Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Twins in School: To Separate or Not to Separate?

I’m a little nervous about the fall.

Daniel and Ella will be attending full-day kindergarten.

It’s going to be weird, to suddenly be without any of my kids for seven hours every day. Not that I’m complaining. I’m sure I’ll find something to do. There are soap operas to watch, clothes to be purchased, snacks to consume, and people to gab on the phone with. That’s not where my concern is at all.

There are two things I’m worried about. First, Ella on the school bus. Have you seen this child? She’s five, but she looks and talks like a three-year old. And she throws fits. Tantrums of grand proportions. Screaming and caterwauling and lying upon the floor, belly down, in protest of what she perceives to be some indignity done against her. Like I didn’t have apple juice in the fridge. Or I deigned to suggest she not wear pajama bottoms to school. Things like that.

I feel that these fits pose a problem if they happen in the den of iniquities, i.e. the bus. Then again, Caleb, Ben, and Daniel would be there, too- I’m so conflicted. Yay bus or nay bus?

Second, the school district is putting significant pressure on me to separate the twins. I have a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach about this. First off, I don’t want to go from juggling two different teachers and two curriculums to suddenly juggling four different teachers and four curriculums. I’m not that organized.  And, come on, this really is all about me.  I’d love for the twins to have the same homework, same field trips, same class parties, etc.

The CSE director, who directs Ella’s IEP, strongly encouraged me to separate them. “Speaking as a twin…” she said.

Speaking as a twin? That’s not being objective, right? Of course she'd be a twin.  Poop.  Her points were valid, I admit. All the reasons I want them to stay together- they like being together, they understand one another better than anyone else, they don’t like being apart for longs periods of time- are “bad,” signs of “codependency,” and “perceiving two individuals as one unit.”


They are only five. Is encouraging them to be apart at such a young age truly healthy? Unlike identical twins or even same-sex twins, even though they have a strong bond, they are not joined at the hip. They have separate interests, different friends at school, and now, separate bedrooms.

I’d like to keep them together for kindergarten. This is going to make that “that mom” in the eyes of the district.

Poop again.



Kim said...

Generally speaking, there's enough stuff happening on the bus to keep kids occupied and out of trouble. I'm sure she'll be fine on the bus, especially with her older siblings there to look out for her.

As far as separating them or not, you're their mother. You know what's best for them (and for you!) If they are in the same class or different classes, they will develop friendships with different kids.

My daughter has a set of twins in her grade. For Kindergarten and 1st grade they were in the same class. But now, in second grade, they are in different classes. I don't know why, or if there was a reason for it. But I do know that they are both perfectly well adjusted either way.

I guess the answer really lies with you and your husband. You know your kids best. I don't care if the counselor is "speaking as a twin." She's not your kid, so who cares what she thinks.

Good luck!

Jessica said...

My friend had the same problem and I believe she decided to keep them together for at least kindergarten - since it is such a big change at least they would still have each other. (Also they are not identical twins and not the same sex if that helps) Who cares if you're "that mom" to the district - you do what you think is best for your kids!! <3

Robin said...

Two thoughts...
1. I think you should separate them for the following reasons.
a. It will give them their own space to be themselves. Where it might be good for Ella to have her brother around, it may not be great for him.
b. Grade level teams in many schools often do very similar things. My team and I give the same homework and do very similar activities. It makes planning easier for us.
c. Variety is the spice of life.
2. We are not their parents so do whatever works best for you and your children and the hell with the rest of us. :)

Sarah said...

I had twins together in my classroom, and it actually worked out well. So well that they stayed together another year. They liked to know where the other one was, but being different sexes, they had different social groups. It was comforting for them, but it didn't hinder them in the least. Mom liked it because she could easily volunteer, and keep the same schedules. I have had twins seperated, but on the same team, and that also seemed to work well. I have known other twins who have had difficulty with sharing the same class in the case where they were academically different, and it was obvious that one was reading well, while the other struggled. That was hard on the twin who couldn't keep up. All in all, YOU are the mom, and reguardless of what the "experts" say, you know best, go with how God leads you. I don't think that you will ruin your kids either way.

Grace said...

When we were faced with that decision, we chose to put them in separate classes. I wanted them to clearly have their own identites and idividual lives. It worked out well, although on special days you will need two of you. Pete actually attended the Mother's Day Tea with Max while I was with Jade. We got a good laugh out of that! In High School they have had to share many classes. Sometimes that goes well, and sometimes not so much. Anyway, it is a personal decision, and one only you and John can make for your kids. I am sure they will be fine either way, and the school will adjust!