Is it best to seperate twins in school, or try to keep them in the same class?

Crystal - posted on 03/01/2010 ( 34 moms have responded )

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I have a set of fraternal twin girls. One is brunette and darker complected and one is blonde and very fair complected. They are going to start Kindergarten next year and we have been thinking about whether or not to try seperate classrooms in school. I don't know if there will be 2 Kindergarten classes yet, and we haven't registered yet, but this has been a concern for us. The girls still sleep in the same room and often in the same bed. Sam seems to have anxiety about being away from Rachel. She doesn't like to sleep in seperate beds, or let Rachel spend the night away from her. (We are trying to allow them to each have seperate time that they are the center of attention and sometimes let one stay with a gandparent and bring the other one home). They have been involved in sports, but always on the same team. It seems that if one gets into trouble the other is close behind, we have found that it works best with soccer if one plays and the other subs in for them, if they are both on the bench together they get into mischeif, but Samantha seems anxious if she is away from Rachel in an unfamiliar situation. Should I keep them together to try to lessen the stress of the transition into school, or let them be apart to try to foster their independance from each other? Anyone else have experience with this, I could really use some advice.

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Kimberly - posted on 03/08/2010

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My frat twin girls are in Kindergarten this year, and I struggled with the same thing over the summer. I let them choose and they ended up deciding to have the same class. It has been wonderful. One was more attached to being with her sister, while the other did not care if they had the same of dif classes.They each have blossomed and have different friends even though they are in the same class. As an added benefit I have been able to be there for all their class parties and don't have to split my time between two differnt classes. There are two other sets of twins in kindergarten, but each of those have split their children up. This has helped my girls to see that it is not the end of the world if they are put in dif classes. Next year they are already talking about going to seperate classes. All and all, it was the best choice for my girls.

Glenda - posted on 03/05/2010

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Hi! I am a mom with 3 sets of twin daughters - 1 identical set (19yrs) and 2 fraternal (16 and 5 yrs). When Jayme and Leigh-Ann (identical - now 19) started pre-school, I kept them together, as they still needed each other's back-up. As they matured and became older, they chose when to separate from each other. By the time they were in Grade 3, they made their own friends and were in separate classes. It was harder on the teachers when they were together in a class, but they still needed each other at that stage. Shannen and Charde were fraternal and not as close as the older two were - it was never an issue. Jonelle and Nicole are 5 and are really good friends, they also have other friends at pre-school, but tend to want to stay together. It is a very special bond that they have and I don't think it is wise to force separation as this will create anxiety. Each set has been different and have different relationships with each other and others, let it happen naturally as they are ready.

Lauren - posted on 03/08/2010

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Hi , I have fraternal twins myself and i had very similar concerns.My twin girls started school last year and the best thing we did was keep them in the same class.They sat together to start just to help with the nerves of starting big school, then after the first term of school we then seperated them within the class but they were sat so they could still see each other.This way they could still see each other but at the same time have a little bit of distances and start to get the confidence of being away from each other.3rd term the teacher and i decided we would move them again but this time they would not be facing each other,and it was the best thing for them.They still had the that safe feeling of the other one being there but they were working as one instead of two.Its been such a confidence boost for my girls.Now they are playing with other kids and are able to cope not having the other there all the time,there still very close but becoming there own little people.Next year they will be seperated and put into seperate classes.So the school and i made it a gradual seperation over a few years and it's made the world of difference and it's been a comfortable transition for my girls.And seperation anxiety has been very little if not none at all. The school's usually have a plan of some sort in place. Best of luck

Dan - posted on 03/08/2010

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I have twin boys that now are 14. They were the same way one really depended on the other, esp. socially. Preschool they were together and we seperated them in kindergarten. Best thing ever for them. Teachers still compare them but it wouod be really bad if they were together. They have the same friends and play the same sports also but it really is harder to have them in the same class. My shy son now is on student council and really is not shy at all. Our school doesn't allow twins together and now I see why. They need to have their own image esp. when they are the same sex. Mine are also fraternal but teachers will compare them when it comes to their schooling. Good luck, this is one of many situations that will be hard with twins. Just wait till one gets invited to a b-day party and the other doesn't. It's hard but so worth having twins!!

