Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beyond Excuse Me and Thank You

Everyone is always so worried about the issues of Homeschoolers and Socialization!  That is usually one of the first questions that I am asked, "How worried are you about your children being socialized?"  

Well to be honest, I am not worried about socialization.  Seriously.....we are not a stay at home all the time family.  Most of the kids are out and about at least 4-5 days a week in various clubs and sports.  The trouble is, that even though a child is out and about with kids, are they really learning what they need to be?  All of our kids have been in public school at some point in their young educational careers, and let me say that they have brought home some pretty horrible habits and language.  So just being in school is not the answer.  More is required than just children being around other kids their age.

So what is a parent to do??  There are several preschool book series, but at some point your kids are going to look at you and ask where your sanity is for making them read "little" kid books.  And constant reminders is really kind of like nagging the kids all the time, and my kids don't like to be reminded in front of

Patch Products gave us the wonderful opportunity to try out a new game they have added to their family by etiquette expert Aimee Symington.........

Blunders ($24.95) is a fun way to teach children good behaviors in situations that they face in sometimes daily situations.  Everyone has a hard time trying to remember what to do at times.  The only thing that has more rules to remember than the English language is daily etiquette.  

Kids don’t always remember the polite way to respond in situations. The Blunder family is no exception─they are known for their rude behavior. But Billy, Brenda, Bobby and Becky Blunder want to learn manners so they will be invited to the Mannerlys’ Annual Pool Party Extravaganza! Good manners will also help them make more friends, do better in school and develop self confidence. Follow them on their manners adventure, moving along the path, reading fun scenarios and answering important manner questions to be the first one invited to the pool party! 
For 2 to 4 players or teams
Ages 5 & Up

Learn About and Practice:
• Table Manners
• Host and Guest Skills
• Confident Introductions
• Respect and Kindness
• Telephone Manners
• School Etiquette
• Electronic Etiquette
• Honesty and Responsibility

Developed to support the national curriculum on character development.

How well did this work for our family.......

We have played this game several times, and Lydia has enjoyed it every time.  There are questions that just ask for true/false answers, some that require "what would you do" answers, some multiple choice, and some that ask that you act out how you would handle the situation.

Lydia is acting out a situation here about how she would thank a friends parents for letting her stay and play all afternoon at their home.

She was able to stand up in a non-stressful situation to remember what she needs to say.  And since we were at home I was able to remind her...hey don't forget to say thank you for lunch too.  This meant she was not embarrassed by Mom helping her out.

Blunders has 3 sets of situation cards.  The cards represent social scenarios at home, when playing and dining.

 Basically you role the dice and answer the scenario for the color on the dice you rolled.  If you answer correctly, you move forward.
 We did have to provide reading assistance for Lydia and Caty, so factor that in when you are playing with younger children.
We have been able to include this in our schooling in several ways, including our studies with Five in a Row.  We recently played it several times as we read through the story of Madeline.

This game is great for our boys also.  Kids with autism already struggle in social situations, so being able to present them with situations in a comfortable setting can help them to get what they should do in mind prior to the incident happening to them in person.  Not that a child is going to remember what they "should" do every time.....but this is such a fun way for the kids to learn those much needed rules of etiquette.

This game has been a wonderful addition to our family, and the kids are really enjoying playing it.

But Aimee Symington also created these absolutely cool Manner Mats ($9.99).

This tear-off place mats encourage good manners with fun games, puzzles and other activities.  They are similar to the type of mats that you would find in a restaurant.  We received the Ages 6 and up version (there is also a preschool version available).    Lydia did struggle with these on her own, since she needed them read to her.  Instead of using them at the table, we included these in school boxes.  It was a great break up from her other schoolwork, and yet she was still learning.  I am going to order the younger version for Caty to use also.  Brayden enjoyed these mats also, but he really enjoys puzzle activities.  What a great way for an autistic child to learn manners....doing something he loves to do.

Here is a short video that Aimee Symington did about the Manner Mats that she created:

Patch Products has added these wonderful items to their already packed game line!!!  Patch Products is a family owned toy company that markets and manufactures games, toys and puzzles for all members of the family. Since 1985, Patch Products has been keeping us busy with games like Farkle and 5 Second Rule (these are two of our personal favorites).

Patch Products encourages the use of games as educational opportunities....and who better than a home educator to take advantage of "thinking outside the box".  They provide lesson plans that meet national requirements for both public school educators and homeschoolers for several of the games available in their family of games.

Our family already owns many titles from Patch Products and will continue to take advantage of all the wonderful educational opportunities and memorable times that we have had playing their games and using their products.  Be sure to check out all they have to offer!!!

Visit them on Facebook and spend hours going through their online store.

*****Disclaimer......I received Blunders and Manner Mats from Patch Products  free of charge for the sole purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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