About Heather Caliri

Heather Caliri is a writer from San Diego. She started saying yes to joy in her faith two years ago and was surprised to find that joy led straight to Jesus. Find out about her upcoming ebook, Unquiet Time: A devotional for the rest of us, here.

The problem with Big Ideas

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Written by Heather Caliri

I was the kind of new mother who read discipline books when my child was too little to hold up her head.

Let’s call that well-prepared instead of terrified, shall we?

My first foray into discipline books was Positive Discipline. Among other things, the author, Jane Nelsen, recommends family meetings to help resolve problems.

What’s a family meeting? Sit everyone down in a circle, plan fun events, share intentional, kind compliments, and also address grievances and problems in a democratic fashion.

I loved this idea when I first read it nine years ago. I loved imagining facilitating discussions. I loved imagining us growing together as a family.

But I didn’t like imagining the implementation.

Why? I was afraid it wouldn’t work.

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When books (or anything) cause you anxiety

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Written by Heather Caliri of A Little Yes.

Can I make a really weird confession to you?

I love books. And sometimes I feel anxiety about them.

I was an English major, and I’m a writer.

My love of books is a huge part of why I started homeschooling. We check out dozens of books at a time from the library. We are awash in books.

So no one was more surprised to me to realize that they caused me shame.

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The gift of resentment

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Written by Heather Caliri of  A Little Yes

I looked at my monthly calendar and sighed.

It was the 25th, and that meant it was time to write down what had gone well—and not so well—that month for homeschooling.

Except I didn’t want to.

I knew I was supposed to. I was supposed to be tracking how my children were doing, taking notes each day about their interests to better help guide them towards things they were passionate about. I was supposed to be tracking academic progress and being intentional and clued in and—

I needed to be the homeschooling mom my kids deserved.

I sighed and opened up the document with the questions I asked myself every month:  “What has she made that she’s passionate about? What does she want to pretend or play? Are there questions, activities, projects, or materials she wants to explore? Any trouble spots?”

A few months back I had simplified the list from eight questions to four, because I didn’t like answering them back then, either.

The truth was, I had been answering questions for more than a year, and so far, I’d never enjoyed them. I didn’t like spending my time on them, I didn’t like the feeling of inadequacy that plagued me as I wrote, I didn’t like feeling like a better mom would gain more insight out of answering them.

I looked at the questions and the blinking cursor, and I tried to swallow down my resentment again.

But a subversive thought occurred to me.

If I hated doing this so much, why did I keep trying?

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The best lesson about learning

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The following is a guest post written by Heather Caliri of A Little Yes.

To be honest, I’m still not sure why I freaked out about the clay.

My daughter had found the battery-powered pottery wheel at the thrift store. Her face flushed with excitement, she placed the box on the counter and paid for it with her allowance.

I was tentative at best. The thing looked like a toy instead of a tool. Plus I remembered from school how hard throwing clay was. Would she get as frustrated as I once had with centering it?

She asked for my help getting set up. I held the instructions in one hand and the air-dry clay in the other. I read aloud about wedging the clay, centering it on the wheel, about slip and water and — that’s when I noticed my heart racing.

I knew I shouldn’t be this upset by a toy pottery wheel, but I was. And I didn’t know how to calm the heck down.

I was babbling that maybe we should slow down for a minute — practice — wait — when she took the clay out of my hand, set it on the wheel, and pressed the pedal. Whirrrrr. The wheel spun around like a child’s record player.

I looked at my daughter. She glowed.

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