Our Chore System & Chore Charts for Kids Printables

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Looking for chore charts for kids? Read along and I’ll be sharing some free printables for you all to use with your family!

We’ve had our new chore chart system in place for about a month now and so far it’s working well for us. In the past we have tried to use the chore system from Managers of Their Homes…but cards started getting lost, the younger ones had trouble getting them in and out of the pouches and overall it just didn’t work as well for us as I had envisioned.

I also want to explain a little bit of the ‘why’ behind our chore chart system and how we’re implementing it in our household. You may {or may not} agree with our reasoning…and that’s ok, but this has developed after a lot of talking and merging of different ideas. The full page chore chart goes along with our Weekly Workbox System Grid and is the same size, so it fits as the top page of the set and hangs on the wall.

The Basics of the Chore Chart System

In life there are things that we do on a day-to-day basis that are unpaid and things that result {generally} in a paycheck. Rick mows the lawn, does upkeep on the house, takes out the trash…but other than a thanks from me, it’s an unpaid job. :) He has a paid job that involves him showing up to work on time, completing certain tasks, etc… Neither of us want our children growing up thinking that money is just handed to them. We want them to develop a good work ethic and understand the balance between work and pay  ~ if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you DO work, there are benefits to that. We also want them to learn how to budget their money and manage it before they are in their teens or 20’s and don’t have a clue what to do.

The system that we’re using has two parts: expected chores and paid chores. The two sets go hand in hand though. The expected chores need to be done in order for the paid chores to get paid out. That means that no money is earned unless the basic chores are completed {and Mommy checks to make sure they are done!}.

There are certain things that we expect our kids to do around the house because they are members of the household ~ making of beds, picking up of rooms, etc… Those are the basic chores. Each of our kids has a set of 3 morning expected morning chores and 3 afternoon/evening chores.

Our chore charts are attached to our Weekly Workbox Grid and hang on the wall so the kids have easy access to them. They are laminated and have check boxes next to each of the chores so I can check off with a Sharpie when they have completed a chore {and remove the Sharpie marks later with nail polish remover}. The last column is the “Today I Earned” column where we they can see how much they earned that day. Payday is Saturday and Sunday is a day of rest and no earning. :)

Workbox Grids Cards and Chores 2010-2011

Laurianna’s Chore Chart

Each of the kids has 3 additional chores a day that will earn them money. The money varies from child to child ~ the older they get and the more ‘responsible’ the chore is, they earn a little extra…but we’re still cheap!. They cannot earn the money unless they complete their daily chores {i.e. if they miss one of the daily chores, no cash even if they complete all of the ones they can earn on}. It might seem a little harsh, but the kids are quickly learning the importance of completing what has been put in front of them!

The Chores

Here’s a list of the daily/expected chores that we have for the kids on their charts. They obviously have other things they need to do during the day, but these are the key things we chose to focus on and they may change out if we are having difficulty with certain things being done. For example, oral hygiene is high on the list for a certain 5 year old….

Laurianna {age 9}: make bed/pick-up room, water plants, devotions, pick-up school stuff, clean up basement {family room}, shoes/jacket away, clean off dresser and under bed

McKenna {age 7}: same as above

Zachary {age 5}: make bed/pick-up room, brush teeth, devotions, pick-up school stuff, clean up basement/family room, shoes/jacket away, clean under bed

Kaleb {age 3}: make bed, pick-up room, devotions, wipe table/chairs, pick-up basement/family room, shoes/jacket away

The paid chores change daily, and again there are things that the kids are still expected to do {like put away their laundry}, but these are the extra paid chores by child.

Laurianna: Clean out bathroom sink, start load of laundry, vacuum basement and spare room, clean toilets, dust living room, and yardwork {25 cents a chore, max of 75 cents day}.

McKenna: Wash breakfast table, laundry from washer to dryer, vacuum bedroom, wash bathroom mirror, clean bathroom counters, and yardwork {20 cents a chore, max of 60 cents day}.

Zachary: Load the dishwasher, clothes out of dryer, clean out the van, vacuum bedroom, wash patio door, wash bathroom mirror/clean walls, and yardwork {15 cents a chore, max of 45 cents day}.

