Skip to main content

Phone Manners

In English class, we've been learning about our telephone manners and what to say when people call. Perhaps I am the only parent deliberately teaching my child rudeness, but I'll share a bit about our homeschool experience anyway.

In the Bob Jones curriculum, a sample conversation would be the following:

JR: Hello. Ramirez residence. Juan speaking.

Mrs E: Oh, hello, Juan! This is Mrs. Edgington. May I speak to your mother?

JR: I'm sorry, Mrs. Edgington. Mother has gone to Australia, and Father to the United Kingdom. I'm afraid I'm all alone in the house with this large pile of money and several young infants I'm having trouble keeping a good eye on. Good thing everyone who calls our house is a Christian, or they might take some of them as well as the stock certificates in Father's upper-right desk drawer...

(Yes, I'm exaggerating. But only slightly.)

Mother has amended the curriculum so that it more closely resembles the following conversation:

JR: Hello. (No way my kid is telling the caller who we are. They know who we are because they're calling us. If they don't know us, and they're telemarketers, they'll ask for me under my maiden name because that's what I deliberately got phone service under. You don't think I'm just going to let ANYONE know who we REALLY are if I can help it, do you?? The children have been instructed to hang up on anyone asking for "Mr. or Mrs. B.")

Mrs. E.: Can I speak to your mother? (OK at this point, we know it's either a friend or a diabolical childnapper/burglar/telemarketer. We need to differentiate between the two categories.)

JR: Who is this, please?

Mrs. E.: Oh, it's Mrs. Edgington. I go to church with you guys.

JR: Sorry, Mrs. Edgington. She can't come to the phone right now, so can I take a message?

We want to be polite, but not stupid. Unfortunately, I've been placed in situations by telemarketers where I am forced to be extremely rude. I refuse to feel guilty about it when someone calls and asks for Mrs. B and I ask who they are... and they say, Is this Mrs. B?... and I tell them I'm not telling them who *I* am until they tell me who *they* are because they're calling *my* house... Oh, well, I need to speak to Mrs. B. ... Um, I can't tell you if you have the right number until you tell me who you are... and so on until one of us hangs up.

I just have the kids hang up on that sort of nonsense.

But I don't want them to be rude ordinarily.

The phone, I think, is a difficult tool to teach children to handle. I'd rather my children be a bit rude and maintain our family's safety than to be overly polite and risk Child Protective Services with "Mother's out" comments, or worse. Before we place a call, I will generally go over a "script" with them.

Yesterday we called Nana to thank her for hosting Flat Stanley. Things went well until the end of the conversation when Emperor, instead of the expected "goodbye," decided on the closing remark of, "I don't want to talk to you anymore. Here's Elf."

Sigh.

Comments

  1. Trying to get the right balance of being polite and safe must be quite difficult to teach.
    Sounds as though you have it well in hand though!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK. 

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series. 

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

 All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap! 

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.  

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D! 

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: