How to Help Your Child Solve Math Word Problems

child doing homework with headphones

Solving math word problems involves skills in analysis, reading and mathematics. This causes some children to struggle, even if their individual skills are up to par. When word problems are first introduced, children don’t always understand the path from a phrase like “two trains are leaving different stations” to a numerical answer. Here are some ways you can help your child digest and solve these problems. 

Highlight Key Parts

Math word problems throw children off by adding fluff to the actual equation. However annoying this may be, it does give children a more realistic view on how math problems work in real life. With these problems, have your child highlight the words and numbers that relate to the question being asked. This will help them hone in on the problem they need to solve.

hand doing math homework

Answer the Question

This may seem as obvious as “solve the problem,” but at first glance, a child may find it difficult to understand what a word problem is saying. If your child can rephrase the question in the form of a statement, they’ll have a firm grasp of the question they’re answering. This is an important step in solving a word problem. 

Write Out the Equation

Now that your child knows what equation needs to be solved, they should write it out. When they show their work, they’ll be able to catch possible errors. It will also remind them that they’re solving a simple math problem. Seeing the problem without the words in the way makes it easier to solve.

child holding up fingers above chalkboard

Read, Reread, Proofread

The biggest error children make with math word problems is rushing through them to get to the next task. If your child reads over the question twice before attempting to solve the problem, then looks over it again after, they’ll have a better chance of catching any mistakes. It will also help them build confidence in their ability to solve these seemingly  complex problems.

Math word problems often trip children up, but you can make the problems easier to solve. 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.

Teaching Your Child Leadership Skills

child in suit

Every child has the potential to be a leader, but not all are born with natural leadership skills. The good news is that many important aspects of leadership can be taught. As a parent, you’re in a unique position to foster your child’s abilities and help them become the best version of themselves. Here are some of the most important qualities of a good leader and how you can help your child nurture them. 

Patience and Forgiveness

To succeed in life, your child needs to learn to be patient with others. When your kid gets upset at needing to wait on someone or for something, talk about how being patient ultimately helps everyone. Explain to your child that most people who cause harm don’t do so with intent and that all people make mistakes. This will also help your child become more patient with themselves. 

Confidence

Leaders need to be decisive and confident. Even if they’re not always sure about the decision they made, they need to be able to explain why they made that decision. Allow your child to make their own choices, starting small and expanding the scope over time. Let them speak directly to wait staff and cashiers, rather than speaking or ordering for them. This will help boost their confidence over time and help them become independent.

girl playing piano

Creativity

Being a leader involves creative thinking and strategy. Encourage your child in any creative pursuit, whether it’s music, art, writing or a unique method of problem solving. Display art around the house, and play music in the car. Talk to your child about how their favorite movies and video games come to life. 

Negotiation Skills

Your child will get far in life if they learn how to negotiate early on. You can help teach them this important skill. When they request something you’re unsure about, rather than saying “no,” make them an offer so they can make a counter offer. See if you can provide multiple options for them to choose from that will help them accomplish their goal. Children often need to ask for permission, and giving them the option to negotiate will be great practice and make them feel more empowered to act independently.

kids playing soccer

Team Player Mentality

To lead others, your child will need experience being around others in different environments. Find out what they’re interested in, and encourage them to explore group activities that allow them to meet like minded people. If they’re into the outdoors, they may thrive in a Scouting organization. Artistic children may enjoy art clubs, school bands or drama troupes. Team sports are a great option for athletic children because everyone has an important role to play. While leaders need to be independent, they also need to know how to work with others.

The teachers at our Orlando private school know that children are the future and that many of our students are destined to become great leaders. Located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, our school is more than a place to learn; it’s a community. The 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.

Helping Your Child Deal with Social Reentry

children packing food donations

Even if your child was a social butterfly before the pandemic, they might struggle to go back to full classrooms and events without social distancing. They could also be starting to make up for lost time with friends and family. These sudden changes can be overwhelming.  Here are some ways you can help your child deal with them.

