MARQUETTE - As the remaining days in August fall off the calendar children and their parents now turn their attention to the start of school.
It is often a time of anticipation and apprehension for everyone involved but the back-to-school transition can be made easier with preparation.
Linda Marshall, of Negaunee, is the mother of four boys - Deklan, 11, Corbin, 8, Brodie, 3, and Archer, 21 months. Deklan will be going into sixth grade and Corbin will be going into third grade. Linda said she and her husband are considering preschool for Brodie but have not made a final decision yet.
Corbin Marshall, 8, on left, and Deklan Marshall, 11, write in their journals. (Journal photo by Christopher Diem)
Linda shops for new school clothes all summer long, hitting clearance sales whenever they occur.
"The older boys are getting to the age where they want the brand-name clothes and I find if I do it all summer long I can hit the little sales here and there and get things on clearance," she said.
Although she tries to shop locally as much as she can, Linda also takes advantage of low prices by shopping online for shoes and clothing at sites like www.axlscloset.com, www.amazon.com and www.6pm.com.
In addition, the Marshalls recently went school supply shopping. Corbin's school provided a list of materials he will need for the upcoming year, Linda said. Deklan's school didn't have a list so they bought the same items as last year - pencils, highlighters, notebooks and other basic school supplies.
Linda said Deklan has a severe allergy so they put together allergy kits for him. One is kept at school and the other he carries with him. He luges in the winter so the family is also looking for new snow pants and a winter jacket.
Starting in August, the Marshall kids write in a journal every day so they can get used to working in a classroom setting and practice their penmanship.
"They get a question every day and they have to write me five complete sentences," Linda said.
They are also encouraged to read a book in August.
"We choose that together. They choose something that has a corresponding movie like "Harry Potter." They read the book and then we watch the movie together as kind of a reward for reading the book. Corbin is reading "Gnomeo and Juliet." And Deklan is starting an autobiography on Roald Dahl who is one of our favorite authors, so we can watch any Roald Dahl movie when he's done with his book," Linda said.
Deklan, who said one of his favorite subjects was science, said he was excited to be able to see his friends every day.
"I like the summer better," he said. "But I wish there was a bigger break in the winter instead."
Corbin, who likes both math and science, said he enjoyed the fun activities at school.
"They're excited to see their friends," Linda said. "They're not excited about getting up in the morning and going to the bus stop and all that kind of stuff."
Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.