Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Etiquette - A to Z April Challenge

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that we can cover some things that may not typically be covered in an elementary-school classroom. One subject that we enjoyed learning about is etiquette. 

There are many different images that show how to set a table and what each item is for when looking at a formal place setting. The image that I used with Sophia and Olivia came from this pin which led to The Daily Truffle

Here are some closer images to show what the words say about each section of the place setting. This one is about the glasses and how to propose a toast:

We don't have the variety of glasses that is shown in the picture. We simply have a water glass for each person as well as a tea or coffee cup and saucer.

Sophia using her water glass.
Each person also had a tea/coffee cup and saucer.
The girls filled the cups with milk for our lunch.

The image below explains the salt and pepper; cutlery; napkin; plates; and place card:

This one focuses on some of the same parts of the place setting as above as well as includes the knives and spoon:


We took the china plates and tea cups; silverware; napkins; and glasses out so the girls could set a table for lunch. We weren't having a formal lunch...just the dishes were not the typical ones that we use every day.

The table before it is set by Sophia and Olivia.

We referenced the picture that shows how a table should be set. We don't have all the components of a formal table nor the extensive silverware collection (just two forks, a knife, and spoon per person plus serving utensils). 

Olivia ready to eat. 
She learned the proper placement of silverware,
what each piece of cutlery is used for during the meal,
and how to notify the waitstaff in a restaurant 
that she is through eating.


Another aspect of etiquette is knowing one's manners. There was list of 25 Manners that Every Child Should Know by Age 9 on Shine that I reviewed with Sophia and Olivia. These were reminders for the girls - not new information. However, reminders about good manners is always appropriate:

1. When asking for something, say "Please."

2. When receiving something, say "Thank you."

3. Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.

4. If you do need to get somebody's attention right away, the phrase "excuse me" is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.

5. When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.

6. The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.

7. Do not comment on other people's physical characteristics unless, of course, it's to compliment them, which is always welcome.

8. When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.

9. When you have spent time at your friend's house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.

10. Knock on closed doors -- and wait to see if there's a response -- before entering.

11. When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.

12. Be appreciative and say "thank you" for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.

13. Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.

14. Don't call people mean names.

15. Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.

16. Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.

17. If you bump into somebody, immediately say "Excuse me."

18. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don't pick your nose in public.

19. As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.

20. If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say "yes," do so -- you may learn something new.

21. When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.

22. When someone helps you, say "thank you." That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!

23. Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.

24. Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.

25. Don't reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.

During the meal, the girls passed items rather than reaching for them;
and placed a napkin on their laps.


We also reviewed a few tips from Southern Traditions to Keep Alive that I saw on this pin on Pinterest.

- Write thank you notes.
- Say Sir and Ma'am.
- Give a stranger a helping hand.
- Set the table with real cloth napkins.

Sophia with a cloth napkin 
at her place setting.


There are so many wonderful resources about etiquette in the library and on the internet. This is definitely a subject we'll revisit again.


J Keith said...

Very useful information that they most certainly do not teach in schools. The please and thank you and covering your mouth when you sneeze yes, table manners, no.

Sandy Campbell said...

Great post. I am certain your children will benefit from your teachings because they are not going to learn it in school. In this day and age, public schools are a waste of time and money. Private, home schooling or charter schooling. Great post, and enjoyed the pictures!

Whole Foods Living said...

Fun post! Proper table settings are such a lost art! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living,