Monday, February 1, 2010

School Aged Twins...To Separate or Not

Via email, one of our members asked for advice concerning a Kindergarten issue. She was wondering whether or not to separate her twins. Here is some feedback she received.

Our twins are now in first grade. They had a dependence on each other and did not do well when seperated at preschool, even for a short period. We kept them together for Kindegarten, the first time one went home sick was traumatic for the one left behind, but a huge growth experience for both. The teacher said there is no issue having them together. As they are growing, they are still just as close, but the interdependence on each other is waning, without the trama of seperation. I agree with other posts, it varies by twins, ask them and then be flexible enough to change the situation in the first week of school if necessary.

We kept our twins together for Kindergarten and First Grade (boy/girl twins). At that point, I asked them what they'd prefer, and they said to be separated. They have been separated since. That approach worked well for us. I made an appointment and talked with the principal (spring) to request they be together; normally our school splits them. I then put it in writing when they wanted to be separated. One thing I would have done differently was to request that both had one good friend in their classroom the first year they were split. I (incorrectly) assumed they would do that. The beginning of that year was a little rough for my daughter; I think it would have been easier if she had a good friend in her class.

Each year I would ask my sons' teachers if they saw any reason my sons should not be in the same class. (Our school only had one class for each grade) One teacher, that only had them once a week, did not even know they were twins (fraternal). Ask the boys as you go along and the teachers for feedback. Things could change as they grow.

I say keep the twins together if there are no rivalry issues or other reasons to separate. As soon as Kindergarten, kids are bringing home work and projects. It's much easier to keep up with one teacher and lesson plan versus two. School is a learning curve for both the parent and the twins. Make things easy on everyone the first year and re-evaluate as needed. Definitely talk to your school district though as each district differs on how much control the parent has in decisions such as classroom placement.


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