How To Encourage Your Child To Be Active At Home

Many children spend the majority of their days looking at a screen. Granted, a lot of this interaction between technology and children is for educational purposes. As summer approaches, it’s a good time to break up your child’s time on the screen and get them up and moving. Learn about ways you can encourage your child to be active without using technology. 

 

Providing Alternative Activities

Start by taking it old school, teaching your child games that you used to play as a child. This will help them to feel connected to you and allow them to learn about games that are new to them. Some activities to consider are building Lego forts, teaching your child a new skill, and playing board games like Monopoly or Scrabble! These may be old-school activities, but they allow your child to interact with the whole family and learn problem-solving skills. 

 

Starting a Technology Fast

A part of our walk in faith is fasting and prayer. Introducing a technology fast to your children is a great way to get them to take a break from their screens and get them into the Bible. Just like we fast from food, we are able to fast from technology by setting limits or fully removing it from our lives. This is a great way to get your child to explore their faith more deeply and understand what fasting is like. 

 

Creating a Bucket List or Competition

Humans are competitive in nature. Proposing a bucket list or competition for your child will allow them to develop a spirit of fun to not use technology. Creating a bucket list of activities like building forts, decorating contests and baking would make your child look forward to being off of their devices. Having family competitions like relay races and artistic challenges would be a fun way to get everyone involved and in good spirits.  

Getting out in Nature

Depending on where you live, you can get your kids out in nature doing fun activities after school and during summer break. Going on excursions to amusement parks or nature walks is a great way to decompress as a family. Fishing and swimming are two activities that are both relaxing and will be able to keep the screens away. 

 

In a world that is stuck on the screen, we know how important it is to find ways to engage children outside of technology. That’s why our Orlando Catholic school, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, encourages children to be active when they are at home. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

5 Ways to Show Teachers Your Appreciation

We love our teachers and staff that pour into classrooms each day. Teaching children and leading them to the future is not always an easy feat. We like to show our appreciation to teachers by being supportive and encouraging while meeting their needs in and out of the classroom. Keep reading for ways that you can show appreciation to your child’s teachers.

Writing Letters of Gratitude

One way to get your child involved in showing their appreciation is by having them write letters to their teachers. They can get their classmates involved by asking them to write letters of their own. This shows teachers that their students care about them and want to take the time to express their gratitude. The students will also be able to express how grateful they are and have an opportunity to learn about how to build better relationships.

A Video Card

This gift would be a great keepsake for teachers to keep for years to come, allowing them to look back at all their students. Start by gathering videos of students leaving a short message to their teachers. Compe these videos onto a flash drive to create a cute small gift to show the care students have for their teacher. Consider decorating the flash drive or picking out a distinctive-looking one so they can tell it apart from others they have. If you want to make a teacher’s day even brighter, add an extra flash drive or two along with the video drive present.

Getting the Community Involved

A teacher’s impact goes beyond the walls of a school; what kids learn from teachers can last a lifetime and affect whole communities. A practical gift would be gift cards and vouchers to local restaurants and small businesses. Going around the town and asking local businesses to help support teachers in this way is a great way to show teachers how much they really impact the world around them. It will also allow teachers to step out into the community and have fun.

Hosting a Surprise Dessert Day

Everyone loves a treat after a job well done; teachers are no different! With the permission of administrators, you can help host a dessert day for your child’s teachers. Bringing in a dessert that teachers love, like coffee cake and ice cream, would be a great way to help break up their day and boost their energy!

School Supplies

Teachers are always using up their school supplies and could always use more. Start by asking teachers if they need specific supplies, which will allow them to feel appreciated and listened to. Find a group of fellow parents who are interested in helping out, and give each parent a list of supplies to contribute. This not only shows appreciation but also helps in fueling your child’s education!

 

Teachers do so much for our students, and it’s important to let them know they’re appreciated. That’s why our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to show their teachers appreciation, just as they are taught to in the Bible. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

3 Ideas for an Earth Day Scavenger Hunt

Earth Day gives us an opportunity to bring awareness to our Earth’s environmental state and how we can do our part to preserve it. Getting your kids involved in conservation can be challenging, so we’ve come up with three different scavenger hunts that will educate and entertain your kids. 

Sketching Checklist 

Doing a sketching checklist scavenger hunt is an easy way to get your child out in nature. You can do this activity at a local park. First, provide a checklist of things to find and sketch. For example, they can draw what the clouds look like or they can write down the different things they hear. You can instruct them to feel the bark on the trees or to pick flowers. This helps them to use all of their senses, which makes for an engaging sensory experience. Getting out in nature this way will be fun and exciting for your child. For a free printable to complete this activity click here.

