Chores = Life Skills!

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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I've read books that go both ways...

One I've read gives a price paid for each chore (like 2 cents or 5 cents). Some of the chores are "free" - they don't pay for them. So a younger child might get paid for going to the bathroom first thing in the morning, an older child probably not. Also, if a chore doesn't pass inspection, they don't earn their money and they must redo the chore.

Another one I've read talks about doing chores because you're part of the family.

Our family... We just give the kids allowances. They also have chores they are expected to do, plus they are expected to do other things we ask them to do. If they don't do a chore correctly, they redo it.

The kids must tithe their allowance, but beyond that, we haven't directed much. They do usually save up for something and then spend it - we have taught them that (although, I'm not sure what the upper limit is on the number of Lego pieces that will fit in their bedroom). Our oldest does have a student savings account through our bank, but she had a bunch of birthday/Christmas money to set aside.

Maybe you can compromise - she gets a base rate ($1 a week or something) and then beyond that she can earn .02 or .05 a chore that passes inspection. If it doesn't pass, she still has to redo it, but doesn't get money for it.

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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by Poohbee »

We kind of do what Trish suggested at the end of her post. They have certain chores they are expected to do, and we've set a weekly rate they will be paid. They can earn extra money for going above and beyond the call of duty, at our discretion, and they can have money deducted from their weekly pay for complaining, poor attitude, fighting with each other, etc. There are times that they are asked to do extra chores and are not paid extra, because they are contributing members of this family, and they must help with the work, without receiving compensation. So, we've kind of worked in everything. It seems to be going well so far. We just started this a couple of weeks ago.

Another option for you is myjobchart dot com. You enter the jobs, your kids earn points for the jobs they do, and they can save, share (give), and spend their points (money). It's a neat thing. We tried that earlier this summer, and I really liked it. But, my kids kept forgetting to mark their chore charts on the computer each night. So, they were doing the work but not earning the points for it. So, we decided to go the allowance route instead. We are still working out the saving and giving aspect of it, but I definitely want my kids to learn the value of both saving and giving.
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Wendy B.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by Wendy B. »

We use Accountable Kids.

We have certain chores that are done because you are part of a family. We also have certain chores that can be done to earn money.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by gratitude »

Summary of what we do -

Chores they do without being paid: clear the table every meal, help in the kitchen with food preparation, brush teeth, make beds (although not enough - I need to work on this), get dressed when they first get out of bed (at their ages I still see this as a chore), help in the yard, pick up toys, and clean up messes after crafts & home schooling.

Chores they are paid for at the time that they do the job: Vacuum, dust, at the moment packing toys in boxes for moving, bathroom cleaning, extra yard work, floor sweeping, making an entire meal on their own for DH & I (breakfast or lunch), and floor cleaning.

We don't give out an allowance without having it tied to work. In order to have their own money they have to earn it through chores or the selling of an item. We have wanted them to associate the earning of money with having to work for it. They do also receive money from Grandma & Grandpa at Birthdays, and they do chores for me fairly regularly.

Giving Bank by Larry Burkett: I love love this bank. We have one for each child. It has a store, bank, and church. Larry Burkett suggested dividing the money into 3 parts at these ages. I used to be very exact about dividing it into 3. At this point I let my oldest 2 decide some, and it is fun to see where they put the money!

Sunday school jars: Our church has them earn their own money (for my children through chores) to earn money for wonderful causes each summer. I Love this program! It inspires my kids to ask for 'more' chores to do to earn money for their jars.

I guess that is it. For us we want them to do some work around the house without being asked as a part of our family. We also want them to have the opportunities to earn money from us so they can learn to manage money, give money, save money, & give money.