Have an Honest Conversation

Your child might be nervous about facing large crowds, even if they’re excited about things going back to normal. They may feel brave until the moment they see the full classroom or notice how cramped a gym locker room can feel. This is a great opportunity to open up a dialogue with your child. If you’re also nervous about reentering crowded situations, talk through it. Maybe you can navigate it together. On the other hand, if you’re not nervous, be understanding with your child, and try to pass on some of that bravery.

crowded outdoor market

Prepare Your Child

Learn as much as you can about the policies at your child’s school, especially ones that will change in the upcoming school year. Will masks be required? Will the school still provide virtual options for vulnerable children? Tell your child everything you know to help prepare them for what’s ahead. Your child may have trouble understanding how things that were considered dangerous earlier this year are safe now. Walk them through it as much as you can, and try to answer all their questions.

Ease Into It

Help your child ease in by starting with small crowds. Find events that they’ll be excited to attend. If your child has trouble engaging with others after a year of online interactions, wait until you’re alone, then talk about it. Don’t embarrass them in front of their friends and family; you can’t bully your kid into bravery. They dealt with a lot of change over the past year, so it makes sense that they would forget about social graces. 

alarm clock on table

Get Back into a Routine

If you’ve been working from home for a while and are finally reentering the office, there are a few things that might feel new again: commuting, planning meals, or spending the day in the office. The same goes for your child. To get your child used to getting ready for school and doing after school activities, establish daily routines at home. Make sure your child wakes up early and doesn’t stay up too late. Plan meals on a schedule that works for the whole family. When your child gets back into a flow, encourage them to try new activities so they have something fun to look forward to.

Children may need help adjusting to the changing world around them, and parents are in a great position to help. 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.

How Video Games Can Help Your Child Learn

child playing video game

Gaming can open up new worlds for your child, like books and movies but in a more engaging way. When your child plays a video game, they are at the center of their own world. This can come with many benefits, like life lessons, cognitive benefits and career opportunities. At our Orlando private school, we believe play is just as important as attending classes for a child’s development. Here are some of the ways video games can help your child learn:

Educational Content

While not all video games directly relate to education, most can teach life lessons. These games immerse players in thrilling, stimulating worlds. Historical games, like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and the Assassin’s Creed series mix facts about history with challenging scenarios. Role-playing games like the Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts series teach children vocabulary through character dialogue. Minecraft, a popular game for all ages, allows players to build their own worlds. Minecraft: Educational Edition comes with over 500 lesson plans about coding, the environment, history and more. Other games like Math Blaster, Reader Rabbit, and Code Ninjas solely exist to educate children. 

child doing math on whiteboard

Teaches Life Skills

It’s nice that children can learn facts and academic skills from games, but they can also learn skills that will help them in life. For one, video games help children become motivated. They play the main character role, and their success is rewarded throughout the game. With incremental levels of difficulty, children learn the value of practicing and improving skills, which translates to real life. Whether a child plays with a team of pre-designed characters or with real people, video games also help children learn the importance of teamwork. 

Helps with Brain Function

If you’ve heard a parent talk about the benefits of video games, you’ve probably heard that they improve “hand-eye coordination.” While that is true, there’s more to it. With timed challenges and incentives to act quickly, video games help speed up mental response times, which improves real-life troubleshooting skills. Rhythm games help children think quickly and can help with their overall motor skills. By providing instant, ongoing feedback and giving players the opportunity to correct mistakes, video games also teach children how to re-strategize and keep trying if they fail the first time.

child on computer programming

Creating Video Games

Video games aren’t just a fun pastime— they can become a fruitful career. Your child could become part of this estimated $180 billion industry. Creating these games requires code writers, art and level designers, musicians, voice actors, motion capture actors and more. Many of these skills require STEM-based knowledge. Even if your child is not set on becoming a future game designer, they might be interested in seeing what goes on behind the scenes.  The National STEM Video Game Challenge allows students to build games from the ground up, and spectators get to watch the process unfold. This can be a great educational opportunity for gamers of all ages. 

Recommendations for Parents

While video games can be beneficial, like anything, they should be experienced in moderation. Here are some tips for creating healthy gaming habits:

  • Establish firm time limits for your child, and don’t let them start playing before they finish homework or chores. 
  • Encourage your child to play games with friends and family members, helping them learn collaboration and allowing them to engage with others in a meaningful way. 
  • Encourage healthy habits while they’re playing. Good posture, sitting the proper distance from the TV, and not mindlessly eating unhealthy snacks while playing can go a long way. 
  • Before buying a game for your child, find out if it’s appropriate. The ESRB has a ratings scale with ratings like E for Everyone and M for Mature. Not all games are rated, but you can figure out what happens in most games with a quick Google search. 

