Even though we’re in the middle of the winter/school year, and preschool wouldn’t start until next Fall, it’s been on my mind lately. The twins turn 4 in May.
Hey! I just realized it’s their Golden Birthday! 4 on the 4th!
Anyways, since they will be turning 4, I need to decide what to do with them regarding school. It took me a while to figure it out for my oldest, but now it’s twice as hard. Pun intended.
Why so hard you ask? Let me tell you.
1. Potty Training
I should say lack of potty training. The twins have no desire to go on the potty, and they fight me when it’s time to change their diapers. I’m not sure that any preschool or 4K program would accept them in diapers, so I’m hoping they start warming up to the idea soon. I know that they still have time, but they are really anti-potty. I’ve promised them candy, toys, TV, late bedtime, and even to bake them each a cake, but nothing seems quite exciting enough.
2. The Cost
Our school district does offer a 4K program, but it is tuition based. And it’s a pretty expensive tuition, considering there is no transportation. Plus, we have to multiply everything times two.
So, that leaves a private preschool. We only sent my oldest M/W/F because of the cost, but we really loved his preschool. We may be able to swing that option for the twins, but we’ll have to work on our overall household budget for sure.
3. Their Development
This is still a big one for me. I’m not sure if their speech and development is at the same level as other kids their age. I can understand them most of the time, but as I mentioned, they do have their own language, which only they understand.
I know after age 2, you’re not supposed to account for their prematurity, but they were born 3 months early. So, technically, if they’d been born in August, I might have waited an extra year before starting any kind of school. My oldest has his birthday in October, and is 6 in Kindergarten…which is working well. I’m not sure if I can hold them back that long or not. I’m going to have to investigate.
I’m also thinking of having them evaluated through the school district. They have both a development and speech program, so it might be good to talk to someone there.
4. The Classroom Situation
If I figure out when/where to send the twins, do I put them in the same or different classrooms? When I ask them, my big guy says he wants to be in class with mommy, daddy, brother, and his twin brother. My little guy says he wants to be by himself. Of course.
So, there’s where I am at. Lots to think about, and decisions to make. Luckily, I still have some time. However, I’d love to hear from you. When did your little ones start preschool or 4K?
Healing Mama says
I’m just discovering all of the things that come along with having a preschooler. I want to send my 4 year old but….have yet to decide where. Preschool is freaking expensive. I know she is ready but I’m since her bday is early fall she’ll have to wait until she is 6 to start kindergarten. So should we just wait until her 5th bday for preschool? I’m with you its tough!
Yes! Super tough. Let me know what you decide to do.
I know I’ll be tagged as really “old school” on this, but here are my thoughts as both a mom and a teacher. DO NOT RUSH YOUR KIDS. It’s that simple. There is an overwhelming tendency these days to push kids to do things faster and faster, but not every child is programmed to succeed that way. Some kids simply need more time. I can almost guarantee that if the twins aren’t really ready for preschool now, they most certainly won’t be ready for kindergarten the following year. And then where will that leave you? Having to pay for a second expensive year of preschool? Probably not what you want to do.
A serious problem with pushing kids is that they will FOREVER be struggling to catch up to their classmates. It’s really true. In all my years of teaching, I can’t recall too many kids who started school when they weren’t ready (be it academically, socially or emptionally) who shot up to the head of the class as they got older. Yes, it happens, but not very often.
By keeping kids home an extra year, you are giving them the gift of having more time to get ready for the long academic journey that lies ahead. I don’t believe it’s right to take a child who is really ready for school and keep them home with the thought that then they are almost guaranteed to be the biggest and brightest in their grade. But to hear all the roadblocks that your twins face still, it seems right to give them the chance to be ready…really ready…for school.
Which district are you in? You should request that the boys be evaluated to see if they qualify for the Early Childhood program.. This is free, and it will give the boys so much help in every aspect of their development. Transportation is included…at least it used to be….and it would give you the peace of mind in knowing that you are giving the boys a tremendous stepping-stone towards their academic future. The Early Childhood program is special ed but it encompasses all manner of kids and is run by highly qualified teachers and assistants.
Let me know if you want more info, or if you’d like to talk….I’m here.
Hope to hear from you if I can help!
Thank you so much for all your help so far. I will keep you updated 🙂
Ugh…my 3 year old also has zero interest in potty training. It is getting frustrating!
If you can swing it, I say put them in the preschool your older son went to. You know the people and the program, so you will likely have more piece of mind leaving them there rather than somewhere new (i.e. the expensive school program). Leaving our babies with someone else can cause a lot of anxiety!
