I am a fan of this book we are currently using: 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know.
It is to the point and humorous...two things I have found that young gentlemen appreciate.
You can read sample pages of this book at Amazon.com by following this link.
We go through a few items each week.
For example, last week was about the importance of saying Please and Thank you.
It helped the kids to learn why it is important and when it is needed.
(They already knew they were supposed to say it.)
I think grown ups take for granted that kids know to say thank you when someone tells them something random: like that they look like their grandfather. This explains to them that even if they do not think that is true, say thank you. The person may be referring to how their grandfather used to look or something about their smile..not necessarily the gray hair. Considering I have a few very logically minded boys, this is good information for them to have.
We also started what I call "Man Books" of things they need to learn to grow up to be Men.
They made lists in them a while back that included the following:
Drive a car
Figure out what kind of job I want
Have a cell phone (I am impressed at the opportunites they use to plug this one)
Become an animator
We use these notebooks for 2 things:
1. The boys take notes and write comics about they things were learn from The 50 Things book or situations that come up in every day life.
(Alex's page on "how to great someone" from a year ago. We went over this because Alex did not put down his book to greet his friend when he walked up. We talked about the importance of eye contact, making the person feel valued, how you would want to be treat, etc.)
2. The other thing we use this book for is for me to see what is important to them.
If I read that becoming an animator is important to David, then when we learn math or any other skill that may be needed for an animator I can make it feel relevant to David by putting it in those terms. An animator needs good penmanship for someone to be able to read their word bubbles. And animator needs computer skills for adding color to their drawings. Or, learning to read a map is important if you want to drive a car.
Of course, David has no desire to drive a car and is happy for me to tote him around forever. Knowing one's audience is key.
We deal with some social skills on a more basic level because of David's Asperger's Syndrome.
But I have found real value in discussing with the boys why we do things to make us more polite than just telling them to do it.