Ep 226: Creating A Hands-On Homeschool Without the Stress with Rachel Figg

August 4, 2021

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This episode is specifically for my homeschool mamas, or my mamas who are interested in homeschooling. I have Rachel Figg joining me today. She is the founder and creator of the Hands-On Homeschool Virtual Co-op and we are talking all about how to make your homeschool simpler and more hands-on. Let’s jump in!




In this episode Allie andRachel discuss: 

  • Hands-On Homeschool Virtual Co-op

  • Delegation in Homeschooling 

  • Sneaky Learning 

  • Hands-on Learning

  • Creating Curriculum With Your Kids

  • Interest Based Learning

  • Homeschooling Multiple Kids and Multiple Ages


Mentioned in this Episode:


Courses (Use the code PURPOSESHOW for 10% off!)

The Purpose Show Facebook Community

Hands-On Homeschooled Instagram

Hands-On Homeschool Facebook

Hands-On Homeschooled Website



Discover Allie Casazza’s powerful and proven method for clearing the clutter in your mind by first clearing the clutter in your home, the place where transformation begins.

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Mom life. We’re surrounded by the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. We’re supposed to get through it. Survive. Cling on by the last little thread. And at the same time, Carpe Diem—enjoy every moment because it’s going to go by so fast. The typical mom culture that sends us all kinds of mixed, typically negative messages. We shouldn’t take care of ourselves; it’s selfish. The more ragged you run yourself, the bigger your badge of honor. But also, ditch your mom bod and work out. Don’t yell. Make more money. Show up. Be better, but not at the expense of time with your kids. I am putting a hard stop to all of this. While being a mom, running a business, and whatever else you might have going on is hard, it is a lot and there’s lots of giving of yourself, the idea that motherhood means living a joyless, nonstop-hustle-with-zero-balance kind of life, where you give and give and give and never take, needs to stop. 

I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime (at least most days). Stop the mom guilt and shame game. Stop cleaning up after your kids’ childhood and start being present for it. I want to help you thrive in work, home and life. I believe in John 10:10 that we are called to living an abundant life and I know moms are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, some business and life hacks, spirituality 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.

Hi, my friends! Welcome to The Purpose Show podcast. I’ve got a guest for you today and we are talking all about homeschooling, so this is specifically for my homeschooling mamas. 

This is a great conversation. We talk about homeschooling in general—how I do it, how Rachel does it, what’s worked for me, what’s worked for her—but more specifically, we focus on making your homeschool more hands-on and simpler for you. 

We also talk about delegation in homeschool, and we’ve got some specific ideas for you. I think this is really going to have you taking some notes and feeling really inspired, like you can actually do this and do it better than you feel like you’ve been doing it in the past. Homeschooling is hard, plain and simple, but it doesn’t need to stay that way.

My guest today is Rachel Figg. She is the founder and creator of the Hands-on Homeschool Virtual Co-op, which my family is a part of (at the time I’m recording this episode). We joined the membership right away. I looked into it as soon as I recorded this episode and we joined. 

I looked inside the curriculum and it is frickin’ brilliant. I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever bought for our homeschool. The kids have been using it and it’s so good. 

Rachel Figg is a homeschool mom herself. She has four kids. Her Hands-on Homeschool Co-op is an online program that provides self-paced, done-for-you classes in the enrichment areas of music, art, science, engineering, and P.E. 

She’s super passionate about working with parents to provide the best, most well-rounded education possible to homeschool families. Rachel and her husband, Chris, live with their kids in South Carolina. Maybe I’ll meet her next time I’m there because you guys know I am there a lot. Hayley lives there. 

I can’t wait for you guys to hear this. It’s so good. Please welcome Rachel to The Purpose Show. 

ALLIE: Hi friend! Thank you so much for having this conversation about homeschooling. I get so many questions all the time on this subject, so I can’t wait for this episode.

RACHEL: I’m so glad to be here! Thanks so much.

ALLIE: You run an amazing program for homeschoolers. You homeschool yourself and you have four kids. Tell us about what led you here, why you love homeschooling, how you got to doing what you’re doing, and maybe explain a little bit more about what it is that you do and what your expertise is.

RACHEL: I’ve been homeschooling since my oldest was little. We have been homeschooling since the beginning. We started thinking about homeschooling because we just wanted to have that culture at home. We wanted to be with our kids because we liked them. 

