For our buddy system, I put an older boy with a younger boy to bathe the dog, and another older boy with a younger boy to shop vac the van, and then my daughter and I sorted laundry and started the wash. After each pair would complete their job I would inspect (always inspect!) and then give them a new assignment. The pair vacuuming would work together to pull furniture away from walls or lift items and vacuum underneath. Working together works beautifully! By pairing an older child with a younger one the older can teach the younger how to do the job well. The older, more experienced of the pair is training the younger one. This is good training for both children. The older child practices patience and kindness and the younger child learns how to do a chore thoroughly.
When my honey gets home from work he will be thrilled with the results and I've even got dinner preparations underway. My older 3 kids are now working on some school work and my younger 2 are napping and I've had the chance to answer email, call and check on a friend just home from surgery, and balance the checkbook all in the comfort of a clean house. I'm thankful!
Teaching your children to work is vitally important, and teaching them to work together helps strengthen the bond between them. Everyone feels a sense of accomplishment when the job is done. Even the youngest of children can help with housework. Small children can help sort laundry, dust, pick up toys, and do a lot of other jobs. Older children need increasing amounts of responsibility. Having your children only pick up after themselves grows a selfish mentality, and worse than that are homes where moms (and dads) pick up after the children. Don't ever do that! Give each child in your family specific chores to do each day and have everyone pitch in when doing a big cleaning day or other project. You will be glad you did. Try using the buddy system with siblings or do parent/child teams. Working together makes the work lighter and the time go by faster. Buddy-up!