Ye olde Kindergarten Question - wwyd?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by EricaM, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. EricaM

    EricaM Well-Known Member

    Or really, what did you do?
    My girls are identical, and starting kindergarten in the fall.  So far as I know, the school seems to have no policy regarding twins together/separate, the admin (who happens to be a neighbor) said I could submit a request for one way or the other. 
    My girls are in full time daycare, one class of kids their age (so they've been together, pretty much since birth).  The teachers separate them into different groups (most of the time), and they are fine with that.  While they seem to stick with the same group of friends, within the group, they seem to be at least fairly independent of each other.  When I come to pick them up and they aren't in "centers" (smaller groups of kids playing in a specific area), they are usually playing with different kids.
    Pros for same class:
    The girls have requested it (but don't seem concerned about being separated... it appears to be "if I had my druthers..." kind of thing 
    Easier for me - one teacher to deal with, one set of assignments, one field trip, etc....
    They're kind of shy - though i wonder if having the other around would help, or hinder?
    Maybe they would do better off apart?  I've heard how twins given the chance to be apart get along better when they're together (though mine are usually pretty good together.) 
    They're kind of shy - maybe not having their sister around would help them open up a bit...
    The one thing I actually keep coming back to is their identical-ness - they ARE very similar looking.  They don't dress identically (at least not most of the time), but they have the same hairstyle (and haven't expressed an interest in different ones), and share clothes (and there's no real difference in the style that each chooses - so the outfit that Maddie wore today, Lizzy might choose tomorrow.  Even though they rarely if ever dress alike, I have doubles of a lot of stuff to avoid fighting when they absolutely MUST HAVE THE SAME EXACT [shirt, skirt, whatever] OR THEIR WORLD MIGHT POSSIBLY END.)    so... without daily contact, most people can't tell them apart.  Once you're around them for a while, I think most people start seeing the differences, but I worry if they're in separate classes, nobody will see them together enough to be able to tell them apart.   Or might it be actually better since when interacting in her class, nobody is likely to call Maddie "Lizzy" and vice versa?
    So my end take away is, I don't have a good "they will definitely do better apart" or "they will definitely do better together" feeling, so which way do I go (and should their identical-ness factor into that?) 
  2. MrsWright

    MrsWright Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We are going to do separate but on the same "track" as they are called at our schools for some of the same reasons you mentioned. Their preschool has one small class so they've been together for 2 years, teacher sits them at different tables because they probably couldn't leave each other alone. Most people can tell them apart but people who know they are twins frequently call them by the others name (or guess and hope they are right) and they are far from identical, they just look like brothers and sometimes that bugs me, esp at places where I feel they should get it right the first time (even if I don't lol)!
    I also want them apart because while they don't speak for each other a lot of times they share if you were to ask them their fave part of day, one would answer and the other would say "me too", not sure if it's laziness because then sometimes whoever is 'me too' will add on things later. So I want to get their honest answers:). Plus I think they will become closer at home when apart during the day after being together for 5.5 years:)
  3. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My two are in kindergarten this year.  Both of mine are shy.  Ideally, I would have them separate because I think they would do much better socially without each other.  Academically, they are fine.  However, the school they attend only has one kindergarten class, so therefore, I have no choice but to have them together.  Should there be enough enrollment next year to have two first grade classes (doubtful), then I would request them to be separate.  If my kids had the say so, they would prefer to be in the same class.
    That being said, my motto is, you can always see how it goes and the following grade year change it up if need be.  From what your saying about your twins, it does sound like they would do well either way.  If they are in the same class, they seem like they will seek out other kids independently and if they are in separate classes, they sound like they would handle that well.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Fran27

    Fran27 Well-Known Member

    Definitely separate IMO!
  5. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It sounds like we had some of the same concerns as you when we were deciding what to do with our girls last year. In preschool the girls were in the same class but sought out different social groups and weren't reliant on each other academically either. From that stand point they would have done just find in the same class. On the other hand, after a year together their preschool teacher still couldn't tell them apart and the other kids often called my girls just "the twins" even though there was another set of girl twins in the class (fraternal with obvious differences). I knew it didn't really bother the girls yet but I imagine it'll get annoying over time so felt like it was something I wanted to mitigate. Then we found out that while there are two morning kinder classes, they share one large classroom and do some activities (like gym, library time, music class and centers) together. So while some parts of the day are apart they can still check in with each other frequently if needed. Also, after meeting with the kinder teachers they were super laid back and flexible and said that we could try them separate but if it wasn't working they'd be happy to switch them so they could be together after the first couple of weeks. Anyway, with that kind of safety net and such a gentle transition to being apart it seemed silly not to give it a go. And the girls have done fine and it's definitely been helpful in people differentiating them. Next year will be the real test I think as they'll be full day in separate classes, only being able to check in at recess and lunch.

