Thursday, February 3, 2011

Project Hobbes

My girls are really into Calvin and Hobbes right now.  Joe has an old comic book, and they have been reading it four hours every day.  This is great in many ways.  It encourages Abigail to read and focus for a long time. It entertains the girls for extended periods of time.  It has also sparked an interest in earning money.

Abigail and Olivia each want a stuffed tiger.  I don't buy toys except for birthdays and Christmas, so I invited them to save their money and buy their own.  Abigail asked me to look them up on the internet so she'd know how much to save.  We found the one she wanted most, but it was $53.00.  Her response was, "That's a lot of teeth!  I'll have to wait forever!"  (Her sole source of income at that time was the tooth fairy.) We found a tiger for the more reasonable price of $9, and I told her she could do some jobs around the house for money.

She and Olivia were very excited, and to prepare for our family meeting to make a plan about what jobs are money jobs, and what jobs are just the regular everyday chores, they drew pictures of their ideas to earn money.  They wanted to earn money for the following:
  • checking the internet
  • learning to read
  • learning to add
  • sewing
  • playing with their little sisters
  • washing the car
I told them that I don't pay them for school work. Abigail came right back with, "Well, dad told me that at his work, he does adding all day long, and he gets paid!"  We (Joe and I) decided that their paid jobs would be folding laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and cleaning the car (inside and out).  They worked really hard the first day, and earned $3 each.

Zenna's idea was that she would "help" by doing a tiny part of the work, and then she'd get just a little tiger... we decided that this job thing is for 5 year olds and older.  We'll see how she takes it later...

Yesterday we went to the toy store to see if there are any toy tigers here locally.  Unfortunately no.  When we walked out of Toys R Us, Abigail said she was totally bugged with the store 'cause they don't have any tigers.  I would have to agree.  Totally inadequate toy store.

As a side note, I have to say I have the best kids in the world.   I walked into the toy store with 5 kids, looked over the whole store, walked out with no toys, and nobody was crying.  That is a big deal for me. 

I was hoping that this trip to the toy store would be very motivating (they saw lots of other things they were interested in buying after their tigers are purchased) because my upstairs bathroom really needs to be cleaned.  Unfortunately not.  At this point, our system of paid jobs is completely voluntary, and it looks like I'll have to clean the bathroom myself.  Bummer.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, while the capitalist desires are there, they aren't always willing. My other rule is that their regular chores have to be done before paid chores can be started. Because my kids would bypass their regular chores in favor of money any day!