Say a Prayer While Washing Hands

Your child’s safety and health has reached new heights this year. Handwashing has likely become tiresome for your child, and his hands may be peeling because of it. Continue warding off germs with gospel words and songs to remind your child that although germs are everywhere, so is Jesus. Cleanliness is Godliness, after all

Healing the Sick
Praise God while praying for your health and the health of those in your community. Offer your prayers to the sick by asking God to use His healing to give comfort and strength to them. In Psalm 103 of the Scripture, verses 2–3 reads, “Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget his gifts, who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills.”

“Amazing Grace”
This classic song is everybody’s favorite. It’s easier to become fearful during a time like this. With lyrics like, “‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved,” this hymn will remind and reassure your child that God is taking care of his safety and security. 


“The Lord’s Prayer”
When Jesus’s disciples asked him how to pray, he responded with “The Lord’s Prayer.” It’s likely that you and your child know the words by heart. Keep the tradition alive by reciting the words to cleanse not only your child’s hands but his mind and soul. Lines like, “Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” gives your child hope that God will not harm him.

Blessing Healthcare Workers
Your and your child can give your blessings to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. You can make your own prayer by simply saying, “Bless are all the healthcare workers, those who hold the heaviness of life and death. May God protect you during this.”

St. Charles Borromeo, a top 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.

Ways to Volunteer from Home

Service is a major part of the Catholic religion. Therefore, at St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, our curriculum emphasizes ways to give back to the community. We have developed a list of ways your child can volunteer even while social distancing at home!

Coronavirus Care Packages
Contact your local homeless shelter to check in. Ask the shelter if they need any coronavirus supplies for their residents to remain safe, including masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, disinfectant cleaners, and more. You can even make coronavirus care packages for anyone who is homeless that you may meet outside!

Grocery Bags
Some families are not visiting the grocery store right now or may be dealing with a financial crisis. Whether you’d like to visit the store or use a shopping service, donating grocery bags is an essential way of giving back to those in need. Fill the bags up with healthy and nutritious foods that can help combat viruses! Find a food bank near you on Feeding America’s website.

Adopt a Family
Adopt a family with children and have your child present during the process. Search for families online or through a faith group. Shop for the families and send them presents during the holidays! Online shopping makes it easier to stay safe with no-contact delivery. Demonstrating this sort of kindness teaches your child to be compassionate and loving towards other families that may be less fortunate.

Healthcare Contributions
In the event a person becomes sick, they may not have access to healthcare. Some healthcare centers may be unable to accommodate the growing patient population. Help ensure a healthy outcome for patients by paying for a bill or donating to agencies that collect funds for the low-income. Teach your child that a small gesture like this can have a life-impacting result!

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. To help provide the very best Catholic education to students — present and future, please consider contributing a gift to our Spirit of Giving Annual Fund. Learn more about us by contacting us here.

Fire Safety for Kids

A fire is an event that you can never expect. Taking precautions in the home and implementing an escape plan in advance can help protect your family. Stay safe from fires by teaching your child these tips for fire safety!

Fire Escape Plan
To create a fire escape plan, you must be sure that there are at least two ways to get out of each room, such as a door or window. Make sure there is a specific spot in front of or behind your home for you and your family to meet when you get outside of the house. Sometimes children hide when they are scared, so you must thoroughly explain that going outside and getting to safety is the best option. Remember: Only call 911 once you escape from the danger zone.

Introduce Firefighters
Teach your child about what firefighters do. Explain that their role is to help put out fires, assist in other types of emergencies, and help people get to safety. This will familiarize them with the firefighters and make them feel more comfortable if they are ever to be around. Arrange a meeting with a firefighter who can chat with your child. Come prepared with questions, and make it a fun interaction for your child so he won’t be scared.

Reading Material
Reading books about fire safety can bring comfort to your child. When he sees some of his favorite characters are implementing fire safety protocols, he will likely want to do the same. Take, for example, The Berenstain Bears visiting a firehouse. Or if your child loves dragons, we recommend “No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (And Dragons).” The story follows a young girl who meets a fire-breathing dragon and invites him for tea. After he accidentally sets the table ablaze, the little girl sprung into action. In the end, she was a hero, which will inspire your child to also remember what to do in case of a fire. Books like these are a gentle way to inform your child about scary topics.

Firefighter Coloring Book
Coloring books are an excellent way to deliver lessons to your child, and connect creativity to an important situation. There are many books you can purchase, such as this Firefighter Coloring Book that will allow your child to learn even more about fire safety, while also having fun. You can also let them trace printouts of fire trucks and firefighters!

St. Charles Borromeo, a top 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.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On the third Saturday of August, Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This commemorates Mary, the mother of God, was assumed body and soul into heaven and reunited with her son Jesus. Learn about the tradition and the ways you and your child can observe it.

Purpose
The doctrine of her departure states at the end of her life, Mary was taken body and soul, both physically and spiritually, from Earth to heaven. Our Blessed Mother’s body was able to go directly to heaven as it wasn’t stained by original sin.

Obligation
Many countries, including all of North America, celebrate this as a Holy Day of obligation and a festival. Every culture, from Roman Catholic to the Anglican Communion, celebrates on or around the same day. On these days, all faithful communities are required to attend Mass unless the day fall on a Saturday or Monday.

Celebration
Catholics all around the world celebrate the Assumption of Mary in different ways. For instance, in Italy and Italian-American culture, colorful processions and fireworks mark the celebration. Some Catholics carry a statue of the Virgin Mary through towns to a ceremonial floral arch. Here are ways you and your child can celebrate:

 

  • Attend a mass: Make it a priority to attend a vigil mass, usually held the evening before the feast. You and your child can display your love for our Blessed Mother and bring glory to her son.
  • Go to a procession: Processions for the Feast are either big or small. Go online and research how your area celebrates their love for our Lady. If you don’t find one, organize your own. Be sure to collect a statue, figurine, or image of Mary.
  • Plant a Mary Garden: A great bonding activity for you and your child, celebrate Assumption Day by blessing the summer harvest. Plant herbs, summer squash, fresh fruit, and more. 
  • Have a feast: Organize a special feast with your family that can be a picnic, formal dinner, cookout, or other dining activities. Be sure to use fresh herbs and vegetables from your Mary garden in your meal blessing, and incorporate the color blue, which symbolizes the heavenly skies.

 

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.

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.