I did my laundry for the first time in college. Actually, for the first time alone. I had supervision the few times I did in in high school.
Alone, I washed four or five loads, all mixed, and somehow managed to NOT ruin my stuff. Fortunately I didn't wear white, otherwise I would have been screwed.
I don't have kids, but I've read this article thoroughly and find her techniques sound. And you don't even have to threaten a grounding. Well...unless you have some badass kids.