Organizing a family: Chore Charts

Organizing Family Chore Charts
Organizing 5 kids

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We have been asked two questions, numerous times by people who learn we have five children.

  • “Don’t you have a t.v.?”
  • How do you manage all those kids?

Here are our answers.

  • For the first few years of our marriage, we did NOT have a television.  In fact, our first television – I wouldn’t have even considered a “real” television.  I remember being on bed rest with my third child, watching the winter Olympics and not being able to see the scores.   I remember laughing so hard my contractions would start.  Oh, fun memories.
  • We manage our children, one day at a time, under the influence of the Lord.  But, certain things do help us – like chore charts!

Explanation of our Chore Charts:

We have paid our children the last few years in commissions.  They do a series of certain chores – they get paid in commissions.  If they don’t do them – Mommy gets paid.  (There were 5 chores assigned to them according to age.)

For Mom – it is a win – win situation!

Keeping it real:

Lately however, the parents have become very lazy checking on the chores and have ended up paying them regardless of them getting done.  When parents get lazy – it causes more stress!

This past week, enough was enough and we made a revised Chore Chart.  We added 10 chores per child instead of the previous 5.  Already, it has caused LESS stress for Mommy!

They have to do their chores before breakfast and school starts at 9:00 sharp!

My eldest Princess cried last night “How can I get everything done?”  This morning she got up at 6:30 (on her own) and we thought she was ill.  When we asked her “Why are you up so early?” She stated, “I had a plan!”  She would normally get up at the crack of noon, if we let her.

For my 4 year old, the chores are really there to help him learn basic skills i.e. brushing teeth 2 times a day.  However, the pay helps him learn to save money to buy gum.  (His fave!)

Down below I have listed their chores:

12 yo 10yo 9yo 6yo 4yo
Bed/clean room Make Bed Make Bed Make Bed Make Bed
Clean Toilet Clean Room Clean Room Clean Room Clean Room
Load dishwasher Get Dirty clothes Put clean towel in BR. Empty trashcans Get Dressed
Unload Dishwasher Clear off table Clean of counters in BR. Clean Playroom Put shoes in shoe-basket
Sweep Kitchen/Bath Wipe off counters Clean Playroom Pick up belonging Pick up ALL cars & trains
Clean Playroom Vacuum Playroom Clean under tables Dust (Fri.) Pick up belongings
Sweep Porch Sweep under bed Remove dishes Push in all chairs Put liners in trashcans
Feed Dog am/pm Feed fish. Clean nuke box Get all dirty dishes Brush teeth am/pm
Put up food – pm Sort Dirty Clothes (Fri.) Wipe off sinks Water plants. Turn on fish lights
Straighten Books Clean Mirrors (Wed.) Dirty clothes out of BR Brush teeth am/pm Kiss Mommy!

They are constantly being revised according to the need and the child’s ability.

  • The kids do not have to do them on their birthdays and still get paid.
  • They are welcome to do other kids’ chores if they would like to “bless” their sibling.
  • If they are not completed, Mom gets the money!
  • Dad handles pay day!
  • They have to split their commissions into 3 parts.  Saving, Spending and Giving.

Does it work?

  • My daughters have bought their own television/dvd combo for their room.
  • My sons have bought their own Nintendo DS’.
  • They think twice or three times about buying useless junk versus something they really want.
  • They now the power of giving because they “earned” their own money.
  • They get up earlier on their own.
  • They don’t “beg” for candy in the grocery lane.
  • My eldest has made himself a budget for the entire year and knows what he can buy.  I would say most adults are not this organized with their funds.
  • They are being prepared to being in the “real adult” world.  If I don’t do my job – I don’t get paid.
  • They also buy gifts for one another and truly are thankful when they receive gifts because they know someone had to “work hard” to buy it.

I hope this encourages someone today!  It truly has been life-changing in our household.

What works for your family???
Blessings to you!  You are loved!

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16 thoughts on “Organizing a family: Chore Charts

  1. Cocoa Jo

    HI, Just came across your blog today. We live on the Gold Coast Australia and have just found out our Lord has blessed us with another baby! It will be number 5! We have 13yr olds, 12, 4,and 1yr old already. I am enjoying reading your blog and can relate so much. We started making the big kids do their chores before breakfast a few weeks ago. I was getting so fed up with them leaving for school without doing them and it disrupting my cleaning schedule all day because of it. We also pay them according to what they get done. I made some laminated chore charts to mark off each day…again the problem is ME remembering to mark them off. haha We sound so similar. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks xoxo

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I would like to speak more to you about chores and how you do it! I am trying to get ideas for our 4 children ages 2-8. Please email me Blabberkt@gmail.com. And no this isn’t spam lol. just a mom trying to get a grip! We are homeschooling this next year and I will be doing pt college classes online and I feel like have gotten out of control! Thanks Kati

    Reply
  3. Kristi Tugwell

    We are just starting this process in our home with our 4 children…ages 14,14, 10, and 3. Do you mind sharing what the commissions were? We have no ides where to start. Thanks so much. This was very helpful!

