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Thread: Chores

  1. #1

    Default Chores

    Happy summer, everyone! Just wondering how each of you structures "chores" in your households…for the kids, not yourselves. Pay/not pay, daily/weekly lists, assigned/choice, daily required chores vs voluntary, reward systems? Let it all out here!
    Jennifer - Mom by day, Pharmacist by night
    Mom to 2 amazing girls and 1 active little boy:
    LeggyGirl (12) - my oldest, theatre and music-loving, art-obsessed, craft-making, cuddle-licious, future event planner
    DooSquat (9) - my always smiling, silver-lining-finding, always thinking-outside-of-the-box, future comedienne, ray of sunshine (who's a challenge to teach...)
    Beetle Boy (6) - my on-the-move, sports-loving, giggling, rambunctious, book-loving, little kindergarten man

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    Aug 2011


    I never pay for housework. The kids get an allowance, but it's not tied to work around the house. After all, I don't get paid for working around the house, so why should they?

    When they were younger, I would usually make the kids do a few tasks before or after meals. Things like, tidy up the living room and then we'll have lunch, or put this load of laundry away right after lunch. We're already interrupting our studying/activities for a meal, so it's a good time to squeeze a few chores out.

    We do a weekly clean-up on Saturdays. I write a big list of what needs to be done on the kitchen whiteboard. Everyone writes their initials beside the tasks they want to do. It's a very obvious way of seeing who is doing more work, or how much is leftover for Mom to do. From a young age, the kids could easily figure out what was "fair" or "reasonable" based on who was older/stronger/faster, etc... I also make sure that I write down the "invisible" things that I'm doing that day, like grocery shopping and cooking dinner so that I get "credit" and the kids realize that I do a lot.

    We've been doing things more or less the same way for years and it works pretty well. Now that the kids are older, I can just ask them to get a few things done while I'm out and I know they'll do it. I'm just working now on getting them to cook dinner regularly.

  4. #3


    Mine get a small weekly allowance....not tied to chores, but totally at risk of being lost due to bad adittude. Chores are done out of duty to the family......we all fill the trash can, we work together to take it out OR we wear our clothes and make it dirty, we help do wash, fold and put away. Common sense stuff and I always point out when they are being unreasonable and whining. Guilt is my tool of choice. Not yelling. It works for my kids temperaments.
    Bigger "project type" painting, early or late garden stuff, splitting and stacking firewood....that gets extra cash according to the amount of work done with a good adittude. They have to do this stuff either way....they've just come to understand they might as well have a good adittude and get some cash.
    The boys do their own basic breakfast, and lunch but I'm working on teaching them to cook their own dinner favorites.
    I guess I'm not much of a 'chore list' person. Not much of an organizer.....if it needs to be done, just do it.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  5. #4


    No pay involved here.
    My 9yo really wanted a chore chart - she likes to anticipate her day and week that way. Every day she has 1 major chore - doing dishes, sweeping, or organizing laundry - and a couple of minor tasks.
    My 5yo takes out the compost every day.
    They both feed the chickens, let them out for their free range time, and close their hutch at night.
    Homeschooling my 2 children since January 2013
    7-year-old loves animals and math; 10-year-old loves reading and magic
    Massachusetts native, now living in Latin America

  6. #5


    Mine have regular chores that are unpaid but tied to priveledges. No feeding the animals=no horseback riding, etc.

    Sometimes there are extra things that need to be done that are optional and paid. Sometimes there are extra things (like haying) that are not optional and not paid.

    Pocket money isn't fixed, it's more given out when we do something that they might need money for. Like if we go to the fair, I give them money to spend at the fair. If they don't spend it all, they can save it. THis may change when they get older and go places by themselves.

    I also give them money to spend on things like gifts for others or supplies for projects.

    Basically, it's "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Dirty commies, that's us.

