Thursday, 4 July 2019

Together - Should I Keep My Twins In The Same Classroom?

Now that the minions are older one of the most common questions I get involving their 'twinness' involves classroom placement.

"Are they in the same class this year?" - NO

"Have they ever been in the same class?" - NO

 "Was it your choice?"' - YES, so far...

While every family is different when it comes to placing their kids, we've always relied on the opinion of the experts when it comes to where our kids end up classroom wise.  While, from what I've observed, parents in public school can generally request that their children remain together until around grade three.

When You Ask Them To "pose nicely'

The Early Years

When the minions were in preschool the early childhood educators (ECE) we worked with noticed a trend.  Both children (Jack in particular) did better at reaching their milestones when they were in separate groups.  In working with Jack through speech therapy, we found that Jack spoke more when he wasn't relying on his sister to speak for him.  We also discovered, the more he talked, that what Molly was saying Jack wanted or needed was often completely wrong.

Into Kindergarten

The transition into kindergarten can be huge.  This is particularly true for kids who have late in the year birthdays or have never been to formal daycare (outside of the arms of mom, dad, or relatives).  When we were asked about classroom placement for JK by the school we went by the advice from our Social Worker who helped with Jack's speech therapy, along with observations from the ECE staff who had worked with them for nearly three years.  One person made the comment that for Jack it was like he had a little mom or wife (insert Lannister jokes here) by his side all the time, and a break might be a good idea.  Another teacher noted that separating Molly from Jack would allow her to 'just be a kid' and not have to mother him, a role that she has always automatically taken on and one they both could use a break from.

To help with the early days of kindergarten the two were placed in classrooms beside each other.  For the first few months, and then later on if one was having a rough day they'd be allowed to have snack time together.  This provided both kids (Jack in particular) the support he needed without allowing him to lean on his sister too much.

Into Grade School

As a general observation, I find my kids are compared directly a lot less than identical or same gendered fraternal twins.  Just the same, by keeping the two in different classes teachers are less likely to subconsciously or overtly compare the kids and their academic performances or personalities.  They are also less likely to become competitive with one another, which was important to us.  The transition in our school board from a play based learning environment to an academic one from kindergarten to grade one was rough.  Kids who are placed together in kindergarten and likely to get stressed because of this change might benefit from being together until grade two for particularly tough transitions.

Some serious twinning going on here

Other Thoughts

There are several other sets of twins at school.  Some have always been placed together, but I noticed by grade two, most of them have been separated.  Since I don't really know their parents (cause I'm antisocial like that), I can't comment on how this has impacted them and their kids.  I can comment on Molly and Jack.  Because they aren't in the same classroom, they miss each other during the school day.  This means that when they get placed in the same summer camp, swimming lesson class, it's a novelty.  In the evenings and the weekends, they look forward to playing together.  On a school trip where I was volunteering this spring, a teacher asked me if the pair always got along so well when observing them at lunchtime. I was proud that my answer was 'Yes, most of the time'.  I think them being in different classes is a part of that.

Fellow multiple parents, what do you think? What's worked for you?  What hasn't?

To read the 10 things I hate about being a twin mom click here, to read about the 10 things I love about being a twin mom click here.

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