Tuesday, December 18

Chore System for the Kids

Keeping a clean house can be like pulling teeth...a lot of pressure now, and painful later. 
Most of us fuss and "remind" until we're blue in the face. Hi, my name is "most of us", and I'm a recovering fusser. It has been quite a journey, I have gone through several chart variations, attempted several systems of reward and discipline, and lots and lots of sighing very deeply. 

The "Task" Center
This area consists of three important parts to help us stay on task; Customized Chore Charts, Work for Hire, and Chore of the Week. No worries, it is simpler than it sounds.

Customized Chore Charts
There are plenty of awesome chore charts floating around Pinterest, but as I can never do anything the easy way, I went ahead and customized charts for my girls. 
I felt the need to have a Daily Schedule for quick reference, a To-Do list and a Personal Goals list included in the chore chart. The To-Do's are more like reminders for those daily tasks that I didn't want my kids to associate as a chore, such as piano practice. I also allowed them to create their own personal goals to work toward, it gives them a sense of ownership. 
I will make my customizable chart available to you in a word document for personalization, and one in pdf format for those who like it as is.
I highly recommend you personalize it to your kids and their needs. Let them fill in the bubbles on the computer, type in their own names, and choose the colors and font. Maybe even change it drastically, add clip art, whatever appeals to you. I believe ownership of a project makes a big difference, both on your part as well as your kids! Make it fun, you really want your kids to have as much a positive view as possible when you're establishing a chore system!

Download the Kids Chore Chart Word doc, customize, and print! Or if you prefer to keep the same layout I have already created, print and fill in with pen the Kids Chore Chart pdf version.

Chore of the Week
Messes don't follow a schedule, so every chore chart needs a section that can be flexible. One of the weekly chores listed on the girls chore chart is "Chore of the Week". On that day, they can choose from one of the options I hang under a Chore of the Week label. It lets me get those extra little miscellaneous tasks accomplished that come along every month or so.

Work for Hire
The chores you use for Chore of the Week can be the same set used for Work for Hire. It gives you more opportunities to get those numerous tasks accomplished by your kids (sssshhhhh, don't tell them), and it gives them an opportunity to clean your wallet out. I'd call it a win-win, or at least a draw. Work for Hire is optional, but since my kids don't receive an allowance and I don't buy them toys, they are always clamoring to make a little money... tricky right? I'm encouraging work ethic while getting my home clean. That's right, like a fox baby, sly like a fox. (Wooo, sorry about that moment, I get a little cheesy sometimes.)

Here you can download the Chore of the Week & Work for Hire sheet. Customize, or just print and cut. 

Making it Work
No matter how many charts you employ, it isn't the chart that is going to make your kids do their work and do it well, it is you and the system you put into place.
Practice Consistency: Help your kids get into the habit of checking their chart. My kids get small breaks in between chores and school, but until all their chores and tasks for the day are completed, no real fun shall commence. In addition, they cannot opt to "Work for Hire" until all chores and tasks are complete. 
Motivate: The hubby very wisely plans "play dates" with the kiddos and "dates" with me, this way all his girls aren't clamoring for his attention at the same time. This and other fun end of day practices motivate the girls to be finished with all tasks and chores by the time dad comes home. They know that if they aren't done, they can't join in the fun until all work is completed. Then the poor sad munchkin who dawdled all day has to work whilst her sisters gleefully play. 
Reward: It's the moment when your kid comes running up to you at the end of a work day and yells "mom, I'm done! Can I play Catan with you and dad when he gets home?". Victory! She was motivated enough to follow her chart and get all her day's tasks completed all by herself, and you didn't even notice until it was done. When this happens, every so often I give the girls an extra reward to let them know I appreciate their initiative and determination. Whether it be a sweet treat, a special activity, or a simply a big hug and an "I'm so proud of you", be sure to let your munchkin know that he or she did good. 



  


85 comments:

  1. I am so excited to try this system I have older kids 19, 15, 10 and they are so motivated by money. Especially the older two. My 19 year old is going to college but living at home she works 24-30 hours a week at the local hospital but she still loves the extra money and I sure could use her help more around the house. Hoping your system does the trick! I will update you in a few weeks once we have had a go at it. Thank You!