We started homeschool planning way back when he was three and four. I dove in and felt really creative and confident. I was planning all of these things. I had so much fun putting together all of these resources. 

But as we got going through it, all of the expectations started to pile up in my brain. I started thinking, “I should be doing this; I should be doing that.” It started to get a little overwhelming. I lost my confidence in it and it got hard. 

I had to take a step back and ask, “Why is this not working? I’m doing all the curriculum. I’m doing all the things.”

I think that I just wasn’t being me. I wasn’t putting myself into it. I wasn’t bringing everything I have to offer because I had lost that confidence and that creativity. 

When I realized that, I started to also realize things that we were missing in our homeschool. We were just focusing on math, reading, and all of that. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t fun for them. 

I’m a music teacher. I have my degree in music education and I wasn’t even teaching my kids music. I felt really guilty about that they weren’t getting enrichment areas. I thought, “If I’m struggling with this then I know other moms out there are as well.” 

I started to get an idea to create this virtual program and make the arts and enrichment areas really accessible to every homeschooler out there. So that’s what I did. I put it all together. 

We have a virtual co-op, which is what we call it because the parents are involved. We teach music, art, STEM, and P.E. classes for homeschoolers. The whole family can do it together from kindergarten through eighth grade. 

It has radically changed our own homeschool. My kids love it. It gets them ready to do that hard stuff—math and all of that. It gets them ready for it. In a nutshell, that’s our homeschooling journey.

ALLIE: Homeschooling is so much. You go to research for help and you’re overwhelmed even further by so much conflicting information and so many opinions. It’s absolutely overwhelming. 

I get messages all the time from women saying, “I used to homeschool and then I stopped because it was way too much. How are you doing this? How are you doing it with the business and with the kids?” 

Obviously, I have a really supportive and helpful husband. But even before that, when I was starting the business, I homeschooled the kids and it was all just me. I feel like you have to learn to release the expectation of perfection. You have to learn to really just focus on little bits at a time. 

I would do seasons—bursts of time spent focusing on math, and then we’d pull back and do more creative things, and then bursts of focusing on science or focusing on history, and pull back. I did that when they were little and it was fine, but I’ve always worried as they’ve gotten older if was going to have to stop doing this, because I can’t do it all. 

I can’t do all the subjects. I can’t hold their attention for long enough. They get super frustrated. It’s boring. 

I know they need to learn these things. I want them to learn math. I want them to understand that, but how much longer can I keep doing that? 

I want them to learn a second language. I want them to understand how things work. I want them to understand building, creating, music, and art. How do I do all of that? 

What you’ve created is literally the solution that Brian and I have been looking for. Brian is a part of it since he’s home and not working anymore. We’ve both wondered how to balance all of this for different kids at different ages with our own schedules since we’re both working. It’s so much.

I feel like what you really have created is freedom and options for homeschoolers to relieve that pressure of, “Oh my God, I have to do it all. I have to do it really well because this is their education.”

RACHEL: And there’s a level of performance that we have to expect from our kids. We need them to perform. We need them to do math at this level. We need them to know these facts. We need them to know these dates for history. 

However you homeschool, those things are really important. We need them to be able to be at a certain level. But then you don’t have the balance of just being with your kids. You can’t always expect performance from your kids. They are going to hate it. 

You need something where you can do things alongside them or with them, where there’s low expectations but they’re learning. It’s not like they’re on a soccer team and they have to perform. They have to be on a team. You’ve got to be a team player. Everything they do matters.

I’m a music teacher. I teach private lessons, but that’s not for everybody. But does every kid need to learn music? Yes. So how do you do that? 

How do you get that education without requiring this high level of performance where they have to be ready for a teacher every week? The program is a way to give them that. Participate. Do this art project and learn about art or learn about music. 

They’re doing it, but it’s a balance. They have to do the math problems. They have to know these facts. But we can learn this together in a very low pressure way.

ALLIE: Also, I think a lot of people don’t realize that there’s another option other than getting a private lesson. Then you’re going across town. Now it’s more appointments. It’s work. 

It’s calendar clutter. It’s more stress. It’s more performance, for you as the parent and for them as the kid. 

