The Celebration of Ash Wednesday


For parents, sometimes it can be difficult to explain things to children. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the top
Orlando Catholic schools, knows how hard it might be educating your child about religious observations and celebrations without confusing her. Here are a few ideas to help parents like you explain the importance of Ash Wednesday.

Make It Fun
Some children understand better through kinesthetic learning, so we recommend you make a fun game out of teaching small yet important lessons. You can get your child to play tag and every time that she tags someone, she has to name one reason we celebrate Ash Wednesday or why it is important to our faith. At the end of the game, everyone should have said at least one reason and learned. Plus, a cool bonus is that your child will get a quick outdoor exercise from this experience.

Stay Traditional
If your child is an auditory learner, you can try to talk about why Ash Wednesday is important. Although it’s a serious topic, it doesn’t mean that the conversation has to be intense. Your child will be more likely to remember things when you use fun and innovative concepts that she will relate to. So don’t be scared to use her favorite TV shows as an analogy to explain the importance of it. By using specific scenes and characters in an episode, you will be able to effectively describe what Ash Wednesday is and what it represents. At the end of the day, the meaning is what matters, not how you phrase it.

Use Visuals
Another technique that can help your child understand Ash Wednesday is explaining this Bible verse from Genesis 3:19: ”Until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Many children hear this and easily get confused or scared. Gather any type of ash-like substance, such as dirt or sand, to show them a visual. By doing this before Ash Wednesday, your child will be ready and fully aware of the true meaning of this day.

By exposing your child to these ideas, she’s more likely to become closer to God because she will understand the meaning behind her actions. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Orlando Catholic schools, is more than just 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.

Science Fair Preparation and Ideas


The science fair at St. Charles Borrom
eo, an Orlando Catholic school, is on February 19th! This great event is hosted by schools worldwide and allows your child to compete in science and technical activities. To help her prepare, here’s a list of project ideas she can do!

Backyard Biosphere
Is it possible to create a biosphere? In this backyard biosphere experiment, your child will create an ecosystem that can survive with animals living in it to test the plausibility of developing a sustainable environment that is closed off from the rest of the planet. Grab a clear container, soil, grass, a flowering plant, a ceramic bowl, water, a microscope, and slides and follow the procedure!

Center of Balance
Suitable for grades fourth through sixth, this physiology project can help your child find out how to locate a person’s center of balance. Is it easier to balance on a narrow ledge or on a  rope if a person is holding their arms out? To find out, all your child needs is a rope, a meter stick, three meter sticks taped together, three meter sticks taped together with five-pound weights attached to the ends, a stopwatch, and a friend to help. In just a few steps, your child can understand the nature of gravity!

Anaerobic Energy
Humans use two types of energy systems: aerobic and anaerobic. This health science experiment will determine an average person’s ability to use their anaerobic power system and increase their capacity over a period of two weeks. The only materials your child will need is a timer and a few willing participants! 

Caving
With just a few materials, this Earth and space science project allows your child to observe the gradual formation of stalactites and the reverse buildup of stalagmites. Learn about evaporation, gravity, and minerals. You’ll need Epsom salt, black poster board, tape, scissors, four drinking glasses, black yarn, four washers, a ruler, a small pot, a spoon, and a logbook!

Solar System
To understand if the distances in the solar system are proportional to the distances in an atomic system, this physical science project can help. With just clay, a tennis ball meter stick, and a few willing participants, your child will have the opportunity to analyze and conceive the solar system and atomic structures a little better!

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

National Puzzle Day to Help Child Development

January 29th is National Puzzle Day! St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, encourages your family to celebrate because puzzles can help with your child’s development. Doing puzzles assists in keeping the brain sharp, improves memory, and helps prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Developing Skills
When your child is alone playing with a puzzle, he is building basic skills, such as physical, emotional, and cognitive. Jigsaw puzzles are an especially  great way to boost STEM skills like abstract thinking, spatial and math skills, logical reasoning, and problem-solving. Physical skills are developed just from holding the pieces and placing them where they fit. Puzzles promote emotional intelligence by simply teaching your child to learn patience and when they are awarded once they have completed it. Cognitive skills develop as he learns how to solve the problems associated with the puzzle. The three basic components are the building blocks to developing a well-rounded human being.

