What Should I Give Up For Lent?

Lent is right around the corner. It’s a time for us to reflect on God’s sacrifice, sacrifice something of our own, and prepare our hearts to celebrate Easter. However, it can be difficult to decide what to give up—and what to encourage our children to give up. If you’re having trouble making this decision, take a look at these ideas.

Needs Vs. Wants

Instead of giving up a specific thing, consider the many things we buy that we don’t actually need. Throughout Lent, be picky about what you spend your money on, and help your children distinguish between what they want and what they need. Put aside the money you would have spent on “wants.” After Easter, you can donate that money to the organization of your family’s choice.

Avoid Negativity

Even the most positive people can spread negativity if they don’t actively watch what they say. Carefully watch how you speak about others. Avoid gossip, and if you’re tempted to say something judgmental, give a compliment instead.

Focus on Others

Get involved with a local food bank, implement eco-friendly practices, or volunteer at your church’s youth group. You and your kids can spend time with your church’s seniors and take them to breakfast, help them around the house, or drive them to the grocery store. During your prayer time, ask God to break your heart for what breaks His. This is a great time to teach your children about compassion, generosity, and selflessness.

Replace TV time with Prayer Time

The time we spend in front of the screen can easily get away from us. Instead of watching another episode, spend time with your family in prayer, read Bible stories to your children, or take time for your personal relationship with God through journaling or devotionals.

Goodbye, Soda

If you and your children drink soda often, replace it with water over Lent—you’ll feel healthier and more hydrated by Easter. If you tire easily of water, throw in different fruit combinations to give it a different taste.

We hope that you have some fresh new ideas on what you and your children can give up for Lent this year. And if you’re looking to enroll your kids in an Orlando Catholic school that observes these holidays as a community, consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more about our community on our about us page.

St. Charles Borromeo Celebrates Faculty & Staff For Catholic Schools Week

Celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2018 is just around the corner! On January 28th through February 3rd, St. Charles Borromeo would like to take time to celebrate the brilliant, faith-filled community that works so diligently to create a wonderful learning environment for our students. As an Orlando Catholic school, we would especially like to take time to thank our faculty and staff. Unsure of ways you can help show appreciation for our faculty during this festive week? Here are a few ideas.

Build a Treat Basket

Handmade gifts are fun for kids to craft, and they’re always highly appreciated by the receiver! Find a small basket to fill with treats, and then break out the arts and crafts materials. Have fun coloring and decorating the basket—and maybe pack a note or two saying thanks. We’re sure it will put a smile on a faculty member’s face.

Create Recognition Signs

If your kids love arts and crafts but don’t want to work with a basket, consider making a recognition sign. This sign, decorated with arts and notes, can be hung on a teacher’s door as a personal thank you. It may also be a fun group craft idea, if your child and their friends want to combine their thank you messages on one sign.

Be a Parent Volunteer

Do you have some spare time during CSW? Being a parent volunteer can be an excellent way to help show appreciation for St. Charles Borromeo’s faculty and staff. Volunteering in the classroom during CSW can free up some time for faculty to enjoy a meal together and build greater bonds as a team.

We hope we’ve given you some ideas on how to celebrate the St. Charles Borromeo community during CSW!. As an Orlando Catholic school, we appreciate our faculty and staff for the time they spend making our school a great place to learn—and we appreciate our volunteers and students for everything they contribute to our faith-filled community! And if you’re currently looking for a Catholic school that prioritizes a student’s academic and spiritual growth, please visit us at St. Charles Borromeo. You can learn more our curriculum and community on our about us page.

4 Tips to Keep Track of Student’s Education Progress

As a parent, your child’s educational growth is a top priority. But just signing off on report cards doesn’t give a full picture of how your child is growing academically. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, cares about both the educational and spiritual growth of our students—and we know that parents play a huge part in a child’s future success. Here are a few tips that can help you monitor your child’s growth and ensure that they’re taking the right steps toward a successful future.

Show Interest in Their Day

Want to be aware of how your child is growing academically? Ask them. Create a habit of checking in with your child every day after school. And make these discussions into a time they will look forward to having. Make these conversations a productive, positive conversation that highlights their successes and helps them through their struggles. This will help you keep an eye on their growth while also giving you the opportunity to be a pillar of support.

Create a Stable Homework Schedule

Children are becoming involved in more and more extracurricular activities. While these activities can be great for their growth, they often cut into important homework time. When you establish a certain time each day for homework, it helps your child stay within a consistent, stable routine. This lowers any potential stress that can grow from juggling activities and academics, and gives them the valuable time they need for study.

