Safe and Fun Summer Activities

Your child may be feeling like he can’t do anything fun this summer due to COVID-19. However, there are plenty of things your child can do safely. Here are some safe and fun summer activities your family can enjoy!

Music Class
Carnegie Hall’s Music Explorers program offers resources and lesson plans to teach children new musical genres and cultural traditions. All of the programs include an interactive concert experience where students get to celebrate what they’ve learned. Chrome Music Lab is a site where your child can learn more about music through hands-on experiments!

The Outdoors
Get a little fresh air this summer by safely visiting hiking trails, parks, and botanical gardens. Leu Gardens has opened back up and is cashless. Take a self-guided tour of the garden, then have a picnic. State parks such as Little Big Econ are free and don’t see too big of a crowd. You can plan to camp at the creek.  

Learn a New Language
This summer, your child can learn a new language! Sites like Duolingo, English52, and Fabulingua teach language skills through video lessons and fun activities. Your child can learn anytime, anywhere by visiting the websites or downloading the apps.

Cook and Bake
It’s easy to fall back on good eating habits when you’re home more often. Teaching your child how to cook allows them to be responsible for their nutrition. The CHOC blog offers healthy recipes directly from clinical dietitians!

Start a Garden
Grow your own garden at home to reduce the risk of getting sick by going out. Start by choosing a spot in your yard, clear the sod, work the soil, and plant your seeds. Peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers are great for little beginners looking to get their hands dirty!

Summer Service
Summer is a great time to get into the spirit of giving. Volunteering shows your child how to make a difference. Even during a time of social distancing, your child can make an impact on the world. Our blog includes summertime services ideas, including delivering groceries, making blessing bags for the homeless, doing yard work, adopting a family, and helping an animal shelter.

Online Learning
Our website also includes a list of educational resources your family can enjoy remotely. The list includes opportunities to take virtual tours of places like the Orlando Regional History Center and the Central Florida Zoo. Your child can also color with Crayola, learn more about marine life from SeaWorld, and watch films via the Enzian Theatre.

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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.

Prayers Your Child Should Be Saying in the Morning

The Scripture has a prayer for every situation. Morning  prayers, also called Lauds, are one of the most important hours in the “Liturgy of the Hours (the official prayer of the Catholic church).” Here are some prayers your child can say in the morning! We start it off with the Morning Offering written in 1844 by Father François-Xavier Gautrelet, S.J., one of the founders of the Apostleship of Prayer.

Morning Offering by Fr. François-Xavier Gautrelet, S.J.

“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day

for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart,

in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,

for the salvation of souls, the reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians,

and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.

Amen.”

“Children’s Morning Prayer” by Mary Fairchild

“Lord, in the morning I start each day,

By taking a moment to bow and pray.

Beginning with thanks, I then give praise

For all your kind and loving ways.

Today if sunshine turns to rain,

If a dark cloud brings some pain,

I won’t doubt or hide in fear

For you, my God, are always near.

I will travel where you lead;

I will help my friends in need.

Where you send me, I will go;

With your help, I’ll learn and grow.

Hold my family in your hands,

As we follow your commands.

And I will keep you close in sight

Until I crawl in bed tonight.

Amen.”

“Good Morning, Jesus” (Author Unknown)

Jesus, you are good and wise

I will praise you when I rise.

Jesus, hear this prayer I send

Bless my family and my friends.

Jesus, help my eyes to see

All the good you send to me.

Jesus, help my ears to hear

Calls for help from far and near.

Jesus, help my feet to go

In the way that You will show.

Jesus, help my hands to do

All things loving, kind, and true.

Jesus, guard me through this day

In all I do and all I say.

Amen.”

Morning Prayer for Children (Author Unknown)

“For this new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends.

For everything Thy goodness sends,

We thank Thee, dearest Lord.

Amen.”

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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.

 

Easy Catholic Snacks for Your Child to Make


Developing cooking and baking skills is essential for your child’s upbringing. Start teaching her how to work in a kitchen with these Catholic snacks. These delicious recipes are perfect for First Communions, Holy Thursday, and more!

Unleavened Bread
You don’t need to be a master baker to make unleavened bread. In fact, the process is simple and doesn’t involve yeast or rising. Not only does it provide a lesson in baking, but it also gives your child a lesson about the Last Supper. This recipe creates about 12 pieces and requires:

  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients, except the flour.
  3. Add the flour slowly and knead until bread is elastic.
  4. Put oil on your hands, then shape the dough into balls. Flatten them into a patty, and poke holes with a fork.
  5. Grease a pan, and then put the bread on it.
  6. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until golden brown.


