Catholic Schools Week Returns to St. Charles Borromeo

 

It’s that time again — time to come together with our families to celebrate Catholic Schools Week, Jan. 29 – Feb. 4! This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” These three essential aspects of Catholic school help build our culture and prepare our students to become faithful stewards in school and beyond. This year, we will reunite once again with Bishop Moore High School students, faculty and staff to celebrate Mass as one community in Christ. Learn more about why we’re excited about this year’s celebration of all things Catholic school.

Catholic Schools and COVID-19

Sending your child to Catholic school can benefit them in a number of ways. However, one way that these schools truly stand out is how students performed during the pandemic. While public schools saw dramatic decreases in test scores over the past few years, Catholic students’ scores stayed about the same. Where public school students fell behind, Catholic school students continue to excel. We believe the reasons for that are clear. 

Catholic schools embraced hybrid models earlier than their public school counterparts, allowing students to learn in a community environment during an otherwise isolated period. With smaller class sizes, which are proven to lead to higher student achievement in normal times, they had a unique ability to adapt to the unprecedented circumstances 2020 brought with it. 

Throughout the difficult times, children, teachers, faculty and staff remained focused on faith, keeping the school community strong. Students had lunch together outside and masked up and socially distanced indoors. With hybrid classes, some students learned online while others came to the classroom, allowing them to safely attend school together. 

Parental Involvement

Part of what made adapting possible was the involvement of everyone in the Catholic school community, including the parents. Parental involvement in education benefits children in many ways, from inspiring confidence to knowing that someone has their back. Parents of Catholic school students see the benefits of their children having good role models in our staff members, daily exposure to our Catholic faith, and the highest quality private school education. 

Catholic Schools Week provides time for parents who are considering a Catholic education to attend open house sessions to explore our community. For parents of current students, we also have several fun activities planned! All are welcome and encouraged to attend this celebration of all things Catholic school. 

Faith

Our students “work hard, play hard and pray hard.” The foundation of an enriching Catholic education is learning about our faith and understanding its importance in living our daily lives, woven into everything they do. Students come together to attend Mass weekly in addition to participating in daily prayer. Nurtured throughout their Catholic education students gain a deep understanding that our Lord walks with them always; providing peace and sowing the seeds for them to become more Christ-like in their involvement with others. 

Excellence

Catholic School students excel in educational growth as a direct result of their faith being underscored in their studies. They offer smaller class-size and high-quality education. The National Catholic Educational Association reports a 99% graduation rate from Catholic high schools with 88% of those students moving on to college. On national and standardized tests, Catholic school students are high achievers, in the forefront by as much as 20% in outperforming other students who attend other private or public schools.

Service

Building a sense of community is one of the core values of Catholicism, and Catholic Schools Week sheds light on the importance of being of service to others as one of the most important tenets of our Catholic faith. At St. Charles Borromeo, students are encouraged to be involved in service projects so they learn teamwork while working on a common cause. 

Our parents are also invited to participate in P.A.W.S., a parent volunteer program established to reach out to help everyone in our Orlando community. Catholic Schools Week gives us a chance to step away from our normal routines by engaging in some fun activities and welcoming families to campus who are considering becoming part of our community. 

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

Getting a New Start in the New Year

Getting back into the swing of things can be very challenging for children after Christmas vacation. We understand the anxiety that faces our students as they return to their studies. As parents and educators, our goal is to help them transition smoothly and successfully while continuing to develop better study habits, enhancing their skills, and cultivating their Catholic faith. Here are some ways you can help your child get a fresh start in the new year.

New Start on Study Habits

Children love routines, but that doesn’t mean the routine can’t be refreshed. To help your child get into the right mindset, consider updating your child’s study and homework area. It doesn’t have to be anything major – it could be as simple as a new set of pencils and crayons, post-it notes or colored file folders! Consider switching up the rules about when homework needs to be done and when your child can enjoy an afterschool snack so they can stay fueled and focused. 

This may involve changing up your own habits, too. Regardless of how busy life becomes, if your child asks for help after attempting a task, guide them through how to solve the problem. You may be tempted to just give them the answer to save time and frustration, but that doesn’t help them learn to independently problem-solve. 

If the first semester was difficult for your child, talk to them to find out why. Many young students need to be encouraged to read, which can create challenges as they advance in grades. Others may not understand number sense without a little extra help. Help where you can, and if needed, find your child a tutor who specializes in the subject where they’re falling behind. 