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    1. Lol...yes, I too was motivated by money as a teen! I would love to see how you customize it to teenagers! Part of the reason I always make the pdf as well as the customizable word version available is so that people can make it to fit their needs, so I am very excited to hear this! Feel free to upload photos as well as an update to my facebook page for us to all admire your work! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  2. I'm new here so please bear with my lack of knowledge, but I am looking everywhere for a link to your printables and I cannot locate them. I'm dying to start setting up this system in my home with my kids, please help!

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    1. Sorry Christine! I think I need to make the links a different color so they are easier to see! Lol! I will leave you the links here so you don't have to search. I hope you enjoy them!

      Chore of the Week & Work for Hire Sheets: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1iMch8pzpiOa09sVWJMZ050WTA/edit
      Chore Sheet Word doc (must be downloaded to customize in word: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1iMch8pzpiOQ0llWURzZFFCaWs/edit
      Chore Sheet in pdf form (just print): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1iMch8pzpiOWnQyeF9YMGJGOHM/edit


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    2. Huh, that came out strange... I hope you can copy the link!

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    3. Thank you. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, my poor eyesight couldn't differentiate between the link color and the text color. Thank you for taking the time!

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  3. Thanks so much for this post--I, too, have struggled with figuring out a chore chart/system that works for our family. I love the "work for hire" idea to get some of the jobs that otherwise wouldn't get done, done. Now I just need to find a good spot for it...

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  4. I found your post through Pinterest. I have been looking for just the right system to motivate my kids to do more household chores and earn some money, so that they can learn to start managing their money. This looks like the perfect system! Thanks so much for the free downloadable. I'm going to tweak it for my kids, and I'll let you know how it works out for us :)

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  5. I LOVE THIS!!!....I found your post on Pinterest And I gotta tell you I am so very glad i did :) .I have been struggling on just trying to get an idea on how to go on about the chores and allowance and such and Your post was the best help and idea I have found all over the web... I am going to download and try it out with my kids (I have 5) And I will keep you post it on how it works out...THANK YOU!!

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  6. I love this idea! We also don't give our ten year old allowance or buy toys often. I really believe kids need to do some work to get spending money. We work to get our money, right? So should our kids. Not to sound cliche, but today's kids have it pretty darn easy. In days of old they had to do things like tend to the gardens and the livestock and serious chores. Everyone in the family participated or plain and simple: no one ate.

    We provide all the basics he needs including clubs, activities and supplies needed and wanted by clubs and activities and every now and then we give out extras. So money for him is a real bonus. He is always hitting me up for money. Recently, started giving him extra chores to earn money. We both like this idea. But the idea of a bulletin board of jobs is an excellent visual motivator. I like!

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  7. THis system looks AMAZING! I have used several systems over time, one of which was highly successful but difficult to manage and maintain and the reward system was breaking our bank. But his system is sleek, streamlined and with the "chores for hire" very appealing to teen and pre-teen kids who do get an allowance, but still need money because their hobbies (video games/electronics and competitive ice hockey) are very expensive! I look forward to sharing, customizing and implementing this system in the coming weeks. Thanks for sharing. (Oh and I found it on Pinterest!! Thank goodness for Pinterest!)
    Have a good day!
    Jen

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  8. found you on pinterest and I love this idea but when I click on the link to take me to the work for hire document it is blank =(

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    1. Hi Jenn,
      I wish I had the tech experience to help you, but I admit I have no idea why that is happening. I had a friend double check, and she said she was able to easily access it.
      Sorry I couldn't be more help. What I will do however, is add a pdf version, perhaps you'll be able to access that. I will add it tomorrow, as the kids are clamoring for dinner! :D ... Hope it will help!

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    2. Try this pdf link Jenn, maybe it will show up! ;)
      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1iMch8pzpiOZ1UyaWI4UUxrdEk/edit

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    3. I did the same thing. I opened it in Mozilla Firefox. It didn't show up when I did this. I used Internet Explorer and had no problem. Something about Mozilla, it won't open certain documents. HOpe this will help and Ursula, hope this helps you when others have the same problems.

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    4. I tried it in Internet Explorer and it worked just fine......thank you! =)

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  9. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Just starting this system today. So excited!

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  11. Thank you! Until my girls are old enough to do chores, I'm going to use this to keep myself on track! :)

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  12. These are wonderful. I have a question, what would you suggest as the "fee" for these type of jobs for hire? I tend to think that I offer too much thinking "they'll never go for that little bit of money".

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    1. Thanks Dawn!
      Concerning "fee" amounts, I think it really depends on the age of your child. I helped my 5, 7, & 8 year old's create budgets and wishlists (one of these day's I'll blog about it). Based on the cost of items on their wishlist and the percentage they must put aside for tithe and savings, I chose amounts that I felt would help them accomplish their saving and spending goals in an amount of time that would not discourage them too much, but still allow them to have to work hard to earn it! :D Of course, they are young so they are super excited to have earned just about any amount! lol! Good luck!

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    2. I have been doing something similar to this for a while now with my kids. 3 of the 5 are teens and always wanting money. I am not as creative and organized as you. I just have a list of things that need to be done and the TOP dollar amount to be paid. For example; if I want them to take the decor off the top of the kitchen cabinets, dust off the cabinets wash the decor and put it back (the same way they found it) I would say this could be a $10 job, if done correctly. If done in a hurry and not so well they may only earn $5. If I think they have only done a $5 job and they want all 10 I will explain to them what needs to be done better. That way they are learning to do the job, and to do a good job. Otherwise I end up paying top dollar for a job that I have to touch up anyway. This has worked really well for me and my family, maybe it will help some of the others trying to figure out the "fee."

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  13. I was also wondering about the "chore for hire" rates! I think this is an awesome system! Thank you SO much for creating the doc and letting us use it! Such an awesome thing for someone to do! I am hoping it will help my 3 girls do their chores and complete them!
    Thanks!

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    1. Aw, thanks...it is my pleasure to share. I just answered the question about rates above, but it just occurred to me that in my "Cleaning Checklists" printable, is a work rates sheet... lol, I'd forgotten it was there, it was created so long ago! Then you can see just how cheap I really am! :D

      http://homemadebycarmona.blogspot.com/2012/10/cleaning-checklists.html

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  14. What I really like about your system is that you can customize it and as the parent you get a good overview of what you have for what days. For us Saturday is our "freest" day so we put a few more chores there so that on our busier night she has more routine maintenance (clean your room, straighten your bathroom etc)that stays easy as long as she keeps them up. Now this week she didn't do ANY of her chores and so the consequence was having to do them ALL this morning before she could go to the Mall. Quite the incentive :D Thanks for offering such a great customizable list free!

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  15. I am a mom to 4. I have been a mom for 20 years, my youngest is 8. When the eldest 2 were little, man oh man was I spot on with organization. My mind and body have grown so lazy over the last 2 decades our home is a complete disaster! For years I have tried implementing a system for our family of 6 only to come up short. The 20 year old is a college student at KU and now lives on her own; boy does she think its great to rub in that she cleans her tiny apartment front to back in a day.....I could never get her to clean squat while she lived at home. LOL Irony!

    I am going to give yours a try and hope it rejuvenates my long lost organized self! Thanks for the new wind in my sails. :)

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    1. Louise I am in the same spot!! My youngest is almost 7 but I feel the same! So let's be all in this together :)

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    2. Oh I love that! Yay mom's unite! :D

      Louise and Rebecca, it is my pleasure to share! I am hopeful that my challenges and struggles will help someone else make it just a little easier.
      I'm glad mom's can encourage and inspire one another!

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  16. Hi, can you explain why some of the circles are colored in? Also how to change which ones are colored in, assuming that they are the ones they are to do that day... I have 3 kids and want to spread the duties around :0)
    Thanks for all the awesome customizable printables that you offer for free!

