The World is My Classroom

A 10 year old's education across America

Peter & Kathy Holcombe Peter & Kathy Holcombe  |  02.20.2015

(When you read this you may find it hard to believe that it’s written by a ten-year-old.  RV stories are usually written by retirees or older adventurers.  Many of today’s RVers started out as kids traveling with their families and those times together form memories that last a lifetime.  We welcome Abby Holcombe as a periodic contributor to GoLife and look forward to seeing the world anew through her youthful perspective.  Don Cohen, Editor GoLife.)

by Abby Holcombe

On June 16, 2014 my family and I headed out on a remarkable journey. We bought an RV, and put a for sale sign in our old front yard. We were going to travel full-time. The most popular question that we get from people we meet is “What do you do for school?”  The answer surprises most people who assume that I am homeschooled.  I actually participate in an online school. It is called Colorado Connections Academy. I have a real teacher which is a big relief for my mom.

Since I have a real teacher we meet virtually similar to Skype, FaceTime. or any other video calling systems with 60 other students. It is just like being in a classroom. My teacher can even break us up into many groups. We can also talk and “text” each other throughout the lesson.

However, as all things in life, it does have a few problems. The biggest problem for me is when I have a question I have to wait for my mom to finish her work so she can help me or plan B, email my teacher. My teacher is really busy and sometimes she can’t answer my questions on the spot like at a normal school so I usually have to wait an hour or two for a satisfactory response. I also have to be very responsible to have the self motivation to actually open up my laptop to complete my schoolwork.

On a high note, most kids spend 8 hours of school including homework. (A) I DON”T HAVE HOMEWORK! BAHAHA (B) I can do the same amount of school as a brick & mortar student in just 2 short hours as an average.  (C) I don’t have to just sit at a desk I could do my school in a hammock! Also, I am a whitewater kayaker and I am very active. I can move around my schedule to fit me! Which is great!

Because we are traveling around the country I don’t just read about something, I SEE IT! For instance a few months ago we went to the Vicksburg Battle Field. I was reading in my textbook about Vicksburg. LIGHT BULB! I remember that place! I have been there! This is so cool!  Online school isn’t for everyone. But it sure does fit me and my traveling family!

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  1. Joy Dexter Posted on 03.18.2015

    Hi Abby,
    I think you are one lucky gal to have parents who have given you this wonderful opportunity to travel and see many fabulous sites and intersting places around the USA. Your writing details give us readers a clear picture of what you have seen & done. Keep up the good work. I’ll look forward to keeping up with your adventures in your column. Hats off to your teacher, too! Both of you are unique “trail-blazers”.
    Happy Trails to you – Joy Dexter

  2. Muriel & Tom Posted on 03.14.2015

    This such a neat experience for you! Not everyone is this lucky. We didn’t full-time until our son graduated high school but we did travel whenever school was out. He was in 42 states before he turned 12. He and his Dad are history buffs so travelling to historical places were such fun. We had our son keep logs (diaries) of each trip and it was lots of fun when he got older to look back and read his interpretation of places. Enjoy! Life is a Trip!

  3. Camilo “Mile’s” Galvez Posted on 03.14.2015

    Abby I am a dreamer & traveler,my younger years I’ve spend most of my time traveling with my bike and I am an avid outdoors man. I think you are lucky experiencing all the wonderful life of traveling, you cant buy it with your Master Card. What can I say enjoy everything.

  4. Dona Mahoney Posted on 03.14.2015

    Abby, What an incredible opportunity you have to experience your learning as you travel. I am sure you meet many interesting people. I am wondering how you manage social connections and friendships with peers?
    I am looking forward to hearing more about your journey.

  5. Kernut the Blond Posted on 03.14.2015

    Great article, Abby! Thank you for the useful information about your school. I’ve been trying to convince a friend to become a full-timer, but he’s worried about educating his son. Now I can tell him about your experience. Thanks!

  6. Suzanne Lingold Posted on 02.27.2015

    Abby, you are amazing. We love hearing about your adventures and your day-to-day life traveling across the country. What a well-written and entertaining story! Love the photo in the hammock, too!

  7. Abby Holcombe Posted on 02.26.2015

    Thanks! Definitely. We are headed to Colorado and Las Vegas for a photography convention. The RV is handling it great!

    Miss you guys!


  8. Wynne Simpson Posted on 02.23.2015

    Tom and I are thrilled by your adventures, Abby. You are becoming a 10 yr. old excellent learner as you have so many ways to experience this precious life!

    Keep on, keep us up to date and, I was wondering where you are now with all this freezing weather about us and how the van is handling that?

    Love “aunt wynne”

  9. Kishor Posted on 02.23.2015

    That is amazing – what a great article.
    I’m sure you will do very well in life, & all the best for your studies/adventure!