Ep 116: Everything Back-to-School, Totally Systemized & Simplified


This episode is a little different. It is actually the audio from a live class that I led on social media. And it is jam packed with some serious value. I’ve got everything that you would need for the back-to-school season and beyond. This episode is about systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling incoming paperwork, email systems, extracurricular activities, routines & rhythms, meal planning, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. So, whether you have school-aged kids or not, this should be helpful! 


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Processing incoming paperwork and emails

  • Life-hacks to make mornings easier 

  • Simplified meal prepping 

  • Solutions for your family’s “drop zone” 

  • How to decide what’s worth your time and what isn’t

  • Setting a seasonal intent for your family 

  • Teaching your kids responsibility 

  • Maximizing the fringe moments with your kids

  • The benefits of a digital calendar

Mentioned in this Episode:


Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you’er surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

Unburdened lightens your load so you can live abundant, well, and intentionally focused on those who matter most! It’s the overwhelmed mom’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

Hey friends! Oh my gosh! This episode is packed with some serious, serious value. It's longer than my usual episodes because it's actually the sound pulled from a really big live class that I held on social media. So, if you missed it or you just want this for the future, here it is for you! 

It is seriously packed with everything that you would need for help for the back to school season. But this doesn't even have to be listened to when it's just back-to-school. It's systems, organization, and a streamlined, simplified approach to handling: incoming paperwork, alerts, events from the school, your mail, your regular life, email systems, before and after school routines, and how you decide what is worth your time and what isn't. 

What about extracurricular activities? How do you decide what your kids should do and what's not for right now? What about obligations like being the “room mom”? And you have all of these feelings like you should be doing more? How do you weigh out to say, “yes” or “no” to those things? What about simplifying lunches, meals and just everything if you have school-aged kids?

It's really, really jam-packed. 

So, I'm going to let it play for you now, but please know that this is for everybody. Amy, she's on Team Allie and she was at the live to be admin in the chat for me and she texted me afterwards, “Oh my gosh! That was so good! I don't have school-age kids yet and I got so much out of it!” Her oldest is 2, so just so you know, this is for everybody. But it was so good and I didn't want to let it fade away into the cyber universe, so I'm sharing it with you here today. 

Alright, so here's what's going on: My name is Allie Casazza and I help overwhelmed women, particularly mothers, simplify their lives so they can spend more time focused on what matters and less time on the side-note things. The things that are supposed to be “extras” that support the life you want to live, but if we're not careful they can tend to completely take over and “maul” us and then all we're doing is the side-note stuff like cleaning up and meal prep. Then, all those things that are supposed to support a great life end up totally taking over and distracting from it. 

So that's what I do. I think it all starts at home. I love to get people started with clutter, but then that spills over into calendar, schedule and all of that. My personal opinion after years of doing this for myself and with other women—leading these online programs that I create and coaching women to take action—my belief at this point is that home-decluttering is Step One and that everything kind of stems from there. Then, from that place, the next step would be to apply this kind of minimalistic approach to your schedule, your life, the way you're living, and the way you're spending your time. 

So we’re gearing up for August to focus on that Step Two, because a lot of you guys came to the How To Declutter Your Home In Two Weeks live trainings that we did, and a lot of you guys have come to join Your Uncluttered Home and you're getting your house simplified and doing all of these great things and you're ready for Step Two. Step Two is all of this kind of stuff. 

It's back-to-school season so it (accidentally) works out perfectly, and I think that we should take advantage of that and make it happen. 

If you haven't decluttered your home yet, it's okay. But just know that you can set up rhythms and routines and simplify all you want but you're not going to really see a huge difference if you don't declutter first. That's a tough truth and it's a little disappointing when you just want to get things lighter and you haven't started yet. Everyone has to start somewhere and it does matter where, okay? 

Part of the thing that I do in creating these online programs is I passively coach women on their own time because it's all prerecorded and automated. Sometimes we'll add in an accountability group so that they can talk to me live and talk to each other as they're all working towards the same goal. But basically it's like passive coaching because everyone's in different time zones, in different countries, and it's a really cool setup. 

So, essentially what I create are these passive coaching programs for women who want to simplify. We do Step One, Your Uncluttered Home, and then Step Two would be Unburdened. If you find this episode helpful (which it’ll be super deep and really helpful), Unburdened is times a hundred. So, if you've ever been wondering what's the difference between the programs, that's the difference. 

Unburdened is life stuff: systems, rhythms, and getting things done in a way that serves you in the life you want to live. I hope that makes sense. Okay, let's get started. 

The first place I want to start with is paperwork because, whether you have kids or not, paperwork is always coming in. But when you do have kids it absolutely increases, right? We get a ton more papers just by the fact that we have kids. 

You send your kids to school and in come the papers—announcements, activities, all these things they're sending papers home for. If you homeschool that can mean even more paperwork than if you don't. What do you do with all the paper? A lot of schools are doing a more digital setup where it's email-based but that can also create clutter. 

We're going to talk about how to handle it in a way that is helpful, life-giving and feels attainable. Sometimes people share decluttering tips or organization systems and you know you’re not gonna keep that up. My least favorite thing in the world was when I moved into a two-story house for the first time and looked for tips for how to handle when things are downstairs that belong upstairs. Things were making a mess at the bottom of the stairs because no one was going up and putting things away. And all of the tips were like, “Oh just be disciplined. That’s the rule. We go upstairs and we put it away. Don't be lazy. We just go upstairs and put it away.” 

Maybe I'm lazy, but I'm not going to go upstairs to put something away when I'm staying downstairs. And I know that I could tell my kids to do that all day, but it's going to turn into a nag session and a fighting match that I don't have time for. So, I had to create my own solution. I put a basket at the bottom of the stairs instead and that is where things that belong upstairs go. At the end of the day, we bring it up and we empty it. 

I like to do things like that. I like to take whatever is not working for everybody and I'll just figure it out for all of us and then share it. That's what we're going to do today.

So, I'm going to teach you my system for incoming paperwork. I know everyone's getting started with back-to-school, maybe your kids have already started. I homeschool my kids. Emmett goes to school a few days a week and the other kids have programs that they go to a couple of days a week, so I'm kind of half in and half out. But it doesn't matter because there's a system that I have that's for everything: mail, random papers (like when you write a note down on a post-it and you're like, “I'm not going to remember that; I’m going to lose it,” or you write it in your journal and you don't want to forget it, so you’re like, “I'll rip it out and put it here”). I have a system for all paperwork ever and this will absolutely work for back-to-school. 

Okay, here we go. 

The first thing you need to do is basically create an “email inbox system” for physical papers. So, the first thing you're going to do is get yourself a physical box. Mine is tin or metal and I got it from Target. It's white. It matches my house. And it's super simple. It's like a magazine holder. So, you're going to get a physical inbox and this is your home, this is your landing zone for paperwork that comes in. Okay? 

The other thing you're going to get is one of those normal folders that you can just get for school or whatever. Get whatever color and pattern you want. Mine says “follow up” on it. The folder is going to live inside of your new physical inbox. 

Okay. So, Step One, buy a physical inbox. Step Two by a little folder. Now, I’ll explain how this works. 

When the kids go back to school or if they already have, you will need to process all the papers. I'm going to show you how to set up a normal weekly rhythm for processing incoming paperwork, but when your kids first go back to school, you're probably going to have an extra amount of papers, so you're going to want to process them all right away and then start your weekly rhythm, okay? 

I have one day of the week that is my physical inbox processing day. It used to be Sunday, because we have our Sunday meetings. I don't know if you guys have heard that podcast episode or not, but Brian and I have a Sunday night meeting before the week starts and I thought, “Oh this goes in perfectly with that. I'll just do it then.” But it didn't go perfectly with it because I don’t want to process mail and big decisions like that on Sunday night when I'm not usually in my calendar, I'm definitely never at my computer, and sometimes mail comes and I need to update an insurance problem or something. I'm not going to do that on Sunday night. 

So, I moved it to Friday. It's the end of the week. I'm wrapping things up. I usually have team meetings on Friday; I'm wrapping up work. I'm in my office. I'm in that mode of let's get things done and wrap it up so we can have an amazing weekend because we take Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for our weekends here. So that's my mental process. 

Pick a day. Don't overthink this. Just pick a day. What day of the week is going to work for you? It's okay to pick a day and then move it later. Just pick a day. That day is your processing day. 

Make it fun. Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee or tea, get a juice, or whatever. Sometimes I'll go and get an iced latte and bring it home. Make it a treat. This shouldn't be a burden. It shouldn't be a big ordeal. It should be something you look forward to. You have a system. You are being an action-taking, problem-solving lady. You’re the CEO of your home and this is the day where you organize, systemize, and handle that crap that would stress you out otherwise. 

You're going to sit down and go through things. You are going to process piece-by-piece. Open the mail, look at the school flyer, whatever it is. Look at it and you're going to be processing that. What is this paper? What's the point of it? What action needs to be taken on it, if any? 

Sometimes the action is a quick action, like adding an event to your calendar. Other times it takes a little more time. Maybe it warrants a response from you or maybe it warrants a conversation with your spouse about what decision you want to make about the idea that this paper is presenting to you and your family. 

Whatever the action is, do something immediately. If it is a quick action, do it immediately. Add an event to your calendar or add a task to your to-do list or make a reminder of something. Do that right away. You look at the paper and you're like, “Okay, 5K for the kids' elementary school project on September 5th. Yes, I want to go to that. I'm putting it on my calendar. I'm sending a teacher an email. Yes, I want to do that.”  Now, done, processed, finished, trash. 

If it's not a quick action that you can take, if you need to think about it, pray about it, talk to your husband about it, talk to your kid about it, or whatever, then you're going to put it in the “Follow Up” folder. This folder is for following up on things that aren't quite closed and also for decisions you haven't quite made. Your goal every processing day is to put as little amount of papers in this folder as possible. Any time that you can take immediate action and make it a quick task, do that. But if you must, put it in this folder, okay? 

This is just a place for you to come back to. You know that your physical inbox is empty because you processed things, but these are things that you are not quite done with yet. If you need to come back to something in the middle of the week, like maybe you send an email to somebody and then you have to wait for them to email you back, that paper is a reminder of what you emailed them about and all the information you might need. So you put it in that folder. 

You could take a picture of it and make it digital if you want. To me, I'm coming to this zone of my house when I'm dealing with incoming things, so I just want it all in one place. I don't want to take a picture of it. I'm already minimalist. I've already taken pictures of tons of stuff. I don't need another iPhone folder. This is already here. It’s just easier for me. Does that make sense? 

Let's say that you get a piece of mail and it's something from your insurance. Something happened and it lapsed or something and it's Saturday. Okay, well that sucks. You need to follow up with that. So, you reach out to them. You call them. You leave a message. You email them or whatever. That's going to go in here because it's not finished. It's not processed all the way yet. When things finish processing, when the decision is made, the action is taken, the issue has all panned out, then you can put it in the “done” pile, shred it, throw it away, or whatever. Okay?

When you are in a rhythm like this, there are really not a lot of things that you will need to take immediate action on. Everyone usually freaks out, “Once a week? But what if I receive it on Thursday and it needs an immediate response and I can't wait til Friday?” Well, usually there's a note on the envelope, “immediate action required,” or a pink slip or yellow slip or something in there. It’s okay to break your own rule and respond to it or whatever you need to do. But usually things can wait until Friday, so once a week is enough. It'll be fine. 

