Nervous about Kindergarten? These books might help.

Note: Mamas, I wrote this post when my youngest child, Kate was about to start kindergarten. We’re republishing it again in hopes it will help this year’s crop of nervous kindergarteners and their moms. We’ve updated it with the latest info on helpful books about starting kindergarten. Hope it helps make your first day of school a GREAT one. Enjoy!

In a few short days, I’ll be holding hands with a very nervous little person and walking into the first day of kindergarten — for the third time. My youngest child, Kate, is stepping into the big world of public school just like her two older brothers did a few years ago.

She is nervous — really nervous. And now I’m nervous because she’s nervous. The boys handled the first day of kindergarten with relative ease and no tearful goodbyes at the door. Sure, I cried like a big baby once I got back into the car after leaving them, but we all held it together just fine for the actual drop-off.

But this time I’m worried that it’s going to be really tough to leave Kate at school, especially if she turns on the tears and begs me not to go. She is my baby — the last of my three kids to go to school — so I’m especially vulnerable to her angst about venturing out on her own.

So last week I decided we needed to confront our kindergarten fears head-on. Kate and I went to the bookstore and collected all the books about kindergarten that we could find. Then we found a cozy spot in the children’s section and started reading about all the new adventures kindergarten would bring.

Here’s a list of the books we read:

  • Kindergarten Rocks, by Katie Davis
  • School Bugs, by David Carter
  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate
  • Wow School, by Robert Neubecker
  • Off to Kindergarten, by Tony Johnston

I’ve gotta tell you — the books were a big help. Reading them helped her realize that much of kindergarten would be similar to what she was already used to in pre-school. And I could tell she was beginning to feel excited about the possibility that she might really, really like kindergarten after all.

Before we left the bookstore, I told Kate she could pick out her two favorite books about starting kindergarten and we’d buy them to take home. She chose Kindergarten Rocks, which is a story about a boy who was worried about all the different scary things that might happen at school — all of which did not happen. His older sister reassured him that they wouldn’t and then he found out for himself that he loved school and couldn’t wait to go back.

Her second choice was a book called School Bugs, a very cute little pop-up book featuring smart bugs in different school settings that spring up at you as the pages turn. She has read both of the new books countless times since we brought them home.

So if you’ve got a nervous kindergartener, consider a trip to the library or bookstore. It’s definitely helping to ease the fears at our house. Hope it does at yours, too. Here’s a list of other kindergarten titles to consider:

  • The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing

    These books are fun, and Kate is feeling better about starting kindergarten.

  • Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell
  • Countdown to Kindergarten, by Allison McGhee
  • The Twelve Days of Kindergarten, by Deborah Lee Rose
  • Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come, by Nancy L. Carson
  • On the Way to Kindergarten, by Virginia Kroll
  • Kindergarten Here I Come, by D.J. Steinberg
  • The Pirate of Kindergarten, by George Ella Lyon
  • The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn

The Belford Group offering paid internships for Northwest Arkansas moms

belford group logoThe Belford Group recently announced a new program that’s launching soon: internships for women and moms in Northwest Arkansas.

Angela Belford, co-owner of The Belford Group and founder of the adult internship project, said, “I have a heart for moms that have spent years staying at home and are now wanting to transition back to the workforce. I have met so many talented women who need training and job experience.

“We’re launching our first class of adult internships, meaning that you won’t have to have a degree related to our industry, or even experience. We will train you in various aspects of the business and give you at least 8 months’ work experience. Roles we’ll be training for include customer service, web development, writing, social media management and possibly basic graphic design.”

If you’re interested in returning to the workforce and this sounds like something that would be up your alley (including you empty nest moms!) read this interview with Angela Belford for more information:

What services does The Belford Group provide?

Branding, web design, SEO, Social media management, and marketing collateral design

Why did you want to start this “adult internship” program?

angela belford

Angela Belford

I met so many women that had made the right decision for their family to stay at home and then 10 years later were struggling to regain their career.  Often their self-doubt plagued their ability to see what tremendous value they could bring to a business. So I want this to give them on-the-job training, relevant work experience in a supportive environment to also nurture their self-esteem.