New Focus on Faith

At St. Charles Borromeo, faith is interwoven into daily classroom activities and curriculum. Developing your child’s faith is central to our mission, and having your parental support at home is essential. In the New Year, remember the promise made at your child’s Baptism. Commitment to helping your child grow and deepen their faith is a life-long responsibility. 

Pray as a family. Start your day at the breakfast table in prayer, say prayers in the car on the way to school or pray at the dinner table before you eat. Attend Mass as a family. Get everyone involved in a family service project for the betterment of others. Be an example of Christ-like behavior for your children. Read bedtime stories together, and pray together every night. Tie this into what the next day at school will bring to help them prepare for their studies.

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

7 Tips for Teaching Children About Respect

child returning an elbow bump

In order to thrive in life, children need to know about respect. Children who understand how and why to respect others will carry those lessons on throughout their lives. Phrases like “because I said so” teach children the wrong lesson by making obedience feel like a punishment. Before your child goes out into the world on their own, try following these tips to teach them about the benefits of respecting others. 

Demonstrate Respect

Children learn best when they follow a trusted adult’s lead. Be kind to others, especially when you’re around your child. If you slip up in front of your child, talk to them about why that was a mistake and how you could have handled it better. Do the same if they get flustered and act a little rude. Always be forgiving, thinking of mistakes as learning opportunities.

Tell Them Why

Make it clear what you expect of your child, and help them understand why being respectful matters. Demonstrate how respect can improve both sides of any relationship they have. People like to be respected, and it feels good to make others happy. On the flip side, tell them how rudeness or lack of respect can reflect poorly on them and have negative consequences.

Teach Polite Language

The earlier your child learns words like “please” and “thank you,” the more likely they are to incorporate the words into their daily vocabulary. Use polite words often when talking to your child and talking to others around your child. Encourage your child to do the same. Say “please” and “thank you” in every appropriate situation so your child understands the positive effect these words have.

happy family at breakfast table

Practice as a Family

Get everyone in the immediate family involved in teaching your child or children manners, and the lessons will be more likely to stick. The dining table is a great place to start, since many things, like not talking over each other and arriving on time, can be demonstrated over family dinner. Everyone in the family can work together to teach each other respectful habits, keeping in mind that signs of respect vary across cultures.

Don’t Force It

Friendly reminders to say “please” and “thank you” and listen attentively are fine. However, it’s not fine to chew your child out every time they forget. The more aggressively you present the idea of respect, the more likely your child will be to resist. You can’t force your child to learn how to respect others overnight, so use these opportunities to set a positive example.

Let Books be a Guide

Find books that are appropriate for your child’s reading level with themes of respect and kindness. Children’s books often have a “moral of the story,” and some books take on these subjects directly. Talk to your child about the characters in the story and how being kind helped them. The more examples your child has, the easier it will be for them to relate to these concepts. 

statue of Jesus with blue sky in background

Use Jesus as an Example

Jesus demonstrated kindness and respect to those who were often looked down upon. He didn’t hesitate to dine with people who weren’t conventionally “good.” He broke down boundaries by preaching to people of different races and healing lepers, which was unheard of in His time. As He hung on the cross, He begged that those who hurt Him be forgiven. Even today, Jesus can be a model of respect and tolerance. 

Respecting others is the first step to becoming a successful, well-liked person, which is one of many reasons why we encourage it in our students. 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.

5 Ways to Help Children Find Their Faith

teen girl holding bible

Helping your child learn about and understand the impact of faith on your life will allow it to become a positive force in theirs. There are many ways to help your child find their faith, and some are more effective than others. Here are a few ways we recommend guiding your child on their faith journey. 

Create a Positive Faith Environment

When it comes to learning about faith, children need guidance. Truly understanding how faith can become part of their lives starts with a positive environment. Think of yourself as a leader, not a boss. Encourage your child to join youth groups, Faith based camps and Bible studies so they’ll be surrounded by peers who can talk about faith with them. When they’re struggling, help them turn to prayer for answers. 

mother and teen girl in fruit field

Communicate in a Loving Way

Spend meaningful time with your child so they know they’re a priority in your life. This will earn your child’s trust and make them more likely to listen to what you have to say. Rather than asking questions that provoke one-word answers, try asking “What was the best part of your day?” or “How did you help someone today?” If your child trusts that you have their best interest at heart, they’ll open up to you when they need extra help.