    ETA: I have a few standing chores that are paid - anyone, anytime can fill up a bucket with rocks from the field/garden and earn $5. Same goes for fixing fences, that is paid by the hour.

    When paying for extra chores - I pay the same rate to the kids (and neighbor kids) as I would to a field hand. I think they need to know how valuable that work is - and it never costs me much cause the little kids don't last more than half an hour anyhow. They pride they take when they finally work a (wo)man's shift and earn a (wo)man's pay is invaluable.
    Last edited by halfpint; 06-01-2015 at 10:29 PM.
    2nd generation homeschooler!

  7. #6


    DS and DD alternate emptying out the bathroom rubbish daily. Each one also has to fold a load of laundry (they tend to pick towels because that takes 2 min. lol) when there is clean laundry to be folded. DD vaccuums daily since we have dogs that shed. And, they each have to clean their rooms for 15 minutes daily (they like to take lots of stuff out and I like them to put all of it back when they're done). We don't call them chores, we call them family responsibilities. They get $5 per week if they don't skip anything at all. They get docked $1 if they skip a day and they still have to do it the following day. I was opposed to the $5 per week--it was hubby's idea. However, now, if there is some random unnecessary thing they want, I just say, "You can buy it if you really want it with your money." Every once in a while they have exercised this purchasing power. They do tend to save for "big" things. It has eliminated a lot of whining about me not getting whatever they want.

  8. #7


    We have household chores/duties that are unpaid. Then there are things that have to be done that I don't want to do, and so those get paid. My boys clean their own rooms/bathroom, and we rotate the half-bath between the three of us. They each do their own laundry. They help around the house when I need it-emptying trash, etc.
    They get paid for things like: mulch shoveling/spreading, washing the cars, cutting the grass and other assorted yard work. They can also earn $$ for other household things like wiping baseboards, cleaning out and organizing cabinets, etc.
    They have no weekly allowance, but they earn plenty of $$ for their needs right now.

  9. #8


    We are entirely on the bribery system. Schoolwork with no fuss gets $1/day with a $5 bonus for the weeks worth of work (without too many arguments). We used to give an additional 5/week for loading and unloading the dishwasher, but he refuses to follow my (control freak, perhaps) directions on how to load it. (We have a strict *if you dont like how its done, do it yourself! policy at the house.)
    Pretty much everything not necessary comes out of his money, although I sometimes contribute towards books or *luxury* clothes items (recently a Pokemon t-shirt). He does a good job of hoarding his money, and not frittering it away on junk.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9


    We have the 15 minute family clean every night. Everyone participates. Mom, Dad, Kid, Extra kids, My mom, Cousins....whoever happens to be at my house eating my required to pitch in. (Ok, my mom doesn't HAVE to, but you know she

    A shocking amount of stuff gets done this way. It really lightens the load.

    If the house is deep....I'll hold two 15 minute clean-ups on Saturday and Sunday.

    Family clean-ups are not rewarded...they're a duty exchanged for the privilege of living here. For visiting's a duty exchanged for liberal visitation rights and stocked snacks/soda fridge and a million rides home. I do a lot for these kids....I expect them to cooperate pretty willingly. 15 minutes a day is not a lot to ask.

    If laundry is backing up, I put bounties on loads of laundry. (which must be washed, dried and hung/folded/put away to collect the money)

    I've been known to offer some yard work or special cleaning (the fridge, the fireplace, windows, oven, closets and cupboards) at bounties....when I know the kids needs extra fun-money.
    Retired Home Schooler
    One kid, Elle, Sophomore at The University of Michigan studying Cell/ Molecular Biology Go Blue!
    One hubby, 23yrs

    Not a fan of homophobe, Everett Piper, who is sometimes promoted by others at this site. Read about him here::
    CAUTION: might make blasphemous remarks that could potentially offend religious people. Please use ignore feature if sensitive.

  11. #10


    Anyone else read The Opposite of Spoiled" ?
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

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