Having a big family means we have big messes. Everyone is expected to help out because we all belong to the family. So, our children have “chores”. They have some chores that fall into the once a week category, they have others that are every day chores, they have still others that are “extras”.
We use a website called “ChoreMonster” to keep track of our kids’ chores. ChoreMonster is an online version of a chore chart. We’ve been using this for over a year and love it. It serves as a kind of online bank account for the kids’ chore money. I decide how much money each chore is worth and then it gets added to their choremonster account. They are expected to check in to their ChoreMonster account everyday and see what needs to be done. The cool thing about ChoreMonster is that you can actually add the prizes to their account and they can select which prize they want once they have enough money in their account. The prizes can be linked to amazon.com and with your approval, they can purchase them. I think this gives kids a way to learn financial sense in that they are making their own decisions on what to use their money on. It also gives them a goal and helps them learn patience. The other thing I love about ChoreMonster is that it is completely FREE to use!
I wrote about the kids’ once a week chores here. They are in charge of their own laundry basket and their own sheets…getting them washed and folded once a week. They are also in charge of tidying their room and bathroom. The bathroom sink, mirror and toilet is wiped down by the oldest child who sleeps in that bedroom. Then the younger child cleans/tidies up the room. This happens in the morning of “their day” of the week.
There are other chores that are assigned. Over the years I have taught my children how to load the washer and dryer, how to start it up, how to load the dishwasher, how to unload the dishwasher, how to wash our kitchen table, how to sweep, how to vacuum, how to clean the mudroom, how to do a quick toy cleanup, how to make their bed, how to organize our homeschooling room to name a few.
They each need to make their own bed, brush their teeth, and do one task before breakfast. One child takes out the trash, another helps fix breakfast, another cleans up breakfast. We also have a daily cleanup time where for 30 minutes or so we all cleanup the downstairs before Daddy gets home.
The extra chores that they may choose to do are usually for a larger sum of money and are things that I specifically ask if they want to do. These chores are one way they are able to earn money for an extra set of legos or a new CD. These chores might be helping me put together something that requires tools and reading directions (for the older kids), it might be cleaning out and vacuuming the van, it might be a more detailed cleanup of the bonus room. These chores might take 30-60 min to complete and they are compensated for that.
Chores are important in not only keeping the family and our home organized – they are important life skills that every child should learn before they are grown.
For more ideas, feel free to download my free printable: Chore Ideas For Kids.