CHAD Borja, his wife Emy, and two daughters, Aby and Mafy, are a portrait of one happy family that values time for leisure and recreation. That doesn’t mean a few hours of relaxation only on weekends, but on a daily basis, because the kids go to a progressive, unconventional school.
“We don’t help them with their homework,” says Emy, pointing out that the children actually enjoy their studies at Brainworks School in Davao City, where the family resides.
The school, Emy explains, does not have an honors system, nor does it rank students according to grade average.
The best thing about the school, Emy adds, is that it allows her youngest daughter, Mafy (Maria Rafaela G. Singson) to pursue her passion as a golfer.
The 12-year-old—who’s a Grade 7 student at Brainworks—is a junior golf player at Apo Golf and Country Club. She plays 18 holes three to four times a week, and practices two times a week at the driving range.
She joins tournaments in Davao and around the country, and hopes to someday become a professional golfer.
Emy says that Mafy’s school apparently recognizes her sporting skills; it has given her permission to practice on the golf course as needed, and compete in tournaments.
Loves to sing
On the other hand, elder daughter Aby (Gabrielle Marie G. Singson), has shown a keen interest in the arts—film directing, editing and musical scoring. She won in best film and production design twice in a row at Brainworks, where she’s a Grade 9 student.
She also loves to sing; it seems like she has inherited her dad’s musical genes, blessed with a remarkably mellifluous voice that we got to hear during Inquirer Lifestyle’s recent visit to the family’s Davao home.
Obviously Chad is fully supportive of Aby’s passion; on the day of our visit, he was carefully manning the mixing board in his music room while Aby sang a pop tune.
The children are really fortunate to have been enrolled in Brainworks, Emy says, even if tuition is a bit expensive.
A check on the Brainworks website reveals the following philosophy:
“We believe that teachers and children should have a harmonious working relationship in order for everyone to learn effectively in the classroom community.
“We believe that parents should have bonding time with their children, not spent on tutoring or getting angry, but on talking, laughing and playing.
“Here are some signs that your child’s traditional education is causing unnecessary stress:
Teachers expecting all children to cover the same topics at the same time, computing averages and ranking students as first, second, third or last;
Administrators giving out medals for reaching a particular grade average;
Children memorizing facts without understanding them; carrying heavy bags full of notebooks and textbooks; hating going to school;
Parents pressuring and scolding their children to review lessons; getting tired of doing their children’s homework and projects; or hiring professional academic tutors to do the work for the children.”
The school also believes that “knowledge has a shelf life of only five to seven years and, therefore, there is no point in memorizing unrelated bits of knowledge.” It promotes “relaxed and simple education that transforms people, families and communities.”