The goal here is whatever the action is, take it immediately if it's quick. If it’s not, add the action to your to-do list and put it in your “Follow Up” folder to reference until it's completely processed. 

Your new inbox processing day is now a nonnegotiable. Okay? Because if it's negotiable, you're going to get all inspired and you're going to be like, “Oh, Allie told me to do this. I'm going to go do it.” But when life happens, you're not going to take action. And then you're just going to have this pretty inbox sitting there and it's pointless. You need to make this a nonnegotiable. Put it on your calendar. Set alerts to go off to remind yourself for 30 days until you have formed a habit. 

You need to understand that you are going to be overwhelmed, you're going to cause yourself so much stress, you're going to fall back into that hot mess mom culture that we don't want to be in (that's not where we belong and it's not necessary) if you don't get a system in place. 

This is the part where everyone has excuses: “Oh, there's no day of the week...Well, I'm not good at things like this.” And this is my favorite one: “This won’t work for me because of [insert reason.]” Anything can work for you if you make it work. If you decide that you don't want to be a mess, if you decide that you want to process things, it will work. 

There are weeks where I have to move the day. Whether I'm just so exhausted I forget, or I'm out of town so I have to do it on a Monday. It doesn't matter. The point is there’s space in my calendar to handle my life, to make decisions, to go through the mail, to respond to things and it all works out. 

Then you get to feel like your to-do list is crossed off. You responded to those emails. You answered those papers. You committed to this event and not that one. You were on top of it and you did something about it. Okay? 

Email basically works the same way except it's already an inbox just digital. We took the physical inbox idea from the idea of how email works. Email is just already set up for you. What I want you to do in your email is I want you to set yourself up with three new folders. Basically any email system that you use (I use Gmail) will allow you to make subfolders in your inbox to categorize different things. 

I want you to make three new folders (or labels, tags, however your email system works):

  • Respond Today—I have a rule where I don't respond to almost anything right away. I will put it in the “Respond Today” folder and wait and just think through it or talk it out or whatever. 

  • “Respond This Week” 

  • “To Reference Later” 

I got this idea from my friend, Stacy. She's amazing. It's brilliant. I've had this setup for a while now and it works so well because it keeps you constantly at “inbox zero.” Your inbox can be such a complete crap show and it doesn't need to be. 

I immediately label everything either: “I need to respond to this today,” or “I can respond to this later this week,” or “I need to just save this information because I might need to reference it later.” 

You can get as deep as you want. You can have subfolders. I have subfolders underneath: 

  • Reference Later/ Receipts, 

  • Reference Later/ Giving, 

  • Reference Later/ Business Tips I want to see later but I want to save. 

You can do whatever you want. So, you might have “Reference Later/ Kids School.” Or Reference Later and it's all general and you can just search to find stuff. So, that’s how you are going to organize this. 

Use “Unroll Me” to originally purge your inbox. Say you get emails from Anthropology—I mean, I don't know why you want to unsubscribe to those because their emails are just so beautiful, but let’s just say you want to unsubscribe from Anthropology. Search for “Anthropology,” select one, “unsubscribe” from it and then go back and select all of them and delete all of them. It will take you time, but you can also use subscriptions like “Unroll Me” and things like that. Do the original purge and get to that “inbox zero” and organize everything else by folders in your inbox. Okay? 

That is how we're going to handle both physical and digital incoming information. Especially for those of you who might have ADD, or a lot of kids, or just a lot going on, having a system like this is ingenious. It takes the problem out of it. I literally put everything in my digital or physical inbox. Every day I check the mail and I put it in there. Then on Friday I go through it. 

If I write down an amazing business idea on a post-it note while I'm cooking dinner, I take that post-it note and I put it in the inbox. So then, later, when I'm processing on processing day and I see the post-it note, I'm going to open up Asana where I keep dreams and ideas and I'm going to put this in my “ideas” list in Asana. Now I can throw the post-it note away because I processed it. At the time when I had the idea I physically couldn't get to Asana so I just jotted it down. You guys, if you do things like this, this is the answer to all of the things. 

Sometimes I will empty out my purse because I've shoved random gum wrappers, post-its, pieces of paper with ideas, thoughts, and to-do lists in there because I couldn't get to my phone at that moment. I will empty out my purse of all the things I jotted down and put it in the inbox to process later. 

Sometimes I voice-memo myself on my phone and I will put a post-it note in the inbox as a reminder to process voice-memos. So, when I'm processing I'm like, “Oh yeah! I voice-recorded some ideas and things I needed to do,” and I'll go back and listen to my voice-memos and then I'll make it a to-do list or just do it right away. Okay? 

When it comes to the morning time, I think the overwhelm is because there's so much to do. The kids are sleepy. You've got to wake them up. You've got to feed them. You have so much to do that it becomes this tornado of chaos and you end up sending them out the door while you’re yelling and you aren’t who you want to be as a mom. And that is absolutely the worst feeling ever. It sucks. 

I know that's not how you want to be. I know that’s not aligned with who you are as a mother. It just comes out sometimes when you're really, really busy. There’s a rush and there's a consequence if they're late all the time. You look really bad and you're embarrassed. You just wish you could get it together. 

Here's the thing that nobody does that is going to solve a lot of that upfront: Count backward from the time that controls you. What I mean by that is: count backward from the deadline. So, if you're homeschooling and you say, “I want us to start school by 9:00 AM every day, otherwise it's just going to take too long and it's not going to work,” then that is the time that controls you. If your kid’s school starts at 7:45 AM then that's the time that controls you. When I say “the time that controls, I mean: “When do you have to be there?” Or “When do you have to be done?” 

I like to give myself an extra 10–15 minutes because I know myself and I know my kids.

So, whatever the time that controls you, select it. Add a little “give” if you want. Then you move backward. If you have done this multiple times, you have kids that have been in school a few years, you probably just know that it takes 30 minutes (or however long) for everyone to get dressed and brush their teeth. And it takes 15 minutes (or however long) for them to eat breakfast. You might already know. Take those time increments and count backwards. What time would that mean that you've got to be up and going? I would even add another 10–15 minutes to that and that's your wake-up time. 

How far is your drive to school? How long does it take you to get ready? How long does it take your kids to get ready? If you don't know, test it out. Estimate what you think, and then keep tabs. It's a little bit extra in the morning, but if you give yourself some extra time, you can jot it down in a journal. How long does it take? That kind of data—that's power right there. You’ve literally got data on how your family does their mornings. That's amazing. That's so powerful for you to know. Knowledge is power, right? That's how this works and these are the kinds of little tweaks that nobody else is doing. 

So, from there decide what everyone's wake up time is. Is yours going to be earlier than theirs? Is there anything you would like to get done in the morning for yourself before the day starts? All of these things will factor into what time you wake up. If you calculate that and it's an ungodly hour and you're like, “I'm not getting up at 4:00 AM” or whatever it is, then you have a choice to make. What things are you willing to drop? And let me also tell you this, the most helpful shift you can make is to ask yourself, “What could I possibly get done the night before?” 

Act as if this were a game of “Who can get the most stuff done the night before?” and the prize is $1 million. Think about it like that. I bet you can think of so many more things than you ever have before, such as: 

  • Laying out the outfits and shoes, that's a given. 

  • Making lunches. 

  • Giving your kids showers and baths so they don't have to do it in the morning. 

  • Having their backpacks packed, and everything ready to grab and go at the door. 

  • Having your dinner ingredients chopped or things in the slow cooker. Whatever you could chop, slice, dice for the slow cooker and put in the fridge the night before. 

  • Make breakfast the night before, and only make breakfasts that can be easily eaten and still be yummy the next morning. There's so many ideas on Pinterest for that. I'm not going to provide you with any; go look. 

  • Set your coffee timer 

  • Maybe have your quiet time the night before when the kids are in bed and asleep and you're just sitting there. Don't turn on Netflix. Read your Bible. Journal. Read a book. Pray. Go for a nighttime walk. Maybe you could implement some peace the night before and then you just wake up and go. 

What could you get done the night before? How much can you cut from your morning? All of these things are going to help you. 

Then when you know what your morning must-do’s are—these are the things that, no matter what, must get done in the morning—you use those things to count backwards from the time that controls you. Then you know about how much time you need. And you can test and tweak it, but I think that you should give yourself a little bit extra time too—at least 10 extra minutes. 

I feel so much better when I know that I've given myself an extra half-hour in case Emmett decides all-of-a-sudden, “Oh! I can't get my shoes on,” and does this weird lazy drop thing that he does. Anyone who knows me in real life knows what I'm talking about. He'll just drop and he's suddenly “paralyzed” and just can't do anything for himself. It's super annoying and I'm not going to have it, so I have to do the whole, “Emmett Finn! Get up right now!” thing. So, I feel really good when I have an extra 25-30 minutes and I'm not having to yell and freak out. I can have my kid do a toddler-drop situation and not freak out. 

The main goal for me is to not be freaking out. I just want to be calm. I just want to be the mom that I want to be. Sometimes it's a total botch and it doesn't happen. But when you prepare and you are an action-taking, problem-solving woman, then you've solved a lot of the problems before they even start. You took action. You know you tried and everyone just has bad days and that's okay. 

Okay, so let's talk about a few quick tips for making meal prep really simple because time at home in the evening is often limited. I was just talking recently with my friend Kendra Hennessy (I think some of you guys probably know her and follow her) about how everybody tends to think you have to have a brand new, amazing meal, especially at the start of the school year. We all go into it like, “I'm going to be like June Cleaver. Everything's going to be perfect. I’m going to have this amazing meal because I have these new routines in place.” Routines that we all know you're not going to stick with for more than two weeks because they never work. We've got to solve the actual root problem so that our routines can stick. Right?

You don't need to have a different meal every night. I have friends that rotate two weeks’ worth of meals constantly and that's how they are. I feel like I'd get sick of things, but they don't and that works for them. Does that work for you? What can you do? 

Crockpots and Instant Pots are life-changing. They’re lifesavers. They’re serious, serious, serious help.

Instant Pot. I love it. Pre-chop and prep the ingredients. If you're like us and you need to cook a lot of things from scratch for health reasons or just your preference, then pre-chop and prep the ingredients the night before, or even the week before, freeze them and then saute them up to defrost and then cook. 

There's so many things you could do no matter what your dietary restrictions are, no matter what you’ve got going on to simplify meal planning. Get the meals ready the night before. Set a takeout night on the hardest night to cook. What is the night that you pick up the kids late from school because they had something extra and you had to rush? You don’t even go home, you just go straight to the sports or whatever. What is the night of your schedule that is just the worst? How can you flip it around and make it positive? Is it that the kids look forward to eating out and you budget for that because you know every Thursday you’re eating out? 

On the night that you guys choose to have a takeout night or a “no cook” night, find a place where the kids eat free that night and go there. If you have time to go into a restaurant, that's a great option. But if you're choosing that night because it's crazy and you can't go out to eat and sit in there and eat, then just order from somewhere and take the load off yourself.

If you guys don't have a ton of extracurricular activities, just pick a night that you tend to kind of poop out. What is the day of the week where you're like, “Man, I'm really ready for the weekend. I’m done.” Is it Wednesday? Thursday? Is Monday really hard because you're coming back from the weekend? Pick a night to simplify. 

Maybe you have frozen pizzas in the freezer and you just pull those out every whatever night that is. Maybe you order pizza, order takeout, get Uber eats or whatever, but pick a night to give yourself a break. Plan on that. 

