Fall Recipes to Make With Your Child

One of the best ways to ring in the new season is with fall-themed sweets! As an Orlando private school, St. Charles Borromeo believes in spending intentional time with your children, and baking these treats together is the perfect bonding activity. Here are a couple of easy ideas that fit perfectly into a Saturday afternoon with the kids:

Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix

After carving pumpkins, you will likely have a lot of pumpkin seeds lying around! Try throwing them into this tasty mix. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Then help your child mix together 1 cup of pumpkin seeds, ¾th cup of raw sunflower seeds, 1 cup of slivered almonds, and 5 tablespoons maple syrup. Spread the mixture onto a lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake for 20 minutes. You’ll need to stir the mix once or twice to make sure everything bakes evenly. Once out of the oven, break it into pieces and add in some dried fruit and white chocolate chips. Yum!

Candy Cornucopia

All you need to create this are ice cream cones and candy! Dip the bottom inch of a sugar cone into a glass of water, and then sprinkle a few extra drops of water into the cone as well. Stick each cone individually into the microwave for 30 seconds. While it’s warm and soft, take a pencil and twist the tip of the cone around it until it resembles the tip of a cornucopia. Leave the pencil there for a few seconds until the shape holds. Once you fill the cone with fall-themed candy, wrap the finished product in a baggie. Tie a verse on thankfulness, such as 1 Chronicles 16:34, to the baggie with an orange ribbon, and you have the perfect gift!

Fall Leaf Cookies

Add a seasonal twist to your favorite cookie recipe with food coloring and cookie cutters. Split your dough into three even sections and add red, orange, or yellow food coloring to each section. Now, split your colored balls into even smaller balls, piece them back together like a checkerboard, and roll out the dough. Finally, use a leaf cookie cutter to carve out fall-colored cookies.

We hope you enjoy making (and eating) these treats! Help your children practice measurements as they help with baking — this will help them apply skills they’re learning in the classroom in a way that’s fun and delicious. If you’re looking to enroll your children in an Orlando private school that values both education and faith, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo! We’d love to have you as part of our community.

Celebrate National Good Neighbor Day

September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day! As an Orlando private school, St. Charles Borromeo teaches our students to share the love of Jesus with everyone around them — and this holiday is the perfect time to do that. We aim to be good neighbors throughout the entire year, but we’re excited to take this opportunity to go above and beyond, especially as many neighborhoods welcome new families at the start of a school year.

Follow the Commandments

As Jesus explains in Matthew 22:36-39, the most important commandment is to love God, and the second is to love your neighbor as you would love yourself. On the surface level, it may be easy to assume He means that we should simply be kind to others, and while being kind is a good start, we can do better than that.

Take the First Step

Can you name all of your neighbors? You’d be surprised how many people are unaware of who lives right next door! Reach out to your neighbor, and introduce yourself. There’s a vulnerability that comes with putting yourself out there and taking that first step, but oftentimes, people are hoping someone else will take initiative — and that can be you.

The Little Things

You don’t have to do anything extravagant; in fact, the little things are often the most powerful. You and your children can bake homemade sweets to welcome your new neighbors to town, or invite them over for dinner. It’s also important to make yourself available. By simply being outside more, walking over to say hi while you’re both doing yard work, or just waving hi, you’re showing that you’re open to getting to know each other more! If your neighbor asks for your help, do as much as you can.

Show Interest in Them

And perhaps the most important: remember that your job is not to turn each conversation into a deep heart-to-heart on the Bible and religious beliefs. Show a genuine interest in their children, their aging parents, their dream to go back to school, and make plans to see that new movie that you both can’t wait for. Value the ordinary parts of people’s lives without feeling like you’ve got to “get to the church stuff,” and you’ll find an entirely new depth.

Go Beyond Your Neighborhood

Being a good neighbor doesn’t end when you drive off your street. Dedicate time and energy to helping out in your community. That can include planning a garage sale and donating the proceeds to charity, volunteering at a local nonprofit, or helping a friend at church fundraise for their mission trip.

We’re called to follow in His footsteps, and what better way to do this than to be warm, inviting neighbors? As an Orlando private school, our community aims to help our students embrace a kind and generous spirit. Find out more about our amazing school here!

Kids Who Changed the World

Children around the globe have used their creativity and innovation to change lives for the better. Children often assume that they can’t make an impact on the world at their age, however, as an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo believes that children can make a powerful change. Help inspire your child to make a difference by sharing these stories of other children who have changed the world!

Ann Makosinski

This 16 year-old Canadian student discovered that her friend in the Philippines had no light to do her homework at night. She used innovation to create a powerful, alternative source of light. With only $26 and an original idea, she created a flashlight powered by body heat.  Ann Makosinski has her sights set high and aims to provide this source of light to people in developing countries for free.