Kaleb: Help sort dirty clothes & help start laundry {with Laurianna}; vacuum living room & kitchen; empty bathroom trash; wash patio door; help with dishes; and yardwork {10 cents a chore, max of 30 cents day}.

Payday

Saturday is payday at our house because there aren’t any chores that earn money on Sunday. When we pay the kids for their chores, we also divide out the money that they have earned as follows: 20% giving {we want them to be generous from the start!}, 40% savings and 40% spending.

Rick and I are huge fans of Dave Ramsey and have led his Financial Peace class at our church several times because we have experienced first hand the importance of being debt free. We were deeply in debt {not including our house} to the tune of almost $65,000 around the time Zachary was born. We got serious about paying off that debt {gazelle intensity as Dave would say} and paid it all off in 19 months! We made many dumb money mistakes over the years and really want to teach our children how to deal with money now while we can ~ so they don’t repeat the same mistakes that we made. If you are interested, I would highly recommend the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. That was a bunny trail, but I think it’s important that you also understand a little more of the why behind what we do!

The Chore Charts

Obviously your house and chores may not line up with what we have listed, but if you’d like to use the grid that I made, you can download the blank chore chart templates, write in your chores and then laminate them to use. The Chore Chart printables have 5 pages, all the same format, just different colors ~ purple, pink, blue, green and white.

I made Kaleb’s a little bit, since he can’t read yet. The preschool chore charts are a picture version of the chore chart.

You can download the Chore Chart printables pdf file by clicking on the image below.

Blank Chore Charts

Share and Enjoy

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .


 

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  • Tara Hill

    Just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it!  Wonderful ideas and printables!  Good luck to you and God Bless!

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    Thanks for stopping by, Tara! If there’s anything I can help with, let me know! :)

  • Kristina A

    I LOVE this, but you do have a way to customize it? I would like to add a Sunday as well.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    I don’t at the moment and am in the thick of homeschool planning so I do not have time to edit it. I’m sorry!

  • Brooke

    thanks for this Jolanthe. I was just thinking about pictures for my 3 year old when you mentioned that at the end. Did you do that yet? Also, have you considered just using a dry erase marker instead of the sharpie? or does it not work as well?

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    we’ve actually been using a vis-a-vis marker and then can use a damp cloth to wipe it off when we pay them. :)

    Preschool Chore charts are here: http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/2010/08/preschool-chore-charts/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Whitney-Cantrell/1827843011 Whitney Cantrell

    I love this idea! I have my kids do chores everyday, but never thought of having paid and non paid. Our chore charts were just non paid. I think my kids will love the ability to earn money and I love the fact that you are paying them small amounts. I am a stay at home mom so the thought of paying has always scared my husband and I that we couldn’t afford it. Thanks again!

  • Tina

    Oh my Gosh!!! I totally agree with your philosophy. We have 1 child, a 8 year old girl and she is beginning to think money grows on trees. I can’t wait to use this!!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • Mandy

    Hello, thanks for putting out these great ideas! I kind of meshed your chore chart and another chore chart together to make my own. You have some great pictures for the chore cards! I am really hoping this will get my girls on a good schedule that they can manage mostly on their own. =) you can see the link here:
    http://welcometomandyscorner.blogspot.com/2012/09/i-dream-of-day-when-all-things-are.html
    I actually just started blogging to keep track of our homeschool days. We just started Kindergarten and pre-K!
    Hopefully it’s ok that I linked to you.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    thanks for sharing!! Great way to adapt something to work for your family. :)

  • Riki

    What a fantastic idea….exactly what my kids and I needed!! Thank you very much:)

  • Christina

    I am LOVING your charts! My husband and I have recently emphasized to our kids the importance of their contributions to our household. However, we have been experiencing difficulty actually implementing our plan. The kids were enthusiastic right out of the gate and completed several chores over the first several days without complaint :o) Yet, it seems many days we simply forget to do our chores because it is just not our routine yet. I think this will be a great visual way to keep ALL of us on track! I think Mommy and Daddy should have charts as well, to earn some “fun” money, as Dave Ramsey encourages us to budget in! It would certainly show the kids that running the household is a shared responsibility. We are also HUGE Dave Ramsey fans! We are debt free, except for the house, and are in the process of refinancing our home (currently 26 years left, at 7.09%) into a 15 year mortgage at 2.7% and plan to make extra payments as well. :o) If we had not read My Total Money Makeover about a year before the economy fell, we would have been in serious trouble with our $55k and climbing debt, since our real estate/construction businesses felt a huge blow. Dave’s program saved our lives.

