Friday, April 29, 2011

Jobs, Allowances, Mommy Store and Kids

There are lots of ways to teach your children how to work, and incentives to go with them. I am going to share my favorite way, after experimenting for years with different job charts and incentives.

For my job charts for my children, I do it in Microsoft Excel. It offers me the most flexibility. I was doing it in Word Perfect, but I was copying and pasting the different jobs so much that it was making things kind of messed up after a while.

Here is a job chart I made for my son, who is a teenager.

My gradeschooler

And the one I made for my Preschooler.

Let me explain what each category is.

Extra Job: During the school year, each child has 1 job a day around the house to do Monday through Friday. During the summer or vacation, they have 2 jobs a day. These jobs change on a seasonal basis. Notice that I put down Family room windows--in and out, twice for my teenager. Basically each window has 8 areas that need to be washed, I thought it was more fair to give him credit for 2 jobs, instead of just one--so in this case 1 job counts as 2. I also try to match skill levels with the jobs as well. Notice that my preschooler has scrub toilets. When he scrubs them, I just have him squirt dish soap in the toilets and swish it around, and then wipe down all the surfaces with a sanitary wipe. When my teenager has clean toilets, I have him put on gloves and use regular toilet bowl clean on all surfaces, rinse them and then wipe them down with a clean rag. Here is a list of all of my extra jobs that I use most often as well as all year long.

  • Bathroom Woodwork  
  • Scrub Toilets 
  • Clean & Organize drwer or cupbd  
  • Scrub Tub
  • Stair Railing
  • Clean Kitchen Sink  
  • Sweep Deck and Front Sidewalk
  • Clean off 2 Shelves in the Fridge  
  • Sweep Floor
  • Clean Out Van  
  • Vacuum Along Baseboards Downstairs 
  • Clean Out Window Wells  
  • Vacuum Along Baseboards Upstairs
  • Clean Oven  
  • Vacuum Out Van
  • Clean Toilets  
  • Vacuum Rugs
  • Door Handles  
  • Vacuum Stairs
  • Door Windows  
  • Vacuum, dust & clean front entry way
  • Dust & Vacuum Furnace Room  
  • Wash 2 Doors
  • Dust Ceiling & walls Downstairs  
  • Wash 3 Outside Windows
  • Dust Ceiling Upstairs  
  • Wash a Wall
  • Dust Downstairs  
  • Wash and Dry 3 Types of Toys
  • Dust Plants  
  • Wash Appliances
  • Dust Upstairs  
  • Wash Bathroom Sinks
  • Empty Trash Cans  
  • Wash bedroom Trash Cans
  • Family Room Windows-in & out  
  • Wash Chairs
  • Fill & Scrub Soap Dispensers  
  • Wash Doors
  • Front Room Baseboards  
  • Wash Downstairs Trashcans
  • Front room windows  
  • Wash inside cupboards
  • Hall Baseboards  
  • Wash Light Switch Covers
  • Help Mom for 15 Minutes  
  • Wash Little House Trash Cans
  • Kitchen Sink Wash Mirrors
  • kitchen windows-in & out  
  • Wash monitors & screens
  • Mop bathrooms and Hall  
  • Wash Upstairs Trashcans
  • Mop Family Room  
  • Wash Windows
  • Mop Kitchen  
  • Weed front bed
  • Mop laundry room & back hall  
  • Wipe Appliances
  • Mop Music Room 
  •  Wipe Down Baseboards
  • Organize Food Storage for 20 min.  
  • Wipe Door Handles
  • Scrub Shower  
  • Wash 5 cupboard fronts
I am constantly making changes to this list dependent on the current weather and needs around the house. For example, one job that happens once a year is take down Christmas lights. And in the summer, everybody will have jobs with weeding and taking care of the garden.

Dinner Jobs: Everyone should help in some way with getting the main meal on the table, whether by helping mom cook and grabbing the ingredients from food storage, or by emptying the dishwasher. I try to rotate them so each person isn't doing the same thing every day. Notice on my gradeschooler's sheet that she has dishwasher everyday. There were a few complaints about emptying the dishwasher, and so she has been assigned that job exclusively--and the complaints and time it takes to do it are now at acceptable levels, so she will soon be back in the regular rotation.

Clean Room: Pretty self-explanatory--they should be cleaning their rooms.

Put Away Clean Clothes: They have to do it anyway, so I thought I might as well be the nice girl and give it to them.

Morning Jobs: So at our house morning jobs are--get dressed, put on shoes, put away p.j.'s, make bed, comb hair, eat breakfast, brush teeth and wash face--basically everything you have to do to be ready for the day. This is definitely NOT a favorite part of the day, since they would LOVE to stay in their pajamas, so they have a time limit. For the basics (minus breakfast) you have 20 minutes. Sunday clothes gives you an extra 5 minutes, a shower an extra 10, make-up and shaving an extra 5.

Pick Up House: The next day goes 10,000 times better, if everyone helps tidy up everything the night before. It usually takes only 20 minutes to have everything neat and ship-shape in the main living areas of the house.

Saturday Jobs: Saturday is a special day--it's the day we get ready for Sunday! I don't know if you are familiar with that song, but we sing it nearly every Saturday morning, and it is true--it is a special day! To listen to the song, click on this link: We usually tackle big projects together on this day, many of them are several hours. One of the most rewarding experiences of my life is working with my family. I love the feeling of accomplishing something good together.

Pets: I think that it is good for children to have pets, so they can learn to take care of something else. We have tried many, but I think our dog and fish that we have now are the easiest.

Evening Jobs: These are kind of like the morning jobs. Brush teeth, put on p.j.'s, wash face, set out clothes for the next day, put away dirty clothes, read scriptures (if you are old enough).

Practice Piano & Trumpet: A skill of playing the piano is mandatory in our home--at least through a certain level, and other instruments are encouraged as well--practicing surely deserves a reward!

Read for 20 minutes: I'm sure many of you have this as a requirement for anyone in elementary school.

Mommy Project: My preschooler is always helping me during the day, and needed an extra category.

Watch Movie, Mommy Store and $$$$: So, now we get to the rewards. Every job is equal to one token. If you have a clean room, your extra jobs are done, and you have earned a minimum of 28 tokens, you get to watch the movie on Saturday night. For every token above 28 you get 10 cents (I know--I'm pretty cheap, but it's better than nothing!). So if you earn 38 tokens, you walk away with $1. This you can use for spending $$$. The real reason I like the $$$, is that it gives my small children the opportunity to pay tithing on a regular basis, as well as learn how to manage their money and save for bigger purchases. In addition to the $$$, they receive tokens as well, equal to the number they earned.

The tokens are then used for purchases they can make at Mommy Store. They can buy small toys, stickers, candy, pudding cups, canvases to paint on, etc.

I know that this is an extra long entry--but I would love to read your comments on what works at your homes!

Happy working!!!


Lois said...

So awesome Deb!! I love how the tokens reflect the interests of each of your children! We've just started our first job chart and so far it's working great. We are doing a sticker chart and the reward for filling it all in is a small lego set that was picked out by my son.

Lena said...

Wow Deb! You do such a great job at teaching your kids how to work. Way to go!!!

Lee-Ruth-Clark-Cal-Shanna-Haley-Elden said...

How are your kids at marking their chart after completing a job? Sounds like you have a great system!

Lois said...

Good job!

The Five Sisters said...

I just mark it down myself. It works really well that way, and I know it is accurate.