Be a Parent Volunteer

What is one of the easiest ways to know how your child is performing in school? Be present yourself. While not everyone can commit to being a regular volunteer during the school day, assisting in the classroom from time-to-time can give you a more accurate representation of your child’s behavior and growth in the classroom.

Watch Report Cards

While a report card can’t tell the whole story about your child’s academic growth, it can help you pinpoint where they’re succeeding and where they’re struggling. Praise the areas where they’re already doing great and be present to give them support where they need some extra guidance.

Through active engagement with your child’s academic life, you’ll be able to better keep track of how they’re growing academically. St. Charles Borromeo, as an Orlando private school, highly values the growth of our students—both in their education and in their faith. If you’re looking for a private school that aims to give children the strong foundation they need to become respectable adults, consider visiting us at St. Charles. You can learn more about our school on our about us page.

Teaching Children to be Kind

A parent’s top priority is to teach children kindness and help them grow into wholesome adults. The staff at St. Charles Borromeo has the same vision, which is why we provide children with these stepping stones to follow in God’s footsteps.

Be an Example

To raise kind children we must first examine our own behavior. We can tell them to play nice with others, but it’s by watching how we treat people that they learn the true meaning. Remember that children look at us to learn how to maneuver social situations, and by setting a good example, they just might follow your lead.

Be Kind to Them

Children often have a very simple way of voicing what they do and do not want to do. This behavior is okay for most younger children, but as they grow older we can use it as a stepping stone to teach empathy. A lot can be accomplished by validating their feelings, talking through them, and then offering another point of view.

Reward Excess Kindness

We learn early in life that there’s a level of kindness that’s expected from everyone. We don’t give accolades for cleaning dishes or paying compliments to friends. However, when a child goes above and beyond what’s expected it should be rewarded, such as when they do extra chores or offer to donate their Christmas toys to charity.

Kindness is something that children can pick up from many places in their lives—from their parents, their friends, and even their school.

If you’re currently looking to enroll your children in an Orlando Catholic school, consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo. Through attention to our students’ educational and spiritual needs, we give them a strong foundation they need to grow into smart, compassionate adults who follow Him. If you want to learn more about our curriculum, you can find out more on our about us page.

Which Holiday Side Dish Fits Your Personality?

The community at St. Charles Borromeo hopes that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. While the turkey leftovers might have finally disappeared from your refrigerators, we know that it’s not quite time to let go of all of that holiday food! Based on your personality, here are the side dishes you should keep making for the rest of the season!

Sweet Potato

Do you like to bend the rules, but don’t like pushing the limit too far? Consider making a nice batch of sweet potatoes. Like you, this classic dish is versatile and unique. You can bake and stuff them with sour cream for a classic side dish, or get creative with melted cheese, spices, and a pinch of bacon bits. You decide how special you want this dish to be!

Cranberry Sauce

This is an easy favorite, especially for those with a sweet tooth. Cranberry sauce is a dependable holiday staple. You don’t have to worry about spending hours preparing it, because it’s just there, ready to be enjoyed, and you’re similar: you’re relaxed and laid back, and your friends know you’ll be there when they need you.

Stuffing

Sure, stuffing is a part of the main turkey dish, but we’ll let that slide for now. Just like we plan our holiday meals down to a tee, you plan ahead instead of going with the flow, and you prefer plans to be locked down in advance. Your friends and family know you’ll be prepared for whatever comes along.

Have you figured out which Thanksgiving side dish fits you? We hope it’s one of your favorite foods, and maybe one you’ll incorporate it into your Christmas dinner plans.

As an Orlando private school, we say our thanks to God for all that He has given. If you’re looking to enroll your children in a school that nurtures both their education and their spirituality, consider visiting us. You can learn more about our values on our about us page.

How to Parent the Catholic Way

A church can’t give you a step-by-step guide on how to raise your children the right way. However, as Catholics, we have a different compass for giving our children the support and care they need to grow into emotionally and spiritually-healthy adults. Here are some tips for raising children under a Catholic mindset.

What is Catholic Parenting?

Is parenting as Catholics different than how those of other faiths may raise their children? To put it simply, yes. To understand how Catholic families raise children, refer to Archbishop Chaput’s Theology of the Body. This text reminds us that, as with most things in life, actions speak louder than words—it’s our interactions with our children that teach them how to think about their relationships, life, faith, priorities, and morality. As Catholics, we do not approach these subjects with a step-by-step guide, but with a Catholic vision. Let’s take a look at what that means.

