Mind Your P’s and Q’s: Top Manners You Should Model

children's national guild of courtesyAs a teacher, there are some behaviors I am more apt to tolerate than others. Fidgety? I understand, I’m the same way. Forgetful? That’s expected: we all have lots of things to remember. Unfinished assignments? As long as it isn’t an everyday ongoing occurrence, I can deal with. But bad manners? Impropriety of behavior is one thing I will not tolerate in my students. It’s a good thing I have only had three in my homeschool because ingraining proper manners and instilling sincere politeness in my boys has required consistent effort.

Because the most effective form of teaching manners is role modeling, teaching manners has required me to be on my best behavior,  especially when my boys were young. Little ones are always watching and they imitate what they see. Tutorials, books with colorful illustrations, acting, singing. it is good to combine all types of teaching techniques, but if you really want your children to be good mannered, be their example.

manners2 Manners1Manners don’t come naturally, so with a gentle and tender heart, teach them and show them.  Have your kids take a look at George Washington’s list of 110 virtues. remember my boys copying them by hand when they first learned to write,
emperorNumber 7 is a good one: Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.

Number 55 not so much: Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.

No matter how full your school days are, don’t skimp on Manners 101. You can be sure the good manners you  instill in your children will serve them well throughout life.
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Why Homeschooling?

Why Homeschooling?

From Pam Dolan of TheDay.com

Why am I planning to homeschool our kids?
This question keeps coming up. It’s a fair question, but I still do not have a fixed and ready answer. You’d think that after all these months of thinking and researching that I would have come up with a workable response, but the question still stops me cold.
It seems like the kind of question I will be much better equipped to answer five or ten years from now. It’s not that I’m waffling on this decision. I am thrilled to pieces by the notion of learning along with the kids for the next several years. It absolutely feels like the right thing to do.
But why? Read more…

9-Year-Old Rides the Subway Alone

9-Year-Old Rides the Subway Alone

I can remember being sent on errands by myself when I was 6 years old. I often worry our own kids (and everyone else in their generation) might be a bit too sheltered. This story may help you try a little independence.

I left my 9-year-old at Bloomingdale’s (the original one) a couple weeks ago. Last seen, he was in first floor handbags as I sashayed out the door.
Bye-bye! Have fun!
And he did. He came home on the subway and bus by himself.
Was I worried? Yes, a tinge. But it didn’t strike me as that daring, either. Isn’t New York as safe now as it was in 1963? It’s not like we’re living in downtown Baghdad.
Anyway, for weeks my boy had been begging for me to please leave him somewhere, anywhere, and let him try to figure out how to get home on his own. Read more…

Inoculate Children Against Advertising

Inoculate Children Against Advertising

Get Rich Slowly has a great post about how advertising could influence children more than parents and how to keep them out of that trap.

Shortly after we saw how easily we had been replaced as the value-shapers in our home, we also began to notice just how much allure commercials held for our children. And as soon as we began to hear choruses of, “Can we buy this?” and “We need to have that!” from the lips of our twins, we realized we needed to act. Read more…