Yes, very true. Thank you! ps. Soooo frustrating!
My Urban Family says
I can imagine preschool is extra hard on parents of twins! Best of luck figuring it all out – though I’m sure it will all work out fine 🙂
I am in the process of deciding if preschool is right for my little guy. I feel a bit torn, I know I can teach him so many things here with me, but feel like he would have so much fun with other kids. There is also that pesky problem of budgeting on a one income family, and if it is within our means. Decisions, decisions! This article was so helpful, thank you for sharing!
It is really hard to make a decision. Thank you!
Cost can be crazy! When we first entered the preschool world, I couldn’t believe the cost! Potty training is a huge one too! Tweeted!
Karin Rambo says
I have no idea what we’re going to do about preschool. I’m so torn! I’ve heard advice both ways. At least I don’t have to decide for a couple of years!
By that time, you can see what worked for us 😉
Just from hearing my friends discuss all of the pros and cons in regards to school decisions I know it is a complicated issue! Good luck!
Oh my goodness, I do have to laugh at the one saying he wants to be in the same class with his family and the other saying by himself. Of course that would be the case. Do you think they would enjoy preschool? Funny enough, my mom loves to tell the story that it was preschool which convinced me to become potty trained. I had no interest in using the potty and then my mom took me to visit a preschool and I wanted to go back and play with all the other kids. And then she told me I could go to preschool when I turned 3, but only if I learned to use the potty. So I waited til my 3rd birthday, used the potty, and said “Okay I’m ready to go to preschool now!” Haha you never know how things will work out.
Ha! That’s so funny…and really encouraging.
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says
Ugh the cost, right?! I’ve heard preschools can be INSANE!!!!
This is a great read. Thank you for sharing.
As far as your question about placing twin siblings in the same or different classrooms, there are pros and cons for both sides
Same Classroom: they will have someone they know and have an instant relationship. This relationship can help with transitioning in a new place, new people, and new children. With someone there, school may be easier to handle. However, this relationship may develop a dependency on the sibling that may hinder or stifle other experiences and development. For example, if their sibling is always there, they may choose to play with the sibling rather than seek out new relationships and meet new children. Also, what might happen if one sibling is sick and the other still goes to school? Will they want to go? Will they feel comfortable in a classroom without their other half?
Different Classrooms: they will have to develop their own skills, such as relationship building, coping with emotions and other skills that most other children in the classroom are experiencing and developing. Everyone else in the class does not have their sibling there, so every child will have similarities with everyone else in the class. The transition and experience in the classroom may be easier with a sibling, but having no sibling there means that each child is having the same experience as their student peers.
Of course, these are general things to think about. Sometimes individual development is the priority. Sometimes extra support for transitioning and an established sibling relationship took precedence. Parents know their children best and I’ve seen siblings within the same classroom and in different classrooms.
Best of luck and hope everything works out for you!
Thank you so much for your insight. I really appreciate it. Lots to think about.
Joan Harrington (@joantruesuccess) says
Thanks for sharing 🙂 I remember those early days with my kids getting them ready for preschool and making sure they were potty-trained and ready 🙂 Sometimes you can be so prepared and things still happen and that is ok 🙂
So true. Thank you Joan!
I found you on blog and business moms! I am going through this right now with my son. He will be starting kindergarten in the fall and choosing between private school and public is hard. On one hand I like the idea of small class size, but on the other I do NOT want to pay for a private school. Educational decisions are so complex – I cannot imagine what you are going through with twins. Good luck!
They really are! Thank you.
Unfortunately I have no advice for you, because I’m not there yet. We’re still at the baby-almost toddler phase 🙂
But I just wanted to say that you opened my eyes to all the issues that we’ll have up the road too. And at the rate time is flying by right now, we’ll be there very soon.
It must be so difficult to make this decision for twins. Let us know how it goes!
Thank you so much! I will!
I feel ya on this. I’m planning on starting my two year old in a preschool this fall, and I’m already starting the process of looking at different ones around. I’m focusing on ones at churches because they seem to be more affordable. Good luck!
From a fellow mom of three boys!
Thank you! 🙂
That IS a lot to think about. I stressed about a lot of the same things. I worried that my son would struggle behaviorally, because we’ve had issues with this in certain situations, like the doctors office. But, he actually does exceedingly well in school. It took a couple of weeks to get the swing of things, but now he’s actually pretty advanced. As far as your other worries, you know better than anyone momma, what is best for your babes.
