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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, tools, and examples to inspire people to embrace their curiosity and love for learning as they develop tools, skills, and confidence for learning all through life. 

I’m always curious and love to learn. I grew up in a small town with incredible library, public schools, and community programs. I loved reading and had the freedom to roam the town and library stacks. Friendly librarians, employers, neighbors, and parents of friends 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. I quickly learned that degrees don’t guarantee “success” and not all jobs are fulfilling. I struggled with 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.