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Interview with June Moore, Creator of Manners Made Easy

Christianbook.com : There is a huge need for a book like this today. What prompted you to write this?

Mrs. Moore: My publisher Broadman and Holman put out this book because there is such a need for this. The publisher asked me to do something for homeschoolers and I had been teaching this for 20 years, small classes, adults and all ages; so when this came up I took my children’s material and put it into a workbook form and tested it out in a private Christian school here. Then I also taught it for older homeschool students. It worked out so well, it made my writing that much easier.

Christianbook.com: How do the kids respond to this class?

Mrs. Moore: Often they come to class you can see on their faces that mother made me do this. But once they get in there, every lesson has involvement in it, either role playing, dialogue, or something. Once they get into doing it, they enjoy it and it’s fun. Then they begin to realize they’ll need this, especially when they go to look for a job and think about dating. Those are my two ways I get the older children hooked to get their interest. The only way you can teach somebody is if they think they need it.

Christianbook.com: Why are manners so important to you and how did you get to be well mannered?

Mrs. Moore: I was not brought up in an affluent home. I am 61 years old and I learned a lot of this in school and at home, although it was not a tremendously formal home. We didn’t have five course dinners every evening. But we did have three meals a day, family style; and in my English classes at school I learned how to do introductions; and in Home Economics I learned about table manners. I recognized a need for this book when I saw my own sons in high school and college. Even being brought up in my home, there were still things they needed, so I got some of their friends together and that’s the way it started.

Christianbook.com: Could you give an example of how this all works in the classroom?

Mrs. Moore: I take two telephones and we go through a dialogue. They have to learn how to identify themselves, how to be polite, how to take messages. I teach them how to say my parent is not available, rather than saying my parent is in the shower, when they really are not at home, which is a lie. They really enjoy the telephone, and had a lot of fun with it. I did this with fourth and fifth graders, and then later with ninth and tenth grade homeschoolers, and even. I was a little bit leery at first that they would think this was somewhat juvenile, but they loved it! And the students in the class would correct them when they did something wrong. I make it real clear in my classes that they can correct each other in class and I can correct them in class but outside of class we never correct somebody because it might embarrass them.

Christianbook.com: How did you incorporate the relevant Bible passages to manners?

Mrs. Moore: I had a very enjoyable time doing the Bible studies, and I didn’t’ have any trouble finding corollaries in the Bible. When I first thought about the telephone chapter, I wondered how on earth am I going to tie a Bible Study in with this; but then I realized all we do on the telephone is talk. So I just used a Bible study that used verses about speech and what comes out of our mouth and how we’re going to be held accountable for every idle word and things like that. It was not hard.

Manners, you know, were really God’s idea at first, because he gave us the golden rule. And that is the basis for all good manners. Even business journals today will quote the golden rule, which kind of surprised me, and sometimes they don’t give the Bible credit. But I can go into schools and businesses and say “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”, and nobody complains. But that is really the basis for all of our interaction with other people. Socially, business-wise and every way.

In the Bible were the good examples. It’s very positive. I loved writing the one about Andrew going to get his brother Peter, and introducing Peter to Jesus. That was my favorite. I’ve done it in two different groups, and it’s worked really well.

Christianbook.com: How do you arrange for teaching this to homeschooled groups?

Mrs. Moore: The mothers want it bad enough that they organize it, and all I have to do is show up and teach. The last time I did it, they arranged the location and even cooked a formal meal! So it really has gone over well. Even some public school teachers are using it. Once they realize they don’t have to duplicate the Bible page, then they can use that book. I’m speaking next week to the Arkansas State Association of Reading Teachers, and they want me to tell them about my book. When I explain to them that this Bible section is self-contained, and that all the buff colored pages are perforated, so the teacher can just tear them out. She can order just one book and duplicate the duplicates the pages she wants to teach.

Christianbook.com: At what age do you suggest starting this course?

Mrs.Moore:I would suggest third grade, even though the book says 7-12. The problem with younger children is they can’t write, and there’s a lot of writing in this book. When I’m talking to 10th graders I teach them about job interviews and dating and things like that, and when I’m talking to children I talk about having friends and meeting new people at church. So a teacher would just gear it to whatever age group. In fact a lot of that material I use with adults, I just talk about it differently.

Christianbook.com: What is your goal in teaching this course?

Mrs.Moore: What I want the students to have after this course is confidence. Not arrogance, but confidence in who they are in the Lord, and that way they can then focus on the needs of another person and then not constantly be thinking about what they may be doing wrong.

Christianbook.com: What’s your favorite age to teach and why?

Mrs. Moore: My favorite is teenagers. When I taught school I taught high school. I do enjoy the children, but I enjoy teenagers the most. They are my favorite.
I taught French and English and the French helps with all the menu and table words, while the English helps with the writing. Then when my kids came along, I just did substituting, to keep my foot in the door. When I decided to write this book, I told the publisher, “I have to test this out in the school.” I teach children. So I would test it on the class and then come home and make adjustments as needed.

Christianbook.com: Is there a special message you have for those who will be teaching manners?

Mrs. Moore: Yes. I want to emphasize the difference between etiquette and manners.
Etiquette is a set of rules we put in our head. Manners are in our heart. Together they keep us from embarrassing people and ourselves. If you know the rules, you won’t embarrass yourself. And if you have manners in your heart, you won’t criticize and correct somebody else and embarrass them. It takes both of them.


 

 Books by Mrs. June Moore

Manners Made Easy for Teens: 10 Steps to a Life of Confidence, Poise, and Respect
Manners Made Easy for Teens: 10 Steps to a Life of Confidence, Poise, and Respect
June Hines Moore

You Can Raise a Well-Mannered Child
You Can Raise a Well-Mannered Child
June Hines Moore

The Etiquette Advantage: Rules for the Business Professional
The Etiquette Advantage: Rules for the Business Professional
June Hines Moore


 

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