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.

Dad’s Guide to Mother’s Day

Calling all dads: Mother’s Day is just around the corner! St. Charles Borromeo, a College Park private school, believes it’s important to recognize mothers for all their love and hard work, but it can be challenging to decide just how to celebrate her. If you’re not sure what to do this Mother’s Day, we have a few ideas from moms on how they love to spend the holiday!

Schedule a DIY Day With Your Children

Want to gift something unique on Mother’s Day? Consider setting aside some time with your children to create a secret, homemade gift. It could be anything from a handmade card, a decorated frame with a family picture, or a new ornament. The time and thoughtfulness put into the gift will make her smile, and the time you spend with the kids will give her some time to relax with a book, at the nail salon with friends, or by the pool!

Prepare a Home-Cooked Meal

Ready to plan a romantic night in? Ask your parents, a neighbor, or a babysitter to take care of the children for the evening. Light a few candles, prepare her favorite recipe, and put some old classics on the radio. She’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness you put into choosing her favorite meal and the time you spent cooking it, and you’ll both benefit from time where you don’t have to worry about your children!

Be Creative With Flowers

Roses remain a beautiful classic, but why not get creative with this long-standing tradition? Check out bouquets and see what else is available. For example, a blend of flowers that make use of her favorite colors can put a surprising, enjoyable spin on this gift! Take this gift the extra mile and help your children decorate a plain white vase beforehand.

Start Her Day With a Bath

Mothers enjoy time with their family, but they need time to themselves as well! Help her start her day on the right note by drawing a warm bubble bath, turning on soothing music, and giving her time for much-needed rest and relaxation. While she relaxes, play with the children and prepare the DIY craft to give to her later that day.

We hope that you have a great Mother’s Day this year! Just a little bit of effort to help mothers relax is highly appreciated, whether it’s Mother’s Day or not. And if you’re currently helping Mom find a perfect College Park private school for the kids this upcoming school year, why not visit us at St. Charles Borromeo? We prioritize both faith and education to help give children a strong foundation for becoming responsible, respectable adults. You can find out more about our curriculum on our about us page.

Mix It Up With Water Balloons

Winter is over and the Central Florida heat is about to be in full swing; the days are quickly coming where it’s too hot to do anything outside that doesn’t involve water. So what better way to cool off than with water balloons? Check out these creative ideas for how you and your children can play with water balloons this summer.

Water Balloon Race

Take a trip to your local dollar store and stock up on wooden spoons and small balloons. At home or the park, determine a starting line and a finishing line for your race. Fill the balloons with water, distribute a spoon to each contestant, and help each child carefully balance the water balloon on the spoon. The challenge is to see who can cross the finishing line first—without dropping their balloon.

If you want an extra art component, grab some paints and brushes. Each person racing can have fun decorating their own unique spoon to race with!

Balloon Toss

Instead of simply throwing balloons at each other, create a target. Get chalk, clear off a bit of space in your driveway, and draw a series of rings in varying sizes. Assign a point value to each ring, with the smallest ring being worth the most. Now, pick up those water balloons and let them fly! For extra difficulty, add in obstacles or rules like having to spin three times before throwing the water balloon. Have fun seeing who can collect the most points.

Ice Eggs

This one is perfect for those days that are too hot to step outside. Put a small toy inside a balloon, fill the balloon with water, tie it off, and then stick it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, carefully cut away the balloon from the frozen water. Enjoy the beauty of your freshly-created ice egg fossil! Have a contest to who can melt it the fastest or slowest, or just let it cool you off.

Water Balloon Hunt

Fill up water balloons and hide them around your yard. Then, see how long it takes your kids to track them down… and how much longer it takes them to start throwing their newly found treasure.
We hope you and your family stay cool this summer! Drink lots of water, enjoy throwing some water balloons, and remember to visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. As a Catholic school in Orlando, we want our students to work hard, play hard, and pray hard—especially over the summer. And if you’re looking for a school that values both academics and spirituality, please consider visiting us. You can learn more about what we offer on our about us page.