A lot of people, myself included have shied away from that because it’s just not going to work. We’ve tried online lessons and that hasn’t really worked very well. It was still another thing on the calendar. And I’m like, “I don’t know, is this kid Mozart? I just want them to learn music.” 

I don’t necessarily need to have a private person and pay all this money and spend all this time. When kids are kids, I just want to immerse them in a lot of different things and see what sticks. I don’t want to have to do piano lessons, guitar lessons, drum lessons, dance lessons, horse lessons for all of them to figure that out. It’s about exposing them. 

RACHEL: It’s cool to have them all do it at the same time. With all those private lessons, you can only teach one child at a time. Even if they’re all taking them from the same teacher, they can only go one at a time. 

To be able to do it all at the same time, learn at their level, be exposed to it, learn rhythm, melody, or techniques for painting or drawing, learn about engineering, and how to problem solve, it’s all there and everyone can learn it at the same time. It saves a lot of time and a lot of energy on the parents’ part. 

ALLIE: Also you mentioned STEM, what is that?

RACHEL: So STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, but it is not those subjects individually. It’s all about using what you know, or using elements from each of those areas to solve problems. 

It’s real-world problems. In the program we do fun challenges. They are little real-world problems, but they’re fun for kids. They have to build something. They have to use the engineering design process to figure out what the problem is, imagine some solutions, plan what they’re going to do, and then start to build and create. 

We use simple materials. It’s nothing crazy that you have to go out and buy a bunch of stuff. It’s just stuff that you probably already have around your home. 

You go and create something, and from there you test it and see if it works. If it doesn’t work, then you improve it. It’s all about solving a problem and collaborating together, doing that with your siblings and just trying to solve a problem.

ALLIE: That’s amazing. I think my son, Leland, is really into something like that. He will love that.

What does a day in the life of homeschooling look like? We’ve had so many episodes here on the show about delegation. I’m all about delegating. 

It seems like a really good strategy for homeschooling to delegate these enrichment programs or subjects to you. Then the parent is really able to focus on creative writing, language arts, math, and all those things, wouldn’t you say? 

RACHEL: Yeah, exactly. We only have so much brain space for creativity and to really pour ourselves into things. When we think about having a well-rounded education for our kids, we’ve got all of those core areas and then the enrichment areas. So if you are trying to do everything all by yourself, you feel scatterbrained, overwhelmed, and you quickly get burnt out. 

But when you can delegate the enrichment subjects in an easy way, then you can focus on your creativity. It frees up all that brain space so you can find all these hands-on resources, all these creative ways of teaching language arts or science or math. Whatever you feel most creative with, you can pour that into your kids. 

Then you can build that connection with your kids instead of feeling like, “Okay, we have to get this done because we have to.” Then you’re stuck all the time. Then, all that fear, guilt, and everything is pouring on you. It’s on your shoulders and then it comes across for your kids. 

Your kids are feeling stressed and overwhelmed that they have to get this math done, and it’s not fun. It’s not light. And there’s no brain space for creativity. 

ALLIE: It’s an energy that everyone can feel and I don’t want that in our homeschool. When I am schooling the kids, I do my part with them in the evening after dinner. It’s the end of the day. There are reserves left because I’ve been working during the day. 

I really want it to be positive. I want it to be peaceful. I do want us to get some things done, but there’s never pressure. Because of the way we school, there’s no pressure. 

We don’t do the big box curriculum. We don’t do “we have to follow this or we’re behind.” And it’s freed us up so much. I feel like what you’re offering is that freedom and that space.

RACHEL: Yes, absolutely. Kids learn when they’re not in front of a workbook. They’re learning all the time. 

After your formal school time in the evenings, if you’re playing a board game or something with your kids, it can reinforce something that they learned earlier that day, or last week, or a couple of years ago. It’s there, they’re still learning. 

You can start to think that way. I call it “sneaky learning” where I think, “You know what? We need to review addition, so I’m going to do this board game with my kids because I know that they’re going to have to practice their math facts.”

But you can’t think like that if you’re overwhelmed with, “I’ve got to get every page in my math book done.” You just don’t have the brain space for that.

Okay, friends. My first book, Declutter Like A Mother is officially available for pre-order. It releases on September 7th! I am so excited to call you in and ask you to be a part of this journey with me, to really join in, celebrate, and let’s have a friggin party! 

