Lisa Nalbone, former teacher and homeschooling mom writes about the joys and challenges of self-directed, heart-centered, connected 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. 

Photo by Ryan Black, Obscure.photos

I’m always curious and love learning, libraries, and lattes.

I’m originally a Jersey girl! I grew up in a small town with an incredible library, good public schools, and great community programs. I loved learning and reading from the get go, and had lots of freedom to roam the town and the library stacks.

I got lots of support from friendly librarians, employers, neighbors, and parents of friends. They generously shared their experience and time with a kid who really wanted to learn.

I decamped to North Carolina for university. That was a big deal back then, as a first generation scholarship kid. I rode an overnight Trailways bus, alone, to visit campus and plead for more scholarship dollars. That trip was a huge learning experience.

After graduation, I headed to Seattle for life and learning beyond school. I quickly learned that degrees don’t define success and not all jobs are fulfilling. Who knew? I struggled with lifelong learning that matters: defining success according to my values and finding my path within the greater community. Uncertain about the path forward, I started following my interests in peace, social justice, and non-violence. Learning by doing, building community, and being willing to learn from anyone illuminated the path.

Then Northern California, the great outdoors, and my future hubby captured my heart. I settled into a small rural town to explore love, education, parenting, community, and continuing to figure out what and who I wanted to be when I grow up.

Lucky me, 30 plus years and many experiments later, I’m still figuring it out. My next learning projects involve playing with children’s books, poetry, painting, and other ways to tell tales from the land of learning. I continue to ask, try, and do in all my learning adventures.

When not struggling with words, I love to take photos, hike, travel, pick up huge stacks of books at the library, strum the ukulele, and visit with family and friends.