Caramel Cross Krispy Treats
For any holiday, we recommend this caramel cross recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 package 10-oz marshmallows
  • 1 box purple Fruit-by-the-Foot candy
  • ½ cup caramel ice creaming topping

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows in, and stir until completely melted.
  3. Remove from the heat, then stir in the caramel topping.
  4. Add in the Rice Krispies, and stir until fully coated.
  5. After oiling your hands or spatula, press evenly into a pan that is coated with cooking spray.
  6. Allow cooling for a couple of hours, or put them in the refrigerator.
  7. Once they are firm, use a cross-shaped cookie cutter.
  8. Cut the purple fruit snacks into strips, then drape them over the crosses.

 

St. Brigid Irish Tot-chos
If your child loves tater tots and nachos, then this snack for her! Perfect as an appetizer, it layers potatoes — an Irish staple that represents the Irish saint St. Brigid. St. Brigid was the patroness of dairy maids, which is symbolized by the sour cream and cheese piled on to cooked tater tots. She is also connected to pigs as well, which is represented by the layer of bacon bits. Finish it off with guacamole and green onions to symbolize the Irish green!

St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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.

Teach Your Child Religious Poetry

Poetry can teach your child all about creative writing, spelling, grammar, comprehension, structured writing, and more. Writing poems can be a part of your home learning schedule. Poetry is a great teaching tool to show your child literary elements, such as rhyme and similes, through language and expression. Use this guide to learn more about teaching your child religious poetry.

Picking the Poems
So that your child will be more likely to enjoy the experience, allow him to choose the poems he studies. Give him some control and independence so he doesn’t grow to resent the activity and experience. To prepare for the lesson, read it in advance before you share it with your child. Have discussion points like metaphors and topics ready. There are many great poems for children about Jesus and prayer, including:

 

“Pray Today” by Roger W. Hancock:
Before each day remember to pray,

 

that we be safe at play.

Pray at night, for it is right,

then sleep within God’s light.

All through the day, remember pray,

Jesus will guide each day.

 

“Bless the Father” by Prayers for Special Help:

 

Dearest God,

thank You for giving us

joy and love.

You have given us children

that gives us all we need

Happiness and joy

through all our days.

Bless Your name

and all your works

for without You

we will live in sadness

and madness will be with us.

Read Together
After your child chooses the poems and you’ve reviewed them, read them together. This creates a bonding experience, which makes your child feel more comfortable learning a new activity. Encourage your child to relax by creating a comfortable space and lighting candles.

Discussions
Start a dialogue about the poems. Ask him what he enjoyed about the pieces, or what he didn’t understand. Then get into literary points, such as tone, theme, and so forth. Then, re-read the poem, much slower than the first time. Have your child point out the literary elements as you go along. Pointing them out himself will give him a better understanding of what he’s reading and make him feel confident. Continue the process and have him memorize the poem so he develops his rhythm. 

Use Examples
When it’s time to write his own poem, use the poems he selected as a guide. Break down the structure of the poem into sections. Makes notes highlighting writing mechanics. Then, have him follow the guideline piece by piece.St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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 Clean Your Room Day


It might feel like a battle getting your child to clean his room, and you’re often viewed as the bad guy. With National Clean Your Room Day coming up on May 10th, we encourage you to use this opportunity to teach your child how to stay tidy! St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic School in the Diocese of Orlando, has compiled a list of tips to help get your child motivated to clean his room!

Communicate Expectations
Clearly define what a clean room looks like, and explain that everything has its own place. To stay organized, purchase bins and baskets, then label them to show him what goes where. Be reasonable with your expectations by considering his health and age. Show him images of how it should look, then include a checklist that goes over each step:

  1. Make your bed.
  2. Put your toys away.
  3. Place your dirty clothes in the hamper.
  4. Fold and hang up clean laundry.
  5. Vacuum or sweep your floors. 
  6. Organize your desk.

Set an Example
Children are often known for messy rooms, but adults should set a better standard. Your child looks up to you, and if you are preaching cleanliness, you need to practice what you preach. In doing so, he will be more responsive to cleaning up. You can even clean each other’s rooms together to enforce routine! Once he’s mastered how to do his chores, you no longer need to step in, and he will feel confident on his own.

