Lisa Nalbone is enthusiastically curious and loves to learn. Former teacher, homeschooling mom, and parental caregiver, she writes about the joys and challenges of self-directed lifelong learning. Her LifeSparks Books provide practical strategies and examples to inspire people to embrace their curiosity and love for learning as they develop tools and skills for resilience and learning all through life.
Lisa’s next learning projects involve playing with children’s books, poetry, painting, and other ways to tell tales from the land of learning. She continues to ask, try, and do in all her learning adventures.
Lisa lives in Northern California with her husband. When not struggling with words, she loves to take photos, hike, travel, pick up huge stacks of books at the library, strum her ukulele, and visit with family and friends.
Throughout her life, Lisa Nalbone 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 the 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 while homeschooling and then unschooling her son. Caregiving during her mother’s learning journey with ALS provided many opportunities to apply LifeSPARKS principles and strategies to life.
Lisa conducts workshops and talks based on the concepts and strategies from her LifeSPARKS Lifelong Learning Series to support those questioning their current educational circumstances or life path. Whether deciding about college or what to do after college, finding oneself between careers or facing retirement, 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.