Homeschooling On The Road – American Trip

This is an interview with Zoë Racca of The Boho Hobos – a blog about Zoë and her family living and traveling in 232 sq ft on wheels. She is a homeschooling Mom and incredibly inspirational with her positive, can-do attitude. She shares the adventure at:

1.   I love that you are traveling as a family in an RV throughout the United States and loving it. Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

We are Nic, 33, Zoë, 28, MHG, 8 and Cindy, 2 years old. We live in our 232 sq ft toy hauler and travel with our 2 indoor-only kitties.

We full time RV with Daddy, so he can follow his work. He fulfills remote contracts as a Project Manager for utility companies. He left for Virginia in May of 2012 when our youngest was only 10 months old.

After he missed our oldest daughter’s last day of Kindergarten (in public school), our baby’s 1st birthday, and a couple other important events, we knew we needed to come up with alternative living arrangements to be together once and for all. I jokingly suggested that we RV full time.

A couple months after that, he asked if I had been serious. Long story short, on March 10th, we bought an RV. I, with help from friends and family, spent the remainder of March & April renovating and redecorating it.

My in-laws’ neighbor hauled it to an RV park for me on Mother’s Day & the girls and I became official full-timers on May 12, 2013. What a great gift! I spent the next 2 weeks with just my girls and cats, figuring out all the fun stuff… like emptying the grey and black tanks, refilling my propane, and using a gas stove for the 1st time in my life!

My Husband came back at the end of May (a whole year after being separated from us), bought a truck 1 week later and a week after that, we hitched up “Hope” and drove it 1,666 miles from Colorado to Virginia! My daughter named our RV “Hope” because it gave us hope to be together again!

2.   Have to ask… where have you been so far and what has been your favorite place? How long have you been a traveling family?

We have been a traveling family for exactly 9 months today! We’ve crossed the country twice and on our journey we have visited 14 states in that amount of time. Some of our favorite locations were:

  • Richmond, VA (1st project location)
  • Virginia Beach, VA (the beach & visiting family)
  • Atlanta, GA (visiting family)
  • Currently we reside in Phoenix, AZ with New Mexico coming up! (2nd& 3rdproject locations)
Homeschooling on the Road - American Trip
Visiting Virginia Beach

Our favorite place so far, has been VA Beach. The girls had so much fun seeing the ocean for the first time. Nic swam and body surfed on the waves. I swam, searched for seashells & did Yoga in the sand with MHG (which is really hard by the way!) She also dug for seashells & waded in the waves.

Cindy played in the sand and chased the seagulls (the loud crashing waves freaked her out a bit). We also got to visit with Nic’s Great Uncle while we were there. That was a really special treat to finally get to meet him after 9 years!

3.   You have two young children, so of course schooling is an issue. Can you describe why you decided to homeschool? As someone who has been there, I know it is not only a difficult decision to make, but difficult to figure out how you are going to do it!

Near the end of Kindergarten, MHG was reading (and comprehending what she read) at a 5thgrade level. I guess reading to her, on a daily basis from the second she was born, paid off. (I’m sure it also helped that my Mom would check her out 20 books a week from the library to broaden her horizons.)

My Husband and I didn’t feel that she was being challenged enough in public school, so we decided I would teach her for 1stgrade. I submitted my notice of intent to homeschool, and went with the Oak Meadow First Grade curriculum. (I like how it had everything laid out for me.)

Although I LOVED Oak Meadow’s Waldorf-style & nature-based approach, it ended up being too easy for her in the Reading & Math department. I had to supplement those 2 subjects with 2nd& 3rdgrade workbooks to challenge her.

I also enrolled her in a public school Homeschool enrichment program that was 1 day a week. It offered her the ability to socialize with other homeschooled kids that were her age, while allowing her the opportunity to participate in gym, art & other extra-curricular activities.

It helped make it a smooth transition into homeschooling. Obviously, now that we’re on the road, she doesn’t participate in it anymore, but she does stay in touch with the best friend she had made there.

For our 2 year old, I use the Road to Reading program that we initially purchased for MHG when she was only 6 months old, but we never used. We brought it with us while we RV, so in order for it to not end up a precious waste of weight.

Cindy is having a ball with it. It utilizes the “Hot Dots” pen and pages to teach her colors, words, shapes, opposite, etc. It has been known to occupy her attention for a whole hour at times!

Homeschooling on the Road - American Trip
Saguaro Cacti in Arizona

4.   What have been the biggest challenges (if any) you’ve faced as a traveling homeschool Mom? And Dad!

For 2nd grade, we went with the Calvert curriculum. It is more advanced in the Reading and Math subjects, and has a LOT of written work… which is good for her because she really likes to write.

However, MHG has found it a challenge to write in the truck while we’re in transit mode. It’s too bumpy for her. Because we don’t travel as much, I have her do her assignments a couple days ahead of time.

This way, she can enjoy the trip and doesn’t have to worry about doing her work on the road. She pretty much just reads the entire time, if she isn’t looking out the window enjoying the scenery.

5.   What is your favorite thing or things about living in an RV and what are your least favorite?

My favorite things are:

Always being together, we own our home outright – so we don’t have a mortgage/rent payment looming over our heads, we always have our home with us no matter where we go, we get to see a lot of America and experience geography/history first hand, and if I want to redecorate… it’s a lot cheaper because there isn’t as much square footage to fill, ha-ha!

My least favorite things are:

We are away from our family and friends. Also on that note, we’re somewhere long enough to make new friends and then we have to leave them. I have to console MHG and tell her that we can be sad about leaving them or happy to make some more at the next place we go (although I find it difficult to feel that way myself.)

Also, re-learning Wal-Mart and Target layouts, radio and TV stations and where the local health foods stores or farmer’s markets are, is a pain in the butt! I also wish I could take a hot shower without having to turn my water on and off constantly. Although I’ve adapted to taking Navy showers… it is never fun.

6.   Advice for other traveling by RV families?

Never take for granted that you and your family get to be together while traveling around. Sometimes I forget there are some people out there that would kill to have the chance to do what has naturally fallen into our laps (thanks to my Husband’s wonderful company he works for).

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, and although I have no idea how long it will last, I will always appreciate the times together we have shared traveling around America.

Oh, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures! We enjoy looking back at the photographs I took and remembering the fun we had that time when…

Thank you!

Thanks so much for participating! I love your families story and hope to see you on the road (or at an RV park) someday! 🙂

best, Molly

More Articles on American Trip Travel Series:
Introducing Road Trip USA Travel Series
Interview with Tiny r(E)
Montana to Oregon Road Trip
Workamping on the Road
Traveling with Dogs
Free Overnight RV Parking

Photographs courtesy of Zoë Racca, all rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Homeschooling On The Road – American Trip

  1. Wow! Thanks for interviewing me, it was a lot of fun! I really hope to meet you in person some day! You and your son are amazing and incredibly inspirational! <3

  2. You rock girl. I’ve been afraid a bit here in the U.S. (complicated stuff) but folks like you make me feel better and excited about doing some RV time. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.