- The home is always clean.
- I am always happy.
- My home is peaceful.
- Most importantly, my kids are productive.
I wanted to share another idea with you that is easy and very practical. It is the dry erase chore chart that I created. I bought this dry erase board about one year ago at Walmart for a couple dollars. They sold extra magnets as well. I thought the magnets would be a fun touch.
Using a permanent black marker, I carefully printed out their chores and then traced the magnets to make a circle area for the magnet to be placed. Each of my children have their own dry erase chore chart with their specific responsibilities. When they complete the list of jobs, they simply place a magnet over the circle and move onto the next job at the next time slot. Now, I have them turn in magnets for MOM BUCKS. It works great and if you use the permanent marker, you do not have to rewrite your list each day after someone rubbed it off. I periodically change up the chore lists by cleaning my board with rubbing alcohol. I have different schedules in the summer verses, fall or winter when school is in session. Here is an example...
I am a firm believer in REAL LIFE skills. In real life, our children will have jobs that require the punch clock. They will have to be at the job at a certain time. If they roll out of bed too late and arrive at work past the required time, they could risk losing their job. As homeschoolers, we tend to be on our own schedule, just floating through the day with a "whenever" it gets done type philosophy.
Our children NEED structure if they are going to be successful in the real world. All the while we try to be flexible. Sounds hard to balance, but it can be done:)
They need to understand TIME.
They need to BE ON TIME. Being accountable is very important in our society. Who wants to hire someone who does not KEEP their word? I sure do not care to hire someone like that. I like to have someone who is where they say they were going to be when they say they were going to be there.
I used to be LATE all the time. My parents were so frustrated with me. They said I would be late for my own funeral. My parents are very timely people and they tried so hard to teach me how to be on time. As I got older I used the excuse of being "Fashionably Late". I started to hear people say, "Erin's always late. If you want something done, don't ask Erin, she will never Get Around To it."
I hated sitting in the principles office every day while in high school, filling out tardy slips. I ended up getting the award for the best excuses for being tardy. Here are a couple excuses for the fun of it...
- Sorry I am late, there was a bird in my house and it was flying into the window. I had to help it, so I went into the garage and found a fishing net so I could catch it. By the time I finally caught the poor bird, I noticed that it was getting late. (They would laugh and hand me the tardy slip)
- Sorry I am late, (I had my shirt stuffed with crumpled papers) I went over a bump and my folder fell out of my basket. All my important essays went flying in the wind and I had to chase them down as fast as I could. Then I put all the papers in my shirt because I was in a hurry so I would not be late. Oops, I guess I am still late. Sorry:( (They would laugh and hand me another tardy slip)
Well, I had many more stories and excuses for being late. They were all True stories from a very scatter brained girl. I finally figured out, after I ran a wedding photography business that I had to be on time. You can not run a good business, especially in the wedding business, if you are LATE. If you are late for a wedding, you will miss the bride coming down the isle. I had to be on time. It was mandatory. Being late was just not very considerate. Making people wait on you is just plain selfish and RUDE.
It is saying silently: "I really do not care about your time. You need to revolve your life around my clock! My time is more important than yours."
Of course, there are times where something really does happen that is unforeseen. I used to be late all the time when I had little ones because you would pack the van, then one of the kids would fill their diaper, while another child is falling into a puddle getting full of mud. Or you are driving down the road and realize you forgot the diaper bag or the dish to pass. I know. I have been there.
But it was poor planning on my part. I should have known to expect a ton of things to go wrong at the last second and learned to pack the car sooner. It still was my fault. Now I am always on time. I hate being late. I will go out of my way to plan ahead so I can be right where I say I am going to be when I say I will be there.
I thought I could never get a new reputation. But, I did. I have overcome in that area and people comment instead, "If Erin says she will be there, she will be there. Erin is never late. Erin is someone you can count on for anything, she keeps her word!"
Teaching your children to be accountable should be paramount in your home. We have to prepare them for the life they will live a part from us. They are only ours for a short time. Just because we like to be lax and have the freedom to do whatever, whenever, does not mean we should train our kids to be that way. It will handicap them in their future.
