We are definitely not radical unschoolers, but not authoritarian at all either. I have no idea what label would fit us. lol
How it works here is that we do have rules that the parents enforce....but the kids were partners in making those rules in the first place. When they were little, there was a lot more enforcing on my part. Now I really just have to remind them what they decided sometimes. Nothing is set in stone. If something isn't working, we come together and work out a better plan. Crash will often just tell us that he's decided to handle something differently, without any input needed from us. Bedtimes, for example. When they were little, they needed about 10 hours of sleep per night. So, bed time was roughly 10.5 hours before they had to be up the next day...as determined by their activities. The parents decided and enforced that, but the kids were welcome to go to bed earlier if they were tired. We found that on the early to bed nights, they had trouble sleeping. So, we sat down and talked to the kids about this problem. We asked why they thought that was, and shared our thoughts on the matter. We asked if they had any ideas for solutions, and shared our thoughts on the matter. I always make a point of offering multiple suggestions. I may think one is the best, but I want them to think and make a decision about their habits and choices, not just do what someone else says because it's easier than thinking for themselves. Anyway, they decided that they should never go to bed later than 1 hour later than the earliest night of the week. That way, their bodies would be used to sleeping when they needed to. Of course that doesn't always work, so there has been much refining over the years. That's a good example of our basic process, though.
As for chores, they aren't guests. They help to maintain their home that they live in. We sat down and discussed the wide variety of household responsibilities, from earning money to pay for food, housing, utilities, clothes, etc. to actually upkeeping our property. We talk about how much Beast and I earn and how much time and effort it takes to earn that. The family budget is in a google doc that they have access to. We asked them what contributions to the family and household they would like to be responsible for. They really impressed us with some of the dirty work they chose. Once they realized just how much goes into making a comfortable and healthy lifestyle for the family, they felt like they had been taking advantage of our love and concern for them by doing the minimum necissary. They felt it was unfair for them to do so little. The kids discovered early on that they have trouble finding things and tend to be in more negative moods when their rooms are dirty. When they decided they should keep their rooms clean, we started enforcing it. When they say they don't want to clean their rooms, we remind them of the reasons they dislike having messy rooms, and say "oh ya" and clean their rooms. About the worst we get is not allowing them to leave the house if they aren't wearing clean clothes (they do their own laundry) and not letting them have friends over unless the house is clean. It's embarrassing for dh and I to have other people in our home when it's messy. I don't see that as being controlling, but as demanding others (including my children) treat me with respect. Keeping communal spaces clean is a basic respect issue though. If we were room mates, it would be willfully disrespectful to leave dishes in the sink or your stuff all over the table everyone uses. It's not less disrespectful when you do it to your family. Most families just have a culture of disrespect.
wooo...that got long, didn't it? lol sorry about that! =D