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    1. Sure Amy,
      I simply left the chore chart with all of my original categories, times, tasks, and colored circles as an example. :D Sometimes it helps to have the original as a jumping off point...any and everything can be changed fairly easily. For the circles you will want to change the "fill color" to white to clear, or fill with whatever colors you desire. Use the paint bucket to do that.
      I hope that helps!
      Because my purpose with blogging is to share my process, and hopefully help others in the process, I will try to share everything I create. ;) So the pleasure is all mine, and I'm glad to share! <3

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  17. Hi there,

    Do you color in some of the circles before you print as a 'day off' of that chore?

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    1. Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by. Yes! You can change the fill color to white or clear for a "day off", and fill in with color of choice to indicate what chores are completed what days. Use paint bucket tool. Once it is downloaded it is yours to change any and every element you choose! :D

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  18. Is the link to the pdf still active? I can't seem to view anything. It just comes up blank. :(

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    1. Hi Jen,
      Yes, it is still active and comes up fine for me....Strange. Someone once mentioned that it did not seem to load on Firefox, but IE or Chrome worked perfectly. It might be a bug with Google drive on certain browsers. Let me know if that doesn't work for you. I hope it helps! ;)

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  19. Nevermind! I downloaded it anyway and it came up just fine. :)

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  20. Thanks for the free downloads. I have shared your links with a friend and we are very grateful for the ideas/system.

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  21. Hi! I have been struggling with developing a system I can be consistent with and am excited to try yours. I have to ask, tho, how do they get "stuff" without an allowance or you buying them toys?

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Monica!

      I use a "Work for Hire" system as a means to motivate the kids to work for money. They all love it, my 5,7 & 8 year old...but then again I never told them some kids get an allowance! LOL! They do extra chores for money and value the toys they buy more than the toys Grandma gives them.

      Hope that helps!

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  22. I love your ideas here. Especially the "Work For Hire". I think it's great to have it stationed so that it is up for grabs. Going to have to share on my facebook page. I think my audience will love it! Posting tomorrow!

    Susan Vallance
    https://www.facebook.com/sv.helpingwahms

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    1. Thanks Susan,
      I'm sure you know that being mom means having to be creative!Lol!
      Aw, thank you for sharing!

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  23. thanks for these ideas. we are needing something new right now and this might work for my kiddos. Thank you!

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  24. I honor your talent of writing professionally. I like your valuable posts. Your blog is super nice. Keep posting more.
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  25. Thank you so much for sharing this! My husband and I cannot wait to start it, we are moving into a new house in 2 weeks and my kids (11,8 & baby 15mos) need some incentive to get their duties done.. I am one person and just cannot keep up with 3 kids, 3 dogs, a husband and a house! lol Hope it works for us <3

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  26. So I feel like a complete tool, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to edit the Chore of the Week or Kid Chore Sheet in Google Docs. It seems that the part that you'd print off is an "image", but I can't change anything in the image block. I can edit the text below it, but that doesn't change what is in the image block. Any help? I was really looking forward to using these with my 3 kids (13,11,&9), momma's getting sick of always "reminding" them what needs to be done :)

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    1. Lol, no worries! You will need to download the Word file to your computer to edit(important, not the pdf version, the WORD doc). You'll find a down arrow on the left corner of Google Doc's, that will allow you to download it to your version of Microsoft Word, then easily edit! ;) Good luck!

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  27. Thanks so much for sharing! Just found this on Pinterest and already downloaded and customized it for the upcoming summer. Gotta get these lazy kids moving and learning to pull their own weight around the house...not to mention keep myself sane this summer :)

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  28. these are really great. I've downloaded, customized and hung them up. Hopefully this will help keep the house tidy, with everyone chipping in.

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  29. I would get used to it. Thanks for sharing the steps in development.


    arizona dui lawyers

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  30. Thank you for sharing your ideas and templates! I'm looking forward to using it!

