View Full Version : anyone with school age twins?

03-08-2011, 02:47 PM
Kinder is right around the corner and I am faced with the age old question: separate or keep together :)

I originally thought - of course I will keep them together. School will be a big enough change and that would be throwing too much at them (they have rarely been apart, but do not seem codependent - to me, teachers, or others).

But then - at their new preschool, no one can tell them apart (still - after 4 months) including the teachers. If they were in their own classes, friends wouldn't mix them up (At least in the classroom).

But then - twin B is depressed quite a bit and it might be too hard for her to be alone.

But is it fair to twin A to basically have her be there for her sister...

In my state, parents have the right to choose, but some principals and teachers make life difficult. Right now we are looking at two public schools. School A has 4 kinder classes of 22 ish kids, School B only has 2 kinder classes. Principal A seemed like she would fight me on keeping them together (despite the law), Principal B did not. The school choice may not be up to me in the end - budget issues. I am not afraid to fight the principal if I feel they need to be together.

Any thoughts?


03-14-2011, 03:43 PM
No BTDT - yet!! I don't know if it will be helpful to you or not but my mom teaches pre-K and she says at their school they encourage separating because it makes it more likely for teachers to make sure they are each being challenged at their own pace (whereas in the same classroom they would tend to be treated as if they were at the same level). I don't remember if yours are identical - if they are I imagine that'd be even more true.

Good luck! I'm not looking foward to making this decision in the future...

03-14-2011, 05:02 PM
Not there yet... but adding to the "good luck" wishes. We won't be there for a while yet, and we plan to wait on even considering the decision. I've seen arguments both ways, and think it really depends on the kids involved -- there's no one size fits all answer.

Good luck!

03-14-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks guys. I know there isn't a real "answer" but I wish I could figure out what to do!

Yes, mine are identical. For a long time I couldn't imagine separating them, and it really hasn't been a big deal at either preschool. But I am starting to see some pros to separating - like you said teachers comparing them and treating them as a unit... Sigh.

Thanks for the encouragement!

03-14-2011, 08:43 PM
Ohhh I'll be interested to hear your choice! I always assumed we would keep them together too, but I am starting to realize some reasons not too. People still can't tell mine apart either for the most part and I highly doubt a teacher could. That's a big decision though. We still have another year until K what with the birthday being October, and I am THANKFUL it isn't here yet.

03-14-2011, 09:01 PM
Ohhh I'll be interested to hear your choice! I always assumed we would keep them together too, but I am starting to realize some reasons not too. People still can't tell mine apart either for the most part and I highly doubt a teacher could. That's a big decision though. We still have another year until K what with the birthday being October, and I am THANKFUL it isn't here yet.

I thought you guys were planning on homeschooling? (Do I have you mixed up?)

You know, their previous preschool was okay with telling them apart. But, it was a tiny class and the teacher was the most awesome person on the planet :) The current school no one can tell them apart and the kids call them the pink one and the purple one :( (I didn't assign them colors, but they have preferences and frequently wear their favorites). So I thought it would help people not get them mixed up if I do separate.
Then a friend whose id twins started K this year said the teacher always compared them to each other, or treated them as a package deal. I see the package thing at the current preschool sometimes.

So now I am starting to wonder. But I still worry about the stresses of starting K and being apart for the first time. Especially since Twin b has some anxiety issues...

I will let you know what we do. If we end up at the smaller school, I think I will be more okay with separating because I think they will still see each other quite a lot...

grumble grumble.

eta: when I said it wasn't a big deal at preschool - I mean they don't seem to be codependent or rely on each other. They each do their own thing. But it is a problem that no one can tell them apart.

03-14-2011, 09:53 PM
Not a twin mom. There are, however, about 10 sets of twins in DD's preschool (in the 2's, 3's and 4's combined). All sets of twins (except for 1 or 2 sets) have been separated. All sets are fraternal (don't know if that makes a difference or not). I never paid attention to it, but in reading these posts, it got me to thinking....I wonder if the school recommends it or if parents that send their children here are just more apt to separate (FWIW, there are 4 2's classes, 3 3's classes and 4 4's classes each with 12-16 children).

