About

Welcome!

Do you love adventures in learning, creating, community, and using your talents to make a difference?

And trying to do all those things with joy?

Me, too!

Whether you want to use the power of self-directed learning to unschool,homeschool, UnCollege, navigate life transitions, and recapture the joy of learning for yourself,  don’t worry, you are not alone! 

I know that as we support children’s curiosity and help them develop their motivation, skills, and confidence, they can be happy and successful in learning and in life.  

And we can be happy, successful, life-long learners, too. 

Want to know more? Sign up for weekly notes with strategies, stories, resources and tips I share only in email.

 

Dale J. Stephens, UnCollege Founder photo by Tyler Driscoll Photography
My son, Dale Stephens, Thiel Fellow, Founder UnCollege.org, author Hacking Your Education.

Do you want to:

  • Give your kids – and yourself- the freedom to reach their potential.
  • Dare to be different, define success for yourself,  and to dream.
  • Build a foundation of creativity, confidence, and the can-do mindset.

There are lots of path you can take in life but only one that is just right for you.

You can choose to create that path.

I can help you with that.

I’ve felt your  pain. As a student,  as a  teacher, as a mom, as a daughter.

I know that feeling of being out of sync and needing to do something about it.

And being scared. And committed. And different.

And knowing that deep down, your reasons why, why you care so deeply about what you want to do define who you are.

Even when it challenges the status quo and is harder than just  doing things the way they’ve always been done, we have to be brave, creative and take action.

Doing nothing is doing something.

So what do you want to do?

 

Myth Busting:

Learning only counts if experts tell us what and when to learn or grades us or tests us.

You have to fit in.

You can only make friends or socialize in school or college.

You should do things the way they have always been done.

Kids don’t learn unless you force them.

People need rewards and tests for motivation.

Not so.  You’ll find more happiness and success if you know how to forge your own path.

 

Are you awake at night thinking:

What are my options? How do you choose? How do you start?

Can you really unschool through high school?

Can you unschool yourself?

Can I/they really learn enough?

Yes, they can! Yes, you can.  And you can treat learning as an adventure!

 

Lisa Nalbone looking scared holding August calendarWhy ask me?

I used to be full of angst and worried, just like you.

But, not anymore. Because I’ve done it, and I know it works.

I’ve had the privilege of working with more than a thousand children and their families.

I share what I’ve learned to help you or your child become a motivated,  joyful, self-directed learner.

I can help you can reclaim the joy of learning you were born with. At any stage in any kind of setting.

I’ve got lots of ideas, so let’s talk. 


 

tinyuobMy superpowers: 

  • Asking questions and questioning answers
  • Listening empathetically and encouraging action
  • Finding resources and creative solutions to challenges
  • Strategizing and identifying first steps
  • Enthusiastically teaching something 5 minutes after I learn it.

I love to:

Lisa Nalbone Dale Stephens on beach.
Obviously long ago!

Learn, read, cook, quilt, hike, dance, travel, play ukulele, sing, garden, visit libraries, laugh with friends and use sentimental photos of Dale in my posts.

 

 

My story:

One of six kids in less than optimal circumstances, I was the “go to gal” for figuring things out and getting things done.

I figured out  how to connect with librarians, teachers, and employers as mentors and advisors.

I graduated from Duke University as a first generation scholarship student. I had a degree in Botany and a desire to make the world a better place.

I was prepared for graduate school but didn’t really know what I wanted to do in life. I moved across the country to figure it out

Surprise, degree in hand, I found my education had only just begun.

I discovered a passion for community organizing, social justice, and learning by doing. Each day was an explosion of new skills, challenges and learning methods. I had incredible mentors and friends and learned to listen to and value the contribution of people of all ages and backgrounds.

Amazed at how much I was learning outside of a typical classroom setting, I decided to apply my desire to make a difference in the field of education.

Over the years I’ve taught 7/8 grade science, grades 3, 4, 5 all subjects, grade 4-5 music appreciation and critical thinking skills, K-6 environmental education, and K-6 music, folk dance and drama. I’ve tutored children and adults in all subject areas.

After Dale completed 5th grade in public school, we began homeschooling which quickly turned into unschooling.

Lisa with son and husband on Alaska vacation.
Happy family travels.

The years of facilitating his learning journey required time, research, community building and new learning for the whole family.  It was so much fun!

I would love to help your family have as much fun learning as we did. Whether you choose to attend school, or not.

Take a look around this site for some ideas and get in touch.