    ETA Between the two kinder classes there are 3 sets of twins, my girls, ID boys and frat girls. My girls and the boys are separate, the frat girls are in the same class.
  6. ilovemykids

    ilovemykids Well-Known Member

    we have decided to keep ours together.  the kids have requested it as well.
    i have several friends that were together in kindergarten and elementary school and some that were separate - they have ALL told me to keep mine together.  i know it's not a 'one size fits all,' but new school, new setting - its so nice for them to see a familiar face i am sure!
    they say 'its better for their development' to be separated.  i don't know how thats possible - as long as your kids are able to separate, i say keep em' together!  :)
  7. Janclamat

    Janclamat Well-Known Member

    I struggled with this too at the beginning of the year. We could have sent them to a very large school with several kindergarten classes, but we like the school they went to preschool at. It only has one of each grade, so it wasn't really an option to separate them. I talked with the teacher ahead of time about my concerns. I didn't want them to be "the twins" or treated as a unit, but I didn't want the teacher to always keep them away from each other either. I also wanted them to allow other kids to build relationships with them as individuals. This year has been great. They both have different best friends in the class and they do a lot without each other. However, when there have been new experiences such as field trips they were allowed to be with each other, which was comforting for them. Our girls are not identical at all and have quite different personalities and interests so it has worked for them. If they had been very clingy to each other or too competitive I would want them separated. I think it really depends on their personalities and how they interact with each other and other kids.
  8. TwinsInOkinawa

    TwinsInOkinawa Well-Known Member

    Another decision that will only be right for your family.

    Mine are very identical also and we have kept them together so far and plan to for 2nd grade also. They aren't in the same centers, and not even at the same reading level, and it works for us. I don't see how putting them in separate classes would help them or me.

    I did get them necklaces to wear for the first month or so to school so the teacher could tell them apart better.
  9. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    It is such an individual choice.
    Ours are together, but they are fraternal and/or function on very very similar levels academically.
    I would try a few classes together and see what happens (different swim, art, etc).  Mine do classes apart and together and nothing is different so we kept them together.
  10. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I separated my fraternal girls for kindergarten.  They were shy and have blossomed socially being apart.  One of them is quite academically advanced and I didn't want the teachers to compare them if they were together in the same class (which happens even though they are not in the same class, so I can only imagine how it would be if they were together).
    For kindi and first, our school teams teachers for planning/curriculum purposes, and they placed twins with teachers who were teamed.  So my girls always had the same homework.  That has changed in second grade, but then again one of daughters is just finishing up third grade math and reads grade levels ahead, so her teacher has adjusted her homework accordingly anyways.
    Also in kindi and first, the field trips were the entire grade, so it did not really matter which class they were in.
  11. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    My girls have been in the same class since Preschool. They are identical...poor teachers still can't tell them apart and the have different hairstyles. My husband was adamant about keeping them together. I, on the other hand, wanted to separate. He won....and it's been great. We all want our twins to have their own identity, and some need the separation in order for that to happen. But some twins develop their own identity even when together...if that makes sense. My girls have done excellent together. We noticed in preschool, and after talking with their teacher, that they each had their own friends, really didn't have one girl dominating the other, and didn't really play exclusively with each other. So we kept them together. Each year we ask their teacher their opinion about whether to keep them together again, and so far (2nd grade now) all teachers have said they are fine together. I will say that they are very competitive (one always wants to score better than the other), but to me it's a healthy competitiveness. I do think from time to time they get tired of always being together, but if we mention separating, sometimes they will want to separate, but by the time school starts, they want to be in the same class. To my knowledge, they are the only set in their school together, but it works for them. We will be separating when they go to the next school at fourth grade, which is when they start teams. They will be on the same team, but we will request different schedules. Good luck on your decision, it is never an easy one to make!

