Back to School Charts

Hi friends! How was your weekend?!  As usual, ours flew by too fast and now we’re staring down the last week of summer break!  To celebrate, we’ve got some fun things planned this week, starting with a trip to the zoo this morning. There’s a brand new baby elephant named “Joy” that was just born last month!  I don’t think we’ve ever taken Jordan to the zoo, so I can’t wait to see how she enjoys it.

I think we’ll also go feed the horses, since that’s something James said he wants to do again.  In Houston, it’s at the Mounted Patrol Facility and you can bring apples, carrots and peppermint candy and feed the horses.  It’s a fun little afternoon outing.

If you’re in Houston, you can check out this Things to Do With Kids that I wrote last summer, full of fun things for you to do with the kiddos!

With the super lazy summer we had this year, all the routine and schedules I had thoughtfully implemented last year have flown out the window!  We’ve been staying up too late, sleeping in and (James) barely getting dressed half the time!

But, I know that’s what summer is for-  I just hope it’s not too painful getting back into the swing of things next week! Since kindergarten, I had things in ship shape with James getting himself ready for school without (much) prompting from the parents, but I know he’s gonna need a refresher.

I’ve updated his Morning Routine chart and his Chore chart because that’s what works best for his brain.  And if it’s written down and in plain sight, he knows what’s expected of him without the oh so pleasurable nagging.

I made him two charts in Pages on my mac, then simply printed them out and laminated them.  One chart is the Morning Routine, the second is the Household Chores.

kids chore chart

He’s already had all these chores with the exception of setting and clearing the table, that we’ll start implementing now. I’ve been making him sweep the crumbs off the floor under his counter stool because he makes such a mess there that he should have to clean up.  He usually eats raisin toast for breakfast and somehow, half of it seems to end up on the floor everyday.

After we get home from school, the first thing he has to do is empty his backpack and hang it back up.  That way, I can also look at any important notes and review his schoolwork with him.

kids backpack

Then, he eats a snack and has downtime.  Homework time is usually while I’m making dinner and then the cleaning up is before bedtime.

We haven’t implemented an allowance yet, but I think that’s coming soon because we want to teach him the value of money with thoughtful spending, saving and giving.  I just need more time to consider how to do it before we start.  I welcome your suggestions about how you do allowance with your kids! 

His Morning Routine is on the reverse side, so he can clearly see what needs to be done each day.  He should know by now, but this chart eliminates any excuses!

kids morning routine chart

magnetic gears

I know this sounds terrible, but this totally has me looking forward to school starting so I can clean out and organize our house again!  There’s so many things I want to get to that I haven’t been able to do with all the kids here!

Wishing y’all a great week!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I rarely have cash, and so in the past when we’ve done an allowance, we would pay them a certain amount at the end of the week (I have 3 kids – 10, 8, 5) but realistically that wasn’t a lasting system. So, I’ve started something that’s much more manageable!!! They each have a piece of notebook paper that’s tacked to cork board, and they can do random jobs and earn money. For example, they can earn $.50 for emptying the dishwasher, folding and putting away towels, etc., and when they’ve earned the money they go write it down on their chart and keep a running total. (My 2 boys are the older ones so they help their younger sister with her money chart). It’s not the same amount every week, it’s more of a pay as you go. And, the other day, my 5 year old paid her brother $.50 to pick up her toys in the playroom! Win win all the way around! They enjoy making money, they’re working on math, and I can delegate some of my chores!! (Then they also have responsibilities that they just have to do without getting paid – cleaning up after themselves, and other things like that).

  2. My daughter is 12 years old and since she was around James’ age, she has gotten an allowance for helping out around the house. She gets $1 per year she is each month. So currently she gets $12/month. On each birthday, she gets a $1 raise! But….she must give 10%, save 20%, and she can spend (wisely) the other 70%. We started out with Give, Save, Spend jars, but as she has gotten older, she now has her own savings and checking account with a debit card. This has taught her the importance of saving, giving generously, and saving for and spending wisely on things she wants. This has worked great!

  3. I use an allowance for my little guy when he does extra work or is extra helpful around the house. He doesn’t get paid for cleaning up his toys, etc. He gets paid for when he goes beyond that. Like on Saturday, we had friends over so he dusted, cleaned up after his sister and helped with the vacuuming so he got a few dollars. I’m kind of ready to get back on a school schedule too and told him the first thing I’m doing when he heads back to school is sort through the toys!