  • Physical skills:
      • Hand-eye coordination
      • Gross motor skills
      • Fine motor skills
  • Emotional skills:
      • Setting goals
      • Patience
  • Cognitive skills:
    • Shape recognition
    • Memory
    • Problem-solving

Best Puzzles
There are so many puzzles out there that will help your child build his logic, math, and reasoning skills. Here are some brain-twisting  favorites that your child will also love. 

 

  • Janod Body Magnetic Puzzle: With this puzzle, your child will learn and understand the human body. The body cards come in nine languages to promote language development.
  • Thinking Putty Puzzle: A great STEM toy for your child, this game encourages critical thinking. Connect the same colored dots by creating same colored paths of the putty without crossing different colors.
  • Ravensburger Beautiful Ocean: With more than one million puzzles sold, this is one of the bestselling puzzle brands worldwide. Encouraging creativity and concentration, this 100-piece jigsaw puzzle will teach your child to love ocean creatures. 
  • iPlay, iLearn Wooden Solar System: For the space-loving child, this wooden solar system jigsaw puzzle will inspire your child to be an astronaut! With 48 thick pieces and a helpful, optional diagram, it’s easier for younger children to put together. Plus, your child will get a basic lesson in geography, as this interactive world map educates about animals, continents, and oceans! 

 

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

 

Catholic Schools Week Open House


The 46th annual Catholic Schools Week is coming up! From January 26th to February 1st, Catholic schools all around the country all celebrate and connect through by attending Masses and participating in assemblies. This year’s theme is to learn, serve, lead, and succeed. Take a look at why St. Charles Borrom
eo, an Orlando Catholic school, is honored and celebrated.

A Blue Ribbon School
In October 2007, St. Charles was named by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon school. Just one of only 287 in the nation to receive this honor, St. Charles was recognized for its academic excellence and closing subgroup achievement gaps. 

Parent Partnerships
Although we are fully staffed with high-quality, experienced instructors, parents are the primary educators for their children. We believe that it’s a true privilege to be a part of each student’s learning experience. We are proud to partner with you — the parents — to help your child grow into a confident, capable member of society.

Academic
With our challenging, rigorous curriculum, your child will embrace his true potential, giving him a solid academic foundation and help him develop his God-given talents. Our instructors create a safe, comfortable, and healthy learning environment where students have the opportunity to grow into enthusiastic, lifelong learners. Your child will receive individualized attention from our teachers and will receive differentiated instruction because we understand that students learn in a variety of ways.


Athletics
Because of our partnership with Catholic Youth Sports, your child has the opportunity to participate in a variety of athletic activities, such as basketball, track, volleyball, cheerleading, and soccer. Sports and team participation teach valuable lessons that are important to your child’s future success, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, and self-discipline. 

Faith
The spiritual health of your child is one of our top priorities. Faith is incorporated in our daily lives, so it must be implemented into our curriculum. Between religious classes, monthly and weekly Mass, retreats, daily prayer, and serving the world around us, students at St. Charles learn that faith is more than just words; it’s a social responsibility we have as Catholics.

Join us for our open house on Sunday, January 26th from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tour the school, meet our teachers and administration, learn why St. Charles is the right choice for your family, and how your child can become a Bulldog. We offer a Christ-centered learning environment, rigorous academic programs, a safe and secure campus, after school care programs, and financial assistance opportunities. 

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

Continuing a Catholic Education Through High School

Choosing the right type of school for your child is a difficult decision. Religious schools like St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, recommend students continue a Catholic education throughout grade school. Here’s why a Catholic education is important, and how your child can prepare for the transition into high school.

Benefits of Catholic School
Many families choose Catholic schools because of the intimate class size experience, strong and challenging academics, and their focus on students as whole, remarkable humans. These are six key benefits of your child attending a Catholic school:

  1. Your child is more likely to graduate from college. 
  2. Catholic school students have higher than average SAT scores when compared with students who attend other types of schools. With higher scores, your child will be able to attend a more competitive college and possibly receive more scholarships.
  3. Students at religious private schools receive higher math and reading scores on standardized tests. Your child will be prepared for the more challenging collegiate course load.
  4. Catholic schools are known to be less costly than other private schools. In fact, St. Charles Borromeo even offers financial aid, and participates in the Florida Tax Credit scholarship program.
  5. Our schools are service-oriented, teaching your child to focus on serving others as part of their education. Learning the value of volunteerism and being compassionate will help your child grow into a remarkable adult.