Spend Earth Day at the Zoo

A trip to the zoo means more than a fun day with animals—it’s packed full of chances to learn about God’s world. Earth Day is a great opportunity to learn about our roles as caretakers of His creation, and what better place to do that than at your local zoo? Check out the reasons that you and your children should spend some quality time together at the zoo this upcoming Earth Day.

Why Learn About Zoo Animals?

God created everything on this Earth and as stewards, we must do our best to protect it. But seeing as we lose at least 10,000 species each year, it’s important for children to visit the zoo and develop a passion for animal and wildlife conservation. The zoo is a great place to learn about conservation projects, and it can also help them learn little ways to save the planet in their daily lives.

Before you plan your trip, take time to talk to your children about things they should pay attention to or ask questions about. While they might be excited about seeing their favorite animals in person, giving them focus points helps them understand the bigger picture.

Learn About Animal Families

Children can see the joys of the family unit He created within their own home, but are they aware that this family unit is also displayed in other animals? Children can see family values in some of the animals they may come across, such as with elephants. Talk to them about how these animals take care of their kids and ask them what they notice and relate to about these animal families.

Study Animal Habitats

Everyone needs certain conditions to live, and God designed animals to fit perfectly within their respective habitats. As you progress through the zoo, note how the habitat changes with each species. Children can begin to learn His design by seeing how certain environment can create an ideal living situation for each animal.

Remember to Stay Positive

Jumping straight to discussing extinction can be scary, especially for young or sensitive children. Instead, keep your questions and discussions focused on the positive; however, don’t discourage a developing passion if your child begins to ask deeper questions. Continue to focus on the beauty of nature and how your children play an important role in keeping it beautiful. They can begin to respect His creation by seeing the beauty of wild animals and their environment.

By combining understanding with respect, children can start taking steps to being a true steward, as He asks. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, also cultivates an environment where children can learn to be respectful of the environment and those around them—a trait that will last them into their adult life. You can learn more about how we incorporate values into our education here.

Spend Time With Your Family This Easter Break

Easter break is a wonderful time to relax and celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. As a College Park private school, St. Charles Borromeo understands how important it is to make time for your family, especially around Easter! Take a look below at some of our favorite activities that you and your family can do together this break.

Family Game Night

You can never go wrong with classic favorites like Monopoly, Sorry!, and Trouble. You can even throw a little spin on a classic like UNO by turning it into Spicy UNO. If all you have are a deck of cards, you can start a small Spoons tournament! No matter what you choose to play, family game nights are a great opportunity to spur some friendly competition and create unforgettable memories.

Craft Party

Arts and crafts help exercise your child’s creativity and self-confidence. Try picking up a crafts kit at a local bookstore, or check online for messy DIY ideas like polka dot slime or rainbow bubbles. You could even throw in a little bit of science into your craft day with these homemade bookmarks! Final products can be used as household decorations or as homemade gifts.

Bring Books to Life

Whether or not your kids are bookworms, it’s easy to transform a family-friendly book into a captivating performance. Have the parents take turns playing narrator. Then assign your children roles, making sure to give them plenty of props, costumes, and time to get in character. As you read the book, have your children act out what their character is doing, and repeat or summarize the lines their character says. Encourage creativity, ad-libbing, and humor! This is a great way to make the Bible memorable and relatable, so make sure to use favorite Bible story as well.

Volunteer Together

Look into local organizations to see where you and your family can pitch in, such as food pantries, senior rehabilitation centers, or places that your church has partnered with in the past. Volunteering can help create stronger bonds between family members while helping your children practice empathy, gain self-confidence, and learn that they can make a difference in the world.

We hope that you have some fresh new ideas and that you enjoy spending time with your family this Easter break! And if you’re looking for a College Park private school that offers faith-based education, including the significance of Easter, come visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more about our curriculum on our about us page.