Saturday, 28 July 2012

Jobs to earn pocket money #1

Our move to the country has brought many new opportunities into the lives of our kids. For example, they are now able to walk to school, rather than needing to be driven. One of the best, or the worst of these opportunities - depending on when you ask their opinion - has been the chance to learn to do some significant jobs around the house to earn pocket money.

Over the two weeks of the school holidays, Jeff and I taught the three older kids their new jobs. They took to most of them quickly, though Anna and Abigail will continue to need my supervision or assistance over the next term as they continue to develop the required skills.

Abigail now knows how to use the washing machine. It was funny watching Abi remember the steps to getting the settings correct:

One cause of distress was the broken cold water solenoid which led to a flooded laundry. We learnt to appreciate the benefits of a floor with a (heretofore mysterious) slope. But mostly the washing has been a fun job for Abigail.

She also transfers the washing to the dryer as required and sorts the dry washing into each person's pile before folding her own washing and folding the linen with my help. I have really appreciated Abigail's work for the family, and she has loved earning $2 pocket money each week.

Anna has been tackling jobs in the kitchen, especially baking a loaf of bread each day for the school lunches. There is no regular locally made fresh bread available from the stores here. Although the convenience store does bake some days of the week, these are not predictable. So Anna has been responsible for setting the breadmaker each evening for weekday lunches, and first thing in the morning for warm bread for weekend lunches.

Anna also sets the table, dries the dishes, and helps cook whenever we have time to help her to help us. For these kitchen jobs, Anna has been earning $3 each week, and enjoying the reward of tasty home cooked bread each morning for breakfast as well.

Joshua has the job that requires the most muscles! He splits and stacks the wood for our fire most days, or whenever the firewood stack in the mudroom is getting low. He also cleans the fireplace door each morning before he lights the fire or stokes it up again:

Making sure the wood supply doesn't get too low is an essential task in a town where we have woken up several mornings to frost on the lawn or fog in the air. Joshua earns $4 each week, and we are grateful that he likes to get up early and perform his jobs promptly, often before several other family members have even risen from their beds.

From the time the kids have been old enough to walk carrying something they have been responsible for taking their meal dishes to the sink with scraps in the bin on the way. They've also been responsible for keeping their bedrooms moderately tidy, making their beds each day, taking their dirty clothes to the wash basket, putting their clean folded clothes away, and other personal chores. However, up until this time we have not been paying the children pocket money, although we have paid them for occasional jobs around the house when they have asked to earn some money for a particular purchase. So their first Pay Day was occasion for many smiles!

PS: Samuel has a job as well, which he completes to earn 50c each week. His job did not begin until after the holidays, when we were given a special gift by one of the ladies from our church. More on that in another post.

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