Teaching Our Children to Do Chores

I was at my friend Jen’s home, when I caught sight of this gem box! I had to take a photo and share it with you!!! 

In our home we use chore packs which I blogged about earlier. I copied this method from the Duggar’s Show (the Duggar’s use the Maxwell’s system from Managers of Their Chores).But in my friend Jen’s home, they are using the gem method! Here’s the box she has made of gems and this is how it works:

Each time she sees something that needs to be done – she asks one of her girls to please do the task. When they are finished she has them take a gem out of the box and drop it into their own cup. If it was a minor task she has them get a 10 cent gem. If it was a major task they pick a 50 cent gem. At the end of the week, she tallies up the gems total value and gives the children their allowance and then they start over fresh the next week.

If I remember correctly, she also awards them with gems for other good deeds that may go unnoticed. If they help without asking she would award them with a gem. This is a simple method for someone who has groan to loathe charts (I loathe charts because I am terribly inconsistent with them!)

As I walked through Jen’s kitchen I saw another interesting system on the window sill! These cups sat there:
I again inquired about her cups and she shared how she moves the marbles from cup to cup based on good and bad behavior. This visual reminder that mommy is watching and daddy can see how the day went is an incentive to do what is right and gain praise rather than do the things that make mommy and daddy sad.

Mrs. Joseph Wood (a blogging mommy of 10!) speaks about chores over at A Moment with MOM and she says:

From the moment my children are born we teach them that they have a vital role in the family. Our family can not do all that God has planned for us if we do not all work together in harmony.  We continually express the Biblical directive to serve others, esteem others, and to lay down our lives for one another.  My husband and I have had to be the  first example of this type of love and service. We were created to serve for His Glory and we are honored to do so!

In fact in my home, there is no greater honor to strive for than to be called, a servant of Christ.  That is the highest honor that we can attain! Therefore, we must learn to crucify our selfish desires and lay down our lives daily for each other… starting right here in our home!

Don’t fool yourself in thinking that your child can be so good and serve so well in public but is quite the opposite in your home. Sometimes you will see this type of “eye service”  in children but that is then not the heart work that God desires. If a child truly has a heart of service they will be serving at home first and then in their church, community and the world. If they can not serve in the home then all they do in the public eye is of little worth. 

Take the time today to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6.

Walk with the King!


  1. I am teaching my 5 and 2 year olds how to help in our home, and they love it. I do use a chore chart simply because the packets are to easy for me and the children to lose!!! I made one for them to put stickers on and they can't get enough! They ask to do chores so they can put stickers on! It's a simple but I think important part of development. Love your posts! Keep up the amazing work!

  2. Naomi, Thanks for sharing your method! I know that chore charts must work for other mommies because I see so many doing it. I think when I was trying to do them the kids were so young it was hard for me to stay consistent. I think if I tried them again (now that the kids can read) it would work – except now we have our method that we love – so I don't need it :-)! But they do work!!! Yours sounds great!

  3. Love those ideas! We've done something similar to the bottom cups, but those gems are really a "gem" of an idea. (sorry — couldn't help it! heehee).

  4. Courtney~
    First off thank you for your blog. I am sure you have touched more lives than you could ever imagine. Your devotion to God, your husband, and children is very inspiring and makes me burst with joy. I was wondering, I have 3 children 5 and under (5, 3, and 1 1/2) what is a good starting point to have them doing chores and what is age appropriate? Right now the two oldest basically pick up their rooms, make their beds, set the table, and clean up messes they make. Although I must admit I am not always as consistent as I should be. Thank you.

  5. Love the gem idea! Some of my kids are older and I am going to see how I can use this type of idea to my advantage. Hmmmm…

  6. This is an incredible idea! I love it. My kids are a little young, but parts of it would really work for us. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Wow that is great, we use the chore pack system too but I love the visual of the gems and of course the biblical significance behind it!


  8. That Jen, she's so creative and organized!! Thanks for sharing her ideas and the adorable picture of her and her girls. Great idea to coordinate allowance with chores.

  9. I love getting ideas on how to teach our kids to work in the home. I also use the Chore Pack from the Duggars and our kids love it. We also use the Daddy Dollars that they cash out every week. When their behavior is not good they have to give back a certain amount of daddy dollars and when they have to count them back to me its not fun!!!

    Thanks for sharing even more ideas to add to our homes.

    Be blessed Courtney!!

    Serving with joy,

  10. That is a super great idea…I think I could actually stick to it, because I'm terrible about charts.
    Thanks for the post!

  11. THis is a great system. I haven't found one that works yet and my girly girls would LOVE earning gems. Thanks for linking up to TILT!!

  12. We have a similar system in our house… only we use poker chips. Each child has a specific color chip and when they earn them they go into a big jar on the fridge. At the end of the week, we pay out 20cents a chip. If they do a big job, they might earn 2-3 or more chips at any given time… we also give out chips if we notice extra good behavior. The kids (10,7,5) love it!

  13. Bethany – I think what you have your children doing is great. I have a 5 year old and here are a few of the things she can do:

    clear the table (put things in fridge, trash etc.), empty dishwasher, sweep the kitchen (she makes a pile I put it in the dust pan), dust, help clean the bathroom – I give her a papertowel and spray and she goes to town on the toilets, sink, floors etc., making beds, and weeding. Hope that helps!!!

    Keep up the great work and be patient. Bring them along side to clean for a few minutes, clap and praise them and then release them to go play. A little bit of training every day goes a LONG way over time!

    Much Love,

  14. That is a great strategy your friend is using! I love how it provides an incentive to be obedient and be kind. I'm going to try and remember this one… my little guy is only two so i don't think we're quite there yet!

    Great to have you link up… thanks for sharing your tip!

  15. Some time ago, I really needed to buy a good car for my firm but I did not earn enough cash and couldn’t order anything. Thank heaven my mother suggested to take the loans from creditors. Thence, I acted so and was happy with my short term loan.

  16. I love this idea! We just started the chore jars today and the house already looks better! My 5-yr-old kept asking all day what else she could do to earn a gem.

    Can you give some more detail on how the good/bad behavior jars work?


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