About Us

What is Wholehearted Learning?

  Wholehearted Learning is the culmination of a lifetime of experience and education. Wholehearted Learning is a safe space for children, parents, and families of all kinds, no matter how messy, messed-up, or perfectly imperfect. You are welcome here. You are not “crazy” and your child is not “broken” or “bad.” Whether you simply want information to make a good decision, tutoring for a struggling student or legal counsel, I am here to help. I have been using the phrase “wholehearted learning” for the past 7 years because it represents my holistic approach to education. If you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference or support group, you’ve heard me use the saying, “You can’t teach a man to knit in a foxhole.” Too often, we try to treat children as if they were one-dimensional beings, like fixing a car or leaky faucet. You can offer unlimited instruction, but if you do not address the other barriers to learning through body movement, diet changes or sensory engagement, you may miss out on the opportunity for breakthrough. Brain science, evidence-based research, and personal experience have taught me that authentic learning happens best when all of the body systems are supported. We do not address one aspect of the child and expect them to make progress. Instead, we support all aspects of the child and allow them to experience genuine learning; not memorization, not isolated understanding, but true learning! Wholehearted learning sees the WHOLE CHILD, without judgement or shame, to identify all of the barriers to learning, build on the child’s interest and strengths, and unlock each child’s potential.  

Wendy K. Johnson, JD


10553338_10204164804629492_1663536990594263454_n A graduate from Iowa State University, Wendy has worked as a high school English teacher and speech coach for multiple school districts in central Iowa. Wendy completed her doctorate from Drake University Law School and practiced law for a small firm in Des Moines.  While Wendy was in law school, her son, Jack, was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  From that moment on, Wendy and her husband, Alan, have spent countless hours advocating for their own child, while helping others by establishing support groups and cooperative learning communities. In 2006, Wendy worked as a grassroots organizer for Cure Autism Now to  secure support from all Iowa Congress members and Senators to support the federal Combating Autism Act, which secured much-needed funding for Autism research. Revisions of this act endure today, providing research dollars and insurance coverage for children on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, Wendy has worked privately with families whose children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other learning disabilities for the past 15 years, including speaking engagements for community groups and educators, individual advocacy for tutoring clients, and advising homeschooling families and school districts on curriculum adaptations for struggling learners.

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