I'm not a meal planner/teacher. There's Pinterest for a reason. There's so many other things. If you have Your Uncluttered Home, you’ve probably got the bonus of The Minimalist Meal Planning that comes with it. Go to that. Use Hello Fresh, or whatever you want to do. But just know the biggest takeaway is that meal planning is an area that we overcomplicate so much. 

Stop over-complicating meals. You don't need something new every night. You're doing a fantastic job. This is the place with a lot of wiggle room. There's not a lot of wiggle room in other zones. Your kids have to be at school at a certain time. There's not a lot of wiggle room there. There’s not a lot of wiggle room after school either. Simplify your meals. There’s so much wiggle room there. You can make it so flexible. 

Hey beautiful friend! Pausing this content right now because I want to talk to you about something that is currently open and is super temporary. I don't want you to miss out!

 Do you ever feel like you are just stuck in the mud? Every day feels like you're sinking in quicksand and you can’t get out? No matter how much effort you put in you just sink further and further? 

If life feels like it's just heavy…maybe you've decluttered, maybe you've simplified your home but life, your calendar, and your schedule just really feel heavy and you wish that you could implement minimalism to that part of things just like you did with your house. I am so excited if you’re saying “yes” to this because Unburdened is open! 

Unburdened is the second course that I created. It is basically a tool and resource for you to use to pull yourself out of that pit and do it a whole lot faster than if you did it without help. 

Basically, Unburdened will help you set boundaries for your phone, your technology, yourself, and other people, to make space for what matters. 

It'll help you take ownership of your time. We're going to gut your calendar and clear the clutter in your life and your schedule, create your ideal day and set up daily and weekly rhythms (which for those of you who don't do routines and you can never make them stick, this is the answer because I'm like that and this is literally my biggest secret.) 

I'm so, so excited! 

Step 3 in this program is you're going to implement a plan for doable self-care because you can't give your family water if your well is all dried up, right? 

And then Step 4, you're going to get purposeful in your day-to-day, because how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, right? This stuff matters. 

Unburdened only opens up twice a year for enrollment. This is your chance. Go to The doors are open! It's a $99 program.

I'm super excited to get you guys in there and help you reach success in the change that you're seeking for your schedule, your routines, and how your days go because this is the kind of stuff that's so exciting to get to work on once you've simplified your home. 

Let's talk about “the drop zones.” The entryway, places that your kids tend to drop stuff like their shoes, their backpacks, sports equipment, like just everywhere. This is tactical, practical stuff. 

First of all, I don't think enough can be said for hooks and baskets in the entryway or your “drop zone.” Some people come into their house from their garage. Some people come in entering the kitchen. Some people have an actual mud room. Some people are like me and they come in the front door and there's not really a mudroom, but they made an entryway for themselves. Whatever your situation is, where do you guys come in? Where do things tend to get dropped? 

Listen, let me just save you a lot of effort and freak outs. Wherever the drop zone is right now, wherever your family tends to dump stuff, that is always going to be the drop zone. Don't try to change where the drop zone is. I personally don't think it's worth the effort. It is so much harder to change a habit. This is just the way your family seems to use your home.

I think we should just see that the drop zone is the drop zone and create a system there. So, unless it's a terrible place and you just have to change it, I think it's better to just make it work instead of changing the habit because you're going to end up nagging and being like, “Dang it! I told you don't put your stuff here!” And we don’t want to go down that path. Just accept that the drop zone is the drop zone and set it up so that the dropping isn't a problem anymore. 

This is kind of the same idea I mentioned earlier of how I put a basket at the bottom of my stairs where stuff collected. Instead of telling my family, “New rule! Nobody drops things here. Everyone takes everything upstairs when you're done. I don't care if you're staying downstairs, go upstairs and put it away,” the basket came into play. Because, otherwise, it's just not going to happen. I'm not going to do it. So how could I expect them to do it? I need to get stuff done and move on. I just need somewhere to put my thing until I'm ready to go upstairs and put it away. So, I put the basket at the bottom of the stairs and that's where we put things that go upstairs. 

At the end of the day we have our nighttime family rhythm (Unburdened—it's opening soon— teaches all about rhythms) where we do a quick 15-minute, whole-house pickup as a family. And part of that is emptying that basket and putting things away upstairs, then putting the empty basket back downstairs at the end of the day. 

So, what is your drop zone going to look like? Do you need hooks for backpacks? Do you want a basket or bin for shoes? A bin for sports equipment? You can have hooks for backpacks. A bin for shoes. I hate shelves for shoes because the kids never lined the shoes up on the shelf and it ends up piled. Instead of piled on the floor, it's piled on a shelf. So, we just got a metal bin from Target and we all just throw our days’ shoes in that bin and it works great. 

You could do hooks for backpack and jackets, a bin for shoes and then a basket for sports stuff, so that it's basically on a wall altogether. It looks super organized and pretty, but it's housing all the drop zone stuff. 

If you guys just naturally come in through the garage when you come home that's even better, because you don't have to have it in your house. You can make a mud room wall in your garage and everything's out. That's amazing. If you don't come in through the garage, you have to just ask yourself, “Where is the drop zone?” Is it in the kitchen? Is it in the front of the house? The front door? Where is it? What is going to work? And get creative. 

Another great thing to look up on Pinterest is faux mud rooms and things like that, but I suggest you stop trying to get your kids to hang stuff in the closets (unless they already do) and just start noticing, “Okay, where’s the drop zone in my house? I'm going to create a storage solution right around there so that I don't have to change the habit, and we're all happy.” 

You might also consider doing what I did and putting your physical inbox (that we talked about earlier) in the drop zone as well. That way you could have the kids hang their backpacks on the hooks, pull out all the papers their teacher gave them and put it right there. Then the physical inbox is already in the drop zone and they're putting their papers in there for you. You know where to go and get your physical inbox when it's time to process. 

Let's talk about saying “no” and extra commitments and all of that. Classroom parent stuff, being the “room mom,” classmate birthday parties and being the mom that brings the homemade cupcakes, extracurricular activities, just all of the things that we feel obligated to do. 

If you guys came to the two-week class that I hosted multiple times, or if you have had me teach you about decluttering, you know that the first thing I say you need to do when you're walking into a room you're going to declutter but you don't know where to start is that you need to set the intent for that room. This is a really, really beautiful way to make decisions in your life too.   

I'm not going to tell you right now to set the intent for your family. I think you should, but I'm not going to tell you right now to decide what your core values are. That's a really big discussion and I think it's important that we all do those things, but that’s not so much what I’m talking about when you're prepping for back to school. I think, right now, it’s important to just set the intent for this season for your family. 

For example, and I think a lot of you guys might do this because whenever I talk about it people are like, “Yeah, thanks for saying that. We do that too.” For our family, we kind of flip flop. We will head into a really restful season. The intent that we set for that group of months or weeks or whatever is set to be in “rest mode.” It is full rest mode. We say “no” to everything and we just rest. 

We just came out of a really big rest season and now everyone's noticing that I'm back. I'm doing multiple webinars a week. I'm doing all these things. We're getting ready to open up the doors to Unburdened again and do this great big launch party with everybody that's joining this time around. We're doing all these big things because I just came out of a season of rest. We're getting back to homeschooling. The kids are going to start baseball soon. I love baseball season because we don't do it every season. We take rests, so when it comes back around, I'm ready and excited and I can't wait. I'm not fatigued because we also did soccer and now we've got to go straight into baseball. 

Set the intent for every season for your family. What do you guys need right now? Do you need rest? Do you need structure? Summer’s over and you’re like, “Everyone's bored. We all feel like we're going to kill each other. We need structure.” What is the intent that you're setting? 

How do you want your kids to feel the end of this season or the end of the school year? What do you want them to be like? How old are they? If I really sat down and spent 10 minutes or so on each of my kids and I thought, “Okay Bella first. What do I really want for Bella this school year? I really want her to feel confident in overcoming some learning disabilities that she struggles with. I really want her to continue to love reading. I want her to create a group of friends, and I want her to just feel more confident in general.”  That's a really great intent and every decision that I make will either align with that or not.

Just like we set the intent in a room before we declutter, we set the intent for this season of our families’ lives before we say “yes” or “no” to things.  And when you're in a room and you're decluttering and you have set the intent, that is going to help you make decisions about what stays and what goes, because you say, “Well I wanted this room to feel like this. Does this item help with that?” Yes or no? It's simple. 

Same thing with your calendar and your schedule. If you set the intent for this season of your family and it’s rest, then you’re going to go ahead and pass on football this season. You're going to pull out of that. Cancel. It doesn't go with your season because that's not going to be restful. There's multiple practices a week. There’s games, maybe some travel. It’s a lot. It's not rest. So it doesn't align, right? It makes it so much easier to say no. 

It makes it easier to ask yourself things like, “Will saying ‘yes’ to this serve my entire family and align with the intent that my spouse and I set for this time?” If not, are you willing to push that intent back? Probably not a good idea. 

I also think it's worth asking yourself why you’re considering this commitment. Why are you considering being the room mom? Is it because you feel guilty because you work and you feel like you should? There’s something in there to work through. Heart issue alert, right? Is it because you're controlling? Is it because you love it and it's something that you want to do? Great! That seems like a green flag to me. Thumbs up! Ask yourself, “Why am I even considering this?” There's such an easy pull to say “yes” to everything. 

I also want to give you guys freedom. We don't put our kids in things all at the same time. They take turns. Two of the boys will be doing baseball, but we're not doing horse lessons for Bella right now. She's going to have to wait. There's give and take. And if they ever are doing things at the same time it's not in the same time frame, so it’s not like Bella is doing soccer, Hudson's doing football, and Leland and Emmett are doing baseball. So, there's two different baseball teams in the afternoon, plus a horse lesson in the afternoon, plus a football practice in the afternoon and we all have to split up. I don't do that. We're a family. We're together. 

If Bella's horse lessons are in the morning on Wednesday and Hudson's piano lesson is on Thursday mornings and is a part of school, great, then they can all do their things in the same season because they don't overlap. But I'm not willing to spend time apart from my family and do the crazy run around thing. Not at all. The boys play baseball in the same league, so even if they're on fields that are next to each other, we're all in the same place together. We might need to take turns watching each team, but it creates togetherness. I want my intent for my family in every season to create togetherness. Do you see what I'm saying? Set the intent. Where do you want to go? 

Remember my favorite quote by Annie Dillard, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” These are the decisions, ladies. These are the decisions that you're making that are going to create how you're spending your day-to-day, and that's going to end up being the life you live. That's going to end up forming the childhood your kids will look back on and say, “My childhood felt really busy,” or “It felt really happy,” or “It felt really balanced.” This matters. 

If all of the decisions you're committing to will mean heading into a busier, fuller season, okay; it's good that you're noticing that. Are you just now wrapping up a really restful season? If not, it might be too much. It might be exciting to look at all this structure like, “Okay, good. They're out of the house. They're going to school,” or “We're starting our homeschool year. We've got our new curriculum. We're going all in. We have baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we have Karate on Wednesdays, and we have the…[whatever.]” It might look good and you might feel like you're doing your kids a huge service by making them so cultured and putting them in different things, but you’re really, really not. 

You're going to poop out. If you don't have enough space in your week to call it off, to take an afternoon to breathe, to just be a family, order pizza, and just chill together for your kids to catch up on homework, it is too much. It's too much. 

