Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Go Back to School After a Baby

Whether your child is planned or a pleasant surprise, adjusting your life to accommodate his birth can be a complicated juggling act. If you were planning to attend school or were already enrolled when you discovered your pregnancy, getting back on track will require a bit of creative scheduling, but it certainly is not impossible. Having a baby and dreams of an education are not mutually exclusive, you’ll just have to work a bit harder than some of your classmates to juggle all of your responsibilities.
Build a Support System
The most important thing for a student mom to have in place is a strong and reliable support system. Not only will you need help with childcare and managing the needs of your new baby while keeping up with your studies, you’ll also need a shoulder or two you can cry on when things get difficult. Finishing school as a parent will be a challenge, and having a few people in your corner can make all the difference.

Create a Routine That Works For Your Family
There is no hard-and-fast rule about how you have to structure your household routine, especially when your little one is still an infant. Find a schedule that works for you and build around it. If online classes are more conducive to learning and completing assignments than a traditional classroom setting, that’s the best solution for you. On the other hand, getting out of the house and interacting with your classmates may help you manage the demands of parenthood more easily. Whatever works for you is the best solution, regardless of how well it would work for someone else.

Set Realistic Goals
You may have planned to take on a full course load before your pregnancy, but that may not be realistic after the birth of a child. Rather than setting goals that aren’t feasible and being disappointed when they prove to be a bit more than you’re ready to handle, take your time and make a plan that you can actually adhere to. Celebrate each milestone along the way and stay focused on each smaller goal as they approach.

Work Out a Reasonable Timeline
Finishing school on the standard time table may be out of the cards for you as a new mom, and that’s okay. The goal is to finish, so take the time to figure out when you can realistically complete your studies. You may have to shoulder a lighter burden in terms of classes and finish later than some of your peers, but you’ll still leave with a diploma, which is better than trying to take on too much only to end up burned out and frustrated enough to quit school altogether. You may also have ideas of returning to school days after the birth of your child, however, that may not be possible. Finding the right time to return to school after you recover from delivery and have bonded with your new baby may be a bit more complicated than simply returning as soon as you’re discharged from the hospital.

Find a Caregiver You Trust
Your child will have to be cared for while you’re at school since you won’t be able to take her to class with you. To make the transition into school after becoming a new parent, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve found a childcare provider you absolutely trust and have no qualms about leaving her with. If you’re distracted and worried about your child’s safety while you’re in class, your academic performance probably won’t reflect your actual abilities.

Prepare for a Bit of Separation Anxiety
Regardless of how excited you are to get back into school after your maternity leave ends, you will feel at least a little bit of separation anxiety until you adjust to the idea of no longer spending the entirety of each day with the fascinating little person you’ve created. If you’re prepared for the stress of leaving your child in someone else’s care and understand that it’s just temporary, it can lessen the sting and help to make that pain a bit more manageable.

Don’t Be Scared to Adjust Your Schedule
As a new mom and a student, your schedule may have to be adjusted a few times until you find the one that works for you. Making adjustments is not the same as admitting defeat, so don’t be afraid to finagle things until you find the methods that work best for you and your new family.

Shared with us from www.findananny.net

Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: The OWL Who Couldn't WHOO

Title of Book: The Owl Who Couldn’t WHOO
Author: LeeAnna Kail
World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/n5bul86
Twitter: @LA_Kail
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number(s): 978-1-61244-129-0
Genre of Book: Children’s picture book

“Join Ollie on his adventure in searching for his sister and learning the significance of being different.”

About the Book:
Ollie is known for one thing in his village: he is the only owl who cannot “WHOO.” The other owls tease him for saying “WHEERE!” or “WHEEN!” or “WHYY!” and sometimes “WHAAT!” All Ollie wants is to fit in, but when his little sister gets lost in the woods, Ollie discovers he can help.

While providing insightful perspectives on diversity, The OWL Who Couldn’t WHOO offers educators, libraries, parents and young readers a fresh new look on anti-bullying and self-confidence.

Overall Thoughts:
This cute picture book will help children struggling with speech and self-esteem. There is also the underlying theme about not being a bullying and getting along with those different from you. Kids will learn always look for their uniqueness and to have the courage to be who they truly are, regardless what everyone else thinks.
Amy Rottinger’s illustrations are playful and sweet. They help kids, especially those who are learning to read, to see the story vividly. Parents and teachers can use Ms. Kail’s story to help children celebrate their differences and see that being different isn’t something to be afraid of or to worry about. We highly recommend it for young readers. The Owl Who Couldn’t Whoo is both entertaining and educational.

About the Author: 
Ever since LeeAnna Kail was little, she had an interest in writing. In fact, when she was in the fourth grade, she completed a career project and dressed as an author with dreams of writing her own book one day.
LeeAnna attended Duquesne University with a double major in political science and English with intentions of attending law school after graduation. While studying abroad in Rome, Italy, LeeAnna had a change of heart and decided to continue her education at Duquesne studying elementary education instead. She knew she found her niche the first day of class. Inspired by an assignment from a children’s literature course, LeeAnna's dream of writing a book has come true.

