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“I Can Do It Myself”: A Toddler’s Declaration of Independence

          A toddler is a fluid being.  Between the ages of eighteen to thirty-six months there are many changes that take place in a child.  He is moving toward his independence, but the reassurance of his parent, or caregiver is still something he relies on greatly.  The toddler’s capabilities and desires to do for himself physically, emotionally, and socially are moving full steam ahead. 

            Toddlers unconsciously absorb everything in the world around them. Their minds are sponges, and their fingers are the means of soaking information into the sponges.  They love to touch and do things to explore what will happen.  “What will happen if I put the ball into this hole?”  Physically a toddler cannot wait to try out a new activity or test a new-found piece of independence.  They are hungry for information about the world around them. 

            Moving away from a parent or caregiver and into the emotional realm of learning who he is as an individual is how a toddler begins to find his identity.  Comfort and encouragement from the adult in his life will still be necessary, but perhaps not as often as it was when he was younger.  He begins to find his own voice as a result of his transition toward independence.  “No” is often a favorite word in a toddler’s vocabulary.  It is important to not always see this word as having a negative connotation.  This word is the child forming his own opinions, and as difficult as it may seem, it should be treated gently, but with limits. 

            When toddlers move into a community with other children their age, they begin to expand their social circle.  They are suddenly seeing that other little people their same age exist.  When parallel play with the same material takes place, parents and caregivers often urge toddlers to share or not to touch one another’s work. Before offering an intervention, the adult should watch the children who are engaged in the activity. The adult may ask himself, “Is there truly a need for my mediation?”  The answer to that question may be surprising.  Of course, there is a need for guidance in the toddler community, but the guidance often comes most effectively through the caregivers’ modeling of appropriate behaviors in the classroom.

            Helping toddlers smoothly adjust to the transition of moving away from their dependence and toward their independence is a charge given to parents and caregivers.   It is a charge which should not be taken lightly.  An environment that provides safety, security, and above all the ability to move about freely within limits should be the ultimate goal of the parents and caregivers.  Toddlers are going to transition toward independence; how successful they are at obtaining this freedom in a positive manner is up to the adults in their lives. 

August 18, 2015 3:07 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on “I Can Do It Myself”: A Toddler’s Declaration of Independence

From the Head (and the heart)

MSH Family and Friends,

Lacey Champion

For the last ten years Ms. Lacey Champion has been dedicated to loving the students of MSH and guiding both toddlers and their parents through their first school experience.  She has wiped tears of both students and their parents and been an integral part of the success of our toddler program.  On the evening of Friday, August 7 she experienced a health crisis of her own and is currently under treatment at Huntsville Hospital after experiencing a serious cardiac event.  While she is improving everyday, she will need our ongoing support to return to full health and then return to the classroom.


Those who know Lacey recognize that she is not just a colleague, but a dear friend to many here at MSH.  To support Lacey and her family during this time, Becky Spooner has set up a Take Them a Meal page to provide food for Lacey and her family during her convalescence.  You can sign up to provide a meal at this link: and locating the schedule by recipient last name (Champion) and password (9491).


In addition, the medical care that Lacey is receiving and the subsequent costs to her family while she is hospitalized are a strain for private school teacher’s salary.  Her colleague, Brandy Lighthall has started a Go Fund Me page for Lacey and her family at this link:


Many of us are very busy and stretched with our resources, but if you are able to make a small donation it would be helpful as the family overcomes this challenge.


Lacey is making improvements every day.  We are happy to pass well-wishes on from you.  For convenience, Becky will be delivering the donated meals to her home, along with any notes or messages of support you would like to send.


I hope you will take time to show your love for Ms. Lacey.  In whatever way you can contribute, please do so.  She does so much for children and the school.  Let’s now do something to care for her. and locating the schedule by recipient last name (Champion) and password (9491).

August 11, 2015 4:31 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on From the Head (and the heart)

Lower Elementary Blog

August 10, 2015

We have had an amazing first week of school! The children have such a wonderful energy and drive to get right into their work. The older children are being leaders and helping the younger ones adjust to the elementary classroom. We have a really sweet group of students this year, and I can already tell their personalities are going to compliment each other.

This week, we will start the Montessori Cosmic Curriculum with the First Great Lesson: The Beginning of the Universe and Earth. This lesson will involve several extensions over the next few weeks, including experiments with volcanoes, states of matter, and the water cycle. This main lesson will flow into all subjects, including math and language.

We are all excited for a fantastic year!

Angela McCollum

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August 11, 2015 1:58 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Lower Elementary Blog

Toddler 2


We are almost at the end of a good school year. My congratulations to all graduates. I am so thankful to have such wonderful kids in my class. Without their help it would not have been possible for me to have such a successful year. It is my privilege to spend time with them and watch them growing.

In the past two months, we spent a lot of time watching nature, such as growing garden, baby birds, transformation of caterpillar to butterfly. All credit goes to school for providing a natural surrounding in which we can really feel our connection with the nature.

We have a very busy next week. Please note the following two dates:

May 21 is our water day.

May 22 is our graduation day and MSH family picnic. Our Toddler-II graduation is scheduled at 9:15 a.m.

It is a bitter sweet for me. I have to say goodbye to my nine students. I am surely going to miss them so much.

Thanks to my wonderful parents for supporting my class in every way and sharing their precious one with me. I also thank my team, office staffs and board members for supporting my class throughout the year.

Have a wonderful and safe summer.

Jayati Bhattacharjee
May 21, 2015 5:20 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Toddler 2

Primary 1

Hello parents, I cannot believe it is almost the end of the school year!!  We had a great year!!  We really enjoyed every moment with your children.  Some of you are going to different schools and some of you are graduating and going to first grade. Ms. Alicia, Ms. Carol and I wish them all the best wherever they go.  We thank all our parents and children for taking time to make those wonderful cards!! We appreciate the beautiful flowers, chocolate and other goodies!!  And also for the delicious lunch!!  I know it is hard to take time to do all this at the end of the school year!!  We appreciate all our cooking parents and chaperone parents for driving us to field trips!!  We could not thank our fabulous room parents enough: Jane and Jenny!!!  They did an outstanding job!!  We will have a wonderful start next year!!  Also, a hearty thank you to our office staff for their incredible support throughout the year! If you have any questions during summer break, you are welcome to call me!!  We wish all our graduating and returning students a wonderful and safe summer!!  We will see our returning students and new students in August!!  We love you all!!

May 21, 2015 5:19 pm  |   Category:   |   Comments Off on Primary 1