Collecting Objects

Finding objects in nature is another scavenger hunt activity that will teach your child about the different systems in nature. Your child will collect items like sticks and leaves. Another activity would be to look for worms under rocks; this will teach your child about how insects make their homes in nature. Looking for small mammal homes, but not disturbing them, will educate your child about how animals in nature make Earth their home, just like your child does in their home. This is an activity that will get your child up and moving and engaged with the environment. For a free printable to use for this activity click here.

Photo Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is a great way to get outdoors with your kids. Being outdoors will help them learn more about the environment in a hands-on way. To complete this activity, drive out to a place in nature that has different terrain from your normal setting. Create a list of 10-15 items for your child to take photos of, such as flowers, trees, or bodies of water. Give your child a camera phone or a disposable camera to capture the photos. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you can create a scrapbook with your child. This type of scavenger hunt can keep your child entertained while educating them about the Earth! 

Earth Day is a time to bring awareness to preserving and being thankful for our Earth. That’s why our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to learn about how they can do their part. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Easter Traditions Around the World

Jesus Has Risen! Easter is widely celebrated around the world as a commemoration to our Savior Jesus’ sacrifice for us. This is a great time to remember that even though we may have different cultures and traditions, we can all come together to celebrate our Lord! Keep reading to learn more about how Easter is celebrated around the world. 

America

New York City is notorious for the grand parades they host every year. The Easter parade is no different. Many gather from near and far to celebrate Easter by watching a parade go down Fifth Avenue. Parade goers are encouraged to wear Kentucky Derby-style bonnets, fascinators or hats that showcase spring colors. 

At the White House in Washington D.C., the President and staff host an Easter Roll on the South Lawn. A lucky few will be invited to the White House to take part in rolling Easter eggs down the lawn with the president of the United States!

Caribbean

Flying kites on Easter is a big Caribbean tradition. The kites symbolize Christ being resurrected, rising from the grave into Heaven. Countries like Bermuda and Guyana will create kites out of colorful paper, sticks and twine. They fly these kites right after a sunrise service, with hot baked buns in hand.  

Europe

In Haux, France, residents make a giant omelet on Easter Monday. Thousands of eggs are used in making this omelet, and it feeds up to 1,000 people! That’s taking Easter eggs to a whole new level. In other European countries, like Finland and Italy, people celebrate Easter by dressing up. In Finland, children dress as Easter witches, donned with colorful paints on their cheeks, and sing blessings to ward off evil spirits. In Italy, people dress up in masks and red robes to reenact the story of Easter. 

The Holy Cities: Vatican City and Jerusalem 

Vatican City is home to the Pope, making it the center of the Catholic world. On Good Friday, the Pope commemorates the way of the cross, leading a procession around the city with candles. On Easter Sunday, the Pope leads Mass, and many flock to St. Peter’s Square to await his blessing. 

Jerusalem is the city where Jesus is said to have been crucified. Many Christians will walk along the same path that Jesus did. They will carry crosses to remember what Jesus went through in His last hours. 

Easter is such an important time for us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice and to be in community with our brothers and sisters around the world. That’s why our Orlando Catholic school. located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, encourages children to help their communities thrive. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Benefits of Community Involvement for Children

Community involvement benefits people of all ages. Getting involved at a young age can help children in ways that last a lifetime. At Orlando Catholic schools, community is part of the curriculum. Students participate in service-based activities with their classes and at after-school clubs. This not only helps those in need; it also helps the students themselves. Here are a few of the many benefits of community involvement for children:

Being Part of Something

Children who join a community become part of something larger than themselves. This sense of belonging empowers them to use their gifts and talents for good. The more children feel like they’re contributing in a group, the harder they’ll work to further the cause. In many cases, discovering your own power happens when you help others find theirs. Helping the community is always a team effort, which offers another important benefit: the ability to build relationships. 

Building Connections 

Your child benefits from making friends they don’t see every day in the classroom. By meeting people of all ages through all walks of life, children can broaden their horizons. Building socialization skills early in life will benefit them in the future when they join the workforce. The benefits of building these skills don’t just happen later in life; they start at the very first community event.

Achieving More

When students feel important, it shows. Joining student organizations and participating in community service projects can give meaning to children’s lives. Being part of a community gives them confidence that helps them thrive. It also lets them know that if they’re ever struggling, in school or otherwise, there’s someone they can talk to. The more people your child has to lean on, the less likely they are to fall behind. Meeting people from all walks of life, especially when doing community service, can also make children more aware of issues that impact communities. 