LeeAnna currently teaches in Pittsburgh and hopes to be an inspiration to her students to follow their dreams.

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Interview with Debut Author LeeAnna Kail



Ever since LeeAnna Kail was little, she had an interest in writing. In fact, when she was in the fourth grade, she completed a career project and dressed as an author with dreams of writing her own book one day.

LeeAnna attended Duquesne University with a double major in political science and English with intentions of attending law school after graduation. While studying abroad in Rome, Italy, LeeAnna had a change of heart and decided to continue her education at Duquesne studying elementary education instead. She knew she found her niche the first day of class. Inspired by an assignment from a children’s literature course, LeeAnna's dream of writing a book has come true.


Thank you LeeAnna for being with us today. Can you share with us about your current book. Give a short summary. (You can follow this up with any points you hope readers will take away with them)
My book is about an owl that cannot “WHOO.” Instead he says, “WHEERE!” or “WHEEN!” or “WHYY!” and sometimes “WHAAT!” Because he is different, the other owls tease him. When his little sister gets lost in the forest, Ollie comes up with the idea to use his special words to find her. This story shows children that it is okay to be different and that you should love and embrace them.

Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process worked in being published?
Halo Publishing makes publishing a book an incredible experience. When I shared my story with others, they always said that they could see my story as a cartoon or as a real book. I decided to try to get it published, knowing in the back of my head that J.K. Rowling got denied 6 to 7 times with Harry Potter. I assumed I didn’t have a chance. However, Lisa Umina loved my story because of the morals within it. From there, I signed a contract, chose a wonderful illustrator, approved of the edits, and published a book within about 3 months.

How did you get the idea for this book? The book came from a Children’s Literature class I had in graduate school. The professor had us write and illustrate our very own children’s books as we analyzed other children’s authors. Well, I am a procrastinator by heart and do my best work under pressure. True to character, a week before the project was due I still didn’t have any idea what I wanted to write. During class, I started looking around and noticed a small owl. It’s almost as if this paper cut out was looking at me. As soon as I thought of it, the idea came to me, “Hm…what about an owl who can’t WHOO?” And I ran with it.

What is a typical writing day like for you? Writing is a stress reliever for me. It helps me gather my thoughts and plan what I want and need.  I like to see it on paper. A typical writing day for me is jotting random thoughts down to later be worked on. 

What do you enjoy most about writing? In undergrad, English with a focus on writing was one of my majors. I find that writing is able to capture a person’s thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Just like a photograph captures a certain moment. One of my favorite things about writing is rereading pieces I have written in the past, such as an old diary, my travel log from when I studied abroad in Italy, or a poem imitating Frank O’Hara from a class in college. Some of the stuff I have written surprises me and reminds me how blessed I am to have had the experiences in my life.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Getting started. Having the discipline to take the time out of a busy day.

How has publishing a book changed your life? It has made me realize that you really can accomplish a dream, no matter how far-fetched, out of this world it really is. In fourth grade, I dressed as an author for Career Day. I remember the exact outfit I had on, a brown suede button up shirt with a matching long skirt. It was hideous. I had no idea what author’s wore. But I did it. And I couldn’t be more proud of myself for having to “accidentally” achieving a life goal.

What are your plans now? I plan to write a series of children’s book following Ollie and Pip as detective characters. Again, finding the discipline to sit down and write it has been difficult for me as I am starting a career and very busy during the school year. I plan to do so during my stay-at-home mom years! J

What is your best tip for aspiring authors? If an original idea comes to you, go with it. You never know where it can take you.

Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?
http://www.halopublishing.com/bookstore/LeeAnna-Kail/the-owl-who-couldnt-whoo 

“Join Ollie on his adventure in searching for his sister and learning the significance of being different.”

About the Book:
Ollie is known for one thing in his village: he is the only owl who cannot “WHOO.” The other owls tease him for saying “WHEERE!” or “WHEEN!” or “WHYY!” and sometimes “WHAAT!” All Ollie wants is to fit in, but when his little sister gets lost in the woods, Ollie discovers he can help.

While providing insightful perspectives on diversity, The OWL Who Couldn’t WHOO offers educators, libraries, parents and young readers a fresh new look on anti-bullying and self-confidence.

Title of Book: The Owl Who Couldn’t WHOO
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number(s): 978-1-61244-129-0
Genre of Book: Children’s picture book
Publication Date: Feb. 2013

Places where available: Halopublishing.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, by author

You can find out more about LeeAnna Kail, her debut children’s picture book and her World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/n5bul86

Follow LeeAnna Kail at
Twitter: @LA_Kail

PLEASE NOTE

*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.