Let's talk about delegating and getting your older kids involved as much as possible. I'm just going to do a quick note on this. My goal is to raise good people, confident people, capable adults who will be an addition to society and will make great spouses. But they are currently children, so they're in training and there's so much grace, but ultimately when they're done and they're all baked and heading out into the world, that's my goal. So, I need to teach them—graciously—how to manage their time, their things, their responsibilities by giving them responsibilities in the first place. 

I need to teach them teamwork and help them learn how a home runs smoothly, right? And it runs so much more smoothly when we're all doing things together. Yes, Emmett—and the things that he does—is not really helping me, but it's not about that. It's about teaching him, “Look, you matter. You have a say. You have a job here and we need you to pick up the toys. Thank you so much. You're doing a great job.” 

You know the older kids (Bella’s 10, Leland's 8) they do the dishes and they help with the laundry. Those are big things and they’re finally at a point where they really do help me. And so, communicating that, giving them those responsibilities, and showing them, “Look guys, you chose to play instead of doing your chores and now we need the dishes washed for this meal.  So, now you have to hurry up, and it's a bummer.” Just showing them that, teaching them that. 

I'm really, really big on bringing the kids into things. I'm not big on the whole idea of a massive chore chart—all of these responsibilities and consequences without any teaching. I think it's unruly and a little harsh. Then the mom freaks out and is like, “Who washes a dish like this? Get back here and do it again.” It’s like you never taught them how to, you showed them once and that's it. Of course, I make mistakes and I yell and I have freak-out days, but in general, I really, really am big on teaching, showing, talking to them and understanding that it's my responsibility to teach them. It's not their responsibility to know how to do everything. 

I really don't like when there's talk, especially in the Christian circle, about kids and chores. It's very harsh, almost demeaning and demanding. You guys know what I'm talking about? Kids need to be taught. They need to be talked to. They’re people. Respect is mutual. We're all in this together, and I'm wanting to train them to be good humans. Yelling at them and expecting them to know things that they couldn't possibly know because they’ve never learned is not doing that. 

I think you should ask yourselves, “What are my kids capable of doing?” Think about what they're doing in school. They're given so much responsibility. They're doing homework. They're learning big things. They can probably do more than you think they can. Just try it. Say, “You know what? I'm going to give you the job of after dinner dishes,” and see how it goes. Be with them. Show them. Teach them. If you want to do monetary gain for doing chores, do it. That's your call. 

For us—just to give you guys an idea if you need help—we don't do paid chores. I think that we are all a team and we're all here to help. However, there is a list of extra work that if somebody wants to do, there is an attached payment for and it's like $1 or $2, so they do earn for extra things. And I really like that setup. It's worked really well for us. But you guys do what you want. 

I also think it's possible if you have kids who are a little bit older, to give them the breakfast role. We've done this in our house and it's great. Having the kids be in charge of making or grabbing a really simple breakfast for themselves. My kids get their own breakfast unless we're having a special family breakfast because we won't be together for dinner, which we do sometimes especially if I'm going to travel that night or whatever. 

Some really simple breakfast ideas like cereal and fruit, oatmeal and fruit, pre-made smoothies packed with nutrients that you made that they get out and have. Toast and hard boiled eggs. The hard boiled eggs are pre-done and they just make toast and put butter on it themselves and they eat their breakfast. Things like that. Teach them that responsibility. Obviously, this won't work for super little kids. 

Have them help pack their lunches the night before and then come up with a plan to give that responsibility over to them. Have them pick out their clothes the night before. I've taken this as an opportunity to actually teach my kids how to form an outfit that's socially acceptable. And it's been great. My kids totally know how to dress and I love it, because you guys, if you follow me for a minute, you know that I love that kind of stuff. I've taken that opportunity to teach them like, “Okay, this isn't going to work because you’ve got navy on navy, so we need to pick something green or white. You really don't want to do black and navy.” I've taken the opportunity and it's been great. Make it fun. 

Okay, let's shift into ways to maximize time spent together in the evening. I know we’ve got a lot of work-out-of-the-home parents with kids in public school, private schools that are trying to squeeze in dinner, homework, bedtime routine all in an hour or two, so we need to get into where are the fringe moments that you have and get into quality time over quantity time, which is all that matters anyway, and how we can streamline. 

There is so much to be said for a bedtime ritual. This is such a sweet time. I know you're exhausted. I know you're pooped and you're done. Just so you guys know that I'm human too. Brian got the kids this book from a Navy Seal that wrote a children's book (which is questionable already; it seems like it would be disturbing, but it's not.) And it is the longest children's book ever written in human history. Literally feels like I'm reading the Bible out loud. It is so long. Also, I don't like books that have very little writing on the page, so you're turning the page every second. It seems like a lot of work. Maybe I’m lazy. But it is the longest book in history and the kids, of course, loved it. 

After I spent five weeks glaring at Bryan with the evil eye because he bought this book for them, I decided we're done with this book. The book went “bye-bye,” and I hid it. I don't want to sit and pour into my kids, read them this giant story, and hear their hearts. I'm tired. Go the frick to sleep, people. But having said that—so you know, I'm a normal mom, I'm tired and I don't want to do it—it only takes a minute. 

Put the long Navy Seal book away and don't read at all. Go and sit on the edge of their bed. If you just make a minute to listen to them, hear their heart for a second and just make space for them to feel, that's what kids want. That's all they want. They can share with you without the stress of knowing that there's a rush to get somewhere. 

Earlier in the evening, there's just so much rush, even if you don't have extracurriculars. There’s dinner, homework, stress, and sibling rivalry, and you yelled because you’re just done. At the end of the day, that bedtime moment is really a sweet time. 

But I think we overthink it like it’s got to be a story, a prayer, and this long, overdrawn-out thing where you're just like, “Look, am I a terrible mom that I don't give a crap and I don't want to do that?” No. You’re not a terrible mom. You're just normal. 

I think it's just about simplifying it. Make it a minute, just a moment. Sometimes I'll go in, sit on the edge of the bed, and just ask, “How are you feeling about tomorrow? You ready for a new day?” And just see if anything comes up. It’s just a minute. Usually there's nothing. But every-once-in-a-while one of the kids will be like, “Something weird happened today and I just feel really bad and I want to talk.” They'll start to talk to me about somebody who said something and it hurt their feelings or whatever. And if I hadn't just made a second, it wouldn't have come up. 

And you know what? I will hide the really long books all day long and I might really botch the bedtime prayer because I want it to last about 2.5 seconds, but I will always create space for my babies to just have a moment with me. And I can do that. We can do that. No matter how much we worked in a day, no matter how tired we are, we can do that. 

So, just simplify it. Just make it a second. It's a wonderful sweet little pocket of time that we can cultivate. 

The next part in maximizing our time together in the evening is to never be afraid to reevaluate the things that you've said “yes” to. Not to talk about the podcast the whole time, but there's another episode called It's Okay To Change Your Mind, and that's what this is. There's no shame in backing out of a commitment. You don't want to do that all the time, but if that's what's going to shift, if you're going to learn a lesson from that, back out of it. Just be better next time. It's okay to back out. 

Every day is time on this earth. Time with or without your family that defines where you guys end up. So don't waste it pushing through until the end of a commitment that is toxic to you and your family simply because you said you would do it. That's ridiculous. 

Bouncing back to some of the practical stuff, I also want to highly encourage you guys to use the Google calendar or iPhone calendar, something color-coded to keep track of your practices and appointments. That's just the way to go. Color coordinated helps so much. Put events on your calendar, not tasks. Have a separate place for your tasks. You can even get something that syncs with your calendar so that tasks show up in a different color. 

On my Google calendar I have reminders in bright green that every Friday is physical inbox processing day and it's also the day that Brian takes the cars to get cleaned out. We get our cars cleaned and detailed so they feel clean and nice. We're paying for them for a reason. It's a nice car and it feels really good and clean like our house does. So, that's a reminder not an event. An event is at 2:00 PM on Friday you have a doctor's appointment, or for me at 1:30 on Tuesday you are doing a live training. Don't clutter your calendar with ideas, thoughts, to-do lists. Don't do that. Have those separate. 

Let's get back to the idea of Sunday night meetings. Sunday night meetings are basically when Brian and I will come together, we'll sit together and we will just look over the week. What's going on? What do you need from me? What do I need from you? How can we support each other? How can we make this week simpler? Where are the really heavy days? 

For us, Tuesdays are always a really heavy day. It’s a really big day of work for me because it's technically my Monday. I'm always really excited and inspired to get back to things on Tuesday, so I really go all in and have a really thick, heavy, long work day where I'm working all the main part of the afternoon. I'm working all day. Where are the cracks? What could we do to make this better? All of that. 

Consider adding Sunday night meetings to your Google calendar into part of your weekly rhythms because it's a really great way to reconnect. We keep this separate from date night because I don't want date night to be a CEO/COO planning session, which it can feel like if you talk about these kinds of things there. I want date night to be just fun. 

On Sunday night we stay at home, we get the kids busy and we go over everything, get on the same page. This is so important for you to feel like you're not running crazy. You know what I mean? It's so, so helpful. 

Consider adding a Sunday night meeting. Go over all the things. Pull out your calendars, ask how you can support each other. It gets you on the same page in a really positive, action-taking way. There's a whole podcast episode and blog post about that. You can get that freebie, go listen to the episode if you want. There's a lot about it because it's so helpful. 

Okay, I just want you guys to know before we go, if this helped you at all, you're going to frigging love Unburdened because it is a masterclass for your entire life. Your entire schedule, your rhythms, your routines, how your life is flowing and going, all condensed into a boot camp style, masterclass for everything. There are life hack tips in there like the basket at the bottom of the stairs, tons of stuff like that. 

I help you completely set up rhythms. I don't like calling them routines because it's not routines. Routines don't really work for me. They never stick. But I found a way to create rhythms that do stick because they're just attached to things that I'm going to be doing anyway. Every day I wake up. Every day I eat lunch. Every day I get ready for bed. So, I attach the things that need to get done to those things. And then they're just natural rhythms. They are almost more like habits. 

And so, I teach you how to take that idea and set up routines where you need an actual routine, but set up rhythms where routines just aren't sticking, but you've got to get these things done for your life to feel like it's put together. I walk you through that in your entire life. 

It is a deep dive masterclass. It’s pouring into all the things like this about fixing your life, your calendar, your schedule, how your days feel like they're flowing. You walk out of Unburdened feeling a million times lighter. I think it's one of my favorite things to teach you guys.

Unburdened is only $99 too. Your Uncluttered Home is a higher price point. It’s so much bigger, thicker, and a huge undertaking, and Unburdened is less money, less time and packs a huge, powerful punch. 

And again, it only opens once a year. So even if you're not ready to do it right now, just get in while you can. The price usually goes up, and it's closing for at least six months, probably. I think, looking at my year, maybe more. 

But anyway, love you guys! We're done here. I hope this was super helpful for your back-to-school needs. 

Homeschoolers, if you didn't get what you need it's because the Simplify Your Homeschool course is legit every single thing that you'd ever need to simplify your homeschool. So, head over there and get that. 

I love you guys so much. Thanks for hanging out with me and I'll talk to you next time. 

This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Bonus 004: How I Planned + Organized Our Homeschool This Year


Our homeschool year has officially started! Since it is the beginning of the school year, I wanted to share this bonus episode to help any of your homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out. Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far.

Over the last few months, I have been figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and more streamlined, more fun, and more enjoyable. I am excited to share all kinds of things with you in this episode! From the homeschool schedule we built to the curriculum we are using, and tips on how to make your homeschool schedule feel lighter so you and your kids can breathe a bit. I'm really excited about what our homeschool year looks like this year and really hope this helps you get excited about yours too!


