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Is Protocol “Starched, Stuffy, and Stiff”?

Posted by Kate Deddens
Kate Deddens
Kate was born overseas, attending International Baccalaureate schools in Iran, I
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on Friday, 26 April 2013
in Articles

Classical Conversations Challenge communities organize a chaperoned Spring Formal Protocol event each year for their Challenge I-IV students. Students choose their dressy attire, eat together in an upscale setting, and may attend a cultural event (such as the theatre, opera, or symphony). Many communities have individualized Protocol training using Sandra Boswell’s book, Protocol Matters.


Spring Protocol allows students to practice proper etiquette for formal occasions. This trains them in the skills of participating in formal functions with ease. The children we are homeschooling will one day be leaders of their homes, churches, local organizations, and communities—and quite possibly, some will be leaders on a national and perhaps even international scale. Classical Conversations puts the highest value on equipping our students with the skills combined with the wisdom they will need to know God and to make Him known. To neglect to teach them the skills of formal events would be to overlook an important component of what they will, at some point and to some degree, require as adults leading their generation and those who will follow after them.


Protocol Elegance

Posted by Linda Tomkinson
Linda Tomkinson
Linda Tomkinson homeschooled her three children from grades K-12. Linda not only
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on Friday, 08 April 2011
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The March 25th "HMS Pinafore" performance at the Piedmont Opera marked my eleventh year of Protocol in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Although times, faces, and performances have changed over the years, the basic idea has not. Protocol is just that, "the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence, and etiquette" (dictionary.com).

I first eased into the event as a chaperone and then a few years later Leigh Bortins passed the hostess duties on to me. Leigh was a member of a local country club so our formal dinners started there with her comfort of familiarity. Later, I found a fine restaurant near the theatre for our four course meals. What I appreciate about the restaurant is the public atmosphere of elegance for our evening that will be translated for the future: Today, the focus may be the student's struggle with how to eat bruschetta gracefully while having a pleasant conversation at the same time; at some future tomorrow, the focus may move to a conversation of greater import, perhaps a prelude to a marriage proposal.

With the development of Protocol, the event moved beyond an experience of gathering for an evening in formal dress. Leigh added the pleasant and informative Protocol Matters by Sandra Boswell to the Classical Conversations Bookstore. It was very inspiring to be reminded that manners are purposeful kindnesses that are not necessarily intuitive, not needing to be stuffy, and can easily be demonstrated and practiced. My role grew to be more supportive and friendly, not only as a kind greeter but also as a guide for the evening's event from first contact by email, to delivering information, to the arrival on the doorstep, to gentle instruction during both the dinner and performance.

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