Part of this program I hope to educate businesses on the benefits of hiring moms with school aged children.  I know moms that need money and will work very hard if someone will give them some flexibility to still be homeroom mom, stay home when the kids are sick and work form 9-3.  Often my clients will ask me if I know someone and I’ll tell them that they don’t need a full time person, they should consider a stay at home mom.  One of my clients has a mom that works 2 days a week as a bookkeeper and I swear she gets enough work done for a full time person because she’s super focused and knows she has to get all her work done.  She’s very thankful for the flexibility.

Who is a good candidate for this program?

Stay at home moms with school aged children or someone in a job that they hate but they do because they don’t fill skilled to change careers.  Besides circumstances, we are looking for detail-oriented people that like to get tasks done.  While it’s a supportive environment, we are still a business, so we have work to do.

What about empty nest moms?

Absolutely. For that end of the spectrum, I’ve met a lot of women that find themselves 40-something+ single again, sometimes not by their own choice. I want to give them an opportunity to create a life for themselves.

My current web developer was a stay at home mom for 25 years. Then she was my client who I built her website and she taught herself a lot about managing an eCommerce business. Then I started paying her to train other clients on the eCommerce software. Finally I just hired her. She works in Conway and is a critical member of our team.  She’s so thankful for the opportunity and more important LOVES her job.

What kind of on-the-job training can adult interns expect?

We will be focusing primarily on web – content writing, learning about Internet marketing, customer service, and social media management.  We hope to partner with client sites where they can get an additional few months of work in a client environment to further their skills and maybe get them placed.

How might this help in a future job search?

Recent relevant job experience, great references plus networking. I know a lot of people in NWA, if I can speak confidently about someone’s skills and abilities and help them find a position that fits, then it’s a win-win.

How many interns will you accept?

This first round it will only be 3-4 while we work out the kinks.  There’s already discussion of how we can open this up beyond NWA to remote workers.

Is the internship paid?

Yes, it will start at $10/hour.

Are the hours flexible?

Yes, we are looking for moms, so we know we have to have flexibility.  It will be 15-20 hours per week, we’re thinking during school hours.

When does the first group of interns start?

September 14

How can women apply?

CLICK HERE to fill out an online application.

Northwest Arkansas kids scare their mamas with these ‘daring acts’

daring acts

In a recent giveaway we asked Northwest Arkansas mamas to tell us about a note-worthy “daring act” one of their kids has ever performed — unintentionally or not.

In case you missed those priceless comments, here are a few of them:

Jessica: My son Zach, who is 8, loves to give me daily heart attacks with his aggressive playing. He just recently had his 3rd surgery on his nose-literally this past Friday. He has since taken several shots to the face with a soccer ball during his soccer games and recess the past two days. He climbs on any and everything and jumps off everything.

I love him with all my heart but I always say he’s going to give me a heart attack with his stunts.

Lauren: My 18 month old likes to climb up on top of furniture and yell when she can’t get down.

Carrie: My son loves to roll down our “very steep” and curvy driveway on his trike as fast as he can go and drift just as he hits the sidewalk so as not to go into the street. Scary, though I must admit he’s gotten pretty good at it and I love that smilish smirk he gives as he looks back at me fearlessly.

skateboardBrandi: When my daughter was just a toddler, she would climb on top of my dresser. It scared me to death! I ended up putting her in gymnastics – the safe way to climb lol!

Andrea: Roller coasters! My kids love ANY roller coaster they can get on!

Amy: My little girl is always riding her bike down our very steep driveway. She goes so fast it terrifies me! She hasn’t had a wreck yet thank goodness!

Jessica: My youngest is the more coordinated one, when he was about 14 months old I left the room for 30 seconds and when I came back I caught him balancing on the arm of the couch. Little stinker gets excited by physical challenges. He now proudly proclaims “Did it” after doing something challenging.

Debbie: When my son was 6, I bought him a 3 wheeled green machine to ride down the street. Well , he decides he wants to see 3 wheels make 2 and tries to hit the side of every driveway so he can ride the thing sideways on 2 wheels down the street. Thank goodness for helmets. Many scrapes later, he finally quit.