Let’s declutter your spaces and get your environment to align with the version of yourself you really want to call out, because as Marshall Goldsmith says in his book, Triggers, “If you do not control and create your environment, it creates and controls you.” 

So let’s get that aligned. Let’s get this area of your life fully supporting you. You’re paying for the space you live in, right? Let’s get it aligned and supporting you. 

Declutter Like A Mother is written for the mom who really has unconsciously subscribed to the way that our culture describes motherhood to us. She thinks that this is just the way it is. It’s always going to be kind of a mess. It’s just always going to be a struggle and there’s just really no other way to do things. You can try to get organized and you can try to create more balance, but really it’s always going to be really hard. It’s always going to mean you are just serving everyone else and you’re kind of running breathlessly through life. 

I can’t wait to get this book to every single mom that resonates with that, into their hands and show them that there is another way! There is another reality you can subscribe to that’s better and lighter. It’s not perfect, but it is so much better for you as a human. 

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This book is huge! It’s way beyond clutter. This is a book about life. This is a book about how to do motherhood a different way. And yes, we are going to start at Step One, which is shifting your environment. 

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The first and possibly best (I’m very excited about this!) is the Mom Life Reset. This is a brand new crash course, designed by me, to help you uncomplicate things. This is literally unheard before, brand new content that I recorded just a couple of weeks ago that is only for those who pre-order the Declutter Like A Mother book. 

You also get five lock screens, professionally designed by my designer, for your phone with affirmations on them, because your phone is a part of your environment and I really want to help you align that in a way that’s going to encourage you, lift you up, and support you every time you tap your screen. 

The other thing you get is a sneak peek at a chapter from the book that I handpicked for you. 

So go to Pre-order your book. Save that confirmation page. Share your confirmation number with me, so I know you pre-ordered and you can unlock the crash course, the lock screens, the free chapter. 

I can’t wait to see what you think! I can’t wait for you to get this book in your hands. I can’t wait for this to be out in the world! 

Thank you so much for your pre-order. It changes my world when you pre-order my book. Pre-orders are everything for authors, especially a first-time author like myself. So thank you!

I appreciate you. I can’t wait for you to pre-order it. I can’t wait for you to get the book. And I can’t wait for you to get your hands on these amazing gifts that I’ve curated just for you as a thank you for pre-ordering. 

I love you so much. I can’t wait to keep supporting you. Thank you for being here!

ALLIE: Your whole platform is called Hands-On Homeschooling. Talk to me about the hands-on part, your belief system, and your strategy around that for kids. 

RACHEL: Kids learn best by doing. Actually, that’s just the way for anyone. I teach kids to swim. I’m a swim instructor. I’ve always been a swim instructor. 

I can’t just tell a kid how to swim. You can’t just say, “Step one,” and walk somebody through how to swim. They’ve got to get in the water and actually do it. That is how learning works across the board. 

So why don’t we maximize that? Why don’t we use that to our advantage and use hands-on learning to really achieve that authentic learning? We want that for our kids.

If they’re able to sputter out facts like a robot, we have not done our job because that’s not education. It has to become a part of them so they can apply it to new situations, to make connections. And hands-on learning is just the best way to do that. 

It sets them up to be lifelong learners. It sets them up so that they get curious to go and figure things out. Go and research it or ask questions and not shy away from it because, “Oh, that’s school. I don’t want to do school. I hate school.”

Learning is just a part of life. You’re learning all the time. By doing it in a hands-on way, you’re able to make it a part of your life. 

ALLIE: I like that you explained it that way. Let me be super honest. I’ve shared this before, but in case no one’s heard me say this, I really don’t love homeschooling. I’m not one of those moms that feels like, “I just love it so much. I never want to do anything else.” 

I really just don’t. Brian and I both have agreed that we really do homeschooling because of the lifestyle and flexibility it offers. The homeschooling part has to kind of come with it. 

In the past when we have tried box curriculum and stuff like that, I always would skip over the hands-on stuff because hands-on equals time, a mess, a disaster, the whole thing. I’m going to have to go to Michael’s and get all the supplies. And it’s the whole day, just for the kids to see that oil and water don’t like each other. I hate it. 

When I first saw your stuff, I thought that it was going to be like preschool vibes—present and messy and all in. I literally would rather do anything else. So, when you describe hands-on like that, I’m having to go somewhere totally different in my mind, because that is not at all what I thought it was.