A Catholic Family Embraces Embodied Self-Giving

Through our senses, we’re able to express love from one person to another. This can be through reminding our children we love them, acts of service, spending quality time with them, or showing affection. Better yet, all of the above! These actions allow children to feel God’s love in ways that are tangible. Parenting with a Catholic vision embraces these principles by choosing methods that are the most bodily-based expressions of love.

A Catholic Family is Intimate

The Theology of the Body says that families are to be “Schools of Love.” Love can be measured by intimacy—and a little bit of love is not enough to build a strong, intimate familial bond with your children. This means that Catholics will sometimes need to organize their priorities so that the family is spending enough quality time together. While it may be tempting to keep your children in as many activities as possible, make sure they’re not so plentiful that they’re lowering the amount of quality time you can spend with them.

When parenting with a Catholic mindset, the question is not “What works for me?” but “What mindset does God want me to have about our family?” This question will help lead you down the path of raising children who are emotionally-healthy, morally-strong, and who believe in following in God’s way.

As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in an Orlando Catholic school and would like to see more about how St. Charles embraces a Catholic mindset in education, you can learn more on our about us page.

Saint Spotlight: St. Charles Borromeo

The weather is getting cooler as we quickly approach the holiday season. In early November, it will be time for the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo. The students at St. Charles Borromeo would like to take a moment to remember our patron saint.

St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of bishops, cardinals, seminarians, and spiritual leaders. As you’ll see, he was a highly important figure of the Counter-Reformation in Italy. His dedication to God is something we all can learn from and embrace.

St. Charles Borromeo was appointed as a Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan in 1560 by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. His uncle relied upon him while directing the third convocation of the Council of Trent—and St. Charles Borromeo continued to maintain the Council’s decrees after it closed. This led him to be instrumental in the 1566 Roman Catechism.

After his uncle’s death, St. Charles Borromeo lived in Milan where he regularly visited more than 1,000 widely scattered parishes. He sought to apply the edicts of the Council of Trent to his own diocese by striving to end the sale of indulgences, reform monasteries, and simplify the interiors of ornate churches. His work didn’t end there—St. Charles Borromeo also fostered clerical education, established seminaries and colleges, and erected and entrusted colleges for lay students to the Jesuits.

St. Charles Borromeo was later overcome by political turmoil, including surviving an assassination attempt and pleading mercy for his attacker. However, his great work within his communities led him to retain the support of many religious congregations. His heroic behavior during the plague in 1576-1578 earned him even more support. Even during turmoil, he continued to be a blessing to the community in Milan by giving away much of his wealth to give food to the hungry and care for the sick.

Our community at St. Charles Borromeo hopes to be as helpful to others as St. Charles Borromeo was within his own community. As we approach the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo and remember his work, we will aim to follow in God’s footsteps and be blessings to those around us. If you have a similar vision and are looking for a Catholic school to help your children grow academically and spiritually, please consider visiting us at St. Charles Borromeo.

 

As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, an Orlando Catholic school, is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you want to learn more about St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, visit our blog page or contact us today!

4 Habits of Catholic Children

Catholics are deeply intertwined with rituals and traditions that remind us of our love of faith. Children are quick to pick up some of these habits—especially if they see them at home, at church, or at school. The community at St. Charles Borromeo has seen students pick up these habits, and today we’d like to highlight a few that are commonly found in our children.

Praying Before Each Meal

Catholic children learn early to give thanks to God before a meal. And it’s become such an intrinsic habit that it doesn’t matter whether that meal is being enjoyed at home or at a restaurant. They value this moment enough to take the time they need to give thanks instead of diving straight into their delicious food.

They Possess the Giving Spirit

Catholics often give back to the community, and children raised in a Catholic environment learn how to do this from a young age. They know that giving is one of the significant ways to show their faith, whether it’s by giving to a charity or volunteering in their community.

They Put Others Before Themselves

Although, charity isn’t the only way that Catholic children try to emulate their faith. This giving spirit stretches to most other parts in their life as well. They understand that there’s no value in being selfish. It brings them fulfillment to spread happiness through supporting and helping others.

They Go to Bed Early on Saturdays

For many children, Saturday is a day where they can spend the evening playing—and maybe extend their bedtime just a little bit. This isn’t the case for Catholic children who have to wake up early the next day for Mass. Instead of staying up a little later, they fall asleep earlier and wake up ready to worship.

Overall, Catholic rituals and traditions tend to be picked up by children over time. Once these habits are formed, can be a foundation for furthering faith. Have you noticed any of these habits in your child? If you want to learn more about the Catholic education that St. Charles Borromeo provides, you can learn more on our about us page.

