Saturday, May 11, 2013

Teaching Our Children About Manners

Those of you who homeschool children who previously attended school, be it private, public or charter schools, surely know what I have had going on in my home and life for the last 6 weeks+. That is right - deschooling. In this time period, I have gone from "just" being Mom to also being Teacher. I have discovered that my son has needed reminding of the manners that he was raised with. During our adjustment period, he has,at times, been rude to me or "forgotten" to be kind to others. So as part of his home education, we had a week long lesson on manners.

We sat down together and brain stormed about manners. We separated them into categories - "Actions Speak Louder Than Words", "Things I Can Do For Others", and "Things You Say or Don't Say". I am sure that you can see in the pictures that each category has a decent amount of manners listed in it. I was proud of Brandon for how many he could come up with. After we were done brainstorming, we checked out my Pinterest board entitled Teaching Manners for some inspiration to make the lists longer. Then we sat down together and discussed why manners are important. Using our manners shows respect and honor towards our parents and God (who created a Commandment that says Honor thy mother and father.). Using manners shows love towards his sister and shows kindness towards others. After we finished with the lists, I gave Brandon a book to read about manners and etiquette called Emily Post Talks With Teens About Manners and Etiquette by Elizabeth Post and Joan Coles. It is geared towards teenagers, but it fell in line with our family's view points - which tend to tilt older fashioned. (Probably due to us being raised by older parents ourselves.) Brandon's assignment was to read the book for 20 minutes a day for a week and then to write a book report about it that was 5 paragraphs long with each paragraph consisting of a minimum of 5 sentences.

We sat down again at the end of the week to discuss the book. He was actually pretty impressed with the book and rattled off many tidbits of information that he had learned (including when we went to for dinner the other night - he told us all about tipping our waitress and then even had a real life math lesson in decimals when he and Dad calculated what the tip amount should be.) We were grateful that he quickly began applying what he had learned. We still have him review the lists we made every so often (especially during moments when he has forgotten to use them), but overall, we have begun seeing an improvement in his manners since doing this.

I want to teach our children more than just how to read and write, how to figure out what x + y is, about American History and zoology. I want our children to grow up to be productive citizens, good, caring people who thinking of others and not just themselves, and to be people who know how to honor God and their parents.I want homeschooling to be about so much more than an education - I want it to be about values, honor, respect, and so much more.