    Blessings to you and yours!

    Reply
  4. ♥ilovemy5kids♥

    Dear Anonymous,
    I totally get where you are coming from. I was raised the exact same way. In part so are my kids. We are a team. They only get paid for 5 chores the rest (we have many) are for the good of the team.

    This chore chart is not meant for older kids who can earn their own money. This is for the younger ones who don’t have a grasp on where money comes from, thus begging at the check out line.

    I wouldn’t say this would work for every family. We had a time in the recent past, we had to cut back on funds. Unfortunately, commissions had to go.

    During that time, my older kids had to sell banana bread to neighbors to go to summer camp, pick up brush, or think creatively. It didn’t hurt them one bit. :) (It did make Mommy work more. I never wanted to see another fully ripe banana again.)

    Hope this helps! Congrats on 2 degrees! That is an achievement! :)

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Hi!
    I came across your blog and just noticed this post. I was wondering if you could dig a bit deeper for me as to why you pay your children to do their chores. I find it very interesting, yet something very different from how I was raised. Growing up we were not given an allowance and were expected to help with our chores (I had an abundance!) with happy hearts for the good of the household. We were taught that since we all lived there we all needed to contribute. It was our responsibility to ensure our chores were done (and well!) and we were thanked or sometimes not. Was this system as fun as yours sounds? No. We didn’t get paid and still had to do the work. We still grew up to be very financially responsible (I saved my babysitting money and summer job money to put myself through two degrees on my own) and grew up with a great sense of helping each other out while also taking responsibility for our home and belongings. I also think my parents didn’t want us to think we were entitled to “earn” things for our help, that it needed to be developed also intrinsically to want to do well.

    What do you think of this approach?

    Reply
  6. ♥ilovemy5kids♥

    Hi Connie,
    Yes! There would be cons to anything. :)

    We, the parents, sometimes forget to pay the children. We, the parents, have to be diligent to remember they have done their part and expect to be paid what we agreed upon. We, the parents, have to check on the chores to see if they were done correctly. It makes life easier but you tend to make the parents lazier. lol!

    Also, it hurts my heart, when the child doesn’t do a good job – and doesn’t get paid. It has to be a firm call and the reward is they learn to be a better team player and doing things with excellence.

    This was post over a year ago and we have had some financial cutbacks. I’ve missed this system incredibly. The kids no longer look forward to their “paycheck”- they are just expected to be part of the “team”. In the near future, we will probably resume the game plan aka commissions.

    They did not buy their own Christmas gifts this year. However, they did realize their parents also had cutbacks. I think in the overall picture – so many lessons were learned. :)

    Reply
  7. cateetee

    wow! I have tried using chore charts and you are right I got lazy…so I had to make chores apart of school and that really worked for us…we have a 5 year gap btwn our eldest two and younger three,and now that the older ones are college age, it’s time to get out the old chore chart for the young ones…thanks for this inspiring and encouraging piece.

    Reply
  8. Heidi

    We too use a similar system in our house. If our kids don’t do their chores then they have to pay me with their money! Our 11 year old has really taken to saving and thinking about what is worth spending on. Throughout the year she buys things to add to her shoeboxes that she donates through Samaratin’s Purse at Christmastime.

    I very much enjoy your blog and thus am awarding you the Stylish Blogger Award! It was bestowed upon me by a fellow blogger and now I am passing it on to you! You can pick up your award here:
    http://www.startsateight.com/?p=5908

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Grandma’s chore chart: Sleep late as you want; Read Bible, eat good breakfast, swim, play, eat snack, play some more, eat lunch, play on tire swing, ride bikes, movie time, dinner, pick up Grandma from floor as she has crashed from all the exercise, put Grandma to bed, watch late movie with PawPaw. Okay, maybe you need to make a light chore list for Grandma Camp. Love you!

    Reply
  10. Charlotte Mason in the City

    I haven’t tried the chore chart yet, but when things get out of control around here, I make check lists of the kids’ chores. There is something about a checklist on a clipboard motivates my kids. I’m not that easily motivated….

    I’m impressed with your kids’ money management skills.

    Reply
  11. Layton Family Joy

    We went w/o cable for 6 months – kids were permitted to watch one afternoon movie – I LOVED IT! Now it’s like – can we see what’s on, every two seconds!

    sharing your chore charts on twitter!

    Reply

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