~ Here is my story, told one 'Spunky' moment {and craft} at a time. ~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Guest Post by Tiffany - Chore System

I am very happy to have such a special treat for you today!  Tiffany, from Making the World Cuter {where one of the funnest link parties is!} is going to share her Chore System with us.  I know that this is not a "crafty" item, but for anyone with small, medium, or large children how to keep those children motivated tends to be a common topic!  I found her way of handling chores to be very clear, and a great way to set up a system to help your children "get-it".  Plus, making your very own magnet board and chore magnets can be very crafty indeed!


Hi everyone! My name is Tiffany and I blog over at Making the World Cuter, I would love to have you over!


Kimberlee asked me to share my Chore System with her readers, and I was happy to do so. Just know that it is super detailed, and a bit (lot) wordy! :)

Do you have a chore system that works well for your kids? Every summer I try something new, new incentives, new jobs, new fun charts. The kids are excited and willing for a little bit, but honestly it takes me longer to put it all together than the amount of time that it works.

I was at my friends house one day and I was asking her about how she handles chores, because she had a super simple white board and chore magnets up in her family dining area. I was intrigued, and decided to try and implement it on my own.

We have been doing it now for a couple months, and the kids are still excited and willing to help! This is the only thing that has worked for us, and the house has never been cleaner (without me stressing over it) and the kids feel like they are contributing and really have a roll in the family.

I thought I would share with you, just in case any of you are looking to do something this summer, or if you are having problems like I was keeping the kids (and you) motivated to stick with a program.

This is the money bucket-yes it revolves around money, but this has been SUPER helpful in teaching my kids about the value of money-since I have stopped buying them all extra treats and trinkets when we go to the store. If they want it, they have to buy it. If they want something bigger (like my son who wants the new Mario Galaxy game), they have to save for it. It has helped them realize that money doesn't come easy.We work with dimes, each chore is worth 10 cents. You can do whatever amount you want, we chose dimes for the ease of doing percentages-which my 6 year old is learning to work with.

We keep all the dimes in an old Crystal Light container-we just have one roll of dimes ($10) in there and then a list of each of the kids chores-so that we don't have to remember them.

Now here is the trick that makes this work...we go over jobs EVERY NIGHT! Right after the kids get ready for bed, we all sit around the table and pull out the bucket. Chad pulls out the container of dimes and hands each of the kids their chore money bags. These are just pencil pouches that we got at Wal-Mart for 97 cents a piece, that I wrote their names on with a Sharpie. They only get to see these at night, the rest of the time they stay in the money bucket up high.

This is their chore board, it's just a magnetic white board that I put on the side of our pantry. It is not in plain site of anyone who comes over, but the kids see it every time they walk into the kitchen from the school room or vice versa. I colored pictures and wrote the words for each job and then put them on 2x2 squares of construction paper. Each child has their own color. I covered them in clear contact paper and stuck a magnet on the back of each.  I don't remind them of their jobs during the day, and it takes a lot of the stress and yelling at them to get things done off of me. If they don't do their jobs, they don't get paid.

Here is a closer look at the chores the kids do. Each week, I switch clean the school room and clean the play hall with the two older kids, so they each have a week to do those rooms that get the messiest. These chores are for Bekah, my six year old. The older two each have 10 jobs for the opportunity to make $1 a day.These jobs are for Topher, my 4 year old. I had easier chores for both of the kids for the first month, and then realized how capable they really were. I also realized that Bekah didn't have a problem getting ready for bed, and the boys didn't have a problem taking a bath, so I took those off of their lists and updated with jobs that were actually jobs! So you may need to adjust as you go. These are the jobs for my almost 2 year old. I wanted to include him, he doesn't really understand why he gets money at the end of the day, but he LOVES it. He just has 4 jobs for now until he is a little older and can grasp what we are doing a little better. Now on Saturdays, we just do family jobs, no allowance on these days-but we usually do something fun as a family-whether it be a movie, a trip for frozen yogurt, playing at the park, or just playing a game together.  This is also the day that we divide out the money.
First each child has an envelope with their name on it, 10% of their earnings go to charity, in our case we pay 10% tithing to our church. The older kids have learned that for every 10 dimes, one goes into the envelope. Bekah has learned ten percents easily this way-and knows that if she makes $4.20 that week that 42 cents goes to tithing. See a learning opportunity! :)
Next we take 20% of their total earnings and put it in their savings jars. These are to be used for college or missions for our church-nothing else. So they only see the money go in and get fuller each week. We are teaching them 20%, by doubling what they give to tithing. Bekah is great at adding, but this gives her a little bit of a challenge-so it's fun for her. These are just peanut butter jars with scrapbook paper, stickers and a cardboard letter on top for each kid. Simple and cute.

Finally, all the money left over goes into their spending pouches...just some more 97 cent pencil pouches from Wal-Mart. If we ever go somewhere where they might want to spend money, they can just take their pouches. I keep all the receipts in these as well, so they can see how much they spent-and how much they could have had, if they hadn't spent money on donuts, or a silly dollar store toy that breaks the same day. I think this will help, especially Bekah right now, realize that sometimes it's best to save rather than spend and get something really worth while.
When we divide out the money, as you can see we don't divvy out the dimes. We do this for two reasons. First to teach the kids how to count all the different coins and bills into the right amounts, and secondly, so that we don't have to keep stock piles of dimes. We just use the same dimes every week. 

Some chores need to be done, mostly because I'm a freak about having the rooms cleaned up before bed. Rather than yelling at the kids to get it done, or have to keep reminding them, if they don't get it done, I will do it. Then they don't get paid for the job, and they have to pay me the dime they would have gotten. They have figured out pretty darn quick that that means they lose 20 cents instead of just 10. They don't like to have to pay me.

Doing the money every night is key. The kids are good about reminding us, but sometimes it's hard to take the time. It is worth it though! It keeps the kids motivated, and that is what it is all about.


Thank you Tiffany for sharing!

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I am a fun loving mom of two, that fits in reading a book whenever possible! Come see what I am reading and what free eBooks I have found to share with you! ~Kimberlee
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