Do them a favor. Make them a schedule. Help them be accountable to it by using the Mom Bucks for rewards. If my kids dawdle, I charge them "Dawdle Dollars". It costs $1 MOM BUCK for every minute they go past the deadline. I know how long a job should take and I give them ample time to complete it. One day, Molly was dawdling for 20 minutes. I charged her $20 MOM BUCKS and from then on, she was trained to keep at her task.
As stay at home mothers, homeschoolers, housekeepers, it is important to not be too rigid to enjoy the little things in life. It is the principle that I am trying to convey. We should try to, in some way, teach them about time without taking away the beauty of creativity and flexibility that the home life offers them.
In other words, make time for fun!!! I like to schedule in a few hours of play/fun, run around time each day. That way, I have all our school done, the house is clean, dinner is made, so we are free to be creative and go on adventures! And the best part is, we can come home to clean home and a hot dinner ready to serve. What more could you want?
I would like to share some other testimonials on the MOM BUCKS miracle. I get mail every day from happy readers that have found this to be an answer to their prayers and to their needs. Thank you to all who take the time to write in or comment. It means more to me than you could know. Some of these stories really touched my heart and others were just plain cute!!!
Your blog is so much fun and so encouraging! :) My children got wind of the idea of, "Mom Bucks" and wanted to try it. I wasn't so sure, but they really wanted to. So we printed them out and cut them out. The motivation at our house is incredible! :) They are working so hard. Of course we put some of our own twists on it, but used many of your basic ideas. If they cook the whole entire meal, they get to eat it for FREE. Even my 7 year old son (Gideon) made our whole lunch yesterday. If they assist me or one of the older ones, they get 2 bucks. My 12 year old (Megan) cleaned up the kitchen after lunch today and then set out to make no bake cookies and clean up. (If they make any kind of dessert AND clean up they get paid.) I love that they are learning and experiencing more and more of life. They already did laundry, but now get extra if they hang it out vs. putting it in the dryer. They just keep doing these things. My 9 year old (Molly) got busy doing things because of the "Mom Bucks Miracle". :) My two youngest (5&2) are kind of involved, but we're working at getting the system fully intact. Many of the things they were already doing, but now doing them with more gusto and enthusiasm (and more diligently).
Keep writing and encouraging all of us other homeschooling mamas!
I have a Megan and Molly, too - so I love to read about yours. Only my Megan is my eldest.
After using Mom Bucks for awhile there was this family owned company( two brothers and two sons) that came to our home last week to redo our kitchen and bathroom counter tops.. They saw our list of mom bucks / chore chart on our fridge and price per chore and wanted to quit their jobs and come work for me because of all that " money" we were dishing out to the children ! HA! The youngest son (about 23 yrs old) preceded to wipe down my dishwasher and asked me for 2 mom bucks! lol! I told him that chore was only 1 mom buck, unless he also wiped down the fridge, Stove and Outside Oven surface, then he'd get 5 mom bucks. And then I explained to them it was just Mom bucks and my friend Erin Harrison came up with the idea! They all loved it and wouldn't stop talking about it! They all thought it was just brilliant and so do I! Funny, the oldest of the family ( a man in his 50s) asked Daniel how many mom bucks he had and he said 10. He was almost broke! And I said he barely makes enough to live on and he turned around and told my son that he was the same exact way! But that's whats wrong with today children they all expect something for nothing and when they grow up they fail because everything been handed to them and they never had to work hard for anything in their little lives! He said what we were doing was great! Thanks to you Erin for listening to Gods word and sharing what he gave you! It has helped our family immensely!
Another story was my husband sharing the Mom bucks system with his boss at The Home Depot ( He has 6 children himself) and my mom also has shared the mom bucks system with her friends as well. Everyone just loves the idea and makes so much sense to them! I just love and admire that creative brain of yours!! ;)"
~Amanda Wentz from Oklahoma
When I read about Mom Bucks, I was intrigued, but honestly, I put off starting it because so many plans of mine to motivate my children have flopped. Miserably. I guess I wanted to hang on to the hope that this would work before putting it into play and finding another failure!
Pretty sad, I know.