In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why she is trying year-round schooling and how she hopes it will help her overall family schedule.

  • The platforms and curriculum she uses to plan out and facilitate homeschool.

  • What a typical homeschool day looks like for her kids.

  • How rotating a few subjects each day creates breathing room in the school load and routine.

Mentioned in this Episode:


If you feel like your house is just always out of control, it's totally crazy and you'd love to take some of the advice I give here on The Purpose Show, and my blog, but you just kind of feel like you're so frozen and overwhelmed, you can't even. I created a new challenge. It's called the 10:10 challenge. It's super, super simplified (and totally FREE by the way!). 

This is designed for the really overwhelmed mom who wants to kickstart her house and build some momentum, because as I always talk about - momentum is where it's at to making progress, actually taking action, and having that longevity of action that's going to change your life in the long run.

So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days. It’s going to build a happier mom and a happier home for your family! 

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram

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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.


Hey friend! Oh my gosh, I am so drained. It's 9:00 at night right now. I did a webinar today. We had a full day of homeschooling. I recorded three other podcast episodes today. I'm super tapped out. Brian is too. The kids are in bed but they're not all asleep yet and Brian's like, “I'm just going to put my headphones in and listen to a podcast because I'm so done.” He's inside folding a load of laundry for me and we're both just super tapped out.

But I'm out here in my office/studio recording this little bonus episode for you because I've just really wanted to share this with you since it’s the beginning of the school year and get this out to you to help any of you homeschoolers who are trying to figure it out

Maybe this is your first year; maybe it's not, and this will still help you. But I have been really wanting to share a couple of things about how I'm organizing our homeschool year this year because a couple of the things are new and they seem to be really helping me so far. I'm really excited about them

I think the podcast, in this way, is a lot like a blog and I like to share whatever I'm learning, whatever I'm doing right now. That will change and evolve as I do and as life goes on. Right now, I'm figuring out how to make my homeschool work better and be more streamlined, more fun and enjoyable, and I think I've made a couple of changes this year versus last year that are going to accomplish that. So, I'm going to share them with you

I'm going to go over all kinds of things. I'm going to go over the homeschool schedule we're on this year, which is different than usual. I'm going to share a couple of changes that I've made to the way we're formatting our year.

I'm going to show you a picture of the online program that I use to organize our homeschool, and kind of use it as our homeschool schedule. It's called Trello and it's a free platform. I've talked about it quite a bit. I also have a blog post and a video tutorial where I show you how to use it to organize your life and I can link to that in the show notes of this episode for you.

I'm gonna show you a picture of our homeschool board and kind of talk you through it. And then I'm going to talk about the curricula that we're using and share our schedule, kind of like a typical homeschool day for us this new year.

We have already started our year. We pulled out a couple of things a little bit early because it was like 120 degrees here in southern California in the summer and the kids were just getting super antsy. Too much technology. They weren't able to play outside. And so, we pulled out some things and created a little bit of routine and order early. So, our new school year has officially started for us.

We actually homeschool through a charter school and they don't start quite yet. They have another week, but we have started officially. We've been going strong and doing good so I'm ready to share what we're doing.

One new thing that we're trying this year is hopefully going to help us with our year- round scheduling. So far, we've really been fans of the year-round school schedule. Year-round schooling can look a lot of different ways. But basically, you don't start and end when everyone else does. This year we are starting when most schools do. But we're going to school through the summer and we'll be wrapping up our last semester when everyone else is on summer break just because we keep finding that we want to do school in the summer at least a little bit.

So, if we're wrapping up a couple of the core subjects and we could have a little bit of a lighter schedule in July, I think it will actually really help my kids because like I said, it's really hot. They can't really go outside. They can't swim all day, every day. When they play games and we let them have a video game summer, it’s all fine until it's been too much and they're freaking out and their moods are terrible.

So I think that having some time in the summer to do a little bit of school will be really helpful for everybody and keep us structured. I can honestly say that parts of the summer were pretty miserable because we lacked routine completely. So, I'm definitely wanting to really follow the year round schedule this year. We kind of did last year but it was just really lax and we didn't totally do school over the summer even though we probably should have. So this year I'm planning to really stick with it.

We're trying a schedule that I actually saw online on a different blog. I think it's pretty common. It's six weeks on with school and then one week off and you stay in that pattern. I actually found it last year before we started last year, but I just wasn't sure. I didn't commit and I didn't do it.

I'm going to do it this year because I noticed that we seem to desire a lot of breaks. As a family, we travel a lot. That's one of the biggest perks for us of homeschooling and owning our own business, that we can do things, have family trips, and take breaks whenever we want, not when we're told to. And I think that six weeks on/one week off will also help with the burnout that typically comes around the month of February. I think that would help to have a lot of breaks coming up, knowing we've always got a break around the corner, and we can plan little family vacations, trips, and things like that.

We've got friends and family sprinkled all over the country and we would love to go and visit them and six weeks on/one week off gives us plenty of opportunities to do that. So I'm really excited to try that schedule out this year.

I don't remember exactly how it breaks down, but basically instead of our school year ending in May or June, it would end in July. And then we'd be ready to start up again in September. You can do whatever you want. A lot of people their new school year starts in January and it goes until December and they have a lot of breaks within that. You can make it work however you want.

But for us, we’re starting our year at the same time as everyone else does and we're just not really taking the full summer off because it doesn't seem to serve our kids very well. I hope that makes sense. So, six weeks of school and then one week off.

And then we're also doing the same thing that we did last year, which is four school days per week instead of five. Monday through Thursday is our normal full school days and then Friday is a really light day for reviewing anything that was difficult for anyone that week. And also to give us a little wiggle room to catch up. So if we maybe didn't get to finish all of our history that week, we can finish it on Friday. It's just nice to have some cushion.

That's also what I like about the six weeks on/one week off schedule is that it ends up giving you a decent cushion. So if you guys get sick or you just need to have a big break that was unplanned, you have the wiggle room to do that. And I feel like the four school days per week schedule gives us that wiggle room as well.

Friday mornings are the mornings that I always have all my team meetings. So I'm usually in meetings from about 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. So Brian can go over and review anything that the kids need to be reviewed or catch up on anything that didn't get finished. I can come in if he needs me to and help after my meetings. But pretty much the rest of Friday after my meetings are done are open and we can do whatever we want to do and our weekend starts early, which is great.


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It's email based so you can open the emails and take it at your own pace. And even the emails are a few sentences. It's really, really simplified.

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So the 10:10 challenge. This whole thing is 10 minutes a day every day for 10 days.

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Another thing that we're trying is we're rotating History and Science to create more breathing room in each school day. We find that it's really hard to get everything done each day without school taking forever. And Science and History are two things that are time consuming for the curricula that we use, which I'll share in a second.

History takes about 90 minutes most days, sometimes just an hour. And then Science is pretty much the same. There's a lot of hands-on stuff, a lot of experiments and really taking time to explain everything to the kids and answer their questions. And when we're doing that every day for both subjects, or even just a couple times a week for both subjects, it just becomes too much. And then the kids get antsy and the day is too long.  It's just not how we roll. So, we're rotating History and Science.

So, what that means is instead of doing History a couple times a week and Science a couple times a week and trying to squeeze those both in, or I think it ended up being a few times a week that it was needed. So, at some point they both landed on the same day and that day was always really stressful. So instead we're doing a few rounds of the six weeks on/one week off school schedule and we're just focusing on History and just busting out that curriculum. Getting through the whole year's worth curriculum because we're doing it all four school days.

And then when we're done and we go into the second round of six weeks on/one week off, we're gonna focus on Science and do Science four school days a week and then be totally done with Science. So, we're going to try that out. I'm not sure if we'll like it or not, but I'll keep you posted and we'll see how that goes. I know quite a few people who do that and they've said good things about it. So, we'll see.

So basically, we're working on every core subject, every full school day of the week. And the kids have signed up for a couple of elective classes through the homeschool campus that we have, so they actually go to a homeschool campus in our town. And actually, it's perfect. I didn't even do this on purpose. It just worked out that way. I wish I was this savvy. Hudson goes to piano, the same location, the same day and the same time as Bella and Leland go to Spanish. So, on Mondays at 1:00 we will just all go to the homeschool campus. Emmett can run around and play at the park. For an hour Hudson's in piano and the older two kids are taking Spanish. That's something that they're learning that we're not having to teach them. It kind of breaks up the week and it's electives that I feel are going to be really, really good for them.

I'll show you a picture of our homeschool board. I use a platform called Trello. Trello is free and it's an online platform. It's also an APP. We use it in my business, my team and I use it for communication to keep up on different projects. You can share Trello boards with different team members. So, the homeschool schedule board is shared between Brian and I.


I'll link to the video tutorial I've made for this and the blog posts that I wrote about how I use Trello for everything and all that good stuff. But basically, if you go to the show notes for this episode, which I will link to ( you'll be able to see a screenshot of my homeschool Trello board with our schedule on it.

Basically, what I've done is I've decided to ditch the paper homeschool planner. I just found it really irritating, and time consuming too, to have to fill out each student's name, the subject, what we're going to be doing that week over and over again every single week, for every kid. It was just really time consuming. It didn't seem worth it to me.

So with Trello and the way I've laid out our schedule to where we're doing all the core subjects every school day, it's pretty cut and dry. It really, really simplified me looking at like, “Okay, what are we supposed to do today?” Now we do all the core subjects every day and I just look at the Trello board and see like what are we supposed to do next?

Instead of spending time organizing on paper what everyone's doing every week, I spent time really, really thinking through what is going to be the best format for our day. Now we've been homeschooling for a while, and last year we did it. The kids are a little older so I was able to get familiar with what's working and what's not working and I noticed if we started with something that's really interactive and makes everybody feel positively or there's really no wrong answers and everyone can just kind of talk and be involved, then that would be really good.

So, we do our Bible lesson while we have breakfast. Then everybody cleans up and does their chores and gets ready for the day. So chores are out of the way. The house is clean. Everybody's ready, everyone's fed. We started with Bible which puts everybody in a good mood. Then school starts around 9:00 and then we go into History, which is similar to Bible in the way that it's really like a conversation. They call it a “couch subject.” So everybody does History together at the same time. There's no grade differences for History with our curriculum, and again, I'll share all that with you in a second. So we all sit on the couch and just go through our History lesson. Then the kids go to the table and they do any of the worksheets that go with the lesson for that day and it's just a really good start to our day.

And then we do a split-up time and that's with Math and Reading. So, what that means is Bella and Leland are actually doing the same math even though they are two years apart. Bellah is in fourth grade and she's actually doing third grade Math because that's just where she's at. And Leland is doing a year ahead. He's advanced in Math. So that worked out to where they're doing the same Math and it's much simpler.

So, Bella and Leland do Math together and Hudson sits and has this quiet reading time for 30 minutes. And then we switch. The older kids go and they have their reading time and I sit and do Math with Hudson. Then we do read aloud time. Then we have lunch, clean up, and then we do another split up session with Language Arts and Handwriting.

So same thing. I do Language Arts with Hudson; Bella and Leland work on their Handwriting books, and then we switch. Hudson does Handwriting and I do Language Arts with Bella and Leland. Bella and Leland are in different Language Arts, but they are more independent workers so I can help and oversee them both at the same time. Bella's doing her fourth grade one and Leland's doing his second grade one.

