Steve has been working Saturday mornings in February (it takes some more seniority to get the weekends off!) so to keep ourselves busy and get the house clean, I've been offering the kids the opportunity to earn some money. It goes like this: after breakfast and a healthy dose of cartoons, we meet at the table and discuss what jobs the kids think need to get done around the house, then I write each job on a post-it note with a money value attached (25-50 cents), and the kids choose one to start with and get busy. When they finish a job, they stick the post-it note to their bedroom door so I can pay them accordingly. I've had help sweeping the snow off of the porch, putting outdoor toys away, vaccuuming rugs, sweeping the kitchen, sorting the recycling, and unloading the dishwasher- all for about $4.00 a week! David is saving up for LEGO Star Wars for our new computer, and Abby is saving for a Cabbage Patch doll.
This is such a fun part of our Saturday now. I have to keep a teaching mindset as we work because some of the chores are new or very challenging for them. Abby isn't quite ready to handle the vaccuum cleaner around the corners of the coffee table, but she chooses that chore each time- so we just do that part together. David is so capable- he amazed me the first time he swept the snow off of the porch- not only did he use the garage door opener in the van to get the garage open and put the broom away after he finished, but he took his boots off in the garage so he wouldn't ruin the clean kitchen floor with wet boots! WOW! This is great practice for me not to expect perfection and criticize, but just praise them for jobs well done and let their own sense of responsibility and hard work kick in!