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  31. Today I started the chore chart! Yay me! Instead of one big board, I purchased a set of 4 mini boards so my kids would each have their own (they can decorate them etc.) Another thing I did was instead of filling in the bubbles (which i changed into dif shapes) according to what needs to be done, I left them blank and said they could fill them in AFTER they've completed the chore for the day(gives them something to do). I posted the chores on their boards and then used hanging magnets to hang them on the fridge (the kids are CONSTANTLY in and out the fridge so there's NO EXCUSE to not seeing the chart). I have a 9, 7 and 5yr old and Lord knows Im tired of repeating myself. I couldnt get your charts to do what I wanted so I just made my own, I was just excited by the idea! I explained to them the system and as soon as I said "now these chores you will get paid for", screams rang out. So at least for today, they're exited!(and so am I) Crystal

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    1. Well, you just put a big smile on my face this morning. :D I love that you made your own, and that your kids are excited too! That is so cute.
      Thanks so much for sharing!

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  34. Found this through pinterest. We had a family meeting tonight and made our chore charts. I am going to print your chores for hire now :) My kids ages 11, 9, 7 & 5 are so excited to wake up to get started! They can't wait to finish their contributions to our family aka daily chores so they can see what jobs are for hire. It is simple and makes sense but I really like the way you set it up. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and talents! So kind of you. mahalo, malia

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    1. Oh I love that you have family meetings!
      I'm so glad you like it! :D

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  35. Found you through Pinterest -- LOVE this idea. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  36. I found this through pinterest, and I love it! I am a teacher, but stay at home in the summer, and this is great to keep my kids motivated throughout some of those long days. My kids are 10 and 5, so this is perfect for them! I am going to continue this even when the school year starts back up. Thanks again! Love your blog, too. :)

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  37. Hmm...very interesting! I've been trying to figure out how to keep my teens off the screen constantly. Maybe instead of money...I'll use screen time? And I'll have help around the house and maybe even some summer learning too...

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    1. Fantastic idea!! Thanks for reading! ;)

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  38. Loved reading this!! Great idea. Its a must do in our home!

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  39. This looks great.I had searched different site for days trying to find a chore chart. I printed out a customized version that my daughter seemed excited to start using. After a week she had added things and we found that wasn't flexible enough to suit our needs and stopped using it. I think this will work. The different categories and how each one is tailored to each task is perfect. I plan on doing one for my daycare children!

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  40. Thanks for providing such useful information. I am very much impressed with your article and I am happy that I am associated with your site.Thanks.
    Carpet Cleaning

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  41. Going to give this a go.

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  42. I like the work for hire on the clips! Cute! We have a chore system but that is a nice little cherry on top.

    jeannine: waddleeahchaa.com

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    1. Thank you! You have a wonderful site, great resources!

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  43. I found you on Pinterest and I love all the ideas you share on your blog. I am due anytime now with our 3rd girl and will be joining the stay-at-home and homeschooling mom group. Your ideas give me so much hope and motivation that I can do it (my kids are 5, 2, and newborn soon, I was a little worried that my house will be chaos central). May God continue to bless you and your family so you can help unorganized mamas like me :)
    PS: I love that you integrated daily prayer and bible lesson in the kids' schedule. What an awesome idea!

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    1. Congrats! I pray you have a happy and safe delivery! I hope you love being at home as much as I do, I know your children will be blessed for it! :)
      Thanks for reading along!

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    2. Thank you! A friend and I are getting together next week to start our Home Management binders using your great ideas before the baby arrives. I am sharing your blog with everyone. I can't thank you enough, my life will change for the better. xoxo

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  44. Children shouldn't be paid for daily chores. They should be taught that at a young age-its a part of being in the family. Both my son & daughter were taught to pick up there toys at 2 yrs old. By age 5 they could make their bed (granted its wasn't great but the sheets & blanket were pulled up) My son is 12 he can changed his sheets & put clean one on.
    Its the extra-above and beyond things they should get rewarded for accordingly...no wonder there are so many children that expect money. Granted its a Good Idea...but I would use if for the extra chores.

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    1. Lol! I agree!! These are extra work they can do for money because I also don't give allowances. Everything on their chore chart is regular daily and weekly chores they are expected to do as an important and valuable part of the family unit. Work for Hire is extra work they can choose to do AFTER their regular chores are completed.
      Thank you for sharing, and for reading! It sounds like you have done a wonderful job with your children!