Alex Deans

While helping a blind woman cross the street, Alex Deans realized the woman did not have a device to help her walk by herself in her own neighborhood. He saw an opportunity to create something that could give the blind more autonomy, and at 12 years-old he taught himself programming and created the iAid. The iAid combines GPS and a compass to offer valuable guidance to the blind.

Chester Greenwood

In 1873, Chester Greenwood combined beaver fur, wire, and cloth to create the first earmuff — an invention every northerner relies on to keep their ears from freezing in the winter. By the time he was 19 years-old, he had created his own earmuff manufacturing company.

Margaret E. Knight

Margaret E. Knight is responsible for designing our foldable, paper grocery bags. She designed a variety of other helpful gadgets in her youth, but most notably, at 12 years-old she created a metal part that kept workers safe when handling weaving looms.

A child’s unique perspective can be just what the world needs to solve problems. Encourage your child to think outside the box, and share these stories of children who have done the same! If you’re looking for an Orlando Catholic school that encourages children to see their full potential, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. Our supportive community helps build a strong foundation for children to become responsible, diligent adults.

Questions to Ask at Back to School Night

It’s September, and school is fully back in session! Back to School Night is the perfect opportunity to get to know your child’s new teachers. As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo takes the learning process very seriously, and we believe these questions can help you partner with your child’s teacher and get ready for a successful year.

What Does a Regular Day or Week Look Like?

Your child may not always do the best job of relaying what they’re learning at school. To make it easier to get involved, ask their teacher what a normal day may look like for your child, or if there are weekly rituals that are important to know about — for instance, perhaps each child is given a quiet reading time in the morning, or the classroom ends every Friday with a science experiment or hands-on learning project. This will help you start conversations with your child about specific things in their world!

How Do You Adapt Your Teaching Methods For Different Learning Styles?

Every child learns differently. Some pick up concepts at the drop of the hat, while others need time to process or practice; some are kinesthetic learners, while others are visual or auditory learners. This is a great opportunity to discover how your child’s teacher meets the needs of their varied classroom.

How Do Students Practice Critical Thinking Skills in Your Classroom?

It’s important that students learn how to utilize critical thinking! Ask your child’s teacher how they encourage students to ask thoughtful questions, pursue creative solutions, and puzzle through tricky problems.

How Can I Help My Child at Home?

School doesn’t end when your child leaves the classroom! They’ll be taking homework with them and will likely ask you for guidance. Your child’s teacher can offer valuable insight into their learning patterns or what they’re struggling with, and they’ll be thrilled to hear that you want to help your child reach their full potential.

How Do You Handle Students Who Struggle With Their Grades?

It’s important to know when your child starts to struggle so that they can be given the support they need to succeed. Make sure that you’re aware what intervention programs are available for students, and talk to your child as well; tell them to come to you when they start to feel overwhelmed. Together, you can conquer these struggles early in the semester!

The community at St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is excited to partner with you and your child for a year of success! We believe our students reach their best when they’re given an excellent education, a firm foundation in faith, and intentional parental support. You can learn more about what we offer on our about us page.

Back-to-School Study Tips

As the new school year begins, it’s important to remember how messy study habits may cause your child to struggle with their workload. As a College Park private school, St. Charles Borromeo thinks highly of our students and wants them to reach their full potential! Help your child conquer new academic challenges with these study tips.

Create a Study Space

To help make your child’s homework time as productive as possible, set up a disruption-free area where they can concentrate without distractions like technology, lots of people, or a ton of noise. Remember that each child is different, so what works for one may not work for another! When your child has a designated study spot, they won’t have to search for a quiet space every day. If your child likes to study with background music, add that to their study space to help make it feel comfortable and relaxed.

Give Tips for Careful Listening

Children absorb a lot of information in school, so help your child practice active listening to help them get the most out of class time. By helping your child learn how to identify main points and pay extra attention to their teacher’s gestures and tones, they’ll be able to retain what they learn and take note of important information.

Keep a Consistent Schedule

Between time with family, friends, and extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to find time for homework each day. Rather than squeezing in homework during free time, consistently allot time just for homework; this will guarantee that your child is never scrambling to find time to study.

Discuss the Difference Between Studying and Homework

Children commonly assume doing their homework is the same as studying, but it’s important that they understand the difference. While homework can help children reinforce information that was recently taught, studying involves deeper memorization and understanding. Explain to your child that when they study a little bit at a time every day, their homework will become easier, and they will be more successful on tests. Encourage your child to take notes while reading, summarize information in their own words, and make flashcards. These few extra steps will help students better retain what they’ve learned.

We’re excited to see how much our students will learn and grow during this upcoming school year! If you’re looking for a College Park private school, come visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We believe our students should study hard, play hard, and pray hard in order to become responsible, respectful adults. You can learn more about our curriculum on our about us page.