Raquel - posted on 03/04/2010

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From the time my twins who are now 10 started school, they were separate. In GA, it was the law that twins and first cousins could not be in the same class. I tried my best to fight this law all by myself. I'm glad I didn't win. Alexis and Alicia have not looked back since. They are two different girls born 2 minutes apart. They have their own friends, they love to tell each other about what goes on in their classes, and the list goes on. Alexis who was not as outgoing as Alicia, loved being separated from her sister. She established her own identity and now is just as outspoken as her sister. When they were smaller, Alexis would always follow behind Alicia. You would think that Alicia was the oldest. Now because of there being separated, Alexis definitely holds her own and is very independent.

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Tyree - posted on 03/14/2010

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My girls are 13 now. They were in the same class up until the second grade, after that I had them seperated. The reason I did that was because they were always known as the twins, and not as individuals. I wanted them to have their own identity. Sure it was easier when they were in the same class, parties, field trips, ect... but I think that it was the best thing for them to figure out their own personalities. I did dress them alike until they were bout 7 or 8, they were finding their own likes. I still bought them the same clothes or maybe the same things different colors, but I let them decide what they wanted to wear. Time away from each other to a twin is like nothing that they've ever seem before, it allows them to get individual attention because they know at home the attetion is shared with the other. I hope that this helped you in any way, good luck with your twins, they are a true blessing and an experience like no other.

Melissa - posted on 03/13/2010

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my twin daughters are now in 2nd grade(7ys old), and have been seperated since kindergarten, I now think it was the best thing for them,

Crystal - posted on 03/09/2010

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Thanks to everyone, and thank goodness I have all summer to figure it out. Not sure how the school's policy is on twins, if they make them be seperate or not. They do play seperately at home, and are semi independant of each other at times. There are also times that they are anxious about being seperated from each other, especially at night. Good to know that some other moms have made it thru this with their twins.

Melissa - posted on 03/07/2010

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I would keep them together. I have faternal twin boys, they are only 21 months but when they get into school. I will make sure that they are in the same class for atleast until they hit high school. But by then we are hoping that they will be on the same football team as well.

Heidi - posted on 03/07/2010

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my girls are 17 now (also fraternal), they were in kindergarted together (along with two other sets of twins), they started school together in the same class and it wasn't until the end of grade 3 that their teacher suggested they be separated because Twin 2 was relying too much on Twin 1 instead of asking the teacher for help.

As teenagers they have even been at different schools whilst living in different homes. Twins will always benefit from clear cut independance from each other, but not until they're older... when they're younger they tend to suffer from separation anxiety which can hinder the learning process greatly.

Tammy - posted on 03/07/2010

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In my opinion it really depends on the kids. When my girls first started school, I had to seperate them because Lyndsey is so dependent on Madalyn that I knew she would not stand on her own feet academically, she would just whine "I cant do it" and Maddie would say "Thats ok I'll do it for you sissy." And Madalyn was so shy that I knew she would not make friends if Lyndsey was in her class. Once Lyndsey got on her feet academically and Madalyn got on her's socially I put them in the same class. That turned out to be a mistake because Maddie's grades suffered because she was worried about if Lyndsey was doing her work, how Lyndsey was doing on her test etc.

Amy - posted on 03/06/2010

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I have a set of 5 year old identical twins. They were very close like yours. My husband and I debated this decision for a year, whether or not to separte them in school. We finally decided to separate them for kindergarten. We have half days and it's only 2 1/2 hours. It was the best decision we made. The girls like it too. They can come home and tell each other about their days. They have made friends, without difficulty. Kids adjust to new situations easier than adults. Plus it gives them a break from each other. That is good for them also. Each situation with twins is different, I know, but like I said, it worked for us. I'm glad we separated them. They seem a little closer now, if that's possible. Hope this helps.

Jeanne - posted on 03/06/2010

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I have fraternal twin girls as well, I went through the same thing that your going through. I kept them together in kindergarten, but when they hit 1st grade I seprated them. I think that was best. Now they are in 3rd grade and i'm so glad that when they went to 1st grade I seperated them. That way they became there own person and were not just twins any more...