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    2. Ursula you system ROCKS! This one and every other one I incorporated in my life... your advise and selfless sharing was a GOD SEND! I seriously prayed for about 3 weeks to find a "way" to help me get my house running smoother, tighter & efficient, and more spiritually. I then I stumbled across your blog via Pinterest when looking for organization ideas and tricks. I've used most systems for a month now. Just wanted to share what appealed to me on this system in particular was the "work for Hire" portion. I understood that the regular daily and weekly chores were not monetarily compensated only the "Work for Hire" thus teaching that there are duties that go along with being a family and that our choices can effect how smooth the house runs meaning time to spend together like your girls do with their daddy. I LOVE you thought of the part that the work for hire only comes after completing their daily/weekly tasks. I would have forgotten to do that until I noticed after a month of extra chores being done and broke and it end up ME still having to finish their daily chores... I have 3 kiddos 10,8,5 and I incorporated a way for them to "VISUALLY" see the daily/week chores being completed, we are all very "VISUAL" people in this house and we all LOVE to see what we have accomplished (I've been a list girl since elementary school, nothing like crossing off an accomplishment). I also have a hard time "controlling" electronic time, so I tied in electronic time to the work for hire, if they choose, they can be paid in "MINUTES" to go toward playing/watching electronics. At first they did not like it nor thought it was fair. I then explained to them that even though daddy works for money he also has to work for time off whether to go on vacations or spend time with us doing fun things. And it takes awhile to earn up those days off. This has really REALLY helped get our house going, running smoother, less fighting and helping raise children who HONOR the work they do now. THANK YOU ENDLESSLY! If nothing else you helped create a positive change in this family.

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    3. That is the loveliest thing to say Holly! Thank you so much for sharing that, it means a lot to me.
      I love your idea of being paid in minutes! I may have to try that out!! ;)

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  45. I just want to say thank you. I was able to download the doc files and customize them to my 2 girls and I made a small station for them as well. I wish I could show you they way mine looks. But I don't see how to post a picture in the comments. I would love to send you a pic of mine!

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  46. This is Brilliant!! I'm repinning!!!

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  47. I really can't thank you enough for sharing this. We have 7 kids & it has been a huge challenge trying to find something cute, simple, AND effective when it comes to organizing the chores in our home. I have printed this out, gone over it with the kids and this week we have begun implementing this into our home - it's working!!!! Truly, from the bottom of my heart, this Mama of many thanks you!!

    I am wondering & I feel greedy for asking, so no harm if the answer is no, but would you be up to sharing a blank sheet that we can edit of the grey squares that the "for hire" and "weekly chores" goes into, I would love to keep the same style/design but adding unique chores to our for hire & weekly chores list, would be great :)

    Again, thank you!!!

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    1. I'm so glad it is working for you! I'm happy to share whatever works for me, I figure there has to be people out there who operate similarly. :D

      I'm sorry, I do have the "Work For Hire" & "Chore of the Week" available in this post, but I did NOT do a good job making it very visible! Lol! Here is the link to download & customize: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1iMch8pzpiOa09sVWJMZ050WTA/edit

      Enjoy!

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    3. You know what - in hindsight, you totally made it obvious lol I was just not paying attention!! Thank you for your patience. You are great Ursula :)

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  48. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  50. I keep trying to open it and I get this message "Sorry, we are unable to retrieve the document for viewing or you don't have permission to view the document." Is there a way to see it someplace else so I can download it??

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    1. Hi Lisa, I'm sorry you are having difficulties. When you click on the link does it allow you to view anything? Or is it that you cannot open it to customize? If it is the latter, it requires being downloaded to your computer before it can be accessed. If not, it may be that your computer does not read Google drive. I am currently looking into alternative ways to embed the document.

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  51. I am definitely going to utilize this chore system with my kids, ages 14, 7, and 5. However, I think instead of placing the money in plain site behind the work for hire card, I am going to use an envelope. This way my kids won't pick a chore in order to get the amount the visualize. It will be more of a surprise. This is such an awesome idea.

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  52. This great and I am trying to customize the word doc you made available. Do you have a word version that shows the circles blank?

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    1. Thanks Amy! Sorry I don't... but if you click on the individual circle, and change the fill color to "no fill" or select a different color, that is how you will quickly be able to customize the days and colors. ;)

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