Summer Chores Using Index Cards

I use different color index cards and on each card I write a single chore. Depending upon the age appropriateness of it, the chore can be as simple as making a bed, reading for a half hour, doing a math review sheet, memorizing one SAT vocabulary word, or watering plants. Things that I would have to do during the summer, I would ask the children to do.
The most important part of this was that they would have a place to look for their cards every morning. They were not allowed to go anywhere until everything had been completed to my satisfaction. It was an unbelievable success and all of a sudden I had more creative energy during the summer. My house was clean and the yard was kept up. The kids were happy and had a greater sense of involvement and appreciation.

It doesn't matter when they do their chores, but they can't watch TV or play with friends until these things have been completed. So the sooner they do them, the faster they can get on with their day. Anytime they asked an unnecessary question about a particular chore, they would receive another chore to do. That way they left me in peace to do what I needed to do and got their work done.

You have to be really strong and persevere with this so the kids know what is expected of them and they "get with the program." It has really worked out well for everyone!