Fiona - posted on 03/06/2010

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i have a twin sister and yes we got into mischief its half the fun but my parents tried to seperate us in third grade . it was awful we could nt work away from each other or we didnt want to ... we were so upset they had to move us back ...why seperate twins they will grow up as undividuals any way ..just let them have each other as a best friend ...im now 32 she is still my best friend and i also was blessed with my own twins . a boy and girl .. four months but i try even now to have them together as much as possible ...if god wanted them to be seperated he would have sent you singletons ....

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Depends on the twins. If they are competative they will bring the best out in each other when in the same classes. However if you see at an early age that they are not competaitve it is best to separate them so they are not as aware as to how their sibling is doing and try to do their best on their own. Watch how the interact in early activities like swimming. If one waits for the other instead of trying to win who gets to pick a toy first you will know how they will interact in other activites as well. Also separating them encourages self identity and individual friends that are suited to their individual personalities, and interests.

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My boys are 7 years old and have been in the same class since pre-k, they are very close and like your girls I have one that has anxiety when the other is not with him, however they do really great in the same class they have their own friends and their own way of doing things. When they went into the 1st grade i had planned on seperating them but the teacher brought many issues to the table, home work is different in every class, some teachers teach at a slower pace you may find yourself giving more to the other one if the work is harder...You need to make it CLEAR that they are not the twins or the girls that they are two girls with different likes and dislikes.I talk with the teacher every year to let them know how important it is that they be treated like two sepreate boys and not to make an issue out of having twins in the class I even make sure the boys are at different tables and have different circle time, this has worked for them so far and i plan on keeping them together until they say no more. You should at least try it for the first year if it dosent work out you can sperate them next year.

Shirley - posted on 03/06/2010

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hi there ,, i have twins girl & a boy, they are both in the same class just not at the same table though but not too far away from each other, i think twins should be kept together ,even when mines go up to senior school i am hoping they get to stay together,i hope they do stay together

Kari-Lynn - posted on 03/05/2010

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I have a set of indeticla twin boy's in grade 2. In grade 1 my husband and I thought it would be good to seperate them, so they could have there own identity. We reasured them of the other just being a classroom away, they could see each other at recess ect. They hate it, it is very hard on them, and the scholl they are in has 5 sets of twins in grade 2, ours still being the only ones separated. We are still trying to get them put in a class together. They need each other more than we realize the bond is closer than siblings, yes they do get into trouble together, they feed off of one another, that is just the way it is, my husband and I feel we are the ones that have to adjust t the situation not them. They will forge new and separate friendships with other children, and they will hve different interests all on their own, as there are things they share as twins they still are two different people.

Rhiana - posted on 03/05/2010

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Our boys are together in their preschool class right now. I can tell that we will already have a problem on our hands. We definitely have one that is the talker of the two and usually does all of the talking for the other.
They are also harder to separate and end up fighting at school because they never seem to get time apart....even though if it was their choosing they would always be around each other.
I think that together they are a force that will probably be hard for teachers to control when they're together.
We'll most likely separate them once they get to grade school to give them each some independence.

Deborah (Deb) - posted on 03/05/2010

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My fraternal twins remained together for Kindergarten and Grade 1 and then we separated them (after discussing it with them both). They are far more independant now (in Grade 5) and have their own circles of friends. It has always been my policy with my twins to treat them as I would treat any 2 of my children. The fact that they share a birthday doesn't mean they always have to be thought of as one entity.

Melanie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I kept my twins in the same class for their pre-school and kindergarten years then I gave them the choice if they wanted to continue to be in the same class or try seperate classes. I also reassured them that if they absolutely did not like being in seperate classes I would get them back together. They tried seperate classes and have continued to remain in seperate classes, they are in the fifth grade now, but in two years they will be attending the same class again because they will be going to a charter school with only one class room. I agree with most of the parents that you need to decide what will be the best way to make going to school comfortable for both, and if it becomes a problem then seperate them. I read some where that twins in the same class have a tendency to do better intellectually than twins that are seperated because it does relieve the anxiety of an unfamilliar situation. My girls did great at being in the same class, they are fraternal and their kindergarten teacher once told me you would never know they were twins, until they got into an arguement. They still hang out together at school and they have seperate friends and mutual friends. So I would say try letting them be together if it causes problems then seperate them. Funny thing is the school district had a strict policy for twins to be seperated until they had to deal with me, now they actually send out a next year teacher request form, and try to accommidate each request. I think this is very smart because who knows your child better than you. Good luck and remember they have their whole lives to foster independance, let them take that journey when they are both ready.