Be Thankful Regardless of Circumstances

As we continue to grow in our faith and follow in His footsteps, we should embrace a spirit of thankfulness. It’s easy to forget to be thankful for the things in our life that make us happy, but it’s much harder to be thankful when we’re going through stressful situations. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, teaches our community how to be thankful, even in the midst of trials.

Beyond The Present

Our worries and stress can sometimes feel overwhelming. Often, we can get too caught up in the moment to recognize that God is here alongside us, supporting us through it all. When you’re feeling worn down, remind yourself that you’re not alone, and ask close friends and family to help remind you as well. The more you remember to turn toward Him, the more thankfulness will become a habit.

Be Thankful For Others

God has placed other people in your life who are there to help support you, take care of you, and encourage you to push through hard times. Take time to be grateful for them. You can show this through prayer, through a phone call, or even through bringing someone their favorite dessert. Focus on the good that your loved ones have brought into your life, and make sure they know you appreciate them.

Beyond Social Media

How often do you see #blessed on an Instagram post? While there’s nothing wrong with sharing what you’re grateful for, make sure that your thankfulness doesn’t end when you put down your phone. Not every aspect of your life is going to feel perfect enough to share with the world, but we must embrace thankfulness even in those times.

Bless Others

Sometimes helping others can shift our perspective on our own situation. It takes our focus off of ourselves and teaches us empathy and compassion, while changing our attitude toward negative situations.

As an Orlando Catholic school, our community at St. Charles Borromeo believes in working hard, playing hard, and praying hard. And we remember to be thankful during every step of our day. If you want to learn more about how we balance our faith with education, you can check out our about us page.

Summer Science Activities

School may be out for the summer, but opportunities to learn never end! It’s easy for students to experience an academic slump after being out of the classroom for so long, but science experiments can help them learn and make it fun. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, has a few suggestions for science experiments to try with your kids this summer.

Cold and Colorful Foam

Want a sensory, colorful experiment for your kids? Fill a few small containers with ¼ cup of clear hand soap and ¾ cup warm water, then pour a few drops of the food coloring of your choice in each. Mix in 2 tbsp baking soda followed by 2 tbsp citric acid. (You can buy this at your local Target or Walmart) The citric acid will react with the baking soda to create foam! Don’t be afraid to encourage your kids to play with it — this endothermic chemical reaction will also cause the foam to feel chilly.

Solar S’mores

Want s’mores without the hassle of a fireplace? Try making your own s’more oven with a leftover pizza box. First, measure a square two inches from each side of the box, then cut out three sides to form a flap. Line the inside of the box with tin foil and then tape black construction paper to the bottom. Next, tape down clear plastic sheet protectors as tight as you can to the opening you cut into the box. Finally, attach a skewer to the box’s side to prop up the lid. Your oven is now ready to cook s’mores Florida style! Place your s’mores inside the box, put it outside, and watch them cook.

Magic Rocks

Create your own treasure hunt with magic rocks. Add baking soda to a bowl with food coloring — any amount of baking soda will do, depending on how big you want your rock to be. Slowly and carefully add water to create a moldable mixture; be careful not to over soak! You can always add more baking soda if your mixture is too watery. Mold the mixture into balls, placing small treasures inside. Let them dry for 24 hours. Have your child use a spray bottle with vinegar to spray the balls. The vinegar will react with the baking soda to fizz and reveal the treasure!

We hope you and your kids enjoy these fun science activities, and the rest of summer vacation. If you’re looking for an Orlando private school to enroll your children in next school year, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We would love to have you as part of our community!

 

Pray Now and Act Now

When a close friend is going through a rough time, our first response is often to tell them, “I’ll pray for you.” Sometimes we put off said prayer until later that night — or we might even forget about it entirely, although we truly did mean to pray for them! Upholding our promises to pray helps us love those around us like Jesus does.

First, let’s talk about our relationship with prayer. Instead of saying, “I’ll keep you in my prayers,” ask if it would be okay if you prayed with them right that moment. For many, this may feel awkward! But it’s important to remember that a good prayer isn’t about an eloquent speech. The key factor is that you are relying on Him to listen and bring change, and you are able to comfort and care for your friend.

After you’re done praying, ask if there is more you can do; there may be small ways you can continue to offer support. Remember that Jesus didn’t only pray for people who were struggling, but He offered His help. We can continue to become more like Him by joyfully and kindly taking care of those around us.

You may be surprised by how many ways you can help out a friend and how these small things can make an incredible impact. If he or she is sick or overwhelmed, bring them some food for dinner or offer to help tackle day-to-day tasks like cleaning or picking up their children from school. You can also bring comfort by simply being present. Suggest you start a Bible study together, call regularly to check how they’re doing, or offer to take their mind off of things with a fun day of hiking or relaxing at a coffee shop.

Combining acts of service with thoughtful, intentional prayer can go a long way in supporting our friends and family. With each step we take to help, we are able to be used by Him to bless others.