Preparing for the Transition
You and your child may be stressed at the thought of high school. Moving into a new grade level requires academic and emotional preparation in order to reduce the anxiousness as much as possible. Follow this guide to help your child be set up for success:

  1. It’s important to plan a visit to the future high school to get you and your child familiar and comfortable with the environment. The school likely offers orientation dates for newcomers that are listed on their website. Schedule a tour to get a feel of the classrooms, facility, and authority figures.
  2. Communicating with other parents and children is helpful, especially during orientation. Encourage your child to mingle with other children so he can make friends sooner. 
  3. Research the extracurricular activities the school provides so your child can choose in advance. Participating in extracurricular activities is a major part of the process that will help your child kickstart their hobbies and gain confidence.
  4. Designate a special study area in your home. Your child is going to be doing homework and studying more than before and it’s important they have a space where they feel like they can focus. 
  5. Your child will experience a considerable amount of emotional and physical growth in high school. It’s important to stay grounded yourself so you can continue being their guide through this pressuring time. As a parent, be sure to show empathy and support. Remind them that high school helped you get to where you are, and even share some good stories from your experience!

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

Teaching Your Child About Friendship

There are so many valuable lessons that your child can learn from making friends. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, wants to help you teach your child how to be a good friend. It’s an important life skill your child should explore now, as it will help her develop not only socially but emotionally too. 

Talk About It
Start by telling your child what it is to be a good friend. Traits include being trustworthy, loyal, helping a friend when they are having problems, cheering them up when they are sad, keeping in touch, remembering birthdays, and more. Share a story about your childhood best friend and the ways that person brought joy to your life!

Lead By Example
Do you have a good friend in your life that plays as an example of a good friend? Your child looks up to you and mimics what you do in your life. Showcase that friendship and let your child know what makes it special. On your friend’s birthday, make them a card and have your child help. When neighbors move in, bake pastries with your child and take them there. It’s the little things that count!

Friendship in Films, TV Shows, and Books
Find books and movies that include plots about friendship — like friends overcoming difficult situations. For younger children, search stores for books like “How to Be a Friend: A Book About Friendship,” or “A Friend Like You” about Squirrel and Bird who are very different and strike an unlikely connection. For older children, the Harry Potter movies and books present many friendship lessons. Now, with the release of Disney+, your child can choose from a variety of options! Disney movies are all about friendship.

Role-Play
Role-play situations where someone may need a friend. Perhaps your child’s friend got a low grade on a test and you explain to your child how they should comfort them. Or teach them acts of love, such as sharing and compromising, which are the qualities that make friendships work.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

Family-Friendly Holiday Events Around Orlando

In a tropical climate like ours, it can be tough to get into the holiday spirit when it’s 85 degrees in the middle of December. Although winter doesn’t bring snow to Central Florida, there are still plenty of opportunities for you and your family to get in to the spirit of things this Advent and Christmas season. St. Charles, an Orlando Catholic school, provides their guide to the best holiday celebrations around Central Florida that your whole family will enjoy.

Holiday Parades
Watching a parade is a great way to ring in the Christmas season with your whole family. Lots of local governments in the Central Florida area host holiday parades in their cities in the weekends leading up to Christmas. This year, you can check out parades in Avalon Park, Longwood, Mount Dora, Oviedo, Winter Garden, Winter Park, and Winter Springs. Your family can spend some quality time enjoying the mild winter weather and watching festive floats pass by. The voices of St. Charles and our cheerleaders even host a float in the Winter Park parade!

Ornament Workshops
In this event at Orlando’s Downtown Recreation Complex, you and your family can decorate ornaments together to place on your Christmas tree. You can choose from a wide range of readymade bisque ornaments and paint your own unique and festive keepsake. Ornament workshops are held throughout the first two weeks of December, and the organizers advise calling ahead to reserve your spot at the studio.

Lake Eola Tree Lighting
On December 6, you and your family can attend Mayor Buddy Dyer’s annual first lighting of Lake Eola Park’s Christmas Tree. After you witness the lighting of the awe-inspiring 72-foot Christmas tree, enjoy live music and performances, vendor booths, and a variety of delicious foods from the Food Truck Bazaar.

