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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Pray Like the Pope

If there’s one thing we know to be true, it’s the importance of prayer, especially around Easter. Taking moments out of our day to pray helps us be thankful for all that He has given us, and allows us time to reflect and consider opportunities where we can bless others. Easter is a great time to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus by praying Pope Francis’ nightly prayer.

First, begin by recounting everything from your day and continually ask yourself this question: “If I had stopped to slow down, where would I have seen God today?” This will help you give your prayer some depth and direction.

Once you have taken some time to talk to God and center your mind, try ending with this short, favorite prayer of Pope Francis: “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Afterward, Pope Francis says he prays five Our Fathers, one for each of the wounds of Christ because Jesus cleansed us with His wounds.

You can begin to slowly incorporate this into your children’s nighttime prayers. Toward the end of their prayer, add, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.” Build on this over time, adding an Our Father every night until your child is able to recite all five.

Then, take time to talk to your children about the power of prayer and why the Pope’s prayer is important. Explain what it means to be made clean and how it relates to what Jesus did for us on Easter. Ask why someone may pray this at the end of the day, making sure you give your children plenty of time to reflect, ask questions, and offer their own insight. As the days progress, discuss the meaning of the five Our Fathers and answer any questions about their meaning. If your children are visual learners, it may help to have a crucifix nearby to help them focus and understand!

At St. Charles Borromeo, we incorporate prayer into our daily curriculum. We pride ourselves on creating an environment where students can work hard, play hard, and pray hard. If you’re currently looking for an Orlando Catholic school that prioritizes both education and spirituality, please consider visiting us. We cultivate a community where children can gain the strong foundation they need to grow into responsible adults who love and follow Him.

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.