We believe playing video games is a great way for children to learn about the world around them, whether it remains a hobby or turns into a career. 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.

April: Month of the Holy Eucharist

communion cup and plate set at altar

After the reflective period of Lent, Easter comes around, and then Catholics dedicate the entire month to celebrating Jesus’s presence in their lives. Known as the Month of the Holy Eucharist, April is a time when the Catholic Church focuses on the Sacrament of Holy Communion. This is unique to the Catholic Church as we believe that the Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Holy Eucharist

The Month of the Holy Eucharist, also called the Month of the Blessed Sacrament, celebrates Jesus manifesting himself in the Body and Blood while still under the appearance of bread and wine. The institution of the Eucharist started at the Last Supper by Jesus Himself, the last time Jesus and his disciples gathered before his crucifixion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the Eucharist as “the source and summit of our faith.” In observation, everyone at Mass kneels in adoration during the transfiguration, the point that the bread and wine change into the Body and Blood of Jesus.  

Ways to Observe

Catholics celebrate the Month of the Holy Eucharist in many ways. Here are a few:

  • Begin to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, an ancient prayer that presents a path to praying through the Book of Psalms throughout the year.
  • Recite the “Jesus Prayer” by repeating the phrase “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner” until it brings you peace.
  • Read about the life of a saint, and pray by his or her side. Many saints have their own prayers regarding the Eucharist.
  • Pour out your heart directly to Jesus by telling Him all that comes to your mind, and listen for a response. 
  • Pray the Rosary, and ask Mary to join you while you do so. 

Soul of Christ (Anima Christi) Prayer

Anima Christi is a prayer that you can say as an act of adoration, thanking Jesus for his continued presence on Earth. This prayer is from the 14th Century and is commonly said after receiving Holy Communion:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me

Body of Christ, save me

Blood of Christ, inebriate me

Water from Christ’s side, wash me

Passion of Christ, strengthen me

O good Jesus, hear me

Within Thy wounds hide me

Suffer me not to be separated from Thee

From the malicious enemy defend me

In the hour of my death call me And bid me come unto Thee

That I may praise Thee with Thy saints

and with Thy angels Forever and ever

Amen.

At St. Charles Borromeo, we believe that having a strong foundation of faith helps children excel in all areas of life. 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.

Books for Children to Read During Black History Month

Learning about history is an essential part of education. While we cover what we can in our curriculum, there is always room for stories that help paint a picture of what life was like before we were here. Modern stories are great, as well, to help provide context. During Black History Month, encourage your child to discover incredible stories that may inspire them to make the world a better place. Here are some of our recommendations:

I Am Rosa Parks book cover

I Am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer

This book tells the story of Rosa Parks a Black woman who refused give up her seat on the bus for a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. She initiated a bus boycott that helped start the Civil Rights movement. This picture book about her story is perfect for a new reader. The friendly, conversational tone makes the story digestible for a young mind. Meltzer has written a series of picture books about historical figures.

Hidden Figures book cover

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

This book takes you on the journey of four Black women who helped the United States find its way to outer space. The story takes place between the 1930s and the 1960s. At this time, being Black and being a woman were challenges to overcome in the workplace. The author has published several versions, including a picture book and a young reader’s edition. No matter what your child’s reading level, this book is guaranteed to inspire. After reading the book, you and your child can also watch the movie adaptation.

The Hate U Give book cover

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

While this month focuses on Black history, young people also need to understand current issues. This young adult fiction book follows the story of Starr, a 16-year-old who finds herself between 2 worlds— her poor neighborhood and her fancy prep school. These worlds collide when she witnesses her friend, Khalil, being fatally shot by an officer while unarmed. When his death becomes a national headline, she must decide whether to tell her story amid criticism and intimidation. This modern-day story could give your teenager perspective on the current climate and the Black Lives Matter movement. This book is raw, so we would not recommend it for younger children.

At St. Charles Borromeo, an Orlando private school, we see beauty in diversity and believe that learning about the world around us is an essential part of education. 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.