Not ERE, but soon will be ER. Children, along with marriage for that matter, will prolong retirement, but not for as long as some seem to think.
We've always used the public school system with good results. I have friends who for religious reasons use private schools or homeschool but they pay a premium for that privelege. I don't really see an advantage of their decision to segregate their kids from the general population but then again I live in a peaceful part of the country.
Between all of the relatives that love to buy toys for our kids we don't spend a lot of money in this area. The worst time is between the ages of 1 and 7 or so, because of all of the cheap Tiawanese crap out there. There have literally been times at Christmas when we haven't been able to fit all the stuff in the car for the ride home from the Christmas party. It just clutters your entire house.
Clothes are easy until they hit 12 or so, when they develop an opinion that they want to look exactly like their 20 closest friends, one of which always has very expensive clothes and shoes. There are some very nice used clothing outlets and we have always paid very little each year. Plus we use Christmas for some of the nicer clothes that we buy new.
Chores are an area that causes conflict because once the basics are done, there really isn't a whole lot for them to do unless I invent work which serves no purpose. It's not like we live on a farm and the cows have to be milked before school. So we concentrate on school and sports. Idleness is great for kids up to a certain point but once that point is reached its time to get them to start doing something productive, whether it's teaching them to cook or using a tool.
If you ever want to see the Law of Diminishing Returns in action, give an allowance. At first they are overjoyed at the thought of cash, then they come to expect it, and finally they are willing to give it up in exchange for dirty dishes and a messy room, at which point I have to explain these things are going to get done whether they receive money or not. It may work for others, however.
The only system that works for saving is to spend less than you earn. Way less. Actually, stop thinking about saving at all, and use all of your energy towards thinking about spending, because that is where all of the action is at. Take care of that, and you will have plenty of savings.