Etiquette. Manners. Proper social behavior.
We all know how important etiquette is, but doesn’t it seem these days that many are lacking manners? As homeschoolers we do have a unique opportunity to raise children up academically. What about all those manners, though?
The Etiquette Factory is a fabulous resource for teaching manners to all ages. Created by a homeschooling mom, The Etiquette Factory is a 3-level approach to manners. From preschool playgrounds, to teen job interviews and every social situation in between, kids will learn etiquette and manners in a fun and non-threatening way.
Monica Irvine (a.k.a. Ms. Mary Manners) is a certified etiquette instructor with a desire to educate children in the art of etiquette. Honestly, did you even know one could even be a certified etiquette instructor? I certainly did not, so I was very eager to learn about Ms. Mary Manners and The Etiquette Factory.
Level One – Etiquette for BeginnersGeared towards children from preschool through 4th grade, Level One is a wonderful 12-week course that covers wide variety of manners including cleaning up rooms, table manners and minding what is spoken aloud. For kids, Etiquette for Beginners includes two 2-hour DVDs that encompass 12 weeks of lessons. For parents, the Teacher’s Manual coordinates clearly with the DVDs and provides a read-aloud story, singing, craft ideas and a food treat recipe all designed to reinforce the lessons from the DVDs.
A great addition to Etiquette for Beginners is the Etiquette Jukebox CD. Kids younger than 9 years old will love the catchy tunes with titles such as “Let’s use Manners” and “Kindness, Kindness.” Older kids will probably find the CD to be a bit corny. However if you do have younger kids, this CD would be awesome in the car for entertainment and to reinforce those manner lessons.
For teaching young children their table manners, another great item is the instructional placemat. Sold in a set of four placemats, these bright and colorful teaching tools are laminated and should withstand many table settings. The placemat contains helpful table manner hints such as “we don’t talk with food in our mouth” as well as handy diagrams for proper placements for all utensils, even the dessert spoon and fork.
Level Two – Etiquette IntermediateLevel Two is designed for ‘tweens and early teens, 4th grade and up. Etiquette Intermediate is filled with 127 daily lessons covering topics from “potty mouth” to “showing respect for a lady.” Designed to meet those ‘tweens right where they are, the Level Two book has a completely different feel to it than Level One. Gone are the beginner songs, read-aloud stories about Alligator Earl and lessons about sharing toys. Instead, each lesson in Level Two is short and concise but still packed with helpful instructions. For example, on Day 50 the discussion topic is “what happens when you’re offered food at a party that you simply do not like?”. After discussing proper behavior, the creative follow-up activity is a fun role-playing game where kids and parents can practice declining the offending food politely.
Level Three – Etiquette MastersDesigned for teens, Etiquette Masters is the Level Three book from The Etiquette Factory. This book is the shortest of the three levels with just 36 pages. Etiquette Masters differs from the first two levels in that this book is written directly to teens. Lessons are designed for teens to read and implement on their own, without much parental involvement at all. Topics covered in this level include proper etiquette while job hunting and dating etiquette. And let me give a special mention to the awesome advice in the chapter titled “Cell phone etiquette and social networking”!
Proper manners and behaviors are life-long social skills learned at age-appropriate times. Let The Etiquette Factory help you teach etiquette to your children. In general, these daily etiquette lessons should take no more than 15 minutes. Products can be purchased separately or in convenient combo packs on the Etiquette Factory website at www.theetiquettefactory.com . Level Two and Level Three are both fabulous stand-alone resources for the appropriate ages. However, if your kids are young enough for Level One, I would definitely recommend the Etiquette for Beginners Combo package because it does contain the CD as well as the instructional placemats.
I received these products complimentary from The Etiquette Factory in exchange for an honest review, but the opinion is all mine.