03-15-2011, 12:48 AM
Here's a treasure trove of information:


But, alas, there's no consensus...

03-15-2011, 07:03 AM
I hope you don't mind me commenting. :o

I have a good friend with identical twin boys in third grade. Over the years she has had them both separate and together. They have fairly different needs academically because one has pretty severe reading issues, possible ADHD and mild cerebral palsy. So she has always concentrated on finding the best teacher in that grade for each kid. In some grades that has meant the same teacher for both kids and in other grades it has meant different teachers. She has said that there are pros and cons to both ways and neither is really that much better than the other in her opinion. One reason she liked thme being together was that she had more than one "reporter" about what was happening in class. She also liked only having to do one PT conference, one teacher's homework to keep up with, one classroom to visit on Back to School Night, etc.

My DH's sisters are identical twin girls. As young children they had selective mutism, a type of social anxiety disorder. My MIL kept them together through elementary school because they needed each other and then separated them in middle school.

So all of that is to say that it isn't necessarily a decision you only have to make once and then can't ever "undo" if necessary. :) If it were *me* I would think carefully about the school with more classroom choices per grade. While I know that some people prefer a smaller school, I think that schools with more classes per grade have the advantage of more teachers available as options at each grade. That way if your girls turn out to have different needs, it is more likely that there will be a teacher who would be a better choice for each kid.

03-15-2011, 07:28 AM
Thanks again everyone - I appreciate all the input. I haven't had time to check the link, but I will.

Thus far they seem to be on the same page academically. One has some anxiety issues, but the don't seem to be concerned about them at the school. However, I do love the idea of them being together so if there was a bully or a not great situation there is a chance the other one would tell me about it.

The school choice is a big mess right now given my district's problems. The bigger one is our neighborhood school. The problem is that while I hear good things about all the K teachers, the older teachers get mediocre reports. I got a bad feeling from the principal. I loved the smaller school (transfer, but the district may end up changing the transfer policy so we might not get to go there). The smaller school has better scores (fwiw). The smaller school would let us feed into a better middle and high school (assuming things remain the same). I really liked the smaller school better overall, not *just* because it is smaller. (and it is near work, and we are seriously hoping to move in a couple years so could then stay put at the transfer school).

I do like hearing all the different perspectives (from everyone). Thank you for giving me things to think about!

03-15-2011, 12:40 PM
My twins aren't school age yet, but I have discussed the issue with a few of my friends who have older twins. Most of the parents said that they had initially thought they would for sure want their twins together because it's easier for the parents - only one set of homework, teachers, class presentations, etc... and thought it would be great for the twins to have each other as best friends in the class.

One friend with identical twin girls started them off in nursery together but by JK realized that one of her DD's was becoming her sister's shadow. She is quieter and more reserved and my friend worried that splitting them would cause her some anxiety. It was tough on her DD the first few weeks but in the end, she said it was really the best decision and allowed her DD to come out on her own and really succeed in a school setting.

Another friend of mine has 2 sets of twins - both fraternal. G/G and B/G. Her girls were together through SK but they each had developed their own set of friends. They were still sometimes seen as a unit even though they don't look alike at all. At that point they decided to separate them for grade 1. It worked out fine for them. Her B/G twins were together in JK but she separated them for SK because her DD was always telling her all the mischief that her DS was causing in class. She felt like it wasn't fair to her DS to have his sister constantly watching over him. Also, academically, her DD is a bit more advanced than her DS and she didn't want it to start to turn too competitive.

Our preschool director does not require that twins be split up but she feels that educationally it is better. I will probably keep my girls together for nursery and then decide what to do. Mine are fraternal but they look very much alike and people often assume they are identical. It worries me a bit that they might be seen as a unit and that would make me want to separate them. But, from a practical point of view, it would be some much easier to keep them together and not have to deal with 2 different classrooms.

I think it is always good to have the option to separate if necessary but sometimes you need to weigh that against the best school option.