Kid’s Chores: For Character or For Money?

Kids Chores

Dear Homeschooler,

 

Do you make your kids do chores? Do you pay them? Do you have a chore chart?

I’ve seen many ways to do chore charts. The most recent one I’ve seen is using a bulletin board with chore items on it with the actual money attached: kid completes the chore and gets the money. In and of itself, I think this is a great idea; however, I was taken aback when I read some of the chores on the particular board I was looking at that could be performed for money, such as ‘make your bed’ and ‘help with dinner dishes.’ WHAAAAAT? I have to pay my child to take care of his possessions and be a contributing member of the family?

Chores For Character

As adults, there are ALWAYS  jobs that need to be done whose only reward is the completion of the job itself. I’m certainly not doing my kids’ laundry and making their beds after they move out! Their spouse shouldn’t be solely responsible either. I also don’t want my child to be the worker who doesn’t clean up after themselves in the break room or only does something for recognition. I want my children to be prepared to manage their household and go above and beyond, being helpful and selfless at school, at work, and in all other areas of life. Good habits start now!

There are responsibilities that I would expect from anyone, such as clearing your dishes, picking up after yourself, throwing your trash out, etc. Although kids still need to be reminded to do these things, I don’t put them on their chore chart because I want them to become automatic responses.

Chores For Money

Working for their money brings many life lessons our children can carry into the future:

  • It teaches them the value of money. And if they know the value of an item, they tend to appreciate it more (and take care of it better).
  • It teaches them how to manage money. For example, they can open a savings account.
  • It teaches them how to work towards a financial goal. For example, they can save their weekly earning to buy something big they’ve been wanting.
  • It fosters a sense of pride: “I earned this myself!”

Chore Chart

So, we have chores the kids do because they are a part of the family, AND chores they can do to earn money. We do chores both in the morning and again in the late afternoon. Once all “because-you-are-a-part-of-the-family” chores are done, they have an opportunity to do extra chores for money; however, they are not required to do them. Natural consequences of not working for money means you don’t have any money to buy that new Lego video game you really want. This also takes the responsibility off the parents and puts it on the child: You chose not to do your money chores, so because of your choices, you can’t buy your game today.

Below you will find our chore charts. Chores are separated into morning and evening chores, indicated by the sun and the moon. The money bag shows which chores can be done to earn money. You’ll notice spaces at the bottom for occasional/spontaneous money-earning chores like helping clean the garage.

chores_reader

 

Princess Super Kitty can’t read yet, so her chart has pictures on it:chores_pre reader

 

My kids love their charts. They complete them with a high level of independence and (most days 🙂 ) with a happy heart.

Rewarding Initiative

One more thing I would suggest is rewarding initiative. This is a new concept for me (as it relates to chores), and something I have just started exercising. In an effort to help my kids learn to be more independent (not just in the doing of the chores but the starting of chores), I am rewarding them — sometimes monetarily, sometimes in other ways–when I see them start their chore chart or clean up a mess without being told. I don’t do it every time because I don’t want them to expect it, but I want them to know taking initiative is a good trait to have now, and they will be rewarded in the work force later.

Free Downloads

Download both Chore Charts for free.

 

What do your chore charts look like? I would love to see them. Comment and attach pictures below.

Till Next Time,

Jennifer

 

13 Comments

  1. Pingback: Daily Routine & Weekly Chore Chart - Dear Homeschooler

  2. Pingback: Hearts for Home Blog Hop #86 ~ Chores and DIY - Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy

  3. My kids love their checkmark charts. They put a lot of creativity in putting them together. My daughter might make her chart look like a princess dress or a rainbow, and my son might make his look like the Titanic or an airplane. I like to use faze out approach. After they get a certain number of check marks, they get a small present. But after the action becomes a habit, I faze out the reward and expect them to do it just for a check mark. I love your colorful charts. I have never asked my kids to tidy up the back of the car, but it’s such a good idea. So, I will definitely borrow this idea from you! Thanks for sharing @LearningKidLinkup. I will be sharing and pinning.

    • I love how your kids can make their checklist/chart their own. It’s fun and gives them a sense of pride in their work (artistic and physical) 🙂 I am also a huge proponent of ‘fading prompts.’ I think it’s necessary to increase independence and build character. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Jennifer, I love your charts!I will definitely do something like this with my boys when they get a little older. I personally started paying my daughter (10 yrs old) when she completes all of her responsibilities. She has morning, afternoon(homeschool), and evening activities that need to get done. It’s not a lot of money, but we were having so many issues with motivating her to complete tasks. Now she does them without even asking for the money. This took a while, but now I think she understands that she needs to contribute because she’s part of the family not because we pay her. Thank you for linking up at Learning Kid Linky Party!

    • What a great example of building character! Sometimes, we need to help motivate those good traits, but the goal is that they become habits. Thanks for sharing!

  5. We tend to be a “for character” family, but by the same token, if the kids need a little change for something, we help out.

  6. thanks for sharing….I dont have my whole plan into action yet…so I am studying everyone elses. Thanks for sharing!

    • There are definitely a lot of different ways help guide kids through thier chores. The important thing is to find the one that works for you and your kids. Glad mine could be of help.

  7. I love, love, love your chore charts! We do something similar, but I’ve never had a chart. We used a chore jar for the money tasks. I’ve also never assigned a day to the money chores. I really like that. Thanks!

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  8. I love, love, love your chore charts! We use a very similar system. I like incorporating the chore chart though. We’ve never had money chores assigned to a day. I like that. Thanks!

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    • I’m glad you like them. My kids will follow instructions to complete a chore, but they LOVE the charts, too. It also gives them a sense of independence.

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