If the Eyre’s Peg System didn’t float your boat last week, here’s “The Wheel.”
I always like to give credit where credit is due as I rarely have an original idea but I just cannot remember where I read about this one. If anyone recognizes it and knows the source, please share it with me.
I do remember they made it with two paper plates and a brad in the center.
(You can find brads in office supply stores in case you’re wondering what the heck a brad is – they’re also called solid brass prong paper fasteners – I like to be thorough with directions; thanks Google.) Or you can rip one off of a pronged pocket folder instead of buying a whole box.
I improved on their version by actually making it on my computer, printing it on card stock and cutting in with a handy, dandy circle cutter I have at home. Doesn’t everyone have a circle cutter?
Okay, so every once in a while I like to be seen as an overachiever when in fact, it was actually easier for me to make it on my much-loved iMac. Added bonus when we changed the jobs, I had saved the file and could make a new one. This is the 3rd or 4th generation of our job wheel.
It looks better hanging on the fridge than the paper plate version.
The job wheel is very easy to implement. You simply take the number of kids you have and create a list of jobs you want them to learn to master around the house. We chose daily jobs and twice-a-week jobs and then paired them up with input from the kids about their degree of difficulty.
I also typed up a detailed description of the expectations of each job and went over it with the children. The job details were put in a sheet protector in our family binder in case someone needed to refer to the checklist of what their job entailed. Sometimes mom or dad had to whip out the job detail and reiterate what was expected.
We started out changing it weekly but I quickly saw that they were not going to master the job in a week. We changed it to monthly and it was easier for all of us.
If someone did not master their job, we reminded them that they could have their job for another month. This usually got them in gear to do a better job because they all do seem to like a little variety in their chores.
We do not change the wheel until everyone had done their jobs with gusto at the end of the month. That way no one took over on a job that had not been done well. Just ask Roger Leroy who came off of two months of kitchen duty.
The job wheel has been much more effective for us than the peg system. We retired the peg system after about three years. But the peg system definitely created a good foundation before the wheel. Morning and evening routines along with their homework were set when we introduced the wheel. We have been using the wheel for 6 plus years and still use the monthly system to this day even though I’ve been too lazy to update the actual wheel. (I know this because the guinea pigs have all died so that job has been replaced.)
One other thing related to our job wheel. Our kids started doing their own laundry when they turned ten. I was inspired to start this fabulous family tradition from a good friend with six children. They actually got a laundry basket with their name on it as part of their birthday presents when they turned eight. I was very impressed by this mom’s ingenuity and ran right home to introduce this exciting event to our kids. Thanks Jeanette!
You will see a day of the week under each kid’s name and that is their laundry day. In addition, in between each set of jobs is “hot whites” or “towels” or “Scary Baby’s” and that meant that that was one additional load of laundry they were responsible for, in addition to their own, for that month.
Scary Baby added herself on the wheel but really has benefited from having five parents and very little responsibility. She rarely appreciates how much we all do for her. The big kids remind me of this often.
This overall system has instilled our personal value system and I know that our three teenagers are some of the hardest working employees who are now all working at part-time jobs.
Do they make their beds every day? Is my house immaculate? Um, yeah, that’s just how we roll at our house. Not.
But we have instilled a work ethic that will stay with them. Life skills that make us proud when they babysit and the mom calls to tell me they cleaned up and vacuumed and they were stunned and didn’t expect them to do that. Kids who can operate a washing machine before they get to college.
Hope this all makes sense. Perhaps it will inspire those of you with younger children to start them off with some household chores that I firmly believe are the responsibility of the whole family and not just mom (and dad)! Questions? Concerns? Comments? Always love to hear what you think…