First, let me say I'm not big on the word 'chores' as I believe helping out around the house is part of being a member of the family. We are all responsible for the house - we all mess it up (some more than others) and we all need to help clean it up (again, some more than others). We do reward Isabel & Nick for going over and above what they are responsible for but there are certain jobs they have as members of the family.
Second, let me remind those who have forgotten or just don't know - I am not Martha Stewart. My house will never ever be featured in House Beautiful. I have too many other more important things to do - like playing Uno 10, bouncing in the trampoline, making cookies - than cleaning. So my children don't ever see me spend an entire Saturday cleaning the house. They might see me spend 20 minutes cleaning the bathroom and then head outside for some fun (we call that a fun break).
That being said, we do try to keep a pathway clear so you can walk and we try to keep the crumbs off the floor.
Isabel's responsiblities include emptying the dishwasher, emptying the trashcans on Sunday nights and helping take the bins down the driveway, putting her clean laundry away and keeping her room, hmmm, what's the word - neat, tidy, picked up?? Well, she does a great job with the dishwasher and trash. But the room and laundry...well, that's another story. I have tried everything I know to get her to clean her room. The only things that works are threatening to go in with the trashbag or helping her clean it.
I find if we work together, we can get it picked up in about 10-15 minutes. Amazing what a little kindness will do!
AFTER - a happy child:
Now, here's a mom of 7 (expecting #8) who writes on the topic of chores and she basically says the same thing about working together. She also disses on rewards and punishments for chore completion - I get her explanation but in my opinion, especially for young children a reward is in order. The reward doesn't have to be tangible - it could just be kind words or an extra hug reminding your child how great they are and how lucky you are to have them!