Make a Routine Together
Cleaning is a great way to bond with your child. Incorporate chores into your everyday schedule, and make it something he will look forward to. At the end of the day, he needs to make sure his room is clean. Put on some music or chit chat the day away! And remember that research shows that when you make your bed every morning, you will have a positive day! By having a positive attitude about cleaning, your child will feel the same way.

Let Him Have Pride
A child’s room is their special space that they get to call their own. Think about the pride you have in your home. He should have control over his own room and feel that same pride. That way, he will more than likely keep it nice and clean. Give him that pride by letting him switch it up everyone so often. It’ll make cleaning his room a more exciting chore. He can rearrange furniture, use a different organizational system, add posters, change the theme, add decorative items, paint the walls, and so forth.

Reward System
To help motivate your child, include an incentive. Every time he is done cleaning his room, celebrate! We all get busy, and things get messy, so he should be acknowledged for his hard work and dedication. Treat him to his favorite toy, ice cream, or extra playtime as soon he’s done with all of his chores!

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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.

Origins of the Crowning of Mary

The May Crowning of Mary is a long-standing Catholic tradition that honors the Virgin Mary. Families typically hold a “May Crowning,” where Mary is presented with a floral crown and other handmade items. We hope that this information will help teach your child about the origins of this beautiful Catholic tradition.

The Traditions
Catholics have long honored the Blessed Virgin Mary in May. Most Catholic churches create a dedicated area that includes a picture or statue of Mary, surrounded by flowers and candles. This remains throughout the entire month of May to memorialize the importance of our Mother Mary in Church and in our personal lives. During “May Crowning,” we honor Mary as Mother of God and Queen of the Universe.

Why May
Throughout history, May has brought special observances, traditions, and devotions to Mary, which led her to be known as the “Queen of May.” In the medieval times, winter ended at the start of May because it was considered a time of new growth and beginnings. It was during this time that the “Tricesimum” (“30-Day Devotion to Mary” or “Lady Month”) period began. That’s when special devotions to the Mother of God started in May — spreading from Italy all around the world. Parishes traditionally have daily recitation of the Rosary in May. The final devotion on the last day of May is typically followed by a procession, where the structure or image of Mary is taken back into church. 

Mother, not Goddess
It’s important to note that we do not view Mary as a goddess, nor do we worship Mary; she is honored or venerated as the mother of Christ and Mother of God, the most important woman in our Catholic faith. She is the first to hold God within her and was conceived without the stain of original sin so as to be the perfect tabernacle of our Lord. She also holds a special place with her son and can intercede for us in a special way as shown in scripture. This is why we say “to Jesus through Mary.”

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, 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.

Keep Your Child Busy at Home


Adjusting your child to social distancing can be difficult because you’re scrambling trying to find ways to keep your child entertained. But there is still plenty to do! St. Charles Borromeo, one of the top
private schools in Orlando, has ideas to keep your child engaged while being home all day.

Make a Routine
An important thing to remember is the importance of routine. Schools know all too well about this. Your child is used to having a schedule. Create a calendar of what the days will look like. Keep her busy and learning, while you focus on the work you need to do. Use the framework that the school uses, including snack time, recess, and breaking the days into blocks for each subject.


Play Time
It’s not all about schoolwork. Play time is just as important for your child’s routine and energy levels. Designate times for important things like school assignments, then fill up the rest of the day for play. Dedicated child-led play should be about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your child’s age and development.


Inside Activities
It would be easy to just give your child a phone or tablet to play on, but she won’t get much stimulation out of it. You can cut down screen time and create a fulfilling experience! Some fun tech-free ways to keep your child engaged and entertained include:

 

  • Create a game box: Fill up a box with items your child can play alone, including puzzles, coloring books, and cards. Give your child a box when she wants something to do, and you’ll be on track to a good routine.
  • Design a treasure hunt: Hide items all around your home. Then, give your child clues that will push her to go on a hunt!
  • Let her help you: Give your child a job she can handle. Make it a big deal so she feels important, which builds her confidence and independence. For instance, she can help you cook or clean and even make a card to mail to grandma.
  • Grow a garden: Quarantine gives us the time to start (and complete) house projects we have been putting off, including growing a garden. You can start it outside in the yard, or simply give your child an indoor plant to look after.
  • Conduct a science experiment: Give your child a science experiment every week to keep her busy and engaged. A backyard biosphere experimenting gives your child a science lesson and outdoor play!

