The kids had been asking if they could get an allowance and we were looking for ways to teach them more about money... about saving and spending and using your money to find ways to bless other people.
We thought about the best way to do it and what would work best for our family. I asked for advice awhile back about this and several people suggested not having chores tied to money. They do still have certain jobs and things we ask them to do to help out that aren't tied to an allowance. But honestly, they needed to be doing more than what they were. And we needed to do better about enforcing certain things and making sure that jobs were getting done.
So here is what we have... (sorry for the lousy pictures)
They each have a clipboard with 11 clothespins/responsibilities. They earn 10 cents for most, but 1 is worth 25 cents. They can earn up to $1.25/week, but each week 25 cents goes to church. So really, they have the opportunity to earn $1.00/week.
* Clean room
* Organized closet (so that cleaning your room doesn't become "throw everything in the closet")
* Organized cubby
* Organized dresser
* Shoes, coat, backpack put away
* Spot in the van clean (this is one of my favorites)
* Pray at a meal
* Write something on our Thankful poster
* Write a letter or note to someone
* Do something helpful without being asked
* Compliment your sibling (this is the one that's worth 25 cents)
I found these cute little notebooks at Wal-Mart. These will someday be filled with kind things that the kids have had to say about each other. (and mommy and daddy can add some in, too) I want to decorate them up a little, but for now they just look like this. And I have to say... I am loving this.
We have had to make a rule that you can't say the same thing more than once ("I like the clothes you wore to church.") and you can't just write the same thing that your sibling wrote to you. (or if you do, then you have to write an additional one, as well.)
We have been doing it for a month now and the kids are loving it! And we are, too! (Although, for the record, Lawson has only earned a dollar twice. His idea of a clean room was a little different than mine. =) The last two weeks he's started to get the hang of it, though.
Things I love about it:
1. They can move at their own pace. They both usually move 2-3 clothespins right away on Monday or Tuesday. Sophie almost always has hers all moved by Friday. Lawson usually waits until Sunday to finish his.
2. I don't have to remind them about all the things to do. I will remind them that it's getting close to Sunday and they might want to check their clipboards, but that's it. Last Sunday, Lawson walked around carrying his little clipboard "so he didn't have to remember everything."
3. The van is much cleaner. =)
4. Lawson's closet is so much cleaner! He helped me organize it last weekend and we decided together where everything should go. So far it's really helping him put things back where they go, instead of just throwing it in his closet.
5. Corey and I don't have to keep track of anything during the week and make sure that they are each getting certain jobs done daily. These can really all be done in one day, if that's how they want to do it.
6. They love to read their little notebooks. And each week, after they have written in it/read it, they have played together for hours. I think there is a connection.
They are becoming more responsible and helpful, their rooms are cleaner and more organized, and at least one day a week, they are getting along a little better. Totally worth $2.50/week, in my opinion. =)