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Chores, Charts and How To Begin

Chores, Charts and How To Begin

Who likes to do chores? Guess that is why they named the monotonous daily things we do around the house chores. My oldest daughter turns 7 this weekend and my husband and I decided it was time to get serious about chores. The girls have always had chores, but it was sorta here and there and nothing was really ever expected of them. If chores were done, praise was given; if they didn’t happen, then lots of arguments would occur.

The arguments were really our own fault. Sometimes we (husband and I) would over look things, and then other times, we wouldn’t. How are the kids suppose to know when we were getting tired of the mess? The other problem I see in this household is … well… um… the example we’ve set as parents. I’ll be honest. I am not the best housekeeper in the world. If you come to my house, you will probably find dishes in the sink, a load (or 6) in baskets, and stuff on every horizontal surface there is. I am aware that this needs to stop. But to make it actually happen, I need to enlist the help of the WHOLE family.

My Plan

Allowances and Chore charts. I started researching chores and people’s family systems about a month ago. (Yes, I know I am a geek.) I love reading other mom’s blogs. I am following one right now that plans on teaching me how to not add an additional stitch to every row I crochet so that I can actually make a square versus a wedge. But yet again, I digress. BACK ON TOPIC: I have a 3 year old (Becca) and practically a 7 year old (Martha). It is totally time (well over due if you ask me) to start proper chores. I found this website and I liked her system. It has a system for older kids and younger kids, and it didn’t involve a lot of extra stuff that other systems did. (Believe me some of them get quite expansive. But what ever works for your family, I say RUN WITH IT and don’t look back!)

So lets look at Becca’s first:

Becca's (Age 3) Chore Chart

There are 4 columns: Morning Chores, Afternoon Chores, To Earn Chores, and Today I Earned. I deviated from the above link because she doesn’t pay her kids for the morning and afternoon chores. Dave and I decided we would. Becca will be getting a dime for completing both of those chore sets. If she would like to earn more money for that day, she can complete an extra set of chores listed in the “To Earn” Column. At the end of the day, we will calculate up what she has earned, and place it in the “Today I Earned” Column. She will receive an extra dime for each chore she completes in the “To Earn” Column. There is a catch though. She has to complete ALL the chores in the “Morning” and “Afternoon” Column before she will get paid for her “To Earn” chores. If she doesn’t complete one of the “Morning” or “Afternoon” Chores and she completes the “To Earn” Chores, well sorry charlie, she will receive NO MONEY for that day.

The pictures I got from 2 different websites: and

I am sure there are others out there, but that is what worked for me. I also redid the Preschool chart from homeschoolcreations because I wanted all the days on one sheet. I am going to print them off on colorful card stock and then run to Staples to get them laminated. At that point, you can use a sharpie or a dry erase marker to sign off the chore was done. I plan to use a sharpie as it will need nail polish remover to come off and won’t accidentally be removed.

Martha's (Age 7) Chore Chart

Martha’s chore chart is much the same, only it uses words instead of pictures. Martha is given much bigger daily tasks in some cases but she also gets a quarter for her “Morning” and “Afternoon” chores. She will also have the opportunity to earn an additional 75 cents if she completes her “To Earn” chores.

See Also
teen holding Halloween pumpkins

Saturday evenings are going to be our paydays. I have gotten three plastic containers for each girl. They say: Charity, Savings, and Spend. We would like to do 20%, 40% and 40% but we will see as that is going to require coins every week. The idea is, we want the girls to start thinking about their money and those three specific areas. Martha has asked about tithing at church with her own money. She normally throws a penny or a nickel or something in the collection plate. This will give her a spot to get money from for tithing. If she wants, she can also find a charity to support.

What do you do for chores with your children? How do you manage allowances? Is it just money that is freely given? Do they have to earn money? I am interested in hearing about how your family deals with this situation!

Photo used under Creative Commons from theloushe.


View Comments (5)
  • I have a small magnetic chart that’s similar to your system. I have a son, 5, and a daughter, 7. We have been working with them for quite awhile on ‘daily chores’ – these are chores that I expect them to do with no reward, such as taking their dishes to the sink/dishwasher when they’re done eating, bringing their dirty clothes to the laundry room, keeping their room tidy, and feeding our cats and dogs. They’ve been doing this for at least a year and a half – two years. Because we’ve been ‘working’ with them for this long, we rarely use the chart to track what they’re doing. However, I do have occasional ‘special’ chores such as stripping their bed, dusting, vacumming, that is above and beyond their typical responsibilities. These are the things they get an allowance for, BUT they have to do them with a happy spirit. Any attitude or arguing, and they still have to do it, but with no allowance. Anyway, that’s what works in our house. Good luck with your new system!

  • You might want to look at Flylady, it’s rather hokey but it works! I started umm… 30 years ago (sheesh)when it was slightly different and not online. BUT, the biggest thing was that “i” knew what needed to happen when and that helped the kids who like predictablility, mom isn’t just dreaming up stuff 🙂 For instance, “it’s Tuesday morning, time to clean the bedroom” and we all did age appropriate jobs. As they went to school, they still cleaned thier rooms on Tues, morn or eve, up to them.
    The other takeawawy was our “15 minute NEAT” …more like 5 min when they were younger. Set the timer and everyone run around and pickup etc until the buzzer went off. Hubby and I still do it. LOL amazing what a difference it can make.
    I didn’t tie $ exactly to chores, everybody helps around the house, you get some of the house $ cause you are part of the house and help keep it up. Extra money could be earned for extra stuff.
    Enjoy the kids, they’ll be gone all too soon! Taking their good habits with them, one hopes 😉

  • We have a single magnetic chore chart and the kids would just rearrange the magnets and move the chores around and it was just more hassle than it was a help. And no accountability.

    They have chores they have to do without getting paid for. But my kids also want there own money. I feel that “earning” there money is better than just giving money. So an accountability chore system was necessary.

    I am also hoping this will help with the day to day organization of the house. They will start taking ownership of there own items. And since they “know” where they go versus “Mom” deciding where they go, they will have an easier time keeping stuff picked up.

    I tried Fly Lady, but she just wasn’t my cup of tea. But it is a great organizational tool for some ladies. I just always felt like I was behind.

    Love to hear more of your ideas!

  • I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old. They have a few simple chores. Set the table, remove their own plates etc when they are done eating, make their own beds in the morning. We have just started asking the 7 year old to wash and dry a load of his clothing weekly, with supervision. They are always expected to pitch in when we have a big job to do, bringing groceries in from the car, picking blueberries from the bushes in the yard…

    I’ve found that it is helpful for us if I work to make the chore as easy for the children to do themselves as possible. For example, we keep dishes in a low drawer in the kitchen so that the children can get them out by themselves. We only keep one fleece blanket and one pillow on their beds so that it is easy for one small person to make the bed.

    I know it works well for other families but I don’t pay money for chores. My thinking is that if I pay my son to do his own laundry then that implies that doing his laundry is really my job and I’m paying him money to help me out.

  • Yeah we struggled with the whole allowance thing. And should it be tied to chores. My 7 year old wants her own money to buy things she would like. And I am not willing to just give an allowance just for being a kid. I want the girls to start learning that if you work hard you can earn your money. So if they only do the morning and afternoon chores, the 7 year old will only get a 1.50 a week, but she can earn up to 6 dollars a week if she does her extra chores.

    And there are still chores that she is required to do one way or another. Like clear your spot from the table when you are done from a meal. Clean the car out of all your stuff in the afternoons.

    And perhaps I am the only mom struggling to figure out a way for my kids to earn money. It is totally awesome to hear all the different ways your kids have to help around the house.

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