Why We RV and Roadschool

Rose Roberson works in a workbook

Before we started RVing, we lived in Cody’s hometown, where we had moved after he was medically retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. It was our first opportunity to consider buying our own home and start living “The American Dream,” and we couldn’t wait to finally put down roots for our two daughters. Cody worked as a finance manager at a car dealership, and I stayed home with the kids.

But Cody’s job required him to work crazy hours, and we were an inconvenient distance from the things we wanted to do, so we spent most of our time at home. Slowly, home ownership took over our lives. With Cody’s demanding job, we skipped vacations, and canceled day trips, and pretty soon we realized that our entire lives revolved around the house. We missed being able to explore and experience new things with our girls. After a few years of going a little stir-crazy, we began talking about traveling long-term in an RV. When the pandemic hit, we fast-tracked our five-year plan, bought an RV and hit the road long-term. Now we handle every element of our lives on the road, from laundry to meals to educating our girls––or as we call it, roadschooling.

The Roberson's Jayco Eagle in a field

What kind of RV do you own and what do you like about it?

We have a 2021 Jayco Eagle HT 312BHOK Travel Trailer. We love the white cabinets and accents; it makes the space feel so much more open and brighter. The bunkhouse with its own door is a must for long-term travel with kids! We also love the 2-year warranty and the BMPro application that controls everything on the rig. It’s made life so easy.

Rose Roberson rock climbing

How do your daughters feel about RVing?

They probably love it even more than we do. Every place we visit is immediately their new favorite place ever. They love trying new things, learning about history and science firsthand, and finding new passions like rock climbing.

Kate Roberson helping her daughters with their homework inside their RV.

How does your RV allow you to roadschool effectively?

It makes for a great classroom. We have a set curriculum for math and language arts, but all our other lesson plans depend on where we are. When we were in Charleston, we focused our history lessons on historic sites, and when we were in Texas, we focused more on science because the girls were fascinated by the space center and all the cool clouds we saw. We were also in Houston during the big storm this winter, so we took that as an opportunity to learn about weather. You’d be amazed by how much of our day-to-day life we can turn into a learning opportunity.

Katy Roberson points at a flower with her daughters watching

How do you encourage your girls to try new things on the road?

RVing has changed our girls a lot. They are way more adventurous than they were before. We’ve always had a “try it once” rule, within reason. If they are visibly stressed about trying something, we save it for when they’re a little older. But since they conquered their fears of rock climbing, they’re down to give anything a go!

The Roberson family sitting outside learning about science

How do you coordinate your RV travel with lesson plans?

We base our lesson plans off where we’re going next. In Maryland, we studied more history. In Alabama, we visited Cheaha State Park and focused more on science.  I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of each subject and if one looks a little lighter than the others, then we plan a lesson for that subject. What we shoot for on a weekly basis is about 10 hours of book work in math and language arts, at least one art project, one science lesson and one history lesson. They haven’t shown much interest in music yet besides singing in the truck when we’re on the road, but we’re excited to see what kind of instruments pique their interest in the future.

Do our lessons balance perfectly every week? Absolutely not. For instance, this week has been filled with one-day stops as we travel toward our next destination, and we’re all beat by the end of the day. But next week we will have a lot of free time, so we will make for lost lessons then.

The Roberson family travels in a Jayco Eagle.

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