Set a Good Example

One way to teach your child to become a follower of Jesus is by exhibiting Christlike behavior. It may be tempting to air out your frustrations with someone when you think your child is not listening. However, they’re probably listening to you more often than you realize. Treat children, family members and friends with respect, and encourage your child to do the same. Be forgiving, especially when you’re talking to your child. While leading by example is great, it’s also helpful for them to have multiple sources that show how to behave. Consider finding children’s books, movies and other media that promote positive character building. 

woman and red haired boy at desk looking at computer

Help them Understand

In today’s world where everyone has information at their fingertips, “because I said so” no longer flies. Don’t just tell your child what the Catholic religion is trying to teach if they have questions. Help them understand. Show them that helping the poor, homeless, disabled and oppressed improves the world while enriching their lives. Help them understand why attending Mass helps them connect with their faith. Rather than just telling them to be polite, explain how being polite helps them see with a positive lens and brightens others’ days. If they understand why they’re acting a certain way, they’ll be more inclined to continue on their path.

Consider Catholic Education

For some children, Catholic education provides necessary guidance for faith exploration. Being around like minded peers who have the same questions they do can have many benefits. Teachers, families and staff at Catholic schools work together to provide a positive faithful environment. Children can join a faith-filled community and learn the importance of service to others. Mass is available at school, and parents are encouraged to join. These are just a few ways that Catholic education can help students find their faith.

At St. Charles Borromeo, teachers work hard to guide students toward academic and spiritual growth. Our 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 Days of Holy Week

holy-week-cross

To mark the end of Lent, Christians celebrate Holy Week to commemorate the final days of Jesus’ life and His resurrection. Each day has its own significance and is celebrated differently. Take time with your child to help him understand the meaning of each of these days. Here is a guide to Holy Week from an Orlando Catholic school:

Palm Sunday

The sixth and final Sunday in Lent is known as Palm Sunday. This commemorates Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. To celebrate, churchgoers wave palm branches like the crowds of the time. Showing humility and fulfilling a prophecy, Jesus rode in on a donkey. On this Sunday, crowds observing Passover in Jerusalem proclaimed Jesus the messianic king. In some churches, worshippers wear crosses made of palm fronds. Palm Sunday is also referred to as “Passion Sunday,” because “passion” comes from a Latin word meaning “to suffer.”

Holy Thursday

The first day of the shortest liturgical season, the Easter Triduum, is Holy Thursday. This day commemorates the last day before Jesus was arrested. To represent the Last Supper, churches celebrate the Last Supper Mass and the last Communion before Easter. Other events include the betrayal of Judas and Jesus praying in Gethsemane. Certain sects refer to this day as “Maundy Thursday,” with “maundy” meaning “to give,” “to entrust,” or “to order.” Aside from giving Communion, churches celebrate with the ceremonial washing of feet, just as Jesus washed the feet of his Apostles this night. After Mass, the tabernacle empties out, and the hosts move to another location for adoration. The church is truly empty during these days of remembrance leading up to the Easter Vigil. 

Good Friday

On this day of Holy Week, Christians do not celebrate but take time for reflection, honoring the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made. Good Friday commemorates the arrest, trial, crucifixion, suffering, death and burial of Jesus Christ. No one hosts a Mass celebration on this day anywhere in the world, rather a musicless, dimly lit gathering and sometimes a Communion service. There are a couple ways this day is observed. Eat church will have a Veneration of the Cross, where worshippers bow before or kiss a large cross. This is also a day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting means we eat smaller meals for breakfast and lunch with a normal sized dinner and not eating between meals. Abstinence means we avoid meat on this day. 

Easter Vigil and Easter

On Saturday, day 7 of Holy Week, Christians practice quiet meditation while remembering the faithful and honoring martyrs. Catholic churches host a candlelight vigil after sundown that begins outside the church with a fire and the blessing of the Easter Candle. All at once during Mass the lights in the Church will come on and we will sing Alleluia as Jesus has risen from the dead and conquered death! Then, all day Sunday, worshippers celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. The music, communion, and celebratory nature return. After church, families get together for brunch, Easter egg hunts, and dinner, traditionally serving lamb to mark the end of Lent. At our Orlando Catholic school, we believe Holy Week is important for children to observe and understand.

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.

