Chore Reward System

I would love to claim the brilliance of this idea, but I totally copied it from Jenn at Daze of Adventure. It’s just too good not to share with you, too!

We don’t do allowance. If you live in this house, you ought to do your part in household chores. Sometimes, though, it feels like all I’m doing is reminding somebody to do chores. This idea uses motivation, instead of me nagging.

Rather than earning money, chores earn glass “gems” which are then put into a jar.  We decide ahead of time upon a goal or prize redeemable when the jar is filled. In this case, Kathryn has decided upon a girls-only trip to Menchie’s frozen yogurt place. {Yummy!} Once she has redeemed this, we can decide on a new goal for the next time. I’m only doing this with Kathryn right now because I thought Lindsey might think it too childish, but she has asked if she can have a gem jar, too! I believe what makes it able to span up to older kids is that the goal could be anything agreed upon by both child and parent: money to go to a movie; a trip to Starbucks; anything!

We put our jar in a spot where we can easily see it, because that helps with motivation; it sits on a bookshelf in our school room. A clear jar is best so we can see how full it’s getting. We bought our jar at Hobby Lobby for $1, and let Kathryn pick what color gems she wanted. I tied a bit of yarn around the neck of the jar and attached a little tag that reminds us what goal Kathryn is working towards.

Gem Jar

I set out the glass gems Kathryn has earned, but she enjoys putting them in the jar.

Adding Gems

Some examples of Kathryn’s current list of chores and how many gems she earns for doing them:

Morning chores done by 9AM: 2 gems
“Daily” schoolwork done before lunch: 1 gem
Feed and water Lacy: 1 gem
Brush Lacy: 1 gem
Shower in 15 minutes or less: 2 gems
Ready for bed in 15 minutes or less: 2 gems
Help cook dinner: 2 gems
Help shop and put away groceries: 2 gems
Bring in your dirty laundry and put away clean: 1 gem
Clean bathroom sink, counter, and mirror: 3 gems
Put away clean silverware from dishwasher: 1 gem

The more difficult — or more complained about — chores earn more than the simpler ones. It also provides an opportunity to focus on little problems, too, like excessively long showers or bedtime dawdling. If she does something above and beyond, like the day she helped us clean out the garage, we can give her extra gems.