Saturday, November 13, 2010

Queena's quest for hands-on parenting

“Queena’s quest for hands-on parenting”
Sun.Star Davao, Nov. 13, 2010

Before my eldest daughter entered grade school, I was faced with the dilemma of whether to personally tutor her or not.

“Could I handle the stress?” “Do I have enough patience and time to help my child with her school work?” These were just among the many questions that raced in my head.

What made me finally decide to take the plunge was when I read one of the most important books I’ve encountered about hands-on parenting, “Helping Our Children Do Well in School”, written by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua and Ms. Maribel Dionisio, M.A. The bestselling book received the National Book Award for Education in 2004.

In the book’s preface, Dr. Queena writes, “As a psychologist-educator, I am often faced with the problem of student mediocrity and underachievement. I try my best to motivate them by using creative and innovative teaching styles, but learning is not the sole responsibility of the teacher. The family environment is even more crucial, especially in forming good habits early on”.

Success at school begins at home
Because Dr. Queena and Ms. Maribel wanted to highlight that home and family are major factors in student learning and achievement, they did an extensive study of the parents' best practices at the Ateneo de Manila High School.
“Helping Our Children Do Well in School” contains the results of the comprehensive study with 533 respondents detailing their families' actual practices and beliefs. These are parents of Ateneo honor students, athletes, student leaders and students excelling in extracurricular activities.
I will be endlessly grateful to Dr. Queena and Ms. Maribel for coming up with the book. It has been years now since I began tutoring my kids. The task is challenging yet fulfilling. It requires time management on my part as I juggle my work in the family business with writing for this paper and my active involvement in the Parents-Teachers Fellowship in school, among others.
More than the very good results in their academics, tutoring my children allows me to bond with them while teaching life skills and reinforcing values like doing their best, love for learning, discipline, patience and diligence. I intend to tutor each of my children until they are ten years old. Hopefully, by Grades 5 or 6, they will be self-reliant and more than prepared to independently study on their own. I learned this from Dr. Queena and Ms. Maribel’s book.
Even if he is busy with his law practice and business, I thank my husband Gary for sharing tutoring duties in subjects like Chinese of which I have no strong background. Although Gary himself studied in a non-Chinese institution during high school, he has willingly accepted the role of tutoring our eldest child in Mandarin, with guidance from my father-in-law.
At times when my grade school child’s load is too heavy for me, Gary helps me in tutoring our pre-school child too. I hope more fathers will also do the same and actually take the front seat with their wives on their children’s early academic development.
Multi-awarded educator
Recently, my co-Davao Christian High School Parents-Teachers Fellowship (PTF) officers and I had the privilege of organizing the “Helping Our Children Do Well in School” free parenting seminar at the DCHS Auditorium with Dr. Queena Lee-Chua as guest speaker.
It was quite an honor to meet Dr. Queena in person---warm, down-to-earth and an articulate woman with so much substance and heart. She is someone I hold in high esteem.
Dr. Queena graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in 1987, with a degree in BS Mathematics, summa cum laude. In addition, she has a doctorate in clinical psychology from the same university, where she is a professor.
A science and health columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and in-demand consultant to schools, governments and businesses, her forte includes mathematics, education and learning psychology, as well as child cognitive and behavioral development.
The brilliant academician has garnered numerous prestigious awards such as the Ten Outstanding Young Filipinos, The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service, the Metrobank Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.
Dr. Queena is happily married to Smith, a banker, and they have an adorable and equally gifted son, Scott.
Special people
Anvil Publishing represented by Ms. Gwenn Galvez and Ms. Juliet Braceros supported the seminar by offering Dr. Queena’s well-loved books such as “Helping Our Children Do Well in School”, “Eureka: Thoughts on Math”, “Straight Talk” and “Ten Outstanding Filipino Scientists” at 20% discount during the event.
Before the main talk, 12-year old Scott promoted his “Top Ten Travels” book featuring Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and New Zealand. Scott has been traveling since he was six years old. His parents have greatly influenced him for his love to visit spots and learn about other cultures by not traveling the way other people do. Instead of joining package tours, Scott and his parents set their own pace and linger in places doing their favorite activities.
Next year, Scott will be coming out with another batch of “Top Ten Travels” books highlighting local destinations, Davao, Cebu and Manila.
It was through my fellow PTF officer Julie Tiu, Dr. Queena’s best friend since grade school, that we were able to invite our guest speaker. So, it was only fitting that during the talk, it was Julie who did the introduction of the speaker. For this, the PTF officers profusely express their collective appreciation to Julie’s efforts in directly corresponding with Dr. Queena to make the event possible.
That evening, Dr. Queena’s special guest was Fr. Dan McNamara, S.J. to whom she lovingly presented her latest book, “"Learning: What Parents, Students, and Teachers Should Know".
Fr. McNamara was the former Physics department chairman of the Ateneo de Manila for over 20 years. He has recently been transferred to the Ateneo de Davao University as rector. He is Dr. Queena’s longtime mentor since her college days and one of her closest friends.
The “Helping Our Children Do Well in School” parenting seminar and open forum lasted for more than two hours but because of the lively, passionate and heartwarming way Dr. Queena presented her studies and real-life stories, the parents and teachers who attended the event were glued to their seats until the last question was answered.
Dr. Queena’s quest for hands-on parenting is indeed admirable and contagious!
As the project chairperson, I am extremely thankful for the success of the "Helping Our Children Do Well in School" PTF parenting seminar.
My sincerest gratitude to Sir Arthur Yap, Ma'am Franelli Pableo, Julie Tiu, Sir Jimjim Carreon, Ma'am Jazzie De Guzman, Shem Labor, Ma'am Jigs, Ma'am Jocy, Teacher Jay, Teacher Mildred, Teacher Loida, Teacher Ging, Edgar and his dynamic team, my fellow PTF officers led by Pres. Stanley Tan, our sponsors, and of course, the DCHS teachers, parents and non-DCHS parents who attended the seminar!
To God be the glory!
Happy 4th year anniversary to Mom-About-Town!
E-mail the author at Visit


