34 answers

Should I Separate My School Age Twins in the Classroom? What Do You Do?

As my twin children approach kindergarten age, I've been wondering what is the norm for placement in the classroom when they go to public school. They are currently together in preschool. I was wondering what other moms of twins are doing. If you separated them, at what age you did it and what was your reason? Do you have two of the same gender or boy/girl? There are some obvious convenience reasons for the parent having them in the same place. It would also be nice if they formed some friends in common so there aren't hurt feelings over being invited to separate birthday parties at a young age for example as I would hope they would remain close friends themselves. They are currently each other's best friend and play nicely together most of the time. Of course, other times they do get jealous of each other, fight over toys, etc. like any siblings. They also sometimes get a kind of twin mentality of sticking up for each other or if one isn't getting along with someone at a playdate the other twin joining in like it is a game. So, I'm looking for perspectives from other moms with twins, other moms who's children have been in class with twins or even teachers that have them in their classroom. Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all so much for the great advice! It was nice to get so much feedback quickly from various perspectives, including people that are twins themselves. I am leaning toward keeping them together for Kindergarten, since it will be such a dramatic change from what they are used to now being with me so much of the time and it being a different school location from preschool. Separating after they are familiar with the new environment seems to be what most recommended, so probably will do that with 1st grade. I will definately be taking the advice of asking them what they'd like to do and keeping in mind that I can re-evaluate year to year as many of you did with teacher's feedback. Also, the thought hadn't even come to me about them being able to see each other at lunch and recess, so that would help their transition. So, thanks for opening my eyes to all these great thoughts and ideas!

Featured Answers

Didn't split up my faternal twin boys until 5th grade. They are 16 now and thier own people and get along great. Thats what worked for me. You have no idea how hard it is to keep it all straight when you are dealing with 2 different everything.

Good luck.... It's just the start :)

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My twins are 10, and are in the 5th grade this year. I have always insisted that they be separated. In grades 2 and 3 - they were in the same class because of the school district only having one classroom for that grade, and for one of the boys, it was extremely difficult (competitiveness issues). I am all for separating my boys and am glad I did.

I would think you can run into the issues I had (competitiveness {granted not all bad}) and one being the voice for the other. The one that had issues with it saw his other brother grasping concepts quickly, excelling in subjects, and making friends ten-fold. While my son learned the subjects too - it took him a bit longer to catch on and struggled with the idea that some folks learn at different rates and that is okay.

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The idea behind putting them in separate classes is that they rely on eachother too much when they are in an uncomfortable situation instead of learning to deal with it. They are eachother's best friend which means they are less likely to venture out and meet new friends. Putting them in separate classes forces them to be more independent and to develop who they are outside of "so-and-so's twin".

I do not have twins, but I think I personally would keep them together if they wanted to. I don't think that having someone around that you love and trust is a bad thing. It is no different than being in a class with a best friend. I think I would rather have two siblings that are very close than two children who have lots of friends that come and go.

I would recommend though if you keep them in the same class that you arrange individual playdates every once and a while and try to think of them as two children instead of a set of twins. They are two separate children and need to function that way.

1 mom found this helpful

I am an identical twin, 26 years old. School for us was interesting, because we moved a lot. We had the opportunity to try ALL SORTS of different set ups. At one point, we were together in the same class, in a small school. That was fine. We had different friends, but we were in the same class. No problems. At one point, we were in different classes. (This is all elementary school - high school, we chose classes based on interest. Sometimes together, sometimes apart.) When we were placed in separate classes in Elementary school, I didn't like it at first. We had just moved in, it was the middle of the school year. We asked to be together, and the principal sent us to different classrooms so the teachers could tell us apart. It felt like a hassle to me. I could never find my sister at recess when I had news, we always had different homework to work on. (My sister's teacher gave considerably more homework.) I missed her, and felt punished for tricks we weren't even considering playing! I really think it depends on your twins. If they are best friends, but still show different interests, I think putting them in the same class would be fine. If there are any socializing issues, separate them. For Kindergarten, at least, I would put them together. Even when my sister and I were together, we gravitated towards different friends at school, different activities later on. Oh, and my sister and I used to get in physical fights when we were 5 or 6...but Mom never knew, because we didn't want to get in trouble with HER on TOP of getting in trouble with each other. Twins are tricksy, and can usually figure out their own way of dealing with things! Have you tried asking them what they want?