Preschool is such a big decision! In Canada we have Junior and Senior Kindergarten and then grade one. We had to decide on my son’s JK program for Sept 2015 and I was super stressed about the decision. Whatever choice you make it’s only for one year if it doesn’t work out and no matter what your children will meet new friends, learn new things and develop new skills. Good luck!
Very true. Thank you!
Oh my, twice the preschool problems… It can be really hard to figure it all out. If you send 2 will they give you a discount? Maybe there are scholarships available? Good Luck! Also My daughter doesn’t want to potty train either.
Sometimes there’s a little bit of a discount…but not enough!
Iman Brooks says
My son turns 4 this year and I am looking. I am worried, if you come up with tips please post.
Kam Kay says
I can totally relate with your post. My sister has twin boys, born three months early. She is going through something similar re starting them with the preschool.
It’s so hard!
Big decisions to be made! Get the boys evaluated and it will be an easier decision. I wanted to hold my guy back b/c he was delayed but the evaluation process led me to keeping him with his peers and so far it has worked out. He’s always a little behind but it all evens out in the end! Good luck!
Thank you so much! I will…and keep you update.
Oh goodness!! Even though my little is just turning two this month I’ve actually thought about this…
I think what I might do with her once she’s potty trained is do a couple half days a week. But who knows. It’s a hard choice… & the cost… For you x2 oy!!!!!
Hi Shannon! Coming to you from the blog passion project. I’m an early childhood educator (kindergarten teacher) so your post intrigued me! Congrats to you on starting to look early at preschools. No harm in shopping around a bit! I love that you’re thinking about getting them evaluated early too. Definitely the earlier to catch speech issues the better!
I sincerely hope you find one that meets all your needs!
Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly.com
Thank you Molly!
Erin @ Stay At Home Yogi says
I haven’t even started to think about this yet (I’m in denial!). I have an anti-potty toddler too. You’ll make the right decision when the time comes!
Anti-potty..ha ha! And so true. Thank you!
I taught elementary school. If you think they have delays, it wouldn’t hurt to have them evaluated or at least talk to someone about it. A speech therapist would have a lot of insight on this topic of where to go from here. If they qualify for services, preschool is going to be the best place for them to receive those services and excel.
Thank you! I think I will.
I have a 3 year old and I am so torn about sending him to preschool, mainly for the cost. You give me much to think about!!
Homegrown Adventures says
Well, I homeschool as you know. However, my sister has a daughter who turned 4 in July and she started her the beginning of the school year. She takes her twice a week and it is right next door to her. It is in a house so she does pay. My advice is to look around and talk to the teacher. See if you like her. One of my daughters had a hard time pronouncing things but she still went to Sunday school and did fine. Just remember that each child learns on their own paste and that before you know it they will both be potty trained and talking clearly.
Thank you! I appreciate the advice 🙂
Potty training seems to be one of those things you kind of just have to wait for them to be ready for on their own. I’m not really sure how they decide they’re ready. Maybe they become aware that their peers use the potty, or they just want to be grown up like mommy and daddy. But you can’t really force them to want it; they have to come to that on their own.
I totally agree. Thank you!
Great post 🙂 I have some friends that NEED to see this – shared! Thanks
Thank you so much!
Chocolate Mama Loves Vanilla says
wouldn’t it be awesome if they potty trained as part of those expensive payments!? I can only imagine how you are feeling about school being right around the corner! I bet they will surprise you! 😀
I hope so! Thank you!
Cindy Calzone (Hometown Queen Bee) says
I remember these days…great post! My one and only is about to turn 7, it goes so fast! I miss the preschool age, preschool-age problems and all…
I’m sure I will too 🙂 Thanks Cindy!
My oldest son is turning 4 this summer, so the thought of figuring out preschool is just overwhelming and terrifying. Good luck to you!
It really is. Thank you and good luck to you too! 🙂
Kimberly Cox says
We have been back and forth on the “Do we homeschool or do Public schools” for a while now. My oldest is 3.5 only interested in the potty when she remembers she has a toy in there she wants to play with. We looked around and called several preschools and I finally found one that we love. They start at 2, but she was already 3 and about 4 months, so we put her in the 3 year old class. They are a gymnastics and dance studio that added a preschool in and they do music and dance and gym class which makes it nice since my little girl bounces off walls if she has to “maintain composure” for longer than about 15 minutes. I’ll be honest, it’s a bit on the expensive side (considering we were talking homeschooling prior) but, so far she has done okay, and having her in an environment where she is learning how to “be in school” is helping tremendously. Basically, just keep your eyes open, you may find a preschool you didn’t know about before, and I totally get the whole holding your child back, we are still trying to figure that one out as well (we are going to wait and see how the rest of this year and next year go in preschool and take it from there). Good Luck, hopefully you can figure out something that works for your guys <3
That actually sounds like an awesome preschool! I think art is so important to development. Maybe I’ll look around here for something like that too. Thank you!