“It was one of the best 2hrs ++ spent on a very important and dear subject (our children). Kudos to you and all the organizers, of course to one of the best speakers (and authority) on the subject, Dr. Queena Lee-Chua. Best regards to the family. God bless and more power!” --TEEM SABLADA

“A wonderful, wonderful experience :-)” --DEBBIE OCCENA SABLADA

“Learned a lot :-)” -----GWENN BOSQUIT

“The parents I invited had a nice time. Keep up the good work. Nobody could've done the job better! :-)” ---LYNN PAMELA COYUKIAT GO

“The parents I invited were so blessed and indeed learned a lot in such a short time. Efforts paid off by the good attendance of those who came... Was even trying to re-echo her message in our upcoming PT conference...God bless you always”.--ANN MITCH SAMONTE ZANORIA

“Nice work, Wow! At first it was kind of boring coz it was more of theories, and I was worried my husband will tell me he's bored. Good thing he decided to be patient and in the end he even asked me to buy two books of Dr. Queena. We even stayed until the last question was answered. It was quite a revelation not just to me but also for my husband. Muah! God bless! See you in school!” –LORETTA DY GO

“So inspired by Dr. Queena and the book "Helping Our Children Do Well in School". It was a great read, every mom/dad should have”.—TOTI LUY

“Just want to thank you for accommodating us at Dra. Chua's speaking engagement. Jong and I had fun and we learned a lot.” –ATTY. MARIA CHRISTINA SAGMIT

“At first, being a grandma, I thought I need not attend this seminar. But, after hearing Dr. Queena, it was indeed inspiring for me to extend what I have learned to my daughter Tessa in rearing her 2 kids. Thank you so much, Ms.Wowie, for encouraging me to attend such an important event. It gave us wisdom on parenting. Congratulations! Job well done! Keep it up!”--MA. FE JAVIER

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