Why Educators Need to Think About the Value of Chores

By Right About Money Staff Report

November 1, 2016

Lots of research shows that relevant hands-on learning works best with lessons for kids about money management. They learn quicker and retain more of the information when using real money in a real-world setting–and thankfully the sums involved can be very small.

Two-thirds of parents believe chores should be linked to allowance, and among those more than half say the linkage is an important tool for teaching the value of money, according to a recent study from Country Financial. This new survey does little to settle the great debate over linking chores to allowance, since at least a third of parents think it is the wrong approach. But those who buy the strategy can be grateful that the sums are so low.

According to the survey, here is the average rate for a handful of chores:

Mowing the lawn, $6.28

Cleaning the garage, $5.20

Doing laundry, $2.82

Taking care of family pet, $2.66

Doing dishes, $2.03

Vacuuming, $2.55

Cleaning a bedroom, $2.07

Taking out the garbage, $1.90

This information may be most useful for parents. But teachers can take something away too. Money lessons are best reinforced with real rewards, no matter how modest. In a classroom setting that might mean privileges around classroom duties or something like a homework or hall pass. This approach is at the heart of what was a successful “My Classroom Economy” 10-week course in the Palm Beach School District.

The survey also revealed generational differences: 66% of Millennials were likely to reward their kids with money for good behavior, compared to 59% of Gen X  and 61% of Boomers. Boomers were more likely than younger generations to reward kids with money for good grades. But paying for grades–questionable in terms of teaching the value of money or how to earn and manage it–is almost universally accepted among those over age 71, according to the survey. That’s what grandparents are for, right?

Posted in Classroom, Home & Community on November, 2016