Next, we do Vocabulary. I just help Hudson. The older kids don't really need help with that. And then at the end of the day, if we have time and everything's going well, we'll do Music and Art practice.

The boys are musical and Bella's artistic, so Bella will do an Art lesson or just have free draw time, free painting, whatever, and the boys will practice piano and guitar. Sometimes we don't do that though, and that's okay. I don't require them to do it every single day, but usually they do it.

That's Monday through Thursday. Friday is a lighter day and we'll just have review in the morning or catch up on anything that we didn't get done in the morning. And then they're done and our weekend feels like three days, which is awesome.

And then I've also used the labels that come with Trello to mark, like what's a core subject, what's a group subject that we can all do together, what needs to be done individually, what are their electives to keep everything really organized. It's really, really helpful to have a clean, simplified area where I can see this all in one place. I love Trello for that. And because I do use it for my business, I'm really used to it.

And then what I do is I use Trello in place of a paper planner for what everyone is doing every day. I just put a post-it note on the lesson that we're on in their curriculum books. I open it up to that day and we do the next lesson. And when we're done I write in a normal, basic journal that I got from Target, and every day I would put the date at the top and then I put Bella, LA for Language Arts, Lesson 31, and just keep track of what we did get done.

That helps me with the school records and it just helps me know what are we behind on and what we need to do still. And also in the thick of it, in that day, sometimes I'll forget what we actually did and what we still have left to do, so I can look at that and know.

But it's better and less time consuming than me sitting down once a week and planning ahead and going over every day - “Okay, this Tuesday we're going to do Lesson 29…” Then what if something changes? What if we don't do it? Then I have to erase and the whole plan is shot, so I find that this just works better for me.

The curriculum that we're using is called The Good and the Beautiful. We used it last year. So far it is the only homeschool curriculum that we have reused. I've always wanted to try something else after I have purchased something but not with this. It's beautiful. Very, very image heavy, which my kids really love. I absolutely love it.

It's definitely a Christian curriculum so if that doesn't float your boat this won't be for you. But it’s not in an annoying way and I mean that in the best way possible. I just really, really like it.

And then for Math we're actually using Saxon this year and so far I like it.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. That's how I've organized our homeschool year this year. If you're not a homeschooler, I don't even know why you listened because it's a super snooze fest and it's kinda boring anyway, so thanks for listening if you got to this point.

Again, if you want the links to anything that I shared and all the Trello stuff, just go to and you'll get it all there.


This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

BONUS 02: Transitioning Between Home and Public School


For our family, we take it year by year when it comes to whether we homeschool our kids or send them to public school. And I get asked a lot about how we handle the transitions. It is such an adjustment for everyone. Sometimes the adjustment is easy + other times it is a little more challenging. In this episode I want to share my experiences with the transitions but also want to give you some tips on how to make public school or homeschool easier on you + your family. And remember that no matters what decisions you make about schooling for your kids, you are an amazing mother!


In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Tips for transitioning between homeschool + public school and vice versa.

  • Her experience with transitioning kids in the middle of the school year.

  • Different ways to make the most out of your schooling experience, whether it is public school or homeschool.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Developing Rhythms Workbook Mockup.png

The Developing Rhythms Workbook will help you figure out what rhythms are, how they are going to help you, what yours should be, and when you should do them. The whole shebang! If you go through this workbook you will end up with an amazing set of rhythms that will help you in your life and in your role! 

who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.


Hello ladies! Welcome to another Bonus Episode of The Purpose Show! This is Bonus Episode 2 and I am really excited to dive into this one. I am going to be talking about transitioning between homeschool and public school.

Whether that’s from public to homeschool or from homeschool to public. We are going to cover all the things that I think are most important about that. We have done both. I get asked about it all of the time and I want to lend a hand.

In case you are not sure (maybe you haven’t listened to one yet), Bonus Episodes are really neat. They are episodes that are so exciting for me, and so full of good stuff for you, that I can’t wait to release the content. As you probably know, the podcast is planned out pretty far in advance. Sometimes I get a good idea and I don’t want to wait until three months from now to release that episode, so I will make a bonus episode. Or if I get asked about something so often I will make it a bonus episode.

This one is the latter. You guys have asked about this so much because I have been somewhat open about sharing our journey between home and public school and back again over the last year or so. I am going to talk about that.

First, let’s discuss going from homeschool to public school. I first want to say to those of you who have been homeschooling and have decided to put your kids in public school that I am not here to help you make that decision. I am not going to be addressing that.

For me and my husband, we have followed the peace of God each year. We take it year by year. We never say, “O, we are always going to homeschool”, or “this is how we are going to do things in our family when it comes to the kid’s school.”

It’s a lot to homeschool. It’s a lot to have the kids in public school for different reasons. There is a lot that goes into it. There have been a lot of different things that have led to us homeschooling, putting a pause on that, putting the kids in public school. We always knew that it would be temporary, but we weren’t really sure. We thought it would be for a whole school year, but it ended up being much shorter, and was just for one semester.

We do our best to be spirit-led parents. We prayerfully make our decisions. I will not be addressing that – that’s all your decision. But I will be talking about if you have already made the decision to switch from one to the other. I will help in all the ways that I can think of.

So, going from homeschool to public school: The first thing I want to say is the whole point of homeschooling is to go slow and lean towards child-led learning in order to give your kids a passion for knowledge and learning. This is not the way the public school system in most states is set up.

Nothing negative about them. Nothing against the public school system. I am definitely not one of those homeschool moms who has terribly hard feelings about the public school system. I really think that it is a lot to handle over there. And I think they do a great job on a lot of things. I think teachers are some of the most amazing human beings on the planet. I am very grateful for them. I don’t homeschool because I am trying to keep my kids from something.

Having said that, giving your kids a passion for learning, going really slow, leaning into each kids individual needs and what they want to learn about, and doing that child-led learning is not the way the public school system is set up. Homeschooling generally is.

You are probably going to encounter some push back from the way you did things as a homeschooling mom as you transition your child or children into public school, and that’s OK.  You were doing what you believed was best for your child during that homeschooling time. That’s the best thing you could have done.

Now here you are with life happening and things changing, shifting, and again you are doing what you believe to be the best thing for your child and your family in a different school year, or half way through the school year. It is just an adjustment for everyone, and it’s OK if it is a little hard. It is OK if people let out a sigh, or make a passive aggressive comment, or make a face. Maybe they aren’t rude, but they don’t seem like they really get it when it comes to you homeschooling, where you are at, what they learned and how you taught them.

I think it is important to remember that it is your teacher’s job to help your child. She works for you and for your child, so don’t let anyone put you down or make you feel badly. You are an excellent mother.

I feel like some of you need to hear me say that to you. I feel that with my whole heart. If you’ve even listened to this podcast. If you have even attempted to homeschool your kids. If you’ve even taken your kids to public school, kissed them on the cheek and bid them goodbye, you are an excellent mother. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise.

I think it is really important to be as available as possible for your kids after school, especially if you are worrying about how this is going to go. Maybe you are used to spending all of your day with your kids, but now this (afternoon's) is now your time together. I know it is near the end of the day and you are all exhausted, but this is a crucial time for creating a safe space for your kids to talk with you and for them to connect with you after a day spent apart.

Set up a system for all the things that come with going to public school. There is going to be more paperwork than you could ever imagine. Set up a system for that. For me, I had a wooden paper sorter, that I got at Target, right by the door. When the kids walked in the door, they had a job. They had to hang their backpacks on the hooks and get out any paperwork that the teacher put in their backpacks and put it in their file.

You will have a lot of paperwork; come up with a system that works for that. You will have backpacks, shoes, jackets, and just stuff. When the kids get home, the first thing they are going to want to do is strip it all off and dump it. That will be their habit unless you set up a system beforehand. Get a system for paperwork. I highly recommend that you keep it by the door where the kids come in, even if it is not super pretty.

Have a system for the paperwork. Hooks for backpacks. A bin for shoes. Where do you want your kids to put their things when they come home? What system do you want to set in place so that your house isn’t overwhelmed with the things that the teacher sends home?

The other thing I would say is set alarms for pick up times. I know it might seem silly and obvious to pick up your kids from school, but when they are gone and you get into your own quiet-time headspace, or you get caught up in a younger child, it is amazing how easily you can get busy and almost miss leaving in time for pick up. Or totally miss it like I did once for Hudson. Poor little guy was sitting in the office with his little feet dangling from the chair because I was ten minutes late to get him.

Set up alarms for pick up times. Set a really annoying ringtone. Make it a repeat alarm every day, if even it gets annoying. There will come a day you will be thankful you set that alarm.

Speaking of pick up times, make use of them if you can. These were some of my favorite moments when my kids were in public school. I would leave early so I could get a great parking spot. I would use that time waiting for my kids to read a book, or listen to a podcast, and have some amazing self-care and personal growth time. It was a great in-between-the-day time for me.

It would have been easy to work and leave at the last minute to get the kids. Or send my husband and keep doing the housework. But it was a really great anchor for me in the day for self-care. It was a great time to hit the reset button for the rest of my day.

Establish open communication with your kid’s teacher. Be pleasant and friendly, not harsh and judgmental. Not every teacher, but some teachers have reservations about homeschooled kids.  It has become a kind of “war zone”.

I think being really sweet, kind, and establishing a good relationship with your child’s teacher from the beginning is incredibly helpful. It will serve you and your child well throughout the year for your teacher to like you, and to have open communication.

With each of the kid’s teachers, I sent an email after the first day to thank them for being there, ask if they had any questions. I included a little note about each child that I thought would be helpful for the teacher. I made myself available and that really helped to establish a good relationship for us.

Also, establish a set time every day that you help your kid with their homework, especially in the beginning of this transition from homeschooling. Maybe your child will be further ahead than the school, or maybe the school will be further ahead than your child. This is a transition. You are used to doing school together.

One mistake that I made was thinking all the school stuff would be off of me, and I wouldn’t have to do anything. Maybe that sounds self-centered but that’s what I thought.

Being available to help your kids with this transition during the time that you are with them, is really important because they are going to have questions. They may not be used to the different curriculum, especially if it is common core and you haven’t been using that. They may feel really dumb and feel like the school is way ahead of them. They may feel incredibly bored and unchallenged because you were further ahead than the public school system is.

I wish that I had scheduled time in my afternoon. I wish I had done more crockpot meals so I had nothing else to do when the kids got home from school but just sit with them. Be with them. Help them with their homework. Everyone was in a different level. Each child, in different ways, struggled with this transition.

Block out some time and don’t schedule any other things. Create a couple hours of space to be available to help with their homework.

Also, figure out what you want to do with your weekends. Homeschoolers are used to being together more than public schoolers are. You might find that during the weekend you are excited for some awesome, much-needed family time. You might find that your kids are bogged down with a giant load of homework that the teacher has sent home for the weekend. Set up a system for doing homework on Friday nights so that your weekends are free. Or you can have a fun family night on Friday and dedication a portion of your weekend to homework, like maybe Sunday evening.

Either way, plan ahead. Realize what you are dealing with. Maybe there will be a weekend where they won’t have any homework and that would be great. But more often than not, they will have homework. Decide and plan ahead of time so you are not feeling disappointed. That negativity and negative emotions about your kid’s school, teachers, and their homework will rub off on your kids.

Also, Bento Boxes for your kids lunches. I am going to share my affiliate link in the show notes for these because they are AMAZING. I cannot say enough about them. I shared them on my Instagram story when my kids were in school. I still have them and we use them a lot for park days.

