I will admit that when it comes to making my kids (4, 6,and 8)do chores, I have been pretty lax. Mostly it is because I am a perfectionist and it is just quicker to do stuff myself. So far they have to clean up their own toys, make their beds, and put their plates in the sink after meals. Oh, and I recently started having them put their own laundry away. And, of course, personal grooming stuff, but I don't really count those as chores. But... I am a homeschooler, so if I don't start having the kids do more chores, I may loose my mind and/or send them to school. So, for a few months now I have been trying to come up with a plan for adding more chores to their lives.
When I was a kid, I don't remember having to do chores until I was about 12. Then my mother , sister (2 years younger) and I split the chores 3 ways, rotating every week. This way my mom could do a "good" job every 3 weeks on each rotation. Also, I don't ever remember helping with laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. Since I have 3 kids with a 4 1/2 year age gap, dividing the chores evenly doesn't work. Finally the other night while I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep, I had a stroke of genius. I was so inspired that I got out of bed to write it down. I figured out that over the course of each week I do chores that require the following jobs:
I put these jobs on cards which I laminated with contact paper and put them on rings. I happen to have a wooden thing with four pegs, so I hung the chores rings on the peg for each person. SK(8) got 2 jobs, KE(6), got 2 jobs and AE(4)and I got one each. They chose their own jobs which will rotate weekly and have been so excited and cooperative about it. Even my complainer (SK) has willing stopped playing to switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. And KE, whose job is vacumer, commented that the carpet had crumbs on it and asked if she should vacum!!! AE loves wiping off the counter and won't let her sisters get their own silverware at lunch because SHE is the kitchen helper. I just hope the novelty of it doesn't wear off too soon.