Finally, I became desperate enough last week to try it out. I have seven children, two being infant twins, and my older children now see through my cheerful "Come on! Picking up these rose bush clippings will be FUN! Everybody now!"
So as I copied your cute list of prices and the job chart, my kids gathered around, curiously wondering what Mama was getting from the Homesteading for Beginners lady. And as they read, they got very. Very. Excited.
One wonderful thing about Mom Bucks is that it is like a game. We use money from a Monopoly-type game that has tens, fives, ones, and 50¢ bills. As a game, the kids are jumping to play it instead of viewing it as a disguised job chart.
The day I began, my kids went from hearing me nag and nag to pick up this, or finish that, to begging me for jobs to do! And it hasn't stopped! I have time to sit down and write this! And my living room is clean!
We were at an all-day event on Saturday, and Mom Bucks helped immensely. It was a treat for my daughter to help with the babies, even when there were fun things going on elsewhere.
My son's friend giggled when I paid my son with play money until I told him what all that money can buy. He was looking wistfully at that pink dollar when I finished! (An hour of free time for a dollar is a steal!) How many more families would implement this system if it were up to the children!
My kids have become so thankful for the chance to work, they are thankful for the food they buy, they are thrilled to charge/hire one another to do jobs for them. It is teaching all of us so much, even down to my two year old. He is learning that four 50¢ bills are worth $2, and that work makes food and that work is a blessing. And the lessons go up from there for each child!
Thanks for sharing this blessing from above with so many. I think the key that is making it work for us is that I am coming to understand more and more the truth that "Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it." Motherhood successfully is an impossible undertaking on our own, but when we trust in the God with whom nothing is impossible and realize that
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Even a home that has children begging to help.
And my boys were THRILLED to carry off my rose bush prunings this morning! :)
Love and thanks,
Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee;
which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee
before the sons of men!"
We love Mom bucks! If you want your children to line up for chores, and enthusiastically help, all the while learning math, economics and responsibility..then Mom bucks are for you! This has started a fire in our house that will not likely soon be put out. Thank you Erin
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have searched pinterest and the internet for months searching for a "chore chart" for my older two kids, but everything lacked motivation and we lost interest and didn't keep track of it...THIS on the other hand, is EXACTLY the life values I want my children to learn! We went over the concept in devotions last night, and both my older kids were up folding towels and wash cloths and making their beds early this morning, so they could earn enough "mom bucks" for breakfast! What a wonderful concept! And not too complicated! We also added in, that when they grow up bad attitudes at work will get them fired, not paid! So they have to work with the right attitude, or they still have to work, but lose their pay! There's so many ways to make this unique for each and every family! Thank you again! This has been a blessing to me, and we are just getting started!
I am close to tears; thank you!!!This is *exactly* what I needed! With six kids still at home and TONS to do everyday that never seems to get done, and of course I nag, nag, nag... Our household has been especially discontent and unhappy this hard winter, and I have been trying to figure out a system to make it work. This is perfect!
- Ben says: An interesting idea. But what happens when one of them figures out he/she can look this up and print out a bunch for themselves? After a long while it would be hard for the parent to keep track of every buck. So it wouldn't be difficult... Just a thought.
- Laura responds: If I discovered one of my childrwn had gone ahead and print some off for their self they will end up with the equivalent of child prison! There meals are not always what everyone is eating. There are NO privileges and lots of extra chores with no extra pay!
Erin, I can hardly believe how motivated my dear kids are!! One is forgoing movie and snack shack because the cash is more important. The others are treating themselves today. By the way I'm reducing the value of each "to do" so they are more challenged right now. I'm going to give this a go for a little while and if good attitudes prevail, then I'll increase some of the value. Erin, are you giving Bucks every day? Wouldn't it be a great learning tool, to pay every two weeks like real life? I'm just might try this if my dear kids start to lose interest in this :-0.
~Birdie Smith from Canada"
~Lorene from AL
I did add some big ticket items. They can together earn a swim afternoon, pizza party and game night. I also said there would be penalties for jobs not done well.
A very big Thank-you for sharing your idea. "
~Cari from Manitoba, Canada