Awareness of Issues

Community service has a clear connection to learning about the issues those less fortunate face. Often, a project will focus on a specific problem and how volunteers can get together to fix it, at least at a local level. However, joining any community can help children become more aware. Community involvement can teach children about other ways of living and the challenges others have. 

Community involvement helps children in many ways. That’s why our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to help their communities thrive. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

How to Teach Your Child About Friendship

Friendship means everything to children. While some are naturally gifted with magnetic personalities and inherent kindness, most have to work on their friendship skills. Making friends helps children understand who they are and their place in the world. It’s important that they know what makes people happy and what might upset others. Here are a few ways we recommend teaching your child about friendship: 

Learning Through Stories

Books and movies are great teaching tools for learning about friendship. Sentimental classics like E.T. and modern adventure stories like Big Hero 6 show different forms of friendship and how they all have similar roots. Books like Winnie the Pooh give children heartwarming perspectives on how different kinds of people (or in this case, people and animals) can be friends. 

Sharing is Caring

One important lesson that children need to learn is the importance of sharing. This can be a difficult concept for children to master, especially younger ones. Start by showing your child how to share simple things like pencils, markers and crayons. If they refuse, ask how they feel when other children don’t share with them. This can help them understand another important friendship skill: empathy.

Teaching Empathy 

One of the most important ways to teach empathy is by modeling it in your own life. Laugh with your child, cry with your child, and encourage them to do the same for others. When your child is upset by another’s actions, help them see it from the other person’s point of view. Even if your child struggles to see other perspectives, they’ll at least know the basics: cheer on others in good times, and be there for others in bad times. To get a deeper understanding of other perspectives, another key lesson is to learn when to talk and when to listen.

Learning to Listen

No one likes being around someone who never listens or never talks. Finding a balance is important. Quiet and talkative children alike can benefit from learning to ask questions. Asking other children about themselves is a great way to show interest. It also gives your child a chance to relate, remember the information and recall it in later conversations. The more children understand each other, the more room there is for deep, meaningful friendships. Once they find out what their friends are interested in, they can invite them to be part of their lives.

Inviting Others Along

Children see their friends at school every day, whether it’s online or in person. However, they can’t depend on the times they’ll automatically see each other to build strong relationships. Children need to take initiative to keep friendships going. Sitting by new friends during lunch or inviting friends over after school can allow children to deepen their current friendships and create new ones. This also helps children who may not take this initiative themselves feel included. 

Learning about being a good friend from a young age can help children grow into compassionate adults. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to live in their faith. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Study Tips to Help Students Ace Standardized Tests

girl in class doing classwork

Test-taking anxiety affects most students, but it manifests itself in different ways to different kids. Knowing the material and being able to confidently take a test on it are not always one in the same. Standardized tests can be especially intimidating because they have higher stakes than everyday exams. While there’s not necessarily a cure for the jitters, there are steps you can take to help your child prepare. Here are some ways you can help your child do well on standardized tests: 

Create a Study Space

Within your home, create a quiet study space that has all the tools your child needs for their homework. Post-it notes, pens, pencils, highlighters and paper are essential. Mind the lighting in the area to make sure your child can focus and won’t doze off while studying. Allow your child to make the space their own by decorating, and encourage them to clean up the area every night so it’s fresh for their next study session.

Encourage Asking Questions

You may not always have the answers, but it’s important that your child knows they can come to you when they have questions. When it comes to everyday topics, this can help them develop a taste for learning and hone their critical thinking skills. Encouraging your child to ask questions will also make them more comfortable coming to you if they’re struggling. When they have trouble tackling academic subjects, you can help them out or find a tutor to work with them.

Take Practice Tests

The main concern children have when taking standardized tests is fear of the unknown. Practice tests can make standardized testing a lot less scary. Your child’s teacher should have these available. Start by familiarizing your child with the format, then time the tests as the big day approaches. If possible, start practicing weeks ahead of time so your child will be comfortable when the day comes.

Build Healthy Habits

Your child needs to sleep well the night before taking a standardized test and eat a filling, healthy breakfast the morning of the test. However, if they spend the whole week before the test losing sleep over it, one good night of sleep may not be enough. Encourage your child to eat healthy, exercise and sleep well to reduce stress before the test and the day of the test. 

Standardized tests can be scary for students, but they don’t have to be. Preparing at home can make testing much easier. Our Orlando private school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Preparing Your Child for Their First Communion

child praying in First Communion dress

Holy Communion — or the Eucharist — is the source and summit of everything we do as Catholics. In the Catholic faith, children take their first Communion at the age of reason, which is usually at 7 or 8 years old. They receive the Eucharist, or the body and blood of Christ for the first time. This is one of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church. This is a great time for celebration and as such, families will usually have a big celebration afterwards. Here’s how you can prepare your child for this important event in their spiritual life: 

Attend Mass as a Family

Bring your child to Mass every Sunday and days of Holy obligation. Show them how important and special it is to receive the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharist. Get them excited about the fact that it will be their turn soon. Attending Mass will also help your child become more engaged in their faith and feel connected with other believers.

