If it's essential to you to tie allowances to chores in some way, consider these compromises:
1.) Get extra money for extra work. Kids can get a base allowance each week, and have opportunities to earn more money by completing extra chores. Use a chore chart to determine the value of additional chores or to help kids keep themselves on schedule.
2.) Make chores mandatory, but easy. Designate as "chores" some of the things you want them to learn to do by themselves anyway -- brushing their teeth twice a day, making their beds, putting their dirty laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor of their rooms.
3.) Earn something other than money. If you use an allowance to teach kids about money, use a point system to teach kids that there are rewards that come with hard work. Handipoints offers a system that allows parents to customize chore charts and set goals for kids, who earn points that they can trade in online.
Whatever you decide, "The key to teaching kids is to start early using clear, practical examples" writes Elizabeth S. Lewin and Bernard Ryan Jr. in an article in Your Money magazine. "And, as your kids grow, so should the lessons and responsibilities."