I love to connect in person whether it’s a small workshop, fireside chat, or large conference hall.

I help people reframe challenges as opportunities for self-directed learning adventures. I offer a simple process, practical steps and strategies to reclaim their love of learning at any age.

Would you like to talk about how we could work together?

Let’s talk. Send me an email at learningbeyondschool@gmail.com.


Upcoming Events:

August 14, 2018  7pm  Winters Community Library, 708 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694

Join me on to learn more about using LifeSPARKS to ignite your journey of joyful, self-directed, lifelong learning.

Author Lisa Nalbone speaks August 14, 7pm at Winters Community Library

Talk and Workshop Attendees Say:

“I was really enlightened by Lisa Nalbone’s speech at MIT Splash weekend.  Her open, honest talk was easy to relate to and benefit from her suggestions.  I took pages of notes and acted on several of her ideas.  The biggest lightbulb moment for me was when she described college brochures as marketing materials.  Up until that moment I had been viewing them more like invitations to a great party than marketing materials they truly are.  She was the first speaker I had heard that embraced giving motivated, gifted students an alternative path besides a 4-year college.  Lisa would be an asset to any event.”   – Alli Irwin

“I heard Lisa Nalbone speak at MIT Splash and it was extremely clear and focused on many of the issues of why our education system isn’t working and what might we individually do about it. I found her to be a great speaker. Although addressing issues that aren’t working, perhaps seen as a negative topic, the talk was upbeat, engaging and helpful.”   -Laura Allen, VEMNY.org

“Lisa was a captivating speaker at Girl Empire. She knew how to speak to a teen audience, how to capture their limited attention and how to leave them with that tingly feeling inside! Her talk was a mix of “aha” moments and action items to put theory to practice.”  – Alex Ellison, Co founder Girl Empire, Dunce

“Lisa is lovely. and she is ordinary. With perhaps a vital insight many of us today are missing -how to see/hear/question what we keep accepting/assuming. Because she’s lived/embraced that space. of uncertainty.” – Monika Hardy redefineschool.com

“Thank you for your informative talk.  We can all use your ideas, practices and suggestions.   – Janet Aguiar, Winters Soroptimist

“As a member of Winters Friends of the Library with Lisa, I’ve heard her speak on many occasions.  I’m always impressed with the passion she has for her subject.   As a result of that passion, she stimulates ideas and enthusiasm in her audiences.   On more than one occasion she has triggered a new way of thinking for me.   Her intelligence and “outside of the box” thinking make her talks very engaging.”  – Linda Springer

Past Speaking Engagements

Volumes Bookcafe: Tea & Tales: Sparking Your Creativity, with Suzi Colpa

SuperNova Experience Chicago: Self-directed Learning Journey: Ask, Try, Do, Smile

MIT SplashCollege, Gap Year or Career? Helping Your Child DECIDE within a Framework of Cooperation and Respect (Parents Program)

Homeschool Association of California Conference: Helping your child be a happy and successful self-directed learner.

Girls Innovate.org:Most Likely to Succeed Screening and Community Discussion

Girl Empire Con: Choose to Create a Life YOU Love (Teens); Hacking Your Education (Teens)

Homeschool+ ConferenceThe ABC’s of Learning Beyond School, Start with the Letter T Because T is for Trust

Winters Soroptimist: Choose to Create a Life YOU Love (Adults)

Speaker Bio:

Lisa Nalbone is a teacher, writer, and community activist. She is passionately curious and constantly learning, creating, and sharing what she learns to serve as a catalyst for change.

Throughout her life, Lisa has used self-directed, experiential, and connected learning to overcome challenges, create opportunities for personal and professional growth, and to design a life path of meaning and joy.

Lisa discovered early on that challenging assumptions, taking responsibility for learning beyond the limits of a classroom, connecting with mentors + resources, and embracing creativity are keys to transformation and success. Told that college was not for someone like her, she graduated with honors as a first-generation scholarship student from Duke University.

Setting out to explore the world, she quickly learned that degrees don’t define success and not all jobs are fulfilling. She struggled with real lifelong learning tasks: defining success in accordance with one’s values and finding one’s path within the greater community.

Exploring her interests in peace, social justice, and non-violence, she found that learning by doing in the service of community and the willingness to learn from anyone enriched her life and illuminated the path.

Lisa took her learning into the classroom, flipping the model from coercion to choice and sparking students’ drive to learn while she facilitated their skill development. She strengthened her belief in the importance of self-directed learning as she and her husband supported their son, Dale J Stephens, (author of Hacking Your Education), in leaving public school for unschooling, and leaving college to found UnCollege.org. (now Year On) She gained new insights about learning as lifelong while caregiving during her mother’s learning journey with ALS.

Lisa conducts workshops and talks based on the self-directed learning strategies from her LifeSPARKS Guide and Workbook to help those in transition or who may be questioning their current circumstances or life path. Whether deciding about college or what to do after college, finding oneself between careers, experiencing shifting roles as a parent, or taking on unexpected or uncertain tasks as a caregiver—all can find meaningful and effective ways to embrace their challenges as adventures in learning.


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