They are basically metal boxes that have dividers in them. There’s a sandwich area, fruit area, crackers, etc. They are just awesome. They slip right inside basically any lunch box that you can get at Target, or anywhere.

They are a little pricey but we really love them. I found them from Robin Long of A Balanced Life. I saw her making her kids’ lunches in them and thought, “that’s super handy!”  They are worth the money and are so helpful. I love that my kids aren’t eating out of plastic every day. I love that they are divided. My son, Leland, hates when his food touches. I am like, so I totally get it. They keep his food separated. They are just really, really handy.


When you buy something, you buy it with your time. With minutes from your life. Not just with your money. Studies show us that less clutter equals less stress and more time. It is really as simple as that.

This was the founding reason that I created Your Uncluttered Home. It has become my most popular, globally-praised, decluttering course that I designed for moms who want to live their lives more than they want to clean up after it.

It is truly the A-Z of minimalism.  Every room. Every area. Every nook and cranny of your house totally uncluttered.  This super extensive, extremely detailed course is literally everything you need to become a minimalist momma who is able to be a lot more present for what matters most.

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This really is the short-cut version. The exact journey that I took as a mom, 5-6 years ago, that got me to this point of an uncluttered, minimalistic motherhood where I am spending the least amount of time on my house every day.

Motherhood is just way too sweet a time to be spent struggling so hard and living in survival mode day in and day out.  Our stuff is really the cause of that.

If you want to start this lifestyle, if you want to simplify your life… I believe that it all starts at home.

Simplify your life.


Enjoy your new-found time without your kids. I just want to give you permission. It is OK to enjoy it. It is OK to be sad that they are gone. Trust me. I balled my eyes out for the first day the kids went to school. I didn’t know for sure if there was an end in sight. I didn’t really have a strong desire to send my kids to public school. I have always had homeschooling on my heart.

But I couldn’t do everything and the business was very overwhelming. Brian and I had both made that decision that we needed something to give so we could focus and not be stretched so thin. It was very sad. It is OK to be sad. It is also OK to be happier. To enjoy the quiet time. To love it. To have some time for yourself. Time to be caught up on the housework and other things in your life. It’s OK to have a job. It’s OK to have something other than your children and enjoy this time away from them.

So now, let’s talk about going from public school to homeschooling. The first thing that I always say is to encourage you before you make the switch to research the different types of homeschooling. There are so many different styles. Find the one or two that really appeals to you. The one you feel would go with your personality and your family style.

What do I mean by that? There’s Charlotte Mason homeschool. There’s unschooling. There’s traditional homeschooling where you are basically bringing the classroom into your home. Find what works for you.

I would say you naturally gravitate towards things. For example, at first, I shied away from the traditional homeschool of bringing the school into the home. I really felt a pull towards Charlotte Mason, and unschooling. That really appealed to me.

My next point is to keep in mind that your homeschool style may change as you evolve as a homeschool mom and you get more comfortable. This happened to me. I was so drawn to the idea of unschooling. We did that for a couple of years and struggled through it.

That may sound funny, especially if you research what unschooling is. But what I ended up finding is that it just didn’t work for us. I love it. I think it is a great idea. I know a lot of people what it works well for. It just wasn’t working for us at all. I wasn’t happy. The kids weren’t happy. It just wasn’t working.

We moved away from unschooling. We kind of kept the Charlotte Mason style and I threw myself more into that. It is OK for you to change, shift, evolve. You don’t have to know it all right now.

Also, do not get sucked into the lie that you have to spend a billion dollars and have everything in the world right now. You don’t have to have everything figured out right now. I encourage you to have minimal school supplies. A minimal curriculum.

Stay away from homeschool conventions for now. I know they may seem really helpful. When we decided to pull the kids, there was a very popular homeschool convention really close to my house. I was so tempted to go.  You know what? I just got this feeling in my gut not to go.

I already knew what I was doing. I was simplifying this process for myself. If I went, I was afraid I would get falsely inspired by the wrong things. I was afraid I would be pulled to buy all this curriculum and spend money on things that are just going to overcomplicate this for me.  That was my problem in the past – that I tended to overcomplicate things, which made me overwhelmed.

I will link to a book that has been integral in shaping my homeschooling experience and philosophy since we pulled the kids out of public school and brought them back home. It is called Minimalist Homeschooling. It is by a doctor who is amazing. It is such a good book. I encourage you to read it.

The curriculum that I found had a couple of things that drew me to it. A friend, whom I really admire and I respect the way she homeschools her two boys, recommended The Good and The Beautiful by Jenny Phillips. If you go to their website you will see how homeschooling moms went from these massive piles of curriculum down to this one stack of books. It was basically a minimalist homeschool curriculum.

Of course, that drew me to it. When I researched it, I saw that, yes, it was a minimalist curriculum. They are getting a rich curriculum with amazing photos, beautiful stories and pictures. It is very Charlotte Mason inspired.

You can get digital products or paper products. I do well with paper so I ordered the physical curriculum, actual books. When I got it in the mail, it truly is as minimal as I think you can get.  I definitely have the least amount of books and stuff that I have ever had with homeschooling my kids. Bella is in third grade and we are getting to the levels where there tends to be more stuff, and there just isn’t. I have been extremely pleased with this curriculum.

Don’t get sucked into the lie that you need to spend all this money and have this “stuff.” (Check out my blog post How to Bring Minimalism into your Homeschool).

I want to talk about pulling your kids out mid-year. Perhaps you are feeling led, feeling that something just isn’t right. “I want my kids at home, but I feel like they should just finish out the school year.” Weigh that out.

It was really hard for me. It was in December. Winter break was coming.  We had put our kids into public school so we could take a year off. We didn’t want to try to be like Jesus and do it all perfectly.  We were both stretched really thin with work and schooling the kids. Tensions were really high at our house and it wasn’t working. We knew we needed to make a choice.

We took a year off of homeschooling to grow the business, delegate, and hire a bunch of new people to lessen our workload. We thought it would take us all school year but it ended up only taking us a few months. By December we were pretty much done. We had hired 6-7 new people. We were both working just a few hours a week and it was great.

We really wanted our kids home. We were torn between finishing out the school year or not. We prayerfully decided to let them get to winter break and then pull them out. They wouldn’t go back after winter break. That’s what we did and it has been the best decision that we had made so far.  I was so nervous about it. I didn’t want to damage the kids or hurt them. I didn’t want to hurt their teacher’s feelings. It was really hard.

Follow that peace. What’s going to work for you? Does it feel better to finish the year? To give yourself time and space to plan things out? Does it feel better to get them home and then figure it out? You have to prayerfully make that call.

I do want to say that I have pulled my kids out mid-year. If that is what is feeling best for you, I want to give you that empowerment/permission. You’re their mom. You know what’s best.

I would encourage you to talk to your kids openly about this transition and encourage them to be open with you in return. I think being really easy to talk to about the hard parts and not taking things personally is huge.

For example, if your kids say something like, “I miss my friends from school” or “I don’t like this homeschooling day” in the middle of a frustrating math class session, don’t take that personally. Don’t snap back at them. Don’t make them regret being open with you.

Encourage openness. Be easy to talk to. Take it as constructive criticism. Take a deep breath. Make appropriate changes. You guys are in this together. You are not perfect. You are not going to be perfect ever. You are going to make mistakes.

Everything is “figureoutable” as Marie Forleo says. This is “figureoutable” too. Take a break. Stop teaching if it gets tense. Listen to your child. Look them in the eye. Get down to their level. Talk to them. You can make changes as necessary together. You are not going to be perfect and have it all figured out right off the bat.

Also, let the kids’ previous teachers know that you are thankful for them. Whether you are pulling them out mid-year or not, I think it is important to keep that peace. Let them know that your decision to homeschool them doesn’t have anything to do with them failing or not taking care of your kids. Let them know that you are thankful for what they did for your child.

Allow time for “de-schooling” if your kids were in public school for a year or longer. Your kids get into rhythms. Kids respond really well to rhythms for homeschooling.

The schools are set up in a way that really does a good job of highlighting the fact that kids thrive under routine. It is very routine – you start school at a certain time of day, then circle time, language arts, break, then math, science, lunch, playtime. It is very regimented and scheduled and never changes.

Also group learning is totally different learning than homeschooling, even if you have a lot of siblings. It is a lot more one-on-one than a classroom setting is. You have to allow some time for your kids to adjust. That’s called “de-schooling” in the homeschooling community.

Let them get un-used to public school. Research. Look up the word “de-schooling” and find different ways you can do that. For us, it was an extended period of winter break. My kids were only in school for one semester, but I did feel like they needed a period of de-schooling, especially my son, Leland.

We had a 3 ½ winter break. It was great. We slowly eased in to homeschooling. I also have a blog post about “Why We Chose to “Soft Start’ Our Homeschool + How It Works  which I will link to. It talks about how you don’t have to hid it hard. Ease into this.

Find ways to bring those routines that worked well for your kids in public school into homeschooling without it being too regimented to where everyone is miserable.

On that note, I encourage you guys to come up with a flexible school schedule. We do a 5-day schedule. We school 5 days a week. If we skip a day here or there, it doesn’t make us fall behind in where we are supposed to be with the curriculum. It gives us some cushion.

We do homeschool through a charter school because I do really well with accountability. I like the idea that somebody is keeping records for me. That someone is watching me, making sure I do what I am supposed to do.

One of the problems with homeschooling was that I tend to get a little bit too lax, a little too focused on other things. I need that accountability. I need that checklist. “You guys need to be here by this date.” That is how I thrive in anything, but especially with homeschooling my kids. We have guidelines and deadlines. “You should be at this lesson and this subject by this date.”

We have a 5-day schedule but we don’t always do 5 days of school. Most weeks we do, but there are plenty of weeks where we do 3 or 4 days. That’s fine. It ends up all working out to where we are supposed to be when we are supposed to be there.

Decide if you want to do a 4-day school week every week. Or do you want to do a 5-day school week and be able to have some cushion. Look up different types of homeschool schedules. There are a lot of ideas. Six weeks on and one week off. Ten months on and two months off. Year-round or traditional schedule.

We do 5-days a week and year- round because we have seen our kids get completely out of the loop with a summer break. Also, we believe that learning should be happening all of the time and be child-led. It feels weird to us, as parents and teachers, to teach during the school year and then just stop during the summer.

We do a lot of unit studies, beach-themed studies during the summer, but technically we are doing school year-round, although our charter school is not.

To wrap up, let’s talk about rhythms. Rhythms will help you tremendously no matter where your kids go to school, but things can get chaotic in a difficult way when you homeschool. You need rhythms set up for basically everything. Your housework. Your work schedule, whether you work at home or outside of the home. Your laundry. Your schooling. Everything that has to do with you and your role.

Rhythms are going to cut your to-do list more than in half. Because it is no longer a to-do list.  You have rhythms set up for things that just need to happen for your life to flow smoothly. It is no longer a to-do list; it is just habit. That is mentally freeing.

I want you to get my free Developing Rhythms Workbook. It is one of my Fan Favorite free downloads from me. It is a workbook that will help you figure out what rhythms are. How they are going to help you. What yours should be. When you should do them. The whole shebang.  If you go through this Free Rhythms Workbook, you will end up with an amazing set of rhythms that will help you in your life and in your role.

Go get that!

I am excited for you guys! No matter why you are listening to this. If there is a transition possibly coming. If you are in a transition. If you just did a transition and it went terribly or it went amazing. I am praying for you guys. I know how hard this can be.

