Monday, February 2, 2015

Manners Italiano!

Around Christmas I posted a picture on Facebook about an upcoming Italian Dinner happening at my house for 20+ kiddos.  I got a lot of questions about it so I thought I would take a moment to tell you about some awesome opportunities I have had recently with two special groups of homeschoolers.

When exploring class ideas a year and a half ago for the local homeschool group we are involved in, a few of us brainstormed a class for young men to get them exposed to Christian men in the community.  What resulted (and I became in charge of) was Men Mentoring Minors (MMM).  For each of our 7 meetings, I provided the opportunity for our junior and senior high boys to meet with a Christian man in our community for an hour.  During that time we asked that the men discuss with the boys-

-Their testimony
-What they did for a living
-How their faith affected their job
-How they decided on a career
-And anything else they wanted to share about their lives

In addition to leading some amazing discussions, many ended their time together with a great activity.  My boys have been on the college football field with our college head coach and the basketball court with the SDSU coach and a few players, learned about dairy farms and soil testing, done an obstacle course with Air Force cadets, shot with a retired army hero, and chatted with men who are everything from pastors to entrepreneurs.  Each one has had a wonderful story to share and opened new and exciting career possibilities to the boys.  It has been a blast for two years and one I pray will continue to be a blessing to this special group of boys.

This year, we added a new class for our high school aged girls, Growing Godly Girls (GGG).  The concept here was very much the same, but instead of taking them out into the local community, our goal was to have them exposed to a variety of moms in our own group.  Every other week was then reserved for a "book club" discussion on the book, It's Not That Complicated, in which moms and daughters alike participated.  The girls also learned self defense and Irish Dance and next year we hope to have a dad's panel.

And what does this all have to do with a fancy Italian Dinner, you ask?  Well, I decided to sneak in some good 'ole fashioned etiquette as well.  When we were stationed at the Air Force Academy, one of the things I loved was having cadets over for dinner and teaching etiquette.  While I am by no means an expert, it is something I feel is lacking in today's society and something I am passionate about.  Kids can't know what we do not teach them!

The first class was for our MMM and GGG classes only, which did leave out our middle school girls. That class was an hour with me and basic rules of etiquette-

-please and thank you
-show someone you are listening by looking at them when they talk
-opening doors for people
-when a man and a lady walk together, the man walks on the side that is closest to the traffic or street. (did you know that?)
-cell phone etiquette
-proper subjects of conversation in mixed company and more!

The second class was all about table manners and we added our middle school girls into the mix.  We talked about everything from silverware placement to passing the salt and pepper (together, of course!).

Then, to practice our skills, we had a fancy dinner.  Well, as fancy as we could get in the house we currently live in. None the less, it was fun!

Many of the girls came over early and set the tables, even down to place cards.  Adults fixed dinner and then served the kids, just like any nice, sit down restaurant.  They had salad first, then a choice of three entrĂ©es thanks to some amazing cooking mommas, and dessert.

After, of course, was game time.  These kids love to play games.  Well, Nerf too, but I have drawn the line with that one after being brave once.  Only once! ;)

Anyway, that's just a little of what we have been up to on the homeschooling front.  How about you?  If you have taken part in similar classes, we would love to hear about them.



My Joy-Filled Life


  1. Love the ideas! I have been brainstorming ideas for something I have also been calling Growing Godly Girls, though it's only in my head so far! I love the idea of meeting with a variety of moms to get the different perspectives and life stories. Great job, yet again, Michele!

    1. Thanks! Because this was our first year with the girls we took it a little slower. They seemed to like the book club weeks, but I also want to expose them to different things as well. Hope that next year we will continue to grow with ideas and activities mom's will do/teach them!

  2. I want to live in your house. This sounds so great!


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