  4. So with our kids, we painted special mason jars with “spend”, “save”, “give” on them. They receive their allowance once a month (we probably should do every week but we never seem to have cash all the time!). They are 7 and get $5 per week. So on the first of the month, we give them $20 in one dollar bill increments. They are required to put 10% of that in “give” as that is part of our belief system. The rest may be split the way they choose but we talk about the responsibility of saving and shockingly, most of theirs they choose to put into savings, especially when we remind them of that Lego set or AG doll outfit, etc. Anyway, maybe that will help you!

  5. For my 7 and 4 yo they get paid my doing extra chores above and beyond what is expected. We call it workpay and I pay them in marbles. Each marble = $.50. They both have marble jars in the kitchen. This eliminates me from having to have cash on hand and has worked well for several years. My oldest is 12yo and this year I read the book “raising financially confident kids”. The book suggests giving kids a larger amount of money to manage, save, and give but making kids responsible for paying more and more of their own stuff. He gets a very large “salary” ($100/month) but it must cover larger items like new shoes, hot lunches (he goes to private school and he was spending over $10/day on lunches), school supplies, bday party gifts, and going to the movies with friends. He now packs his own lunch b/c he doesn’t want to spend his own money and choose cheaper shoes too. This has actually saved me money too b/c his school lunch bill was about $140/month. He is saving his extra in a savings account for his future car.

    1. Isn’t that amazing how he made a different choice when it was HIS money?! Sounds like he’s really learning. I’m going to check out that book!

  6. We just started allowances about a year ago with our two boys and I can not recommend enough the book “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous and Smart” by Ron Leiber.

    This book really helped me talk to my kids about money as well as come up with a plan for allowance. Even if you end up with a different system the book offers some great insight into talking to kids about money and how to raise them to understand and appreciate it.

    Good luck!

  7. We give allowance but it doesn’t hinge on doing chores, I believe kids should do chores because helping out is what you do, not with the expectation of getting paid. We do three $5 a week (he’s 6), but he doesn’t get to spend that all? He had a set of three banks, spend, save, and share. He must divide the money equally and the share will go to charities we discuss and decide on. Saving will eventually go into account or he can decide to invest when he’s older.

  8. My parents started giving me and my twin sister an allowance for chores when we were maybe 8? We got $10 a week. $3 went into a “never spend” category, $3 went into a “save up” category, and $4 went into a “spend anytime” category. We used shoeboxes to make our “banks” and had 3 sections for each category. The one dollar bills were put into our banks once the chores were done every Sunday. Once we had a little bit of money in the “never spend” section, our dad opened us mutual funds for that money to go in. He added maybe $500 or $1,000 of his money first, because you can’t have $53 total to open a bank account :). We would add in money into our accounts every few months, and I think he matched it the first few years.

    This taught me the value of money from a very young age. The “spend anytime” money went to movie tickets and lollipops. The “save up” money went to a new shirt or shoes or electronic device. And the “never spend” money has STILL NEVER BEEN SPENT. I am very proud to say that I still contribute to that mutual fund monthly. And now that I am a working adult, it’s more than $3 a week. ha! My dad also LOVES telling this story. It’s one of his proudest father moments.

    And in case you are wondering, our chores consisted of: picking up dog poop and cleaning out the litter box (I’d make my kids do this too if I had them!), cleaning our bathroom countertops and mirrors, making our bed every day, collecting the trash from all the little bathroom trash cans around the house and taking it out, keeping our rooms clean. Nothing too crazy, but it sure engrained in me how to keep your house tidy all of the time. I can’t thank my parents enough for these chores and money saving habits.

  9. Something my parents did when I was little that I plan on implementing is posting available extra chores on the family bulletin board.

    They would post chores each week, with what they paid and we would sign up to do them. The trick was, if we didn’t complete them, we LOST that amount from our pay. It was fun because we would compete to sign up for the biggest paying chores. and eventually I learned I preferred to do lots of little chores quickly because I did not have the attention span to say, mow the lawn…I preferred to dust the bookshelf, vacuum the stairs, etc.

  10. I don’t pay my girls (11 and 14) for doing regular chores. That’s just part of being a family. When they do want to earn extra money, I will make a list of bigger jobs that need to be done (scrub the front porch, organize the pantry etc) and put a dollar amount next to them. I also put a deadline of when they need to be done. Sometimes I end up doing the job, or sometimes, after the deadline, they get asked to do the job and then they don’t get paid! However, I DO give them $20/month. This is for little “extras” that they want but I don’t think are necessary. For instance, sometimes they want a different color of yarn/fabric for a project, but I think what we have is good enough. Or they want MORE glue for slime (I’m so done buying glue for slime! 🙂 It definitely makes them spend wisely and often times they chose to use what we have first.

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