Stephanie Cox says
And I thought sending my one and only to preschool the first time was tough. You have a tough decision ahead since you have two personalities to consider! Good luck!
Thank you! I need it!
gosh I didn’t even realize this was an issue! My son is about to turn one and I just kind of thought kids go to the PreK in their school district.. public.. free.. like kindergarten, but I guess I don’t know the first thing!
Some school districts do have free 4K, but not ours…at least not yet.
3 words- Pre-School is expensive!! But, when my daughter was 3 I decided to put her in pre-school (2x a week / 3 hrs a day). She’s an only child and I figured it would help with socialization for her- more than playdates. My daughter is 8 now and I feel (or maybe I just want to believe it since I paid a small fortune for her to attend) it helped her…
Good Luck with everything!
It IS expensive! I’m glad it helped her, and thank you for the advice 🙂
Alyssa from The Sparkly Life says
It’s a big decision! And I imagine it’s doubly hard with twins!! The expense alone is a huge factor. Can you visit some local schools and talk to them to see if that makes the decision any easier?
I think I will. Thank you!
So much to consider, I totally understand. Thinking about school for my little one feels so overwhelming.
Anamika Ojha says
As I don’t have any experience in this field but I do believe that every child is special.
Let twins do whatever they like. They have only few months left to enjoy their life, otherwise they will be occupied in their studies, school and extra curricular. Someday they will learn about their potty training and other stuff. Don’t bother so much. They will be fine and do great as they are lucky to have you as a mommy who would be able to find best Preschool for them. 🙂
Thank you Anamika!
I am not a mom of twins but I am a mom, a former sped teacher, and a former preschool teacher. 1- there is absolutely no reason not to keep them back one more year if you would like to. I frequently had students (non sped or even delayed) that came to preschool twice because the parents wanted to let the children get a bit older before sending them to kindergarten. You can also always repeat K (and it’s free!). A common misconception is that kids will get bored if they repeat preschool/Kindergarten. That’s rarely true. Even if they were in the exact same class following identical curriculum you will be shocked at the new information and skills they will pick up. 2- speech is still relative at that as. What a speech path will evaluate is how they form specific sounds/if they can. I will dig around in my files and see if I have the eval for 3 yr olds and 4 yr olds. Typically as long as they have the goal sounds they can be considered on-track. 3- it is tough- my daughter has an early August bday. It was never a question- I knew before she was born I would hold her back. However, several of her church friends with close bdays are going ahead to preschool the year ahead of her. That’s great- I just had to make the right decision for my family. You’re a good mama! You’ll figure it out!
Thank you so much Kate for all of your advice! I really appreciate it.
Oh yeah! The twin thing! I’ve had twins and triplets. The parents I was with made their decisions based on socialization and academia. If they felt like one twin would “boss” the other or being in the same class would inhibit them from develop other relationships/friendships they were placed in separate classes. And if one child was significantly developmentally stronger than the other they placed them in different classes so it wasn’t a constant comparison.
Those are really good things to think about. I’m leaning towards separate because of both things you mentioned.
Corina Ramos (@NotNowMomsBusy) says
Great post Shann. I’m sure a lot of moms can relate. My kids went to Pre-K and it was an easy transition to Kindergarten.
I went to high school with friends who were twins and I remember them telling me they had the same classes since pre-k and liked it that way. 🙂
Have a great week!
The Stay-at-Home Life says
Checking with the school district to see if they have a special program is the way I’d go. They may be able to start early to get up to speed.
The thought of putting my oldest son in Preschool makes me tear up. Trust your gut and stay in your budget. Mom knows best.
When it was my oldest son’s turn, there were definitely tears. Now, I’m ready for the twins to be ready 😉
I have similar concerns, except I can’t imagine having 2 of them! You are a brave woman for that alone. I’ve noticed that my daughter is better with consistently going potty at daycare because her daycare lady has all of the kids go at the same time. Whereas at home, she’s an only child and we haven’t really established a good routine so she ends up going in her pull up. I don’t know if that sheds any light on your situation, but I wanted you to know that you’re not alone!