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

student walking with book

The 47th annual Catholic Schools Week is coming up, and this year’s theme is “Faith. Excellence. Service.” At St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando Catholic school, we believe these three words perfectly represent Catholic education. We will be launching our Catholic Schools Week with an open house Sunday, January 31st, and we welcome anyone who is interested in our school to join. Here is what we will be celebrating that week:

Emphasis on Faith

Faith is the foundation of a well-rounded Catholic education. Our students participate in daily prayer and gather weekly for Mass. By incorporating faith into our education, we remind students that their belief is an important aspect of daily life. Every step of the way, our students know that God is by their side. This is just one of many ways we help our students become responsible citizens of the world.

classroom with plexiglass

Promoting Academic Excellence

Challenging students with academics that prepare them for the real world is a priority at our school. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Education awarded St. Charles Borromeo the honor of being a Blue Ribbon School, placing it in the top 200 schools in the nation for academic excellence. Every year, we aspire to maintain this level of achievement with a rigorous curriculum that helps students reach their full potential. 

children packing lunches

Service to our Community

As part of our curriculum at St. Charles Borromeo, we strongly encourage students to help those in need. Some service projects take place during school hours so our students can work together toward a common cause. We also believe parent involvement is crucial to building our school community, so we established a parent volunteer program called P.A.W.S. With every family doing their part, our school can help every part of our Orlando community.

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.

Apps for Children and Teens

Help Your Children Stay Connected to Church with These Digital Tools

girl and boy on phones

In today’s ever-changing world, we are always looking for new ways to connect. Every day, we use the Internet to keep us on track. Children and teenagers are no different. While in-person Sunday school and church services may not be available, consider these online options to keep your child connected to God. 

SunScool logo

SunScool

In 1958, missionaries Bert and Wendy Gray found a girl living in a remote village in Ireland who wanted to learn about God but had no access to Sunday School. Ever since, the couple has been creating accessible Bible lessons for children. The Grays adapted their lessons to modern times by creating the SunScool app. This app incorporates play and critical thinking with Sunday school teachings using word puzzle games, quizzes and coloring pages. Along with this app, available on Apple and Android, you can download the paper course called Bibletime for free at besweb.com

Life Teen

Life Teen is a one-stop online shop for teenagers and their families to form deeper relationships with Jesus Christ and His Church. While the website primarily sells spiritual growth programs, it also provides several free resources. Your teen can read relatable blogs with titles like “Step Up Your Friend Game” and “25 Ways to Keep Dating Simple,” or follow Life Teen on social media for inspirational quotes, images and videos. The Life Teen team believes that teenagers who encounter Christ through the beauty of the Catholic faith will change the world, and their goal is to guide teens on that journey. 

teen on phone with coffee

Staying Connected to Faith

While we work together to navigate the new normal, apps and websites can help keep families on track. Motivating children and teens can be challenging, especially with daily changes in the outside world. However, with the help of resources like SunScool and Life Teen, families can work together to build and sustain a strong connection to God. 

At St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, we educate our students to excel in the modern world. We build our students up to focus on following their faith, and sometimes that means adapting to the times.

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.

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.

Finding God Through Fitness


Remember that God is everywhere. He is in the walk you take, the scripture you read, and within you. Faith is not just about nurturing your child’s spiritual health, but their physical health as well. Through fitness, your child will deepen their faith and take care of their temple (body).
Private schools in Orlando explain the connection between God and fitness.

Your Body Belongs to God
1 Corinthians 6:19 states, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” Honor your temple’s creator by taking care of it through healthy actions, such as working out and eating nutritious foods. By keeping your child’s body strong, he is able to keep going and serve others.

Serve Others
Jesus sacrificed and redeemed us from sin so that we can continue servicing others when He couldn’t. With a strong and healthy body, taking on this moral duty will come more easily. We use our legs to travel to places where God is and to share the joys of Him. We use our arms to carry the children we care for. Our strength is spiritual, mental, and physical.


Stay Alert
Keep your brain awake alert so you can delight in God. To better focus and understand the truth in God’s words, have your child start his day by doing some sort of exercise. As the difficulties of life kick in, continuing to exercise will help him embrace the heart of the Scripture. Even just two miles of walking per day gets the body and brain pumping. Encourage your child to join a sports team at school. Show him how to make it a habit to maintain his joy. Not only will he be in shape, but he’ll be paving the pathway to a deeper love for our heavenly Father.

St. Charles Borromeo, one of the best 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.