How to Help Your Child Choose the College that’s Right for Them

Notre Dame University

Choosing a college can be overwhelming, and it helps to know where to start. The United States alone has almost 5,000 higher education institutions — ranging from two-year and four-year schools to private nonprofits to public schools. Plenty of factors will weigh into your child’s future education: location, student population, programs offered, even whether to continue an Orlando Catholic school education. Whether your child is a freshman or a rising junior, it’s never too early to help them start planning for the future.

Location

Find out if your child wants to relocate and how far she wants to go. Local options may seem easier and more affordable, but sometimes moving out-of-state creates a better college experience. Consider the campus itself and the surrounding area. Use virtual tours to help narrow down the options, and visit the colleges that make the most sense.

Student Life

Going to college is like entering a new world, one where daily life will completely change. Student newspapers and social media are great sources for insight into campus culture. When possible, ask students about their personal experiences. Look up data like retention rates per year and graduation rates. This will give you an idea of how many students have an enjoyable experience at the school.

Programs

Look at which programs are available to help your child start her college journey. See which programs are emphasized, both inside and outside of the classroom. Most colleges allow students to take classes before declaring a major, and more times than not, majors change. Student organizations can enhance a student’s experience moving toward her future career and help her meet others with shared interests. 

Why Catholic College

With so many options available, narrowing the list down to Catholic colleges may be a safe bet. At these private colleges, expect smaller class sizes, a focus on individual students, and staff that prepare students for fulfilling careers. Catholic schools also provide an environment for spiritual growth, and students and faculty often share beliefs and values. This could lead to a more comfortable learning environment for your child. 

Your child has a difficult, sometimes stressful decision to make about their secondary education, but  with support from family and trusted advisors, the choice becomes easier. At St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, we build up our students to prepare them for high school, college and beyond. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gardening With Genesis 1:29


The very first foods mentioned in the Bible came from the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve ate the ideal diet of plant foods given to them by God.
Genesis 1:29 says “ God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your foodCatholic schools in Orlando explain the importance of plant foods, its connection to the Scripture, and how you can start your very own garden.

Garden of Eden
The very first diet given to us consisted of plants. A plant-based meal includes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and more. These foods are very often known to be very nutritious and help your child live a longer life. But skip purchasing them at the grocery store — instead, create your own garden at home!


Starting Your Own Garden
Starting your own little Garden of Eden with your little one is a great way to bond and save money on groceries. Getting their little hands dirty is rewarding. But knowing where to begin is difficult. Start small and then let it grow. 

Choose a Spot
First, pick a spot in the yard. All vegetables need up to eight hours of sunlight per day. The space must be flat because it’s both not easy and more time-consuming to work with a sloping garden. 

Clear the Sod and Work the Soil
Once you find your spot, clear the ground by getting rid of the sod covering the area. The more fertile the soil is, the better your food will grow. Residential soil usually needs a boost, so add organic matter, such as compost, dry grass clippings, or decayed leaves. Work the soil by tilling and digging

Choose Your Veggies
Head to your local garden store and start shopping! Choose plants that can adapt to your soil, sunlight, and climate. Here are a few great plants for beginners:

  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumbers


Research which fruits and vegetables tolerate what temperatures. For instance, tomatoes prefer warmer temperatures, whereas kale tolerates the cold. Once they grow, there’s no greater feeling. Imagine the smile on your child’s face when he accomplishes this great goal! Now it’s time to eat!

St. Charles Borromeo, one of the Catholic 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.

Having Dinner as a Family Can Help Your Child Develop

We know life can get busy. Work is calling your name. You stayed at your job late and couldn’t make it home for dinner. But St. Charles Borromeo, one of the best private schools in Orlando, highly encourages setting aside time to have dinner with your family. Family dinners are an important part of your child’s development. Shared family time at the dinner table is an important aspect of family life.

Boosts Development
Sharing dinner at the table boosts your child development. For one, it assists in promoting language skills when you talk to them about her day. Secondly, it allows them to develop patience and dexterity by using utensils. Additionally, social skills can develop through manners and taking turns. 

More Nutritious
Researchers have found that sharing meals together on a regular basis is more nutritious and leads you to make better food choices. Families who eat together are more likely to eat their servings of fruits and vegetables than families who don’t eat together. Your child is less likely to graze on junk food and would actually prefer the healthy stuff. Not to mention, it helps make weight control easier! Because home-cooked meals are healthier than restaurant meals, your young child will likely be in better physical shape.

Creates Bonds
Being all together in one place, like at the dinner table, allows your family to feel a strong bond with one another. You don’t want your family to lead disconnected lives at work and school, so here’s a way to reconnect. Ask your child how their day went, and it’ll teach them to ask you the same. 

Improved Mental Health and Grades
Studies have found that children who enjoy family meals are less likely to be depressed and more likely to do well academically. It’s been reported that the more often you eat as a family, the more likely it is that your child will receive As and Bs.

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.