 

As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you want to learn more about Catholic schools in Orlando, visit our blog page or contact us today!

 

What Movies Are Safe for Children to Watch?

By nature, people are drawn to movies because of their engaging stories, even though most of the mainstream, high-grossing films contain content that isn’t child-appropriate. St. Charles Borromeo values creating a healthy environment for children to thrive, both academically and spiritually. And watching wholesome movies is one way to help children stay focused on faith. Here are a few tips for finding a child-friendly film.

Avoid Flipping Through Channels

We absorb a lot of unwanted information from TV, from inappropriate shows to dull commercials. By cutting out TV, you can immediately remove a plethora of media that isn’t family-friendly. That doesn’t mean you have to cut out movies entirely though. Instead, you’ll have the ability to cultivate the type of entertainment that is wholesome for your children.

Check Movie Ratings

Rating systems aren’t perfect, but they’ll give you an initial clue as to how child-friendly the film is. Movies rated G and PG are generally safe for children—although it’s always worth checking the fine print to see if there are additional mentions of content that may not be safe for your child (i.e., mild language or brief violence).

Find What Moral Lessons Are Present

Every story has a theme. Some movies, while not inherently about faith, may have a subtext that brings your child closer to following in God’s footsteps. For example, themes surrounding family, friendship, and putting others before yourself are a great way to raising wholesome children. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to look online and see what underlying meanings are present in the film.

Visit a Catholic-Focused Review Site

Some movie sites, such as Decent Films, offer a glimpse of a film from a Catholic point of view. These reviews can paint a picture of the moral and spiritual value of a film, as well as whether the story is safe for young minds.

Use these tips to aid you in your search for a movie that the whole family can enjoy—and spend some time afterward dwelling on the movie’s themes and how you can relate them to your everyday life. And, if you’re looking for more environments where your child can grow spiritually, consider enrolling them at St. Charles Borromeo. We believe that students should work hard, play hard, and pray hard—whether it’s in the classroom or at home. If you’d like to learn more about our curriculum, you can visit our about us page.

 

As a faith-filled community, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, an Orlando private school, is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We are cultivating responsible, respectful, trustworthy individuals who are confident in their knowledge and compassionate in His service. If you want to learn more about private schools in Orlando, visit our blog page or contact us today!

7 Signs Your Kids Went to Catholic School

Parents choose to send their children to a Catholic school so that they have the opportunity to get a quality education while also being able to grow spiritually. The long-term benefits are clear; children in Catholic schools often grow up to be respectable, responsible adults who follow His word. As an Orlando Catholic school, St. Charles Borromeo has seen this first-hand, but we’ve also noticed a few other fun, tell-tale signs that a child has attended an Orlando Catholic school.’

  1. K-8 is Called “Grammar School”
    St. Charles helps each student live up to their full potential academically. That includes making sure that everyone has a basic, fundamental understanding of how to read and write. Catholic schools may be jokingly called “grammar schools” as a result—but students enter high school and, later, college with the ability to write well.
  1. Class is Like Family
    It’s difficult to know everyone who attends a public school. A Catholic school like St. Charles, however, has much smaller class sizes. As a result, children often grow up around the same classmates. They know everyone else in their class, and there are no strangers.Mass is Attended
  2. Twice a Week
    Children in Catholic schools know that they’re not going to attend mass just once during the week. They’ll often go twice—once at St. Charles, and another with their family.
  3. Days Always Start with Morning Prayer
    Catholic school students know that a day can’t start without morning prayer. They begin every morning with their thoughts focused on Him.
  4. They Memorize the Bible Through Songs
    Music makes it easier to retain information—including Bible stories. Students, when they need to remember something, often turn toward a song. And they probably even know a dance that goes with it.
  5. They’re Always Explaining Catholic School to Their Friends
    Children who don’t go to Catholic school may have false impressions of what it’s like. And Catholic school students are often debunking myths, such as “every teacher is a priest or nun.”
  6. They Love Their School and Friends
    At St. Charles, the faculty and students foster a culture of respect. Students learn early how to care for each other and their school—and that turns into them truly feeling as though they are a part of a tight-knit community. And that sense of community will stay with them even into adulthood when they look back and think of the great memories they made at school.

As an Orlando Catholic school, we love seeing how a Catholic education can have a positive impact on students. We also love accepting more students into our community. If you’re looking for a Catholic school for your child, you can learn more about St. Charles Borromeo through our about us page.