Explain the Real Presence of Christ

Explain to your child that the Eucharist is not just a symbol, but the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is during the Mass, when the priest calls down the Holy Spirit and the miracle of Transubstantiation occurs and the bread and wine becomes Jesus’ body and blood while still appearing as bread and wine.

Consider this when you talk to your child about Communion. Talk about “receiving His body and blood” rather than “taking the bread and the wine” as you prepare. Read from the Bible with your child from John chapter 6 to show them where Jesus himself instituted this sacrament and told us to do this.

priest serving Communion

Practice the Steps

Go through the motions with your child using small crackers and sparkling grape juice. Here’s how you can help your child practice the steps of taking a First Communion: 

  • Show your child how to fold their hands to make a throne and bow their head slightly to show reverence. Remember, your child’s dominant hand goes on the bottom and their non-dominant hand on top. 
  • Say “the body of Christ” like a priest would and have them respond “Amen.”
  • Have your child consume the cracker and juice immediately.
  • Then, have them fold their hands in prayer and walk to another seat in the room.

First Communion is an important time in a Catholic child’s life, and the preparation starts at home. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to live in their faith. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

 

What to Expect from Catholic Schools Week

Once a year, everyone in the St. Charles Borromeo community gets together to celebrate all things Catholic school during Catholic Schools Week. During this nationwide event, students, teachers and families participate in school spirit activities, Mass celebrations, open houses and more. We welcome members of the community to join in and see what Catholic education is all about. It’s a great learning experience and a fun time. Here’s what you can expect from this year’s festivities. 

A Week of Activities

St. Charles Borromeo is lucky to share a campus with Bishop Moore, a high school in the Diocese of Orlando. The two schools celebrate Mass together during Catholic Schools Week. Our school also participates in student-led prayer sessions, school spirit rallies and an annual picnic in the courtyard. These are just a few of the activities students can participate in during this week-long event. 

Quality Family Time

Families who are interested in Catholic education can attend open house sessions to learn about why our school is a perfect fit for their children. Current families can also come to campus to join in on the events we have planned. In 2021, we were unable to invite families to campus due to the pandemic, so we’re excited to welcome families and the community back in 2022!

What We’re Celebrating 

While Catholic Schools Week is a fun time and a nice break from the typical day-to-day, what we’re really celebrating is the value of Catholic education. Students who attend Catholic school achieve higher than their peers academically and develop a deeper understanding of the material because faith is intertwined with their lessons. Our school also emphasizes the importance of community involvement for parents and students alike. We don’t just give to our students; we encourage our students and their families to give back. 

Catholic Schools Week is the perfect opportunity for us to come together as a community and celebrate all things Catholic school. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

The Significance of Epiphany

The word Epiphany means “manifestation,” and the Epiphany feast is a celebration of the manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This is one of the most significant moments in Christian doctrine, almost as significant as His birth and His death. Cultures around the world celebrate this feast, though different regions celebrate in different ways. Learn more about what Epiphany means in the Catholic faith.

What is Epiphany?

Epiphany, also known as Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day, commemorates the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the gentiles, or the first believers in Jesus as the Son of God. In the West, we celebrate the first visit by the Magi, or Three Kings. Celebrations in the East focus on the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River and His first miracle. Epiphany is one of the three oldest festival days, along with Easter and Christmas. It’s celebrated in most places on January 6, but in the US it’s observed on the Sunday after January 1.

How to Celebrate

The time from Christmas to Epiphany is known as the Twelve Days of Christmas, with the evening before the big day being called the Twelfth Night. As one of Christianity’s oldest traditions, Epiphany is celebrated in very symbolic ways. One way to celebrate is by baking a Three Kings cake, which symbolizes the unity of the Three Kings’ faiths. Children may receive small gifts in their shoes leading up to the day in honor of the Magi’s gifts. Some traditions even involve water as a reflection of the baptism.

Origins

The celebration of Epiphany in January predates the celebration of Christmas on December 25th. The original celebration commemorated the Nativity, Visitation of the Magi, Baptism of Christ and Wedding of Cana all in one feast. The Council of Tours separated the celebrations into Christmas Day and Epiphany in 567. Over time, these celebrations separated more and more to become the liturgical season they encompass today.

Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is an important celebration for Catholic school students to understand. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.