    One more thing, because NO ONE can tell them apart they refuse to dress alike and have completely different hairstyles. I do think this is a result of them being together and students getting them mixed up so easily. If anything, us keeping them together brought out their desire to be individuals because they got sick of getting mixed up.
  12. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would really like to separate, as mine do get very tired of each other and are mixed up regularly. Unfortunately, their school only has 1 kindergarten class. So they will be together in K, in identical school uniforms.
  13. ckreh

    ckreh Well-Known Member

    I was also concerned about this last year, but our school district that has a policy on splitting up twins.  There was another set in their classrooms too until the family moved in February.  To my surprise it has gone amazingly well.  DS was always the talker/social twin, but not strong with academics so the separation caused him to find his niche with math and the other areas were as expected.  DD was super shy, but strong with academics so the separation caused her to get over her shyness issues (it still arises occasionally, but not multiple times daily) and she is exceling in academics as well as reading at a 1st grade level since December.  She had some issues with math, but that was because she was nervous to ask the teacher or aide instead of her "friends" and once we resolved the issue of the adults being their to help her she really came out of her shell.
    It is a very difficult and individual decision, but based on the last year I would say SEPARATE and watch in amazement as they grow as individuals.  It has been a beautiful year with a few bumps along the way, but watching them become individuals instead of "the twins" has been fascinating for us to experience.
  14. ckreh

    ckreh Well-Known Member

    I forgot to say the homework, field trips, etc. were very similar if not the same so there was not much more work or issues there.  I just took turns volunteering in the classrooms.  The only issue was parent/teacher conferences, which they scheduled to accommodate us with back to back times.
  15. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    I had a conversation about this with my twins' PreK teacher.  They were in the same class then and so I asked their teacher what her perspective was.  We talked about how they behave at school and at home and she gave her thoughts and advice.  I decided to separate mine. 
    As far as them being in the same class and it being good that you only have one teacher, one set of assignments, one field trip, etc.  I don't know that it's that big of a difference.  Depends a lot on the school.  Mine did K and 1st grade in Maryland, both years they had the same exact assignments, two different teachers.  They've done 2nd and 3rd grade here in Florida and the assignments were different.  Field trips are always the same.  (There was an incident where they were each in the 3rd grade play but apparently there were 2 plays and one was in each play.)  But having two teachers, two sets of assignments, it's no different than if you had two kids in two different grades.  A few times it's worked to our benefit when one of the twins didn't really understand something and the other could explain it to him because his teacher taught him a trick or whatever. 
  16. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    My kids have been separated since starting school.  In kindergarten, they were paired with teaching partners.  The classes are right next to each other and they share a small computer room.  They also had the same homework, class activities, etc, so two teachers wasn't any additional work for us.  Could you meet with the principal at the school and see what they think?  Our school didn't have a policy on twins, but their preference was to separate them.  I have found our principal to be very approachable and has been very helpful when speaking with him. Maybe they could offer some insight for you.   You know your kids the best and like others have said, you can try it this year and then change your mind if you want.
  17. Babies4Susan

    Babies4Susan Well-Known Member

    I have fraternal twin girls who were together for preschool, but then I separated them for kindi and ever since kindi.  For kindi and first, they had teachers who planned together, so their homework was pretty much exactly the same. The field trips were by grade, so those were on the same days too. And I made sure to request that they had the same lunch/recess times for kindi and first (and all second grades do lunch/recess together).
    They did get along better after being separated.
    They did branch out and become less shy making their of their own friends after being separated.
    For second the homework shifted apart drastically, but I have one daughter who is academically advanced and did 3rd grade math (while in 2nd grade). And her teacher was the "lead" in the Writing assignments so she did all the writing stuff before her sister's class did.  Their science and social studies stuff was still the same.
    Next year for 3rd grade, they will not only continue to be separated, but they will also be attending totally different schools as one of my daughters is moving to the Magnet (gifted) program.  I think the separation all along helped us to prep and plan for this eventual outcome better.  The twin not going to the Magnet program is really a social butterfly and has so many friends at their current school, it makes it easier to use that as one of the reasons she'll do great in her current school.
  18. Utopia122

    Utopia122 Well-Known Member

    Oops, already posted.
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