It’s been one of the best weeks of my life, y’all.
Since launching Different By Design Learning last Tuesday, I have been overwhelmed by the response. I have been encouraged by so many sweet friends online. I have been humbled by direct feedback from moms using my learning plans and seeing real progress in such a short period of time.
Shawna, you are a natural. It’s like you know my daughter personally.
He is smiling again when it’s time for school. It’s been a long time.
It has been one of the most enjoyable, stress-free homeschool weeks we’ve ever had! And I think he has retained more information in one week than he has all year!
I tear up every time I read these quotes, from real moms with real kiddos, just like me and mine.
I have also received a lot of questions, specifically about the content of the learning plans themselves.
It makes sense. If you are going to purchase a plan from me, I understand your wanting to know what the end result will look like. So, today, I thought I would share real-life examples from a Different By Design Learning Plan.
These samples are from the families who were gracious enough to give the amazing feedback above. This way, you can see first hand what is working so well for these moms and their learners.
What Does A Strength Based Learning Plan Look Like?
1. Learner Profile
Learning Plan Overview
Harry is obviously an amazing boy! It is evident that as his mom, you have been paying attention and you know what makes him tick. My goal is to simply help you refine what you already possess – an incomparable expertise in your own child.
Harry is clearly gifted in visual/spatial reasoning and off the charts in his verbal abilities. His love of movement and sensory input will help him learn and progress, despite his nontraditional learning style.
His creativity and love of fantasy is also apparent and can be a wonderful avenue for learning across subjects.
Areas for Growth:
Based on his classroom experience, areas in need of assistance and growth are handwriting, accommodations for self-control and attention, as well as overall confidence building. We want Harry to perceive himself as talented, smart and capable no matter what the challenge (because he clearly is!).
Harry needs a bit of time to “deschool” a bit and learn how to use his strengths to his benefit, even in tackling handwriting and other areas of in need of growth. As such, the first four weeks of Harry’s learning plan include a primary focus on helping him define his own strengths, encouraging him as a learner using interests (particularly favorite books and stories) and incorporating sensory activities to help regulate and increase attention and self-control. Remaining weeks will be devoted to increasing comfort and fluency in handwriting, while maintaining a focus on interests and strengths.
2. Learning Plan Objectives
Overall Goals and Objectives
Because Rachel does have significant strengths and a wide range of tested cognitive function disparity (testing results range from Superior to Low Average) my proposed goals for Rachel’s learning plan are as follows:
- Identify Rachel’s knowledge and understanding of her own strengths in language that is age appropriate.
- Help Rachel begin to accept that the way to overcome the “pain points” she experiences is through using her strengths to her advantage.
- Incorporate as many visual-spatial, hands-on learning tasks into her days as possible (given the entire family’s needs as well as therapy requirements).
- Introduce handwriting and math facts practice sequentially, with a strong focus on interests. (Beginning week 3)
3. Week by Week Plans (one of six weeks below)
Six Week Learning Plan
❖ Puzzles, Legos and anything Build Oriented
❖ Choice of ‘one a week’ below
Sensory or heavy work activity (i.e. PE type activities or any of the sensory activities listed in the included reference section)
❖ Fine motor work in the form of anything other than writing (light board tracing, q-tip painting, perler beads, micro-legos, etc. options are listed in resource section)
One a Week:
❖ Science experiment or activity (samples included in resource section)
❖ Minecraft Moment of the Week – create anything in Minecraft that relates to one of your favorite places on earth (even if you have never visited there before). Use google images as needed to inform build.
❖ Hands-on Or Movement Math – focused on fluency (links in resource section)
One on One Exercise:
❖ Use hands-on activity to help Jason identify his own strengths – I have designed an activity specifically for Jason and included it in the resource section. He will use Minecraft Blocks to build his strengths.
4. Resources and Recommendations (sample only – most are several pages long)
WW1 and WW2 Learning Activities
WW1 – Life in the Trenches
WW1 – Research Activities
Crime Fighting Resources
Crime Scene Investigations for Kids –
Forensics for Kids – https://member.tyeeoutdoorexperience.com/product/who-stole-the-cake-full-unit/
Crime Scene Lab – https://teachbesideme.com/product/crime-scene-science-lab/
Fingerprint activity –
Parent Information and Support
Information on Giftedness
Information on Dysgraphia
Information on ADHD
These are just excerpts, but should give you a basic idea of what you can expect from working with me to design a plan for your child. Each of these has been customized to the individual child, based on the expertise that only a parent can provide!
I truly believe it’s one of the best ways to help our children learn.
For more information on Different By Design Learning Plans ~
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.