Carrie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I love it Dee. My brother and I were 13 months apart but I had a number of health issues that kept me back a year in school so my brother and I were in the same class all the way up to HS...then we never had classes together again. I really missed him. Everyone thought we were twins, called us twins and after a while we just went with it because it was easier than explaining the truth. We went to different colleges and I missed him so much...it was hard on me for a while but we are still very close.

Dee Ana - posted on 03/04/2010

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When my twin brother and I went to school they kept us together for Kindergarten, but then they had to separate us because the teacher would ask me a question and I would tell my brother the answer and then he would tell the teacher. After that we never had classes together until high school. Although we seldom had classes together we were still known as "the twins".

Carrie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I have heard that there are some states that don't support families who choose to keep their kids, family and twins together. I guess it's a good thing I don't live in GA....they'd have a fight on their hands or, I'd be home schooling or moving to a different state...HA! We have embrassed attachement parenting totally and find such joy in keeping us all together. But, yours is a good example of children's resilience and ability to adapt. It is possible to do that. And it is a good example of how our society can interfere with a parent's right/choice and interfer with families.

Carrie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I think it is important to remember that all families, all chidlren and all twins are different. My twins at this point love to be together and are very securely attached to eachother and me. As a parent, I always ask myself what does my child/children/twins need. I think if you keep that your focus and don't worry about what everybody else thinks you are going to make the right choice for your child and your family. Teachers usually support that....schools usually support that. There is a ton of research out there that support family systems in education and learning. If a teacher can't handle your twins in the same class you need to be looking for another teacher with better classroom management skills. I tend to think my child's needs are more important than the teachers. Twin language and socialization can be consider a disability....sometimes special education is needed to support them. The focus should be on what your kids need....not what is easiest for everyone. Fostering a loving and respectful relationship between your twins is a win win for everyone.

Melissa - posted on 03/04/2010

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Our girls are 19 months, our boys are 15 years. The boys tend to feed off eachother to this day if they are together and can be a teachers worse nightmare. My husband seperated them starting in 1st grade because of this. They have also been almost in a competition with each other from birth. They have always wanted the same toy, the need to top the other. They had a few classes together in middle school and atleast one ended with having to pull one of the boys out of the class and moving him to another to end the constant disruptions and detentions.

So far our girls interact with eachother better. They typically want to play seperately, only on occasion have to attack eachother for toys. They tend not to fight for attention. I still think though that they need to be seperated. The girls are a bit like yours, but they do switch back and forth. One will be outgoing, and the other follow.

Carrie - posted on 03/03/2010

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My b/g twins started preschool. They are in the same class but they are in different groups. So they feel comfy being able to see eachother but they get to have their own time. I totally think if one or both have anxiety about being separated that you should keep them together. Going off to school for the first time is a big deal for a singleton...imagine being with someone from the womb to kinder and being pulled a way from them along with the new experience of school. There is nothing wrong with supporting their relationship and need to be together. Independence and individuation are totally different things and individuation for most twins doesn't happen until they are a lot older.....most singletons have difficulty with this with parents...imagine having to do it with a twin too. My advice is let them be twins....foster that relationship. It is a sacred thing. I protect my kid's twinness fiercely....i have ever since they tried separating them in the NICU and my son would CRASH....put sister back in and he was fine. I learned then that there are places in that relationship no one had right to meddle with ....not me or anyone.

