Hi. My name is Rozanne and I have been trying to figure out this about page since January 2009, when I first created this blog.
What do you need to know about me?
Let me start with a little known fact. I have a fear of open water but I love to fantasize about it. I love to imagine myself scuba diving, sailing the seas, and swimming with dolphins. I also love the nautical look. Stripes, gold buttons, and smart slacks epitomize classy.
I came across this term in sea navigation: dead reckoning.
In navigation, dead reckoning is the process of calculating current position of some moving object by using a previously determined position, or fix, by using estimations of speed, heading direction and course over elapsed time. The corresponding term in biology, used to describe the processes by which animals update their estimates of position or heading, is path integration.
This is how explorers understood their location before advanced instruments made navigation easier. It is what sailors still use when their instruments fail. However, with dead reckoning, there can be errors in approximation – the moment you lose sight or awareness of where you are can result in traveling off-course.
Through small cumulative mistakes, you can completely lose your way.
The key is to be present at all times with where you are in terms of your speed, direction, and elapsed time.
What’s more interesting is how animals use this same method but is called path integration. The difference between dead reckoning and path integration is that animals can take the scenic route or a trail that completely seems off-track and even circuitous but they still end up where they intended.
According to Wikipedia, “This process was named path integration to capture the concept of continuous integration of movement cues over the journey.”
This led me down the rabbit hole with Barbara Twersky who, through her research, proposed that spatial cognition (the way our bodies move in the world) is the foundation of all thought and not just a peripheral way of thinking.
Imagine. Our thoughts are not shaped by language but by the way we move in the spaces around us. Paying attention to our relation to our environment and each other makes us think better.
Which begs the question…why are we so concerned with children reading and writing at a young age when the latest research says that the more they move and develop spatial awareness, the more they will develop thinking skills like language and abstract thinking? What exactly do our children need and where does the current system fail them? How can we as parents support them and ourselves where skills like independence, flexibility, creativity, curiosity, teamwork, and focus will be the skills in demand?
At this point in my “about”, I have taken you on a journey across the high seas, across the most mysterious frontier of all – our minds, and have come to education, and have probably left you a little seasick.
My current coordinates are due to the subtle shifts and movements in my life over the last decade. My path has been unconventional yet I knew that I wanted to share my experiences and help change the way we see education, learning, and parenting.
I love what I do and I love my life.
My journey to where I am today started with my journey in homeschooling our five children over a decade ago. My kids have been with me every day and I have had the gift to see the fruits of my experiments and our collective learning.
This blog has been a place for me to share our experiences of what has worked and where we have failed. I measure where we were in our last known position and where we are now. Are we still on our integrative path? What are the measures we use?
I had to systematically decide how to craft my life in order to understand what I wanted and how to get there. I used my writing, my role as guide and mom and wife, and the initiation and failure of creative projects as my dead reckoning – to always see where I am in order to look ahead to where I need to go.
***Updated December 2022:
Today, our oldest is 24 years old and lives part of the year here in Costa Rica, part of the year in Toronto, and part of the year in Europe. Our 19 year old daughter and our 15 year old daughter recently moved to Toronto. Our 17 year old daughter and 13 year old son live with Chris (my Ever-Patient husband) and me in the jungle of Costa Rica. I have started a small outdoor community learning center with other families where we guide learning from ages five to eighteen, trying to scale up my own homeschool model – learning through creativity, conversation, and connection to the land and to each other, moving slowly and deeply.
I love my children – the mirrors of my life and my greatest teachers of who I want to inhabit this world. I love my marriage of twenty-two years and what we have created through trust, failure, ordinary miracles, and a love that protects each other’s space in solitude.
I love connecting the dots.
I love taking random topics and see how to weave them together like uneven remnants of fabric.
I love engaging with the world and young people to recognize their own individual light and as a part of the greater constellation as they discover their own relationship to themselves and the world, developing lesson plans that can incorporate interdisciplinary and creative thinking.
I love supporting other parents on their own high seas and jungle journeys with their families.
I also love the unknown, the pockets of space where “the six impossibilities before breakfast” live (more like seven), the in-between place before the comfort of bearings and firm footing.
Welcome to my blog – I know very old school, the blog, but it’s my universe of maps and guides to parenting, education, and how to continue to love the world.