, I have launched a brand new business, dedicated to working directly with families interested in strength based parenting and learning. 

Different By Design Learning has three options designed to serve your family in the best possible way, while giving you access to the tools and insights I have developed over the course of my entire adult life.

Option One: Individualized learning plans, created by me, made especially for your child, using information you provide.


Option Two: A downloadable workbook template to guide you through creating your own plan for strength based, interest-led learning. This is the same template I use in working directly with families.


Option Three: On a very limited basis, I am available for in-person sessions with parents and/or learners who are local to the Southern California area. (Skype sessions are also available on a limited basis.)


It is my hope that I can continue to support you and those you love in meaningful ways, both here on the blog and in this new business venture.
All the details are now live and available to the general public here at
Different By Design Learning


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