Work with Water » Amanda DeSonia Blogs About the Norwex Lifestyle

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Slay the Summer Chores and Set Down the Screens!

We could talk all day about the things we are slacking on or failing at as Mothers.

Let’s not.

We have made it just 6 days into Summer Vacation and already I am watching my kids slip away into screen oblivion. It’s not always their fault, really.Sometimes I just ENJOY the solitude and quiet that comes with kids who enter the vegetative state of passive Ipad and Nextflix watching. There. I said it.

Then comes the challenge of chores. I’m pretty sure I was helping more around the house at my daughters’ ages. I almost would bet money on it because I remember many years of eye-rolling and sighing when I was given chores. I also went through a phase where I called myself “Manderella” because I felt like the over-worked, unappreciated daughter. I didn’t have any ugly step-sisters, just one biological one who was awesome at avoiding chores by playing the diarrhea card.

This week I stained and glued and laminated and labeled. Traditional chore charts have never worked for us and I know I needed something obvious, flexible, and creative.I think I saved the labels. I am happy to share them if anyone wants them!

So finally, this is our new system, and it’s just as much for me as it is for them. I need the visual reminder to have them help just as much as they do.

DeSonias Do Daily

1. Do get  yourself ready for the day! Eat, dressed, hair, teeth!

2. Do Chores: (Each child has 4 laminated chores that are age appropriate. I pick 3, they can choose 1. These go up every morning and change based on what needs doing.)

2. Do Stay Well-Rounded.  (Each child must pick one from each category: Mental/Physical/Social activity per day to engage in. These are just ideas, I hope it will inspire them to come up with their own activities.)

3. Do put your finished chores and Well Rounded Work Cards  in the galvanized envelope on the wall.

4. Do ask for technology but only after you have completed your Chores and your Well Rounded Work. You are allotted 1 hour of screen time. You can divide your time up between TV and Ipad if you choose.

Following through with this program will take commitment from me. We are SO lucky to have an amazing Montessori Teacher/Family Support Professional (She’s way more than a sitter or a nanny) who will help us stay on track this summer. Long after the shiny new appeal of the lamination has worn off I hope I have a better handle on how to run a home with more help from my kids.

Here is where I will ask you fellow Moms for advice. I really want my kids to learn that being part of a family means work. Everyone has to pitch in so we can ALL “Clean Less and Live More!  I also want my kids to learn how to manage some of their own money. My idea is to add extra chores on to their clips and offer an allowance based on those “extra” and voluntary chores. These would be above and beyond and not mandatory. How would you suggest I do this? Pay a set amount per chore? Any other ideas from the field on chores, no allowance or allowance, and what has worked for you and your family? Please comment and share!

*All of my kids have their own Norwex Kids products (Enviro/Window/Dusting Mitt) to use so they can clean the healthy, fast, and safe way we believe in! They know how to use it, care for it and to hang it up after their are done using it!



  • Carrie G - This is fabulous & made me laugh out loud (diarrhea card!). Our system isn’t as elaborate (or cute) but we rock something similar. James (8.5yrs) is allowed 2 hours of ‘glowing screen’ time per day. However he must complete the chores on the whiteboard hanging in the kitchen before he plugs into anything. Oh, and no matter what, he can’t play until 9:00am. This alleviates him from getting up at 6:00am (because Momma don’t play that way during the summer!). Lastly, he earns $6.00 every other week and $3.00 of that must be put into savings. Thank you for sharing this post, I am going to snag some of the great Physical, Mental, Social ideas that I see on your cards for when screen time is long gone & he is moaning that he is dying of boredom. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - LOVE IT! And will you build me one? LOL. We currently have chores that I NEED to rotate out as I think the oldest is getting tired of toilet cleaning! 😀 Would love a copy of your labels as I think anytime you get chore ideas you think “Wow…I never thought to have my child do that”.

    In terms of allowance, the kids get $1 a week, but ONLY if they do the chores without reminding and they are done to my standards. Granted that we only doing 1 ‘big’ chore a week as they were in school. Now that it is summer, I need to rethink the whole process.

    I would IDEALLY like to have them take whatever the payment is and divide it the following way: 40% they can spend / use however they want / 40% goes into savings / 10% is used for charity (they would choose the charity they want to support and we would strongly encourage local needs) / 10% for investing (while this might take a while to figure out, I would like to have the invest in something…maybe we don’t actually buy stock, but we could do savings bond / cds / etc).

    Anyway….LOVE IT!ReplyCancel

  • Jill - Love This! Do you a file or list with all of your “activities” and “chores” that you can share with us not so creative followers?ReplyCancel

  • lindsey - I wish we were that organized about chores! The big boys (ages 8 and 6) have mandatory chores each morning, every morning (make beds, bring laundry to laundry room, and “self care teeth, clothes etc”. they also must play piano each day before getting any device time. If they manage to get that done before going out for the day (swimming or tennis lessons) they might get some device time (max 1 hr per day). Often they don’t. evening and dinner time roll around after daytime activities, swimming, goofing around outside etc and they are quickly learning that if they come around complaining they are bored or want more device time they get more chores (water plants outside, check/weed/water garden, a garage task etc.) So they are getting better at staying out of my hair in the evening when the littles are tired, hungry and demanding (2.5yrs and 9mo) and becoming more helpful. The big three are also expected to significantly help clean up after dinner -clear and wipe table, load dishwasher etc. In regards to allowance – we “catch them being good” and have a bead reward system that is as close to currency as we are. (the big boys pooled all their bead for 6 months and held my husband to a hastily made comment than an Xbox would be worth 4 gold beads…..) We need to institute an allowance, I am just not sure that I would be consistent with it.
    Love your organization and system – can I have you over to make ours so pretty?? 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Julie Frizzi - I LOVE THIS!! CAN I SHARE THIS ON MY FACEBOOK WALL? This is amazing. I love the Live more Clean less theme!! so powerful!!! Amanda, keep inspiring me!!ReplyCancel

  • Cassie - Do you have a pdf or something that we can print? Or a copy of a way for us parents to be able to have a list of the tags you have including the activities you suggest plus chores etc? I would love it!ReplyCancel

    • admin - I will work on it, I need to look back at an old computer!ReplyCancel

  • Tonya Stewart - Can you give me your examples for your hires and “well rounded” time cards. They are such great ideas!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Give me a few days, I am catching up from Norwex Leadership! I am happy to share!ReplyCancel

  • Sharee - Could I have a copy also of your chore chart..PDF?–(a list of the tags you have including the activities you suggest plus chores etc? / a list of the tags you have including the activities you suggest plus chores etc? ) Brilliant idea!


    • admin - Hi! I am sorry to say that when my computer fried, I lost all of the work I put into this!ReplyCancel