At our school the 5th grade has an experience. The cafeteria is transformed into a fine dining experience complete with parents who are waiters and waitresses, a 3 course meal and they dress really nicely. I will tell you that I believe this is an amazing idea.
Many of the children who attend my school are not from the best of backgrounds, I have several who are foster children and most of my kids here live in a neighborhood riddled with crime. For them school is the only place they are getting an education and having this experience is vital.
Because of privacy laws I did not take any pictures of my students for my blog but I did take photos of the cafeteria.
The students started by being escorted to a table, boy escorting a young lady on his arm. The boy then pulls out the chair for the young lady and seats himself. It was quite cute to see my 5th graders dressed up so nicely. They were first brought out bread in bread baskets followed by their choice of sweet tea (welcome to the South), lemonade or water. Next came out their salads followed by their main entree and lastly their deserts. My ladies and I are exhausted.
I started making my children learn manners very early on. Now that they either are or are approaching teenager status I sometimes wonder if their manners went out the window at their last birthday but then we go somewhere and they will surprise me by holding open the door for ladies or older folks, they will say excuse me, ask the correct way to pass something and shake hands with total strangers upon meeting them.
I just started making Nicholas order for himself. We are teaching him to read a menu, look at the person he is placing his order with and make sure to tell them thank you when they refill his drink, bring his food and when they pick up his plate.
Does your school do a program like this? At what age did you make your children order for themselves.