Remember, no matter what’s going on, what decisions you have made so far, or what decisions you are thinking about making, YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOTHER!!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

BONUS 01: All About Our Home School


Surprise! Today is the very first episode of bonus episodes I will be sharing!  Every rare once-in-a-while, I will put out a Bonus Episode that was just too good to wait. Or it could be a message that I really had on my heart for you guys. In this episode, I am sharing all about homeschooling - how it works for us, the curriculum we are using, our typical schedule, and what I think about it. I know it is really helpful to see how other people do things, so I hope this episode helps you, encourages you, and maybe even inspires you to think outside of the box.


In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • Why homeschooling works for her family.

  • The homeschooling curriculum she has been using + why she loves it.

  • Her routine for homeschooling 4 children.

Mentioned in this Episode:


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Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you're surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season you want it to be?

The Unburdened course is exactly what you need. 



Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.


Hey friends! This is a bonus episode and it is the first bonus ever. Bonus episodes come about because I either came up with an idea for an episode, or I was asked a question a billion times and I really wanted to answer it for you. But because of our planning, editorial calendar, the backend schedule of the podcast and the business, sometimes episodes will not be able to be completed for months in advance.

We do have to plan in advance with guest episodes and the whole team working to get this podcast produced a couple of times every week. Sometimes it is just too long to wait. I don’t want to have a question that really needs to be answered. You guys might be really asking about something and I really want to help you. I might have it recorded but it isn’t scheduled to come out until June. That’s really hard for me, so every rare once-in-a-while, I will put out a Bonus Episode that was just too good to wait. Or it could be a message that I really had on my heart for you guys.

This one is one that is too good to wait. It is getting asked about constantly. I am so happy to finally be recording it. It’s all about our homeschool.

As you guys probably know, we have homeschooled off and on for forever. Last school year (fall 2017) we put our kids in public school because the business was growing so much. It was super high maintenance. Brian and I were both feeling really torn between all of these hours to get the business up and running and also homeschooling.

Homeschooling was falling by the wayside. It wasn’t what we wanted for our kids education.  We couldn’t balance work and homeschooling at the level the business was functioning. There was nothing we could do – get up early, stay up late. We could have done that, but it wasn’t sustainable. We didn’t want to live our lives like that, barely sleeping in order to do it all. That was just not what we wanted.

The plan was to put the kids in public school for one school year. Get the business up and running a little bit better.  Hire some new people. Delegate some new tasks. Get it to the point where we can both just work a few hours a week. Then get the kids back home for homeschooling.

We prayed and felt really good about it.  Made the decision. Put them in. They got into a great school and had great teachers.

After just one semester, we had hired 6 or 7 new people and we were feeling so amazing about how the business was running. Brian and I were working just a few hours a week. We had a really good rhythm.

Between all the different drop off and pickup times of the kids in school, it was feeling really stressful. It kind of backfired and ended up feeling like “Well, now this is actually less helpful.”  When winter break came, we pulled the kids out of public school and brought them back home much earlier than we had planned, which was such a huge blessing.

When people saw that was going on, I got a lot of questions about homeschooling. How was it going? What were we using? How does it look for you? I wanted to wait and dive into the new curriculum and see how I liked it. I had never tried it before. It’s new for us.

And I wanted to find our rhythm. It’s been a while since we had a house, normal life, home-base, normal schedule, running the business, and homeschooling because we did the camper-living thing. We explored the U.S. for a while. We were very mobile.

Then we lived temporarily in our apartment while we waited for a house. Now that everything is “deep breath” settled and normal, it feels so good. I am ready to open the curtain and show you guys the inner workings of our homeschool. I hope this is helpful.

Before we dive in you need to know that my daughter, Bella, is the oldest. She is in 3rd grade.  She was held back when she went into public school, just because with homeschooling you never really know what grade your kid is in unless you do a very traditional homeschooling, which we did not.

They did test her and she fell in between, so they decided to hold her back to 2nd grade.  I asked them to. Being new to school, I would rather her be way ahead than really struggling, and just having an awful year. It worked out really well and she basically was doing 2nd grade in public school.

Now at home she is doing mostly 3rd grade and just struggling a little bit in a couple of subjects, where she does 2nd grade curriculum. She is in a weird, limbo, in-between place with grades.

Leland is in 1st grade. Hudson is in kindergarten. Emmett is 3 ½ and in preschool.

We do homeschool all four of them. Emmett is very fluid. He is just busy working on his fine motor skills while I work with the other kids. It is very fluid and simple. It’s not a big deal. We don’t even have a schedule for him. We just have a preschool curriculum for him that is from the same homeschool curriculum we use for everyone else. We just work through it as we can with him.

The curriculum that we are using is called The Good and The Beautiful by Jennie Phillips.  She is amazing. The curriculum is incredible. I was very nervous ordering new curriculum.  I have tried something new every single year and I want to say that next school year will be the first year that we use the same curriculum twice in a row. I finally feel like I have found something that I absolutely love.

The Good and The Beautiful is a Christian curriculum, but I love that it is not overly religious.  It’s not really crazy or heavy-handed. The regular lesson is there. The history. The literature lesson is there. It is all educational but weaves in our faith in a seamless, unforced, beautiful way and I love that.

A bit of background for a side note. I actually grew up going to a Christian private school. While there were definitely some pros about that, there was also some huge cons. I have a hard time with overly religious-based curriculum and things like that.

The church we go to is very much not that way. It’s Jesus, the love of Jesus, and the way He was here on Earth giving an example of how to live. It’s very God-centered, and people serving. That’s what I believe.

I have a hard time when things are very rules-based, the law, overly religious. That’s what I have found with a lot of Christian curriculum. I really, really like this one because of that.

Please don’t be offended by what I am saying. This is just what works for us and how we are.  I am just trying to give the reasons I like this curriculum in case there is someone out there who would like to try it because of the way I described it. If this turns you off or you don’t like it, don’t get the curriculum.

What I also love about the curriculum is that it is laid out in a minimalist way. That’s one of the things that really turned me on to this curriculum. I have a good friend, Jessie, and I really admire the way she homeschools.  I met her when we lived in Arkansas. She recommended this curriculum to me. When I went to check out the website, there were videos that described the curriculum. It was basically saying that you go from this huge stack of curriculum, all these different topics and subjects, and huge books for each one, all the way down to this condensed little pile of books. I couldn’t believe it.

When I ordered the curriculum, I found it was so true. Language Arts includes grammar, spelling and all of those things in one book. The way they have it laid out is so streamlined. I feel like a lot of the other curricula is very pricey and they feel the need to “bulk it up” and add “fluff.” This curriculum does not subscribe to that at all. It is really the perfect fit for our schooling style and our family.

I feel like I have never had such a small amount of curriculum but felt like there is so much depth in the content. I absolutely love it.

When I was outlining this episode, I had written down to go over the pros and cons of the curriculum that we are using. I honestly sat for a solid ten minutes to think about what I did not like about this curriculum. And I came up empty. There is nothing that I don’t like. I love this curriculum. I am definitely going to use it again next school year. If I ever do try something else, it will probably be out of curiosity and not because I don’t like this curriculum. I am so impressed with it. I absolutely love it and recommend it for sure.


Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend?  Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard.  I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

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I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

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Having said that, let’s get into our schedule to show what we do in terms of our day. We do a pretty typical 5-day, Monday thru Friday school schedule, but we are just really flexible. Sometimes, I will skip a day and do some school on the weekend morning instead. We just go as needed.

This week we are going to Disneyland and we are not going to do school one day. We will probably do school on Saturday morning over breakfast instead. We did that a couple of weekends ago too. Sometimes it’s just needed.

We do school usually in the afternoon. I don’t work every single day, but there are a couple of mornings that are set aside for work blocks. If it’s a work morning, I will work and the kids will either read or do their own solo school stuff. Or they will play outside or go somewhere with Brian if he is not working that morning. Mornings are usually for work, errands, relaxing, and starting the day slowly. Just hanging out together. Taking care of the house. We usually do school in the afternoons.

Sometimes if I am doing some work, Brian will start his subjects for school. Fridays are my meeting days. By the time it is afternoon and I am done with my meetings, I can do my subjects and then we are done for the day.

He does science and history. I tend to take over Language Arts. We both share the load of the other subjects too. We take turns with math, because we both prefer to not do math. It’s not like Brian or I always do the same subjects. We share the load. Typically, that is what happens.

Doing school in the afternoon was a fun shift for us. It made the mornings great. I still get up early and have my morning ritual. But it is not because I am rushing into homeschooling or starting the day.  It’s because I want to start the day out strong. Having a really slow morning with my family has been so great. Sometimes I will grab my laptop and write my email for that week. Or catch up on social media comments while I am sitting on the couch and the kids are playing Legos. We are together and it’s a quiet, slow start.

Friday is the only morning of the week that is a little crazy for me, since that is “meeting day”. I do them back-to-back to get them “batched” and out of the way. The kids’ morning is no different.  It’s just really neat giving ourselves that space to start in the afternoon. It has been really nice.

We do our morning thing each day. Then we have lunch and “veg out” for a half hour or so and rest together.  Then usually around 12:30 or 1:00 we will start school and we are done by 4:00 or 4:30. We take a lot of breaks.  It just depends on the day and how everyone is doing.

None of my kids are really napping anymore and I haven’t found that doing school in the afternoon has been affected by a lack of energy, needing to nap, or being hungry and ready for dinner.

I think if my kids were a little younger I wouldn’t be able to do school in the afternoons.  I really like doing afternoon school. It works really well for us.

There are days where we might do school in the morning if they want free time or want to do something else in the afternoon.  Again, we are very, very flexible. It is one of those things where people ask what your typical day looks like and it is hard to answer because there really is not a lot of typical days. But I would say that’s what our typical day looks like.

Sometimes there are days where nothing seems to be working. People are cranky. I’m not feeling it; no one is feeling it. It is just not working. Then we take breaks. Sometimes we stop altogether and just have a catch-up day when we are more refreshed.

But sometimes it is better to push through and just sense when everyone needs to suck it up, have a drink of water, take a 5-minute break on the trampoline, and then come back and push through and finish school. I know when it is time for that and when it is time to call it a day and not finish. Just go and be separate and have a good family day. Not yell and lose your cool and ruin school for the day. Then come back tomorrow, even if it is a Saturday or Sunday, when you are more refreshed and finish that math sheet or whatever.

If things aren’t working change how things work all together. Maybe getting up earlier to start your day off better. Ask yourself, “What isn’t working and why? Change the way you are doing school altogether. For us, it was starting school in the afternoon instead of pushing it in the morning.

I was trying to do everything in the morning. I would get up really early and get a couple of work tasks done. Dive into school in the morning and be done by lunchtime. It just wasn’t working. I gave myself that space, gave my family that breathing room, gave ourselves permission to do something a little bit out of the ordinary. Just saying, “you know what? We are going to try something different and start school in the afternoon.” It really lightened the load and freed us up and the whole family seemed to take to it better.

That’s a look into how our homeschool works, the curriculum we are using, and what I think about it. And how our typical schedule works. I know it is really helpful to see how other people do things, so I hope that helped you and encouraged you.  Maybe inspired you to think outside of the box.

Definitely look into that curriculum.  I will link it in show notes for you for sure.

I hope that was helpful for you guys. Thank you for caring for our family, our life, how things work for us, and asking questions that lead to episodes like this. I love it!


This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!