Making Play Count 4

Meet Raneet and Amit Khurana, proud franchise owners of Primrose School of Sandy Springs South. “We first heard of Primrose Schools in 2008, but our Primrose story got its start in 1999 when we migrated from India to the Atlanta area,” says Amit.  A few years after their move, they enrolled their daughter, Aarya, in preschool, but were not completely satisfied with the quality of care she received. “We found ourselves in the same situation when our younger daughter Aanya started preschool.” Moved by their struggle to find quality care for their children, Amit and Reneet began searching for a way to ensure that other families would not face the same problem. “When a friend pointed us to Primrose, we knew we had found the solution,” says Amit. We asked them to tell us what is important for preschoolers and what tools parents should look for in a new school.

1) Thumbs Up Program

Children at Primrose School engage in physical activity each day through the Thumbs Up!® program. Through Thumbs Up!, children practice proper techniques for movement, balance and motor skills through fun exercises like running, hopping, throwing, catching, bouncing and more. Thumbs Up! balances structured, teacher-guided games and skill development with free play, which helps children develop physically and psychologically. Studies show that children exert themselves more during free play and learn essential life skills like decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and self-control as they exercise their curiosity and explore their environment. Even infants develop physical coordination and build early motor skills through group play, games and exercise.Thumbs Up! activities are brought to life by the Primrose School teaching staff, who participate in all activities and encourage children throughout the lessons. The Primrose approach to physical development also follows the highest professional standards and guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice developed by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and the Council for Physical Education for Children (COPEC).

2) Character Development

Primrose has puppets called Primrose friends. Each puppet signifies a character development trait. Percy the rooster is our leader. Thirteen puppets define 13 different traits. We celebrate birthdays of each puppet and set curriculum around that puppet’s character trait and teach that particular trait in a playful way.

3) Reading

Special emphasis is placed on reading as part of our program. Children are exposed to different types of books right from infancy all the way to kindergarten for reading development.

4) STEAM

Primrose education places great importance on incorporating STEAM as part of education early on. We know the future is all about STEAM so we expose our children to STEAM right from childhood. There are many reasons to teach STEAM in preschool. STEAM skills are transferable across other subjects. Process skills, which include making observations, hypothesizing and critical thinking, are key components of STEAM. These skills help young children grasp math and science concepts early in life, but can also be applied to other subjects and more complex concepts later on. It’s also essential to engage children in STEAM subjects early on since they are becoming increasingly important in today’s world. Incorporating STEAM learning into daily classroom activities, rather than using a kit or focusing on it during certain times of day, allows children to better connect with these concepts. The Primrose Balanced Learning approach is integrated, meaning every skill and concept taught is reinforced through a variety of different activities and guidance from teachers. For example, plants may be explored through free play, books, art, discussion and more, while Primrose teachers ask probing questions and share information along the way to guide and extend children’s thinking. This ensures each child has many opportunities to connect with the subject matter regardless of how he or she learns.

5) Art

Art is taught as part of steam. Children are encouraged to be creative in a wide variety of arts: fine arts to develop motor skills, singing, dancing and movement are all used for exposure to art. In our weekly lessons of Primrose’s proprietary art program, children study techniques of famous artists and explore various art media and processes. Children also learn to properly use and care for art materials.

6) Sign language

We start this at Infant age. To encourage language development in babies of all ages, our Primrose teachers talk to them about what is happening around them and what they see and do. They also use specific signs to accompany many of the activities throughout the day (ex. diaper changing, meal times, Og’s Story Time, etc.). Research shows that babies understand words and signs well before they can produce either. Using words along with signs promotes and strengthens early language development because it gives children a tool to express themselves. As children learn to sign, they are also likely to be developing oral language—from babbling, to cooing, and on to saying words on their own.