RACHEL: It’s about being more intentional about what you’re maybe already doing. Do you read to your kids? We know reading aloud is important to our kids, so why don’t we bring in some historical fiction that kind of goes along with what we’re doing in history? That’s a natural connection. 

We don’t need to go buy all these random things or these kits or all of this stuff just to try to make it work and to force it. If it just naturally works, then that’s great. Putting it out there, having it available is perfect. It’s just right there. Grab that and go. 

ALLIE: What are some of your favorite ways to delegate some of the kid’s learning away from you? Sometimes I don’t have the energy or the time to actually read out loud to my kids. We’re currently going through the Harry Potter series, but sometimes I’ve podcasted all day and I do not want to talk anymore, so I’ll delegate to Audible. 

RACHEL: Oh, I do that too. 

ALLIE: So things like that. What are some of your favorite tips for lightening your load, but still getting some schooling done?

RACHEL: I definitely do audio books. That’s pretty much the only way that we get read alouds in for the big novels and stuff. We do them in the car because they’re all strapped in and nobody can leave. We’re currently reading Peter Pan. 

ALLIE: That’s the big five-hour one. 

RACHEL: Yes. Here’s a tip: if you get the audio collections with Audible, you can get them with one credit. We love Audible for read alouds. 

The things that I’ve chosen for our curriculum are things that have a video component to it so I’m not the one teaching or sitting down. We do that a lot. We’re currently doing that for several of our subjects. 

I always try to balance out, delegate out how much is required of me to actually be sitting down with a child and talking. We do those things for group activities, and then I’ll work one-on-one with them for their language arts or their math, things that are specific to each kid. Most of our science, history, all of the enrichment subjects are done altogether. And most of that is delegated out. 

If you feel really inclined or you feel pulled towards a subject, that’s where you focus your creativity. For me, I love science, so I love teaching science. Every year I put together my own science curriculum. 

I don’t buy a curriculum for that. I pour myself into that. And also for the enrichment subjects, because that’s my job. 

But for the core subjects, that’s where I feel the most pulled towards. I plan it. I have books that I get, all of these resources, and I design it. I love doing that, but that’s where I feel most creative. I don’t feel like that for language arts at all, so I delegate as much of the teaching for that as I can.

ALLIE: Okay. That’s amazing. When you say that that’s what you love and where you pour all your energy into, it’s so freeing because you’re saying that you’re not doing that for everything. I feel like we were chosen to be the mom of our kids. So if you feel really inclined to science and you pour most of your energy into that, there’s a reason that your kids are yours and that you feel that, so own it and just go all in on it. 

Still do some math sheets. Teach them how to write letters to people or whatever. But you’re really going all in on science and that’s okay. I love that.

RACHEL: That’s where I’m putting my creativity. But other people are super creative in those other subjects, so I’m going to let them use their creativity and teach my kids. I don’t have to design my own math curriculum. There are a lot of people out there who love math and they can do that. I’m going to use those tools. 

Curriculum is just a tool. We are teaching our children. We’re not teaching the curriculum. Even if you don’t use a curriculum, you’re using something as a tool. 

It’s just a tool. We don’t have to do every page. We don’t have to do every lesson. We know our kids best. And like you said, we were put on this earth to be our children’s mother, so we know them and we know what works for them. 

When we start looking around and seeing what other people are doing, that’s when we start to compare. But that’s just where they’re creative. Whatever they’re posting, they’re creative about that, so they’re sharing it. We just have to keep our mindset there. 

ALLIE: It doesn’t have to be all you. It wasn’t supposed to be all you.

RACHEL: No, no. And you’re not a bad homeschool mom because you delegate things. That’s good. That’s good because you’re recognizing, “I’m creative here, and not creative there, so I’m going to get help for that.” 

ALLIE: One of my favorite little hacks that I’ve started doing with my kids is every once in a while we’ll pull them together and everyone gets a piece of paper and writes down things they are interested in learning about (except for Emmett; he just draws his version). I give my younger one 5 things and the older ones 20 things. 

They’ll write things like, “What happened to the dinosaurs?” Recently they asked, “Where does meat come from?” We did that and everyone’s been vegan ever since. Literally, we’ve all been plant-based for months.