    Thanks SOOO much for sharing your charts and the “why” behind what you do!

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    I LOVE hearing stories like this!! We’re in the process of refinancing as well – but WOW!! That is going to be a huge help for you all with the interest rate!!! WOOT!!

  • {leah}

    I just found this from Pintrest. We are needing to have a recharge of chores before baby #5 comes, and we have had the same idea as you have. Paid/unpaid chores. We want the boys to know that somethings you do get paid for, but other things you don’t because you are a member of a family/society, you do them for the betterment of other people. We also have the rule that if you don’t complete your chores before Saturday, you still have to do them you just don’t get paid, or if Mom or Dad ends up having to do your chore, you pay them. I love your blog!! thanks for all the great stuff!

    {while my husband was in Chiropractic school we were able to get out of debt and even pay off our cars using the Dave Ramesy program. Now our only debt is the school loans!}

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    I’m actually working on a bit of a revamp of ours {same concept, just smaller}, and will be sharing soon – so stay tuned! The last few weeks have been hard chore wise and the kids aren’t as anxious to do them since one received birthday money and they also earned some for working. grr… ;)

  • Juli Thornton

    Awesome Chore Charts – Any way yet to customize? We just talked with our 5 tonight at family meeting about earning allowance and all the financial responsibilities they will be learning with it. Their ages are 9,7,5,4,2 so I loved both charts but would love to be able to type on them and change them as needs change. Love your ideas and items. Praise the Lord for His guidance.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    I have ones that can be customized as a part of my homeschool planner, but otherwise, none that can be typed in at this point. :)

  • Kris Bush

    WOW. I love this! I will most definitely implement this in our house. Thank you!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/misscascio Michelle Cascio

    Hello Jolanthe! I love your chore charts, especially the preschool chart with pictures! I linked to your site from my homeschool group! Thank you so much! https://www.facebook.com/travishomeschool

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    thanks Michelle – glad it’s a help! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.gilbertsonmorrell Amy ‘Gilbertson’ Morrell

    I’m in the same boat. My daughter will be eight in March and she thinks the same thing. I have the problem of not knowing what tasks around the house to give her….with only one child, my husband and I can pretty much take care of everything, but we want her to be apart of our “home” responsibilies. We have her do a couple of things around the house on Saturdays, but I want her to have more responsibility. What chores do you have your’s do? If you don’t mind me asking.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    Amy,

    Here’s a list of the chores that we have our 8 year old {or younger} helping with:
    - clean trash out of the van
    - empty house trash cans {into main trash}
    - make bed {daily}
    - sweep the steps
    - feed the cat {daily}
    - empty or help load dishwasher
    - washing dining room table after meal
    - help with pets {i.e. litter box}
    - wash mirrors
    - vacuum
    - dust
    - put toys away

    Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Hope that helps some!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.gilbertsonmorrell Amy ‘Gilbertson’ Morrell

    Thank you, some of those I would have not thought of. I appreciate the help!

  • Tresorier

    Nice way to make our children responsible. I didn’t “like” the word Pay to do chores because it takes out the idea of fun, of working as a team with the family because parents have their own chores and kids should learn early enough that their parents are also working hard for them. Instead of pay, I suggest a present which could be a monetary one or something else. They could use the money for their personal saving or whatever they want. The idea is to teach them the effort, the desire to help, to be part of a team without having Money as a motive to work. This is what my parents taught me 40 years ago while growing up somewhere in Africa, I still believe in it and kids learn easily if we show them that money is not everything but family, but team, giving without expecting anything.

