We Make Do

I am part Ilocana. Pag nalaman ng mga tao yun, ang una nila iisipin is kuripot (stingy). Perhaps for me, it is true in a few ways. But I don’t believe that we are as a whole. Hindi naman sa ayaw maglabas ng pera, but I believe we just wanna be smart about our purchase decisions.

I think it is also something that has influenced my approach in homeschooling Sofie.

There was one method in homeschooling that I used to read up on, but got a little turned off when it required different sorts of equipment to help kids. And me being a “kuripot,” I didn’t want to provide everything that the approach recommended to help my daughter learn. I also want her to learn how to be resourceful and make do with what we have, without what could be unnecessary purchases.

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One example. There is this “equipment” called a Learning Tower. It’s something that a toddler can “operate” and navigate around the house so that she can reach high places and be able to perform activities that are at a height only adults can reach.

We did not give Sofie a learning tower. We taught her to make do. When she needed to reach for something above her, she would do one of these things:
1. Ask us to carry her;
2. Use a foot stool;
3. Use a kiddie chair;
4. Use a dining chair;
5. use a combination of things that she can step on.

We did not need a learning tower. A lot of other things can substitute. The learning tower can help her with a lot of other things, I bet. But what I want to teach her was to learn to make do.

Another method often uses the term “prepared environment,” which for me looked like preparing miniature or child-sized things that encourages the kid to do things, learn life skills, independently. I bought miniature dustpan and broom for Sofie, but it was me who used it often. Hehehe.

I have nothing against people who practice this. It’s just that, for me, isn’t it more important to prepare the child for the environment, than to curate an environment for them? I mean, things aren’t always in kid size. And we encourage independent play with the use of toys already, right?

Different strokes for different folks. Whatever approach works naman, depende na sa tao. But the approach I’ve described, hindi lang talaga for me. Not sustainable for me.

Anyway, so last night, my husband took this picture of Sofie’s magnetic board. She spelled her name with a number 5 for S because she lacked letter s. (By the way, it was a gift for her 3rd birthday, no purchase required from me, hihihi!) It was the first time my husband ever took a photo of it, but it was something she has been doing since she started playing it, and saw that there wasn’t an “S” and realized that the number 5 is almost the same shape as letter S.

For me, it was a #ProudMomma moment.

I think she has learned to make do with whatever she has. We’re not depriving her of anything, but we’re waiting for her to ask for what she wants. And when what she wants are pretty much simpler things, and things that we think she could use for a long time, we buy it for her.

Although one thing that I haven’t yet purchased for her was a study table. We were looking for more economical options, something that she can really use for a long time. Something that can be adjusted when she grows up and have different needs.

For now, she makes do. She has a kiddie chair and so she uses for a table anything that is higher than the kiddie chair: the sofa, another stool, another chair, the bed, and others. She makes do.

We make do. Aside from God providing the resources for us to practically buy anything we think we can use, He also provides us with lots of ideas para we can minimize our purchase. I also want to practice minimalism sana, so we have to make do and find multiple uses for each of our things.

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What do you think?