May 15, 2014

work hard, play hard

Work Hard
We've been using this system all school year and it has worked so well for us. The boys work hard and are learning about the value of money and budgeting. We've adapted things we've done before and some ideas from here to make this work for our oldest boys. They have a chart like this printed out each week.

Here's how it works. When they do one of the things on their chart, they mark it off. Each mark is worth 25 cents. They can only mark off for that day or the previous day. If they forgot to mark earlier in the week they don't get paid. If they fill up a row or a column then on pay day they get an extra 25 cents. I remind them all the time to mark their charts. Their morning jobs are brush teeth, scriptures, get dressed, etc. and a house help. For house help they are assigned an area of the house each day. That hasn't changed in forever. Kyler just knows now that every monday and tuesday he helps in the kitchen, Wednesday is bathroom, thursday is his laundry day, friday is living room, and saturday it is whatever we need done and an outside chore. They check with me each morning to find out what their specific house help is though (usually kitchen is unloading the dishwasher). Exercise counts when they have a sports practice, actively play outside, or do exercises inside. Piano is 15-20 min. When they keep on eye on L and P they mark off babysitting. Often they ask to go get them out of their room and help them get dressed in the morning. Extra chores are random things like taking out recycling, putting everyone's shoes away, transferring laundry from washer to dryer, cleaning a toilet, or whatever task is needing done. Kacin hates putting on his creams and lotions for his eczema so we added medicine to his chart to encourage him to remember. Kyler's used to say no socks (because we had a major problem with finding his socks out everywhere), but after awhile he got really good at that one and it's not a problem anymore. So he gets paid to take his allergy medicine. I sometimes tell them to put an extra mark on their chart if they have had a good attitude or done something extra or if their babysitting was extra long or extra difficult.

There are two charts for each of the boys on each full sheet of paper. I print out 2 or 3 papers at a time. When we go through those charts we have a pay day (so every 4-6 weeks, it doesn't take long to do, but I don't have time to do it more often). On pay day, we add up their money earned and keep track of it in a spiral notebook. In one week's time they have earned anywhere from $2 to $8.50, but usually it's in the $4 to $6 range.They keep track of tithing (10%) and savings (20%). Because they are earning money now, they are responsible to buy most of their clothes and to buy any other things they want. We keep track of those purchases in the spiral as well. 

I could keep going about how they use the money, why we do it this way, the benefits we see from this system, our after dinner jobs (that they don't get paid for), etc. but I've been interrupted 150 times while writing this 
so I am done. 

Play hard
Even though these particular pictures were from a few weeks ago, our afternoons this week have looked a lot like this. It has been sunny and warm so the kids are playing on the trampoline, riding bikes, throwing balls, driving the escalade car, digging in the dirt, and reading in hammocks. Their cheeks are red and they fall asleep as soon as their heads hit their pillows.