If you ever listen to David Hazel's CD in his Take My Life and let it be seminar he has a whole hour on money. I love his example of John Wesley (Marie does a beautiful job of reading a pretend interview with Mr. Wesley - the founder of the Methodist that one or both of them wrote) who choose to live on what he needed, 28 pounds, and continue to live on 28 pounds as he made more money. So as his money increased instead of increasing his standard of living he increased his giving. It is a marvelous story. They also have some great stories about their kids earning money in order to give it away. The CD has been wonderful inspiration for my own children. Between David and our Sunday school program I have been very touched at times by some of their ideas to earn money for others.

Last edited by gratitude on Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by meagabby »

Here's my 2cents...

How about paying(2,5,10cents) for jobs that you'd be doing even if you didn't have children. (folding laundry, sweeping, dusting, trash duty, etc)
and not paying for "their share", like keeping their room clean, helping with family dinnertime, brushing teeth, etc.

We don't currently have a plan in place, but when we've done it, our kids loved to add stickers to a chart and get paid on Sat night. It does require you following up with what you expect for each job and see if it was completed as well as letting them learn the consequence of whatever rules you set up.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

For a few years, my dd had a sticker chart (that I made in excel) on the back of her door. There were different catagories for each thing she needed to do each day. Seven columns for the days of the week. She was awarded her stickers every night at bedtime and on Saturday night, we counted them up and gave her a nickel for each sticker -- we started it when she was 5yo, so everything was in 5's. Then, we'd set aside 10% for her to take to church the next day and 10% went in her savings bank. The rest was spending money. She pretty much saved up her spending money, too, and it taught her how long it takes to save for a favorite toy. It's funny because we haven't used it since we moved over a year ago and I'm having a memory of her hollering, "Time for stickers!" after getting her pajamas on every night. :-)

Postby Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:17 am
adding one thing to my earlier post . . . my dd does not earn anything if her responsibilities (I personally don't use the word "chores") are not done with a happy attittude. If she complains about having to pick up the dog-doo, that doesn't get rewarded. If she cheerfully gets up and dressed and makes her bed, sets the table, etc., then she gets rewarded. We don't "pay" her for doing things that she's responsible for, we "reward" her for doing those things with a good attitude. Her sticker chart was always labeled "Reward Chart" and had Proverbs 11:18 printed out at the bottom.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by mamastading »

With our almost 5 year old, she has been expected to do chores for some time now. We do not pay her for chores-we see it as part of her contribution to the family. We did have a chore chart for awhile, now I just ask her to do chores that I see fit in the morning. I have learned to make a list if there are many chores I want her to do, and when I tell her "Just one more thing!" to actually have her do just ONE more thing. Otherwise she gets exasperated with mom being indecisive and constantly tacking on one last chore. She sorts laundry, folds towels, puts away her own laundry, empties the dishwasher (stacks the dishes she cant reach neatly on the counter), sweeps under our breakfast bar, is in charge of putting all the shoes in the closet for the whole family, empties small garbages, and of course cleaning her bedroom. Theres a few plants she waters at her height too. Oh and my favorite, restocks the toilet paper in all the bathrooms :) Again, we dont do ALL of these everyday. Somedays she may do five chores, somedays zero. Depends on what else is going on in our schedule.

She is not at an age yet where she cares about having money-so it has made it easy for us so far!!! My husband and I plan to pay her for additional projects or whatnot as she gets older and we see a need to have her earning money. When she gets birthday money, etc. she has been taught to tithe first, then she can pick out a toy with the remainder.

This is just what works for us!!
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by gorillamama »

alisoncooks wrote: So, may I ask what you do with your children? Do your children get allowances? How do you organize it all?
Dear alisoncooks,
As you have gotten a ton of responses so far (with the general consensus being - do what works for your family - sort of a theme in homeschooling, huh ;) ?), I just wanted to share the gorilla gang's perspective in hopes that it may help you see the wide variety of choices available that may help, along with all the other great posts.

We never gave an allowance.

We did chores without pay when there were only just a few things that they could do -match socks, pick up toys, etc.