We will all learn together because we’re all watching the videos and learning. I’ll just ask them, “What do you guys want to do?” We’ll pick one thing and go all in on it for a month. Then we’ll revisit the list and just keep going until we’re out of the list. When we’re out, we re-source and come up with more. 

It’s super cool because you can bring it in, theme it, create your own unit study about anything. They were really interested in birds. We learned that birds are technically like dinosaurs and they are the ancestors of the dinosaurs. All these things I never knew. It’s so fun. 

It’s really cool because you’re kind of delegating the curriculum to your kids. And if you want your kids to be interested in learning, you want them to be hands-on, you want them to be involved, and you want them to like learning, it’s a really good idea to just ask them. 

It’s so funny because in the homeschool world, that’s not talked about very much. It’s all like, “This is the curriculum to get your kids. They’ll be so smart. They’ll go to college. They’ll do this. They’ll do all these things.” 

You get all these suggestions, but what if we just ask the kids? What would light them up? Simple is always better. It’s one of my favorite little homeschool life hacks.

RACHEL: One of my kids kind of forced me to do that and to be more like that. Last year we were learning about traveling the world. I had the cute little passport and we were going around the different countries. We were in Asia. That was geography.

In science, we were learning about animals. We were gonna talk about all the different animals. Well, we never got past the invertebrates. He was like, “I want to know more about this spider, this bird-eating tarantula from South America.” 

We watched all the YouTube videos. We were constantly learning about the spider. And finally, I said, “Buddy, you know what? We’ve got to move on from the spider, okay? We’ve got to move on to vertebrates.”

And then, we were in geography and he said, “I want to go back. I want to go to South America next.” 

And I said, “Okay, but now we’re going to Asia.” 

He said, “No, South America.” 

Why did he want to go to South America? Because of that spider. He wasn’t done. He was not done with the spider. So he’s like, if I don’t get it in science, I’m going to get it in geography.

ALLIE: We think, “We’ve gotta move on. This is way too much time.” 

Based on what? They’re interested in it. The “school mind” that we have is so hard. Even if you “de-school” and get out of that, when you’re schooling your kids it is so hard not to go mentally back there and think, “We should be moving on.” And it’s based on nothing. 

RACHEL: Yeah. Especially in the younger years, the elementary years even going into the middle school years. You can get more specific if you feel like you need to. You’re going to get deeper anyway, because the maturity is getting there. So even if you stuck to just interest based learning as they got older, it would hone in more specifically. 

But in elementary years, it’s about all of these things about science, the world around them, history and social studies. We want them to be exposed to it and we want them to have an understanding of the general way things work.

But you’ve got time. It gets more specific. We can narrow in as they get older and more mature. They’re naturally gonna go that way anyway.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. That’s so true. So when we do interest-based learning, we’re not doing the kids a disservice or keeping them from something they should be learning. We’re really doing what they were going to do eventually anyway, and helping them hone in on what they’re meant to hone in on 

RACHEL: Yeah. And we don’t want them to be turned off to learning in the first grade because we’re making it so hard. Let them follow their interests. Let them learn to love learning. Then  that will continue and snowball, and they’ll never be satisfied and want to learn more forever.

ALLIE: One question that comes up a lot in my community, and honestly in a lot of seasons of homeschooling in my own life is: how do you homeschool them all at the same time when they’re different ages and different stages? Do you split anything up when there’s skills based things and level based things like math? How do you homeschool them all at the same time?

RACHEL: We start with things that we do altogether. We’ll do maybe one of our enrichment subjects from the virtual co-op. Maybe we’ll start with music and then we’ll do our history and our science or something like that where we do it altogether. 

Then we break up from there into independent work or the time that they spend one-on-one with me. Some of my kids are more independent and they can do more on their own. And during that time I’ll work one-on-one with the other kids. I just kind of rotate around based on the day and what they need. 

Sometimes we do it in the morning and sometimes it takes the entire day because we’re not really going anywhere and I don’t feel like I have to get all the school work done between certain hours. It can take all day. If we don’t get to it, we can do it tomorrow.

I don’t put those expectations on myself to make it very rigid. I just kind of let it flow and we get to it when we get to it. That’s not to say that I’m available all throughout the day either. I have boundaries I put on my kids. “No, I’m sorry, my time to work with you,” if they were having a meltdown or something and didn’t do their work. 

