Family: Star Charts


I got a $1 per week as a child for helping around the house and then on the dreaded Saturday picking up pine cones in the yard. And not just any yard. Our home sat on an acre with at least 75 pine trees. I did have 2 other sisters to help and a wheelbarrow, but $1.
Times have changed, my friends. And they needed to!

For now, in this season of raising preschoolers and lower elementary aged kids, our chore system and allowances fit our family.The idea of the star chart has been a gathering of a few good ideas we have heard at Pine Cove and what we see works best for our family.

The chart runs Sunday through Saturday. I, the keeper of the chart, put a star for each chore completed. On Saturday, we tally up the stars. One star equals one dime.

The star chart hangs in our laundry room just above our trash can. If the star chart is not in a prominent place, it gets forgotten. Hence, the laundry room and the trash can!

We have started our boys on star charts at the age of 2, giving them one chore per week. We add to the list as they get older or the chores become a little more demanding. The chores reflect what we believe they can do to help the family.


Asher (age 3) chores:
pick up toys
put away clothes
put away drink/plate

Sam (age 5) chores:
set the dinner table
gather trash from bathrooms (once a week)
pick up toys
put away clothes

Elijah (age 7) chores:
make up bed without being told
pick up toys
clean one bathroom (once a week)
pack his lunch
put away clothes

Come Saturday, we first count out each boy's stars earned.
We pay them the total. Each star equals one dime.
We keep envelopes handy for them to give God 10% of the total.
They put 10% in their piggy banks (savings).
The rest goes in their wallets for personal spending.

The boys love pay day.
They learn what coins are worth.
They see how their hard work has paid off.

We talk that God is the Giver of all good things and He is worthy of the first of our earnings. We want our boys to know we do the same with the money we earn and that God desires that we give back to Him. It pleases Him. We are saying, "Thank you for all that You've given to us."

Right now, our family is saving for Disneyland. I know! So our piggy banks are holding those savings. It's not uncommon for our boys to want to put their personal spending money into their piggy banks.

Their wallets hold the rest for personal spendings.
Like every other child (I mean human), they 'want' every time they walk into a store.
We tell the boys if they see something they want, they need to write it down on a piece of paper and keep it in their wallet. This does two things:
1. it zaps those conversations out quickly in stores
2. it makes them think about what they really want to spend their money on
Every now and then, we'll take a look at their list in their wallets and set aside time for them to go spend their money.

We are in the foundational stages. But there has to be a foundation set first.
This star chart works best when the boys see mom and dad living this out - being generous, giving to God and the church, and saving.
And we're not trying to instill some type of system into our kids, but rather a way of life. Star Chart is just a tool we are using for this season.

Share your thoughts. Share your ideas.