The children have had morning chores since before they could read. Their first chores were eating, getting dressed, picking up room, etc. We had a picture chore chart hanging in their rooms that they could reference to see what came next. It was a great beginning to instilling personal responsibility for morning duties.
At this point in our lives we have split up tasks like spiffing up bathrooms, dusting, feeding cats, garbage collection, laundry, and loading dishwasher (plus more) amongst each child. They do their same chores every day for one year. Having chores for a year creates a real pride in their job. By the end of the year they have become an expert at that particular job. It also allows me to focus on teaching a specific job vs. having to do every job for every child at one time.
Although this “system” made most chores run smoothly, we still had one glitch. I had this romantic idea that all four children should be able to clean up the kitchen after supper without bickering. The problem lied in one child was always trying to organize the time and the others begrudged the “bossing.” Finally, my husband stepped in and set up a “lead” for each night of the week. Now it is the leads job to organize the clean up and the other‘s job to obey.
One last bonus that goes with supper clean up is: the person that makes supper, does not have to clean up. At the stage we are in, neither Todd nor I help with supper clean up, we sit on the couch or go for a walk. But, each child has an assigned night they are to pick the meal and help prepare it. Again, I love this because it is much easier to teach cooking to one child at a time, then all four at once. Now, the person that cooks cannot leave the kitchen a disaster. So the reality is they are doing way more work than just cleaning up at the end. Yet, they would choose to cook over supper clean up any day.