It’s such a part of our life. It’s so integrated into our life that it just flows in that way. I try to start with an enrichment subject or something that we can all do together. Then the rest of the day branches out. Everyone has their things that they do on their own.

ALLIE: That’s the same for us too. I’m just sharing in case anyone listening needs more examples. It’s the same for us. 

We start the day really strong. We all start together. Then Brian takes over and does language arts, some math, and things like that. Maybe a science experiment. 

They’re learning about rockets right now. They’ve been watching the launches and then building one. Now we can’t find anywhere to launch it here because it’s California and everything catches on fire in two seconds, but I think we found a place that is surrounded by water that we’re going to go to. They’re doing things like that. 

I’ll go to work and then it’s lunch altogether. Then they will finish up with Brian, I’ll finish up any lingering work, and then I’ll come in and spend time with them. We’ll do dinner and baseball.  Then we’ll usually come home and do creative reading. 

We’re always doing something. Work’s got to get done for me. Or Brian will be working on YouTube. I’ll be reading Harry Potter to the kids. We’re always in all of it. 

We start out really strong, but then it’s like, “Okay, what needs to happen next? What’s the schedule?” 

Today we’re going to the chiropractor, so we might not get to math and that’s okay. You know what I mean? I feel like it just ebbs and flows and there’s no, “This is when we do school. This is when I work. Don’t talk to me.” 

It’s just our days. They’re all pretty much the same, but they’re flexible as needed.

RACHEL: Yeah. And I don’t think it’s sustainable to be so strict. You have other things in your life. It’s hard to be so strict and not have that ebb and flow. That’s important. 

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. 

Tell us a little bit more about where we can connect with you. Tell us more about your program. How do we get into that? How does it work? 

Is it open all the time? How do people join? What does it look like to be in there? Do you have to be involved? Tell us more about that part of it.

RACHEL: I am at @handsonhomeschool on Instagram. I am on Facebook as well. 

If you’re in the program, it’s all online, it’s all done for you. You just log into your member area and you can choose the subject that you want to do. There’s a list. Everything’s open for the year and you just go through and do a lesson a day. 

There are 24+ lessons in each subject. It takes you through the entire year. There are actually more in STEM because we bring in some novel studies. You read a novel and then do three STEM projects with that novel. 

They’re really fun. They’re all done for you. It’s self-paced. You don’t have to be online at any certain time. Nothing’s live as far as that goes. 

There’s a Facebook group that you get into if you’re a member. That’s how we support the parents, let them provide accountability and do some fun things in that Facebook group. That’s optional. Not everybody has chosen to be in that Facebook group and that’s fine. 

You can take it and run with it, do your own thing with it, or you can be more involved with the community aspect of it as well. 

Once you’re in there, you have access for a year. It is open all the time. You try to get through as many things as you can. 

The way that we’ve structured it, it’s still affordable, even if you choose not to do some of the subjects. Because I know maybe not everybody wants virtual music classes, P.E. classes, or whatever. They just won’t do those subjects. 

We wanted to make it affordable for people who want to do everything but also the people who are maybe going to do only half of it and they’re going to just leave out half of those subjects. We were really mindful when we were creating it to make it accessible, available, and to have features that everyone would be able to use easily.

ALLIE: That’s brilliant. It’s so brilliant. So needed. I’m gonna share it with Brian when we have lunch after this and look at it because I’m so excited. Thank you so much. This is so helpful. 

I think the big takeaway for me here is it’s okay to do things the way that works for you and you’re not meant to do it all. I know that and I teach that, but hearing it from someone else for me was really helpful. 

Thank you for being such a light and a well of wisdom. I really appreciate you.

RACHEL: Thank you so much. This has been awesome. I’ve really enjoyed this. Thank you so much for having me.

Thanks so much for hanging out with me! In case you didn’t know, there’s actually an exclusive community that’s been created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions around The Purpose Show episodes. It’s designed to get you to actually take action and make the positive changes that we talk about here. I want you to go and be a part of it. To do that, go to

Thank you so much for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about me, how I can help you, how you can implement all these things and more into your life to make it simpler, better, and more abundant, head to There are free downloads, online courses, programs, and other resources to help you create the life you really want. 

I am always rooting for you, friend! See you next time! I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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


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