I feel like I've spent the last several years trying to come up with the perfect chore chart and/or a scheme to make the household chores more manageable. I have asked veteran parents for their advice. Nothing seemed to work.
But then Suze Orman stepped in. I saw her on Oprah and she has changed my life. She talked about kids and money and how minimum wage is $6/hour, which is about 10 cents per minute. She said kids should NOT get an "allowance", they should earn their money at the rate of 10 cents per minute. So we decided to give it a try.
I made up a chore chart for each kid.
Chore/Date/Minutes/$ per min (.10)/Total
The ones who can write are responsible for recording their chores . . it's like a timecard, you don't record the chore, you don't get paid. I am no longer the one who has to remember what each person did and when. Soooo much easier! After recording their chore, they have to figure out how much they earned for that specific chore which is a great life-application for math skills. (My boys are still too young for this and most of their chores are only 1 minute in length anyway, so I still manage this aspect of the chart for them.)
It works like a charm. I no longer have to rant and rave to get the kids to put away laundry or set the table or clear the table or take out the recycling or put away their laundry. They do it, they record it, they get paid. It is working beautifully. And of course an extra long job means extra money so getting them to pitch-in with big jobs is no problem.
I'll admit, I was skeptical and at first my oldest resisted, complaining that it would taker her forever to earn money. But she is now cleaning bathrooms, washing the wooden stairs, doing laundry, sometimes packing her lunch, etc., etc. She earned $12.60 over the last week! Even my littlest guy earns money, about $2/week, just by helping with the trash and recycling and cleaning the playroom. Another benefit is that they now have their own money to spend when they want to make a purchase, no more bugging mom and dad to buy them things!
Now if only I could earn $6/hour for all the hours of work I put in around here!