Alissa: My 1 year old decided to climb out of the bath tub by himself- and in the process knocked out one toothe and chipped three others

Sarah: My son is not much of a “dare devil” but he has always enjoyed riding scooters, skateboards, or anything else with wheels. We were visiting a friend and he decided to jump on his razor trikke and take of down the hill. Little did he know how fast those things went, nor did I….He got to the bottom of the hill and really bit the dust. Knees and elbows were flying end over end. He had a few bruises and scrapes but he still loves to tell that story.

home aloneLaura: We had a 2nd floor balcony that overlooked our den.. My children would hang by rope and act out stunts from the movie “Home Alone” when the babysitter was there!!

Angela: My 2 yr old decided it was a good idea to dive off the back of the couch like he does in the pool atraight into the tile floor! A trip to the doctor for the huge knot on his head and to check for a concussion happened. If I was superwoman maybe my dive to catch him would have been quicker from the kitchen but it wasn’t : ( no real damage was done though just a knot on the head. Boys!

Melanie: When my son was about 3, he was jumping on the bed and went flying. He hit his head on the side table and busted it open. Luckily it was just inside the hairline and we got away without stitches.

Legend: At the age of 2 my mom and dad decided to through a supper bowl party but before anyone showed up i decided to bite the tube of eye drops and they were my brothers and so instead of having fun at the party we spent the whole day at the hospital hooked up to a heart monitor

Kristy: My son, of course, at the age of 1.5 didn’t know this was a daring act … However it almost gave me a heart attack. I had just taken him out of his bath and went to the laundry room to get fresh towels out of the dryer. He stayed in the bathroom and got into all of the drawers. He found my husband’s beard trimming scissors and was walking around with them saying “choppy choppy” and came towards me. He was SOOOOO CLOOOOOSE to chopping his jewels off that I almost cried. I slowly walked toward him and said, “Those are VERRRRRY DANGEROUS. Not a good choice.” All the while trying not to cry. All I could think of was a little man part being chopped off and us running to the emergency room and trying to explain that!

Carmen: A homemade zip line in the backyard!

Kim: My daughter did a zip line several years ago when she was probably around 7 years old. I was so impressed because this is not her personality at all!

Erin: On a hike on the war eagle trail at Withrow Springs I was taking a picture. When I turned around one of my twins was sitting on the edge of the cliff just enjoying the view. Scared me to death!

glass jarMarian: Well I didn’t think it was dangerous at the time, but I gave my 9 year old daughter a glass jar to catch fireflies. She tripped going down some brick steps and fell on the glass jar with her hand. She required Sixteen stitches 4 that were internal. Yes that made my heart skip a beat. Not so big on glass anymore.

Angela: My oldest thought it was a good idea to tie a rope to his bike and the other end to his little brother on his skateboard and pulling him through the neighborhood.

Rory: My 11 month old sometimes forgets she can’t walk. She will let go of whatever she’s holding onto and try to take a step and just fall right on her face. But she tries it again the next day. Perhaps this is her “fake it till you make it” approach to walking ?!

Dez: Just before vacation last summer my son was riding his bike and decided to jump or get over the curb. He ended up falling and breaking both wrists before heading to the beach.

Thanks for sharing your scary stories, mamas! We hope everyone is having a safe week so far :)

The Sales Tax Holiday is this weekend!

Tax-Free-Art

The Sales Tax Holiday in Arkansas is this weekend, Aug. 1-2. Time to save money!

Tax-free weekend a great time to buy back-to-school clothes, shoes and school supplies because you don’t have the added expense of sales tax. CLICK HERE to read more about this annual “holiday”.

One of the best places to hit for back-to-school supplies is the Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville, one of our awesome sponsors here at nwaMotherlode. Not only can you save money this weekend, but the mall is celebrating the sales tax holiday by giving away FIVE iPad Air tablets. Customers will be able to register to win one at Center Court this weekend (must be 18+ to register).

CLICK HERE to read the official rules for winning one of the 5 iPad Air tablets.

While you’re shopping at the mall over the weekend, don’t forget to grab an apple for Project Apple Tree. Tax-free weekend is a good time for shoppers to choose an apple off the tree to help provide school supplies for a student at the NWA Children’s Shelter.

Apple tree