  • Candace

    I love the idea very much. Best system I’ve seen. We were going to buy the chart by Dave Ramsey but I think I like this one better.
    I have some questions. I was putting the chores on there I realized that most of the afternoon chores were really dinner chores (wiping the table, cleaning up, doing dishes ect). So most of the earn chores were ones that would be done during the day like weeding, laundry, cleaning sink ect. So is it designed for a morning, mid day, then earned to be done in evening? Or can they complete the earned ones prior to the Afternoon/Evening though not getting credit for earnings until the evening ones are paid? Also what do you do when they do not complete the must chores?
    Thanks for the wonderful system!
    Candace

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    Our kids work on chores at various times of the day. Sometimes, the table wiping may be for our youngest to do after breakfast or loading the dishes that are on the counter from breakfast. Really – it’s up to you when you want them to work on things. We typically pay out once a week, not once a day, so that helps some as well {Saturday is payday}.
    And if they don’t complete them, we don’t pay. They can lose a day’s pay if they decide to opt out of the ‘required’ chores. It stinks, but it only takes one or two times for that reminder to sink in! :) Then they remember!!

  • Darlene Webb

    I came across your blog via a search for workbox tags. This is amazing. We will be starting our 2nd year of homeschooling and this year I’d like to try workboxes. I love how you have incorporated chores & school. My husband and I have been wanting give the kids (5 & 4 yr. old) more responsibility and pay them accordingly, but didn’t know how to start. This is exactly what I needed to get the ball rolling. Thank you for sharing this.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    most welcome – enjoy!

  • Paula

    Loving these ideas! I’m working at making these for my children right now. What do you do with the money for saving and giving?

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    Giving money is tithed at church and we have savings jars that we keep their money in until they have a significant enough amount to deposit in their bank savings account.

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  • JaneofAllTrades

    We recently completed Dave Ramsey (our church did Momentum) and I like your chore charts SO much better than mine! Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    We’re in the middle to hosting a class right now from Dave Ramsey. :) Love it!

  • Sarah Brokaw Churchwell

    Love love love these preschool chore cards!! Found you on ..drum roll….Pintrest :) anyway wanting to use these and have downloaded but I have a few others to add and wonder where you got pictures from. I would like to add mine with the same style it’s the OCD in me. Thanks for any direction and the great cards!!

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    If there are some that you are looking for, let me know! I was planning to revamp them and add a few additional ones and I’d be happy to help you out. :)

  • Laura

    How do you rotate the chores ? I have 3 kiddos 11,9 and 5. I really like your ideas and need to start soon. School is out this week and we really need a schedule. Do you also do a schedule of the day so the kids know what to expect? Thanks Laura

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    We periodically go through the lists and switch things around with the kids – just to change things up. Also, we have switched chores around (either because a kiddo isn’t doing a chore the way s/he has been asked or because they don’t want to). In that case, they sometimes lose that chore altogether (especially if it is a paid chore) and it is assigned to someone else – and they quickly learn that when you don’t do the work, you can’t get paid as much. Other times the kids have voluntarily traded chores with each other too.

    We’ve revamped our chores a bit and I’ll be sharing our updated charts soon with you all too!

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    and with school, our kids usually know that they work on chores before school and in the afternoon. Typically there is a good balance on what needs to be done in the morning and the afternoon.

  • Kate Weink

    Hi Jolanthe! I came across your wonderful chore charts and plan to use them with my kiddos! Just wondering if you could have a link or send me a version in Microsoft Word or Publisher version? I don’t have the program to convert PDF to Word so I can type on it. Thank you!

  • Heather Able

    I’ll be using the chore charts as soon as I explain them this weekend! Super excited to get this rolling and underway for the summer and then hopefully will start off a successful new school year. Question: Do you every have the kids pick their unpaid/paid chores? Or do you just assign them?

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    Depends on the age of our kids. :) Our older ones helped come up with some of the chores/ideas.

  • Jenny Johnston

    I stumbled upon this post looking for a chart to plan my year for homeschooling and I am SO glad I found this. I totally think you are doing the right thing by having some expectations for your children, not harsh at all. I wish more parents were raising responsible children like you are. What a gift you are giving them.

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/ Jolanthe

    We recently listened to Dave Ramsey’s book with his daughter – Smart Money, Smart Kids – SUCH a great read!! We definitely want our kids to understand money and relate to it way better than we started out!

  • sarah

    Haven’t heard from you about the add one’s are you still able to do them? Please let me know . Blessings Sarah

  • http://www.homeschoolcreations.net Jolanthe
  • Sarah Brokaw Churchwell

    Can you privately email me, thanks


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