Monday, January 16, 2012

Starting a New Chore System

So, I'm trying my hand at a new chore system for my children this week.  The truth is I've gotten kinda sloppy about my expectations for them.  And, they really do thrive on knowing what is expected & having goals to work toward.

I also knew I'd need something fairly simple with very little maintenance required on my part.  In all honesty, usually the reason chore systems fall by the wayside in our house is because of my own neglect.

  Plus, we haven't been paying our children any sort of regular allowance, but Dave Ramsey said something in the latest video we viewed at financial peace that made a lot of sense to me.  There are certain chores/ responsibilities that come with being part of the family that a child doesn't need to be paid for.  But, he also recommends having chores that can earn a child money because they look at money in a whole different way when they've had to earn it.

So, here's what I've come up with.  I've taken bits and pieces from various sources.

First are the regular/ daily chores (unpaid).  These include

  • Setting the table
  • Clearing the table
  • Pajamas under pillow & beds made
  • Dirty clothes in hamper
  • Feed/Water cat & dog
  • Unload lunch bags after school
  • Put away toys/etc. when finished
Next here are some of the chores a child could be assigned during the week that are paid.

  • Unload dishwasher
  • Clean room
  • Vacuum living room
  • Sweep kitchen
  • Clean toilet upstairs
  • Clean toilet downstairs
  • Empty small trashcans
  • Empty diaper trash
  • Empty kitchen trash
  • Clean living room
  • Clean computer room
  • Mop floor
  • Vacuum bedroom 
  • Load dishwasher/ Wash dishes
  • Gather/start load of laundry
  • Fold laundry
  • Put away laundry
  • Spray & Clean bathroom mirrors & sink
  • Sweep & Mop Bathroom Upstairs
  • Sweep & Mop Bathroom Downstairs
  • Wipe down chairs
As my boys get older & more responsible more chores will move into the regular/ expected chores.  

Here's the system I'm going to try to manage the chores

  • Each day I will clip a paper to the refrigerator for each boy.  On it I will write which of the pay chores I'd like them to do that day (2-5 chores depending on what needs done, if we have plans later that night, etc.).  Each boy is responsible for checking off each chore as it's completed (some may require mom inspection prior to checkoff).
  • Daily chores & Pay chores & Homework need to be completed by 7:00 that evening.  If they aren't, that child will lose their screen time for the following day or have mom choose one more chore to complete that night.  They still need to complete any unfinished tasks that evening.
  • On Saturdays, chores need to be completed by noon.
  • Each pay chore is worth 25 cents.  Each boy can earn up to $6.50 max per week.  If I do not assign enough pay chores for the boy to earn max amount but they wish to work toward that goal they may request more chores.
  • Payment is made on Saturday afternoons.  Children will bring me their chore sheets from the week (each day either saved on the magnetic fridge clip or perhaps in a jar for safekeeping).  Chores will be tallied.
  • Children will divide their payment into 3 categories (with help of mom & dad).  10% is for tithing/giving, 40% is for saving, & 50% is for spending.  (A child may choose to put more in tithing or saving if they'd like, but 50% is the max for spending.)
  • So, if a child earns their full commission/payment in a week of $6.50 it would break down as follows:   Tithe= 65 cents, Saving= $2.60, Spending =$3.25.
  • Children may spend their spending envelope as they choose such as bringing along to the grocery store to buy a special pack of gum or candy.  But, mom will no longer take special requests at the store. :)
Wish me luck.  I'm hoping this keeps the boys motivated & since it's mostly boy managed, that we can keep the system going.


  1. Awesome, Karen! I really loved Heidi's talk and want to get back into chore charts. Like you, I have trouble "keeping at it". But, I like that you give your boys most of the responsibility for keeping track. Thanks!

  2. That looks great, Karen. It looks similar to what I am doing with my boys, except I have more "unpaid" chores that they need to do. Probably the same amount on a daily basis, several are only "once a week" items. I bought a bag of "gems" at the dollar store, because my kids love them. They each have a small jar. Every time they do a paid chore, they get a gem in their jar. They can convert their gems into $ at the end of each week. We also have them divvy their money up into the 3 categories. What we have waffled on though is what they can use the savings for. Traditionally, savings go into the Belco bank account, which is starting to accumulate quite a good total. Jonathan wants to be able to use his savings for something like a DS or a TV (?!) Wes and I sort of were thinking Savings = College or something life altering, but we never clearly defined it. Now several hundred dollars into it (including Christmas and birthday gifts), we need to define it without totally angering the kids. What is your savings designated for?

  3. this is great. I am not very chore oriented as we never really did any growing up - our house was chaos! But now I would like the boys to learn a bit more household responsibility. i bought a dry erase board at costco today and plan on working with my 7 year old to create magnets that represent the different chores, and then we can move the magnets around to who does what on a weekly/daily basis. I hear what you are saying about your own commitment (or lack there of) to a system. that is my challenge too. also, as my husband and I have talked about ... we do behavior modification all day long with them (and as a teacher i do it all day at school too) so to behavior modify clearing the table or sweeping, when we could do it in 1/4 the time and 1/4 the battle does not always seem "worth it". but i know it would pay off in the end if we did have a system and since my kiddos are both super visual and movement type learners we will try out the magnets. we would like to give a regular allowance, but it never happens - i think partially because we rarely have cash around - the land of debit, credit, and on-line banking has reduced the amount of cash in our position on a daily basis. but we don't pay for any chores - the parents don't get paid so neither do the kids. they just an allowance because they do as part of being in the family. we will see how long we will stick to it.......... good luck!


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