 
St. Charles Borromeo, one of the top private schools in Orlando, 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 Student Athlete Day

National Student Athlete Day is on April 6th, which is a great reminder of the importance of being active. Playing sports is beneficial to a child’s upbringing, and we encourage you to support them. From soccer to basketball, St. Charles Borromeo, a top private school in Orlando, has a rigorous athletics program that builds a mature, confident, and well-rounded individual through sportsmanship and teamwork. To celebrate this day, here are some athletic-related activities you can do with your child!

Watch a Game
Whether it’s a school game, a local game, or even the big leagues, expose your child to sports games. If they’re unsure what sport they want to participate in, watching a game will help them make a decision. In the future, our online calendar will list all of the school events that St. Charles coordinates. 

Go Shopping
Showing support for your child can be done by going shopping! Browse the internet for sports shop to get some new gear. From new sneakers to the shiny baseball bat they have had their eye on, the options are endless. They will appreciate you for nurturing their talents and recognizing all of the hard work they put in.

Get Involved
St. Charles believes that sportsmanship and teamwork are valuable attributes for your child. Therefore, we participate in and support Catholic Youth Sports, or CYS. Since 1991, CYS has been “dedicated to the development of youth athletics for the Diocese of Orlando.” Their vision is to help develop student-athletes through the exploration of their interests and help them grow both spiritually and physically. In fact, we understand that there is a spiritual component to sports because God can be found through fitness. Exercise reminds us that our bodies belong to God and that by being healthy we can serve others. Students who are interested in participating must meet certain requirements, so we encourage your child to get involved!

St. Charles Borromeo, a top private school in Orlando, 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.

Benefits of Your Child Playing Chess

Chess is not just a game for the elderly to play at the park. Chess can be a highly beneficial tool to your child’s intellectual development. St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Orlando Catholic schools, encourages your child to play chess in our after-school chess club at school!

Problem-Solving Skills

A match encourages problem solving and thinking fast right on the spot. The opponent in the game requires them to continuously change their parameters. Some studies have indicated that people who learned how to play chess scored much higher on standardized tests, which leads to better brain function. This sort of strategic thinking will prepare your child to be a master in planning ahead.

Brain Growth
Gaming challenges the brain and promotes its growth. It exercises both sides of the brain when your child has to identify the chess positions. She will improve the communication in her brain and it starts to work faster, as reactions occur on both sides of the hemisphere.

Helps Prevent Memory Loss
As your child gets older, it’s important that she works out her brain and keeps it healthy and fit — just like other muscles in the body. Brain games should be started at a young age to reduce the risk of memory loss now and later in life.

Improves Attention Span
If your child has ADHD, or just attention span problems, playing chess can help her focus better at school. She will be so focused on winning and making smart moves that she avoids the distractions around her. This type of attention that the game demands can result in better performance at school.

Raises IQ
They say smart people play chess and that chess makes you smarter. Studies show that playing chess can raise your IQ because of the brain workout it provides. When your child’s IQ raises significantly, then watch her test scores rise, too!

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.

Encourage Your Child to Do the Talent Show


Our next talent show is March 13th, and we highly encourage our students at St. Charles Borrom
eo, an Orlando Catholic school, to participate! We know your child aces their academics, but we also want to see them shine with their personal talents. Whether it’s singing or dancing, the talent show is the place to let your child be the bright star she is!

Finding a Passion
We believe that academics are not just about science and math. Maybe your child isn’t as adept at algebra, but more so in the arts. She wants to play an instrument or paint pictures. She needs to find a talent she is passionate about and can practice. By showcasing her talents, she will feel acknowledged and appreciated by her peers, her teachers, and even you. 

Boosting Confidence
Taking a break from schoolwork and allowing your child to pursue their talents is important to her development. She needs to believe in herself and build on that confidence as a child. When she grows up, she will smooth out her skills and become a confident adult. Allow her to discover what she’s good at and encourage her to hone in on it! When you support her, you build a bond and create an opportunity for her to value herself.

Reducing Anxiety and Loneliness
When your child discovers herself, recognizes her abilities, and builds on her confidence, she will blossom. By working with her peers on the talent show, she will have the opportunity to socialize and build relationships. This, in turn, will reduce anxieties and a feeling of loneliness. Working in groups is a crucial skill set she will need as an adult in the workplace.

Having Role Models
Your child needs role models she can look up to you. Yes, as her parent, you are the main role model in her life. But when she discovers her talent and wants to improve on it, she needs people she can look up to. If she is a singer, who are the singers she looks up to? If she plays an instrument, who is a musician she hopes to be like one day? By identifying her role models now, she can follow in their footsteps and be on the way to becoming a star herself!

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.