I listened to another lecture by Jessie Wise Bauer called "Homeschooling the Real Child." One of the topics she addressed in this speech was the frustration homeschooling moms feel because their daily expectations aren't being met.
She suggested that home school moms take a few moments to "Write out what your perfect home school day looks like" and said this was a good way to find out whether or not your home school expectations were even realistic to begin with.
Note: I know I will often get frustrated and discouraged when I see a book just sitting on the shelf day after day and we still haven't gotten around to reading it together. But now that I have articulated what I think our "perfect" day looks like or rather, what I think is most important to accomplish on any given day, etc. I see that I am usually meeting my own expectations and I really shouldn't be discouraged about the books that are "just sitting on the shelf" because we aren't working in them as much.
For example, Norah's recorder book is one of those that spends a lot of time on the shelf. But, now that I have thought about it rationally, we don't spend as much time on music or make it as much of a priority right now so, obviously, that's why the recorder book isn't used as much.
What was not realistic was for me to expect Norah to be as good at playing the recorder as she is at say, adding and subtracting or reading. She's very good at those things but I have also made those things a priority so naturally, Norah does well at them because we spend more time on them.
Doing this exercise also made me realize my perfect day doesn't include much, if any, television or video games. That made me realize I need to curb Norah's screen time a lot more than I have been doing lately because I want her and Avril to be doing other, more meaningful things together instead.
If you're interested, here's my "perfect" home school day:
We wake up and I manage to complete my morning routine before breakfast. The girls play until we have breakfast together. Norah gets dressed while I dress Avril. I clean the kitchen while Norah does handwriting. Avril plays quietly near my feet. Norah and I drill math facts together. Norah does her math page while I prepare the project for science or history. We do Bible, spelling, language, writing and then science or history together, including the project. Norah reads a book silently while I read to Avril and work with her on ABCs and 123s. Norah answers comprehension questions about her book or narrates parts of the story to me. We have lunch. Norah reads to Avril before her nap. Avril naps while Norah paints or does a puzzle or reads and completes narrations and drawings about her books, etc. We bake cookies together or clean together or play a board or card game before I start dinner. Avril wakes up and the girls play together until dinner. We eat dinner as a family and then sit and listen to a read aloud as a family or play a board or card game. The girls play until it's time to get ready for bed.