We did "WORK for WEBKINZ" and "LABOR for LEGOs", were I kept a little notebook and as they did so many chores they got a sticker, and when they got a certain amount of stickers they got a webkin or a lego set. This worked well for me as I would buy these things on ebay or clearance at local stores for way less than store prices and would pass them out to kids or have them pick from Mama's store. Then we were just getting too many webkinz and too many legos, so this had to change.

We have provided pet supplies (treats, toys, bedding, etc.)for children's pets by having them do chores in exchange.

We currently have a system that combines unpaid (many things are included in this as we come from the camp that you have to do some things just because you are a part of the family) and paid chores (a lot of which come from mama working part time, homeschooling full time, and needing some help with keeping a clean house) and are paying the kids every 2 weeks in cash (when we get paid.)Kids then are responsible to tithe 10% but can give an offering in any amount in addition to their tithe. Then they must put something (no matter how small or big into saving and once in - it cannot be removed!) then the rest is spending $. The 2 oldest like this system the best. The 5 year old (almost 6) enjoys it for the most part - the almost 4 year old wants to be included but does not grasp the monetary lessons at all. For the organizing part of things, this took a lot of prayer, time and thought to process but has been well worth it. This whole area is not my specialty. I sought the Lord and His guidance through it all. If you decide to go with something like this, I would be glad to give "specifics" as to how we assign and work it all out via PM. But truly, no matter what you choose, you will need to customize to fit your family, as I am sure you already know... :-)

Hope this helps someone out there...
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by my3sons »

I only have a minute, but Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Jr is what we used. Combines the ideas of you help out because you are part of this family while giving the kids a chance to earn money and learn how to manage it ( give, save, spend). We love Dave's material here!
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by 1974girl »

I think it is one of Lisa Whelchel's books that you can pay your kid for dilegence. They had to do the chores regardless but if they were done by 10am (you pick time), then they got paid for their dilegence. So in other words, you can go them now and get paid or do them later and not. I know mfw is not big on doing chores in the morning so you could just make sure they are done by the time DH comes home.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by alisoncooks »

Thanks for all the feedback -- keep it coming, if anyone hasn't chimed in. I'd love to learn as much as possible from more "seasoned" moms!
Wendy B. wrote:We use Accountable Kids.
I really like the looks of this and am considering if it can be made on my own....or perhaps I'll invest the money and get the set, IDK....
Wendy B. wrote:We did our order through our homeschool group over a year ago and got a discount for ordering 20. The board and cards have held up quite well. I'm sure if you are creative enough that it could be made on your own.

I really like that it has eliminated the reminders from me about doing daily chores.
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Re: Children, allowance & chores, oh my!

Unread post by Lucy »


I was glad to hear someone had mentioned Dave Ramsey. My husband and I just completed Financial Peace University and he also addressed kids and allowances (My kids are older now and we have transitioned through many chore/allowance scenarios in our family through the years.) I really liked his main point--no allowance, because that is not the way the real world works. They did not give an allowance, but had their kids earn money (because none of us grow up and is given an allowance, we have to earn money). He says to start small. He also recommended as many have suggested in this thread to have some chores that they do because they are part of the family. I think you have some great feedback on ways to think about family chores and those you will have your children earn.

I would love to have had this simple thought to apply when my children were small. Now they work (for others). We still pay for larger jobs like washing the car, mowing the yard etc. but most everything else are family chores now. In reality we can not afford to pay our kids the going rate for too many chores now, LOL.

Young children also like immediate results for a job well done, so you may want to have a jar where you place the money each time throughout the week that a job is completed and money is earned. At the end of the week you can then divide the money up into the give/save/spend. This will prevent your brain from aching over splitting a quarter into 3 parts :).

Whatever you work out make it simple. If it is too complicated it will be hard to keep up with and to stick to it (yep, been there!).

Peace and wisdom for you and your husband as you work out a plan for this year:).

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