Light Up UCF
The annual month-long holiday celebration returns to the Addition Arena at the University of Central Florida. Light Up UCF offers plenty of attractions for you and your family to enjoy, such as ice skating, carnival rides, live music performances, and a dazzling holiday light show. New this year, a Holiday Film Festival on select nights invites families to enjoy classic festive films in the arena lobby.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, is more than just 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.

November is PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month

November is the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Healthy Lifestyles Month! This year’s theme is “Get Off Your Apps.” These days, it’s hard to get your child off their digital devices and outside playing. Orlando private schools have ways you can encourage your child to put the device down and connect with their loved ones. Bonding time includes physical education programs, not just at school but at home too, as well as constructive play and family exercise. Here’s how you can observe this month’s theme.


Host an Event
You can host your own “Get Off Your Apps” event! Find ways that will encourage your child to play. Sign your family up for yoga, coordinate arts and crafts time, or set up a scavenger hunt. Make it a fun family time!

Host a Cooking Demonstration
Teach children how to eat healthy by demonstrating a recipe. Allow the “students” to suggest recipes and modify their favorite junk foods by making them cleaner. Your child can assist you, giving them a sense of responsibility. Her peers can help set up the event and taste the food.

Include Local Businesses
Local businesses love getting involved in community events — especially when they involve children! Contact mom-and-pop businesses in your area and request in-kind donations or financial contributions. Let them know that the money goes towards the PTA for the schools, teachers, and children.

PTA forms strong bonds with schools, students, and communities. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Orlando private schools, is more than just 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.

St. Charles Day

As you know, Charles Borromeo was a Roman Catholic archbishop and cardinal from Milan in the 1500s. He was a member of a noble family and was Pope Pius IV’s nephew. He died on November 4th, a day that is now recognized as St. Charles Day. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, honors its namesake by celebrating with a feast. Here’s how your family can participate in activities that memorialize him.

Eat an Italian Meal
In his memory, cook an Italian meal or visit a local Italian restaurant. POPSUGAR has Italian dinner options that will empower your child in the kitchen. Allow your little chef to assist you with recipes, such as sun-dried tomato pesto pasta, shrimp caprese, and spinach manicotti marinara.

Attend Mass
Attending mass allows you and your child to unite, to receive God, and ask for forgiveness. You and your child can recite the St. Charles prayer:

“Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit. Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches. Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them. Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain. Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures. Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me. Amen.”

Tell His Story
Your child should know the parish saint in which their school is named after. Tell his story and allow his legacy to live on through your child. Catholic Online sells a coloring book that tells the stories of the Saints. It comes in a downloadable digital PDF, a perfect resource that will definitely allow your child to understand his legacy!

Be Inspired
St. Charles spent much of his life dealing with disasters like the plague and famine. In one day, he fed more than 3,000 people. Coordinate a food drive and donate the items to a local food bank. Additionally, St. Charles constantly kept his nose in many books, specifically the Holy Scripture. Read the Bible with your child before they go to sleep or take them to the library to choose new children’s books.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just 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 for the Father-Daughter Dance

A father-daughter dance may just be a few hours for one night, but the memory can be cherished forever. It’s a great opportunity for fathers to demonstrate to their daughters the respect they should receive from a man and how they should be treated. St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is having their father-daughter dance on October 12th. Here are tips on how fathers can make the most of this experience with their daughters. We suggest treating it like a special date.


Plan Your Outfits in Advance
To avoid splurging on an outfit at the last minute, have your daughter choose an outfit and shoes a few weeks in advance. Dad should also pick out his outfit in advance. If he usually dresses casual, he should plan to be a little more dressed up for the dance.

Have Fun Getting Ready
Add some excitement to the evening and set the mood by playing fun music while your daughter is getting ready. Pamper her a little by asking her if she’d like to do something special with her hair or give her a manicure.

Add a Special Touch
Dad can add a special touch to the occasion by ordering a corsage for their daughter and a boutonniere for himself. He can have a toast with his daughter or share a special treat before the event like strawberries and chocolate.

Make Time For Photos
Make sure everyone finishes getting ready early so that there’s time for photos. Children grow up so fast and this is an evening you won’t want to forget. One day, you’ll be happy you have these photos to look back on to remember those sweet memories you’ll soon create.

Use the father-daughter dance as an opportunity for father-daughter bonding. It’s a special experience that can help strengthen the relationship. If Dad can’t make it, extend the invite to other male family members like uncles, brothers, or close family friends. 

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, is more than just 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.