Kimberly - posted on 03/03/2010

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My twin girls are in 4th grade this year. When they were babies, they were inseperable and would scream until they could touch one another. They have had polar opposite personalities from a very young age and they don't exactly get along too well now - so we seperated them for school. this has seemed to do the trick as far as their academic success because they are not in competition with eachother in the classroom or with the same group of friends. It also helps to prevent any school-time tattling. Homework can become a bit more challenging to keep track of because their classes may be a week or so ahead or behind of eachother as far as the academis that they are studying, but overall, it's not too bad. So, I would suggest to take a look at their individual personalities and what issues you see them having with eachother and then evaluate whether or not they could handle being with eachother 24/7. Also - Think about the TEACHER!! Can the teacher handle the two of them together? If not - this in itself can cause more difficulty than just the kids being together. I find that aside from my girls personality differences, they actually enjoy their time apart. In the beginning, our family unknowingly just started associating them as "the twins", or "the girls". and then as they grew into the little people that they were, they began to have their own opinions and thoughts about how things should be, but they were still "the twins". At some point, like you have done with your girls already, they do need that individuality and those things and times that are private and belong to only themselves. Outings with grandparents are a great example. These are times that don't necessarily happen every day, so having that time to spend with each individual child is really important in getting to really know who each child is. and the kids grow up knowing that the important people in their lives truly know and respect them.

Hope that helps!!

Pip - posted on 03/03/2010

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My twins are to young to worry about schooling yet but my girlfriends daughters are 16. The dominant twin turned quite nasty towards her sister's dependancy. This of course caused no end of problems. They are now in different schools all together, this has cured all issues. All situations are different though.

Jessica - posted on 03/03/2010

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My boys are in 2nd grade. Hopefully all schools are like ours & let the parents decide whether to separate twins. We want to keep them together in elementary school. We always talk with their teacher at the beginning of the year & ask her to separate them in the classroom. I think they could get each other in trouble sitting too close, but they do like having each other in class. It also helps with homework, projects, etc. They are always learning the same thing instead of having work in different subjects at night. This helps me & my husband too. We might try different classes in a year or so just to get them ready for middle school.

Katherine - posted on 03/02/2010

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A friend told me about twins in her family - they were always together, then one day they had to go to different schools. One was dominant, and always looked after the other. They all expected the weaker twin to suffer the most. In fact, it was the dominant twin who suffered from not having anyone to look after, and the "weaker" twin really thrived. My twins have never been particularly dependent on each other. I have no issues with them being together, I did separate them when I had the opportunity when they were at nursery/playgroup, I thought it would be good for them to be apart a little, and so they got some one on one attention at home. If I had the choice now, I would probably separate them, as they are very different and I think one will make friends easier than the other, and the latter confuses his twins' friends for his own. I think it would be good for him to break out on his own.

Stephanie - posted on 03/02/2010

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my gals are in 1st grade this year. Their kindergarten wouldn't allow them in the same class, but we moved this summer and their new school does. I chose to keep them separated.
My gals, like yours, are very close and always sleep in the same bed. But they also answer each others sentences and questions. They help each other a ton. They compete with each other too.
It was just better for Ellie, the younger twin, to be away from Hannah and not having to just as good as Hannah. They're both bright and win student awards and get good grades. But they're not constantly compared against each other. They also have twice as many friends now. The homework thing hasn't been a problem. The whole kindergarten had the exact same hw. and in 1st grade, it's been fairly similar.
If we had kids of two different ages, they'd always have different hw and projects. So it's no biggie to remember whose responsible for what.

Janelle - posted on 03/02/2010

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our boys are a distraction to eachother every child is different but if you feel they will disract eachother or if them being together could make them isolate from other kids then separstion could be the best option. if you dont forsee a problem then lett them be together. every child every set are different no one knows your kids like you.

Mary - posted on 03/01/2010

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We have 13-year-old twin boys. Reading your post made me think I was reading about my boys. They were in the same class for kindergarten and 1st grade. At this time, they started showing signs that they needed to be separated. So we sepe rated them for 2nd through 4th grades. They were back togeter in 5th grade because they both wanted the same teacher and they did fine. Every situation is different. Our school automatically separates twins unless you request they stay together. It is certainly easier for moms if they are in the same class - homework and projects at the same time - but I wanted my boys to not be known as the twins and to be able to develop their own friendships and their own personalities and not always be dependent on the other twin. It has worked for the most part. They go through periods where they want to be together and where they can't stand to be in the same room with each other. Good luck - raising twins is a fun experience.

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