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I am an elementary school teacher who has had 4 sets of twins over the years. Two sets were seperated after Kindergarten - starting in first grade and the other 2 after 3rd grade. The mother of one of the sets of twins seperated after kindergarten said she did it because it was nice for them to have their own "news of the day" or stories to tell. She said that one was faster at getting his words together and always got to share anything fun or special that had happened that day and it was frustrating for his brother. They were always really good friends, have hte same group of friends and are in classes together in middle school, but when they were lttle it was impiortant for them to have their own special space at school. Another set was seperated after 3rd grade because the parents felt that the dominant twin was doing too much for the other and that the less dominant twin was not being forced to solve her own problems, make her own friends and take responsibility for when school work was due, etc. I am not sure about the reasoning for seperating the other 2 sets as I never talked to the parents about it. I think it probably depends on the personality of your children. I do know that all the sets of twins I have taight have been good friends, had many of the same friends and have been both same sex and boy/girl and all have been seperated for at least the intermediate grades if not all of them. What a difficult choice! Good Luck!

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There are ups and downs to each scenario. I'd say choose one, then don't sweat it or worry about it or second guess yourself or make it a big deal with the kids. They won't be damaged by either situation.

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Hello! I recently joined this site and this is my first time chiming in. My husband & I have 10 year old identical twin girls. Because our girls were always so close, we approached the separation from the standpoint of what they wanted and felt comfortable with. They were together from preschool through first grade. For second grade, we considered trying different classrooms but then decided to change schools and thought it might be better for them to remain together and it turned out to be the right decision. For third grade, they thought they wanted to try different classrooms with the stipulation that the following year, they could be together again if they really wanted to. So far, they have remained in seperate classrooms and have gotten teachers who seem well suited to their individual personalities. They see each other at lunch and recess and of course, before & after school. They have made both individual and joint friends and they are always both invited to events. I don't think one would go if the other was not invited, at least at this point. As you may have noticed, they are probably perfectly happy to play & be together and don't really need anyone else although it is nice to have other friends to add variety.

For the most part, the twin thing is treated as a novelty at school. From what we heard, schools tend to highly suggest that twins be seperated-whatever reasons they might have. We feel it was the right decision to let them come to that decision when they felt comfortable about it. We have five other good friends who have all had twins since we did and they have kept them together as well in the early years. I hope this was a bit helpful!

1 mom found this helpful

I separated my identical twin girls in school...that way they can develop on their own as a strong one and not as a two some. it is also much easier on the teacher, but do let the teachers interact regarding the twin issues that will occur over the years.

do not discourage the twin talk that they have between each other...only that they must speak to others in english..the twin talk is special just for them..
do not dress them alike. same shirt in different colors is ok.

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I think it depends on the kiddos (and school district unfortunatly). I have 3 1/2 yr old boy/girl twins so I have yet to put them in school, but when the time comes, they will be together. They are very independent kids overall but I just can't see seperating them from our home, me, and from eachother all at the same time. If we are at a park or at a play group they play with different kids yet always are aware of where the other is. They both have completely different learning styles and do not really have a competetive nature towards each other.
I have already called our area schools to find out thier mandates on seperation. Luckily parents have the say (at least that is what I have been told) otherwise I would already be raising hell. I believe with all my heart my kids should be together. If they decide to seperate eventually that is fine, as long as it is thier choice.
Do I think all twins should be together? No, but for mine I feel it is the best choice at this point.
Talk to thier preschool teacher to get her take on thier relationship in the classroom and her opinion on kindergarden togetherness.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a Kindergarten teacher in the Kent School District and I've seen situations where it was best for twins to be together and situations where it is best for them to be apart. The big problem about twins being in the same classroom is that one twin relies on the other and the other child doesn't have the same kind of social and academic growth that they would have without their sibling. But there is sometimes the reverse. When some twins are so quiet and reserved, sometimes they need their first year to be with their sibling to get used to school. Then we seperate them the following year. We have three sets of twins this year (I have all three)and we seperated them all this year. I do have one set that get jealous when the other twin gets something they don't. One twin told me that he was going to go to his brother's classroom from now on because they get fun things (a girl brough easter eggs for all the class.) But there are enough good things to make up for the small jealousies that arise from being in separate classrooms. If you feel that they can handle being in separate rooms, it would probably be the best thing for them. But you know your kiddos best. Go to Kindergarten round up and speak with the teachers. If it is a small school you may not have a choice in seperating the children (I've been in this situation too.) Hope this helps.

Oh, and no, as a public school employee, we do not separate kiddos because they are easier to control. We separate because generally one sibling thrives while the other sibling struggles because of their reliance on their twin. Or they are constantly compared with their sibling. It's nice for them to be individuals and not worry about what their sibling is doing and how much better or worse they are academically and socially.

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