Etiquette part of long-term life skills series of classes

Published 11:17 am Monday, December 2, 2019

Proper etiquette for situations such as how to set a table and where to put everything may seem commonplace and self-explanatory to many, but these skills are not universal. This is something home-school parents are hoping to change.

Students gathered at Sweetsie Treatz early Wednesday afternoon to learn about proper etiquette revolving around Thanksgiving, including how to set a table and how to act when eating food. Not only are these skills not universal, Jessica Blankenship said, but they are still very important to properly understand.

“You would think it would be common,” Blankenship, a senior Beta Club sponsor, said. “Because of today’s busy schedules, more people are eating with their families less.”

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Because of this fast-paced culture, she said, many families simply do not have the time to properly spend time with one another, leaving children to not truly learn how proper dining room etiquette actually works. This is not due to the children being “uncultured” or anything; they simply do not have the time.

The class is week two of an ongoing series Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian Reece worked to organize. This series of classes will extend into the new year, teaching home-schooled children a variety of different skills, some seemingly trivial and some crucial to their future careers.

“There are so many people in our homeschool community with many different gifts and talents,” Reece said. “We really want our kids to be well-rounded.”

Last week, representatives from the Tennessee College of Applied Technology came to talk about trade jobs and their value compared to traditional college paths.

“Our goals are not strictly academic,” Reece said. “We really hope there is something for everyone.”

Blankenship said her class Wednesday focused on countering what she called a “me society,” and she taught etiquette as a way of making others more comfortable around you.

She also said Thanksgiving is a chance to help instill these values of putting others first, fitting for a holiday centered around giving thanks.

“Give your kids some responsibility, let them help,” she said. “It makes memories and gives them a sense of purpose.”

For the series of classes, each one will take place on Wednesdays at Sweetsie Treatz, located at 438 East Elk Ave.

“This will give them an opportunity to learn some things that will serve them in life,” Reece said.