Well, summer vacation has officially begun at the Waterman residence. Last week I posted our Summer Schedule to keep the kids and I busy and productive. (See that and get your own copy here.) One of the time slots of our schedule, is what I called "Earn It, Learn It" time, which came from the book Earn It, Learn It by Alisa Weinstein.
I had been wanting to implement a chore/allowance system for a while now and knew that this summer would be the perfect time to start. This book discusses paying your child an allowance for "careers" rather than daily responsibilities in the home. Daily responsibilities, in her opinion, should be part of the child's day just because they are part of a family and families work together. It then goes on to give 50 careers and activities your child can complete to help learn more about each one. These activities range in ability levels and can be adapted for almost any age.
After reading this book, I decided to try a bit of a combination approach. I want to implement some "careers" for my kiddos to learn about but I am also including some chores around the house as part of their allowance. To each is own as far as I'm concerned when it comes to teaching your child about money. I like the idea of teaching my kids that money doesn't grow on trees and that we all have to work our part. I also like the idea of teaching them some real world skills and possible spark some interest in specific fields and have some fun along the way.
Our first career that we started this week, was the Banker. I figured this would be a good starting point since we could then discuss the idea of money and how to manage it.
Yesterday's activity was to sort coins. I took a cheapo relish tray and taped on paper coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters). I made sure to use both sides of the coins so that the kids would know what to look for on both sides when determining which coin they had.
Then using real coins, they were to sort them into the appropriate category.
Since my youngest is only three, she was in charge of the "brown coins" or pennies
while my five year old figured out the others.
The rest of the week will be full of other money related activities such as
1. Creating our own fun family currency
2. Using our fun money to play restaurant in the kids "Cafe" in our playroom
3. Setting up "bank accounts" for the kids' allowance (see below).
Although this is totally up to each family, I have decided to give $1 per year of age at the end of the week--If they have done the work. For example my five year old will receive $5.00 while my three year old will receive $3.00. I am planning to give half of the allowance in bills and the other half in coins. That way, they can use the coins to deposit into their "Savings" or piggy banks, 10% for charity, which is the donation envelope, and the remainder will go into their kitty purses, which we will eventually take with us to a store and let them see how their money can be spent (if they choose).
As I mentioned above, I am also asking that my kids work around the house a bit to earn their allowance as well. These are all age appropriate (the one above has a couple more jobs because it is directed towards my five year old while the one below is geared more for my three year old.) **Note that my oldest's chart has "good attitude" two times. This is for the morning and afternoon and is something we are really working on.
These will go onto clipboards and will be checked off as they complete each task. They will have to earn a certain number of stickers/stamps to get their full allowance. (That is yet to be determined.)
The other "careers" we are going to pursue this summer (which also go along with many of our weekly field trips from our summer bucket list) are:
- Zoologist (Taking a trip to the Zoo)
- Contractor (Project with Daddy)
- Entomologist (Butterfly Pavillion)
- Guest Relations Manager (Mimi and Pop Pop visit)
- Genetecist (Petting Zoo)
- Travel Agent (Trip to Oregon to visit Grandma and Grandpa)
(If you care to check in and see how these careers are doing, feel free and check in our family blog at http://www.watermanclan.blogspot.com/ . I'll be posting about it throughout the summer there.)