We embrace prayer and action within our community and encourage our students to follow in His footsteps. If you’re looking for a private school in Orlando that embraces community and prayer, consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo. We’d be excited for you to join our family of prayer next semester!

Stay Sunny With These Crafts

Summer is finally here! While days spent at the beach, the springs, or just playing in the backyard are great, Florida’s summers tend to be quite hot, meaning that outdoor plans don’t always work out — you and your children may get stuck indoors. But don’t worry, because these fun, simple crafts are perfect for some sunny education on hot summer days!

Create a Paper Plate Sundial

To teach your children about old-fashioned clocks, you need a paper plate, craft stick, ruler, hot glue gun, and markers. First, use your favorite colored markers to draw and color an image on the plate. This will be the clock’s background. Then, use the ruler to find the exact center of the plate and mark it with an X. Use the hot glue gun to glue the craft stick vertically to the X — make sure to hold the craft stick still for a good 30 seconds to guarantee it’ll stay. Finally, mark the hours 1 through 12 on the rim of the plate. Place it in the sun and enjoy your handmade sundial! If you need a guide on how to read it, take a look here.

Use the Sun to Paint Pictures

If you told your children that the sun can paint pictures, would they believe it? You can show them yourself! Gather a few small, plastic items that won’t fly away easily in the wind, such as toys, cookie cutters, or plastic scissors. Tape a piece of black construction paper onto a baking pan, then arrange the items onto the paper. Help your child mix 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with ½ cup of water and spray it onto the items. Place the pan in direct sunlight, then return a few hours later to remove the items from the paper — your child will be excited to find that the sun has created a bleached shadow of the items!

Trace Pictures with Shadows

You and your child can try this new way to create outlines for drawings. Collect a few small toys that would cast a fun shadow, then set them in the sun. Place a white sheet of paper in line with the shadow, then use a crayon or marker to trace the outline of the shadow. Now, use your favorite colors to fill in the shadow outline!

Here at St. Charles Borromeo, we hope that you and your children enjoy your summer — and these crafts! And if you’re getting ready to enroll your child in an Orlando private school in the fall, consider visiting us. We balance both faith and education in our curriculum to give children the foundation they need to grow into responsible, reliable adults.

Graduation: The Best Memories Guide

It’s almost time for graduation! As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo will miss our graduating classes, but we’re proud of our students’ accomplishments this year and excited about their bright futures. No matter their age, graduation is the perfect time to capture memories, so take a look at some of our favorite momentos below.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners

This class is growing up fast! You can capture their youth by creating a simple DIY craft with their handprint. To make a salt dough ornament, combine one cup of salt with one cup of flour in a bowl, mix in ½ cup water, and knead the dough. Press it into a circle and put a little paint on your child’s hand. Then, press it into the dough. Remember to punch a hole into it to thread ribbon through before leaving it out to dry.

You can also make a keychain! Paint your child’s hand with a gloss-finish acrylic craft paint, then gently press their hand onto Shrinky Dink plastic. Once the paint dries completely, use a Sharpie to add their name to the opposite side. After that dries, cut out the handprint, punch a hole in the plastic, and bake it in the oven for 2-3 minutes until it’s flat. Afterward, use small pliers to loop a keyring into the hole. Now, you have a memory you can take with you anywhere!

Another option is to decorate a dish towel. Place a white dishcloth onto cardboard or newspaper, paint your child’s hand with fabric paint, and press their hand to the fabric. Let it dry for 24 hours, then heat set it by ironing the opposite side or by putting the fabric into the dryer for an hour. Make sure to leave it alone for another day or two before washing.

Now that you have a small decoration, you can also create a snapshot of their personality by having them write an “about me.” Think of it as a small letter to their future self, sharing their dream career, favorite food, favorite hobby, and more.

8th Graders

Want to capture memories and get excited about high school? Have a photo day! Get your child together with their best friends and take pictures with them donning their future high school colors. Then, plan a day for your child and their friends to scrapbook together with the photos you took, as well as any others they want to include.

This may also be a good time to revisit that “about me” to see how much has changed — or stayed the same! Ask them to write a new one to revisit when they graduate high school and suggest that they store it inside their scrapbook.

High School Seniors

High school is almost over and it’s time for another picture day! Gather your child and their friends, have them wear their university colors, and take pictures in their favorite spots on campus and around town. And of course, pull out those old “about me” letters or DIY handprint crafts as a reminder of how much they’ve grown. For a humorous momento, recreate their childhood photos, paying special attention to poses, clothing, and facial expressions!

We wish our graduating classes good luck in all their future endeavors — we can’t wait for you to come back and visit us to tell us all about them! And if your graduating little one is looking for a new Orlando Catholic school, visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. We mix faith and education to give children strong stepping stones for a successful future.