Middle Schoolers and Chores

This is a super frequent topic I read about on homeschool websites, so today I am sharing how we do chores at our house. It took a while for my DH and I to come up with a system that works for us, but for the last couple of years it’s been pretty smooth.

First, we do “pay” for chores. Our kids don’t get money from grandparents, can’t really earn any, and therefore don’t have any way to make their “own” money to spend. We want them to be able to make choices about value, and really, they only get that when they feel the pain of the purchase. For our family the kids get a monthly allowance – but it is chore dependant. To be totally honest here – they get $20 a month. $2 is a tithe, $8 is savings, and $10 is for spending. This way they give, save, and spend a little – and they can grow a little money. I am TERRIBLE about paying monthly – so we usually catch up about every 3-4 months. I know. I am lame.

I don’t track the chores. Honestly, charts and all that drive me nuts and the kids are too old to really be motivated with those. Little does have some chore items that are charted for Boy Scouts, but other than that, I don’t track. Their chores – if they don’t get done – have a significant impact on life in our house. Here’s what they do:

Big (11, almost 12) –

1. Gather laundry upstairs. Bring it all downstairs to laundry room. And then, on her own initiative, she started throwing in a load to wash. If there’s wet stuff in there she rotates it and turns on the dryer. This chore ROCKS.

2. Vacuum the living room and kitchen. We have 2 dogs that shed a lot and they spend 99% of their time in these two rooms. This is a HUGE blessing to me and every day I am thankful she does this.

Little (10)-

1. Feed the dogs. Check their water. Refill water as needed. Tell me before the bin is empty that we need dog food. We have an 80% fail rate on that part…

2. Empty the dishwasher  and the dish drain rack. This is huge. I start it every night before I go to bed and he empties it. It’s such a HUGE relief to me. (When they started they this a few years ago I moved the dishes lower in the kitchen so they could handle putting everything up, and we had a no knife rule. The kids did the rest, I did the knives).

Other jobs – as needed –

Put up laundry.

Clean the junk out of the car.

Big – manage recycling can in the kitchen and put out recycling twice a month.

Little – manage trash can in the kitchen and put out the trash each week.

Cheerfully help whenever asked.

Do the kids love doing chores? No. They don’t. Do they occasionally whine about it. Yes. So do I! But, they get money and can buy stuff. They contribute to the house. They get to learn about responsibility and not leaving a mess to clean up. On occasion we time the chores, and it really takes them about 10-15 minutes each for their jobs. No big thing.

So, that’s what works for me!

Linked to

TOTALLY cool new blog I found – Link up Tuesday  at http://thecharactercorner.com/blog/

Works for me Wednesday at http://wearethatfamily.com/category/wfmw

Raising Homemakers at http://raisinghomemakers.com/

Someday soon I’ll learn how to do the linky picture boxes! LOL!!

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2 thoughts on “Middle Schoolers and Chores

  1. I smiled when I read your line about being terrible about paying monthly. I could’ve written the exact same thing, because that’s how it goes at our house too (sigh)! Enjoyed reading this. It’s so helpful to read how other families navigate the chore thing. I do have a chart, but I know what you mean about keeping up with it. I try to make it as “kid-run” as possible, though. And thanks for the links to the other websites. I will check into them.

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