It was a hard decision, but we decided on separate classrooms for the twins this year. Even though it is only preschool, it’s still their first time in a classroom-type setting. We wanted them to have the best experience, and we also wanted to prepare them for kindergarten.
Everyone seems to have an opinion when it comes to what to do with twins for school, but this was our decision. It may not be right for everyone or every set of twins, but I’ve put together a list of pros and cons from our experience so far. I’m hoping it will help other families, and also help us make a decision for kindergarten next year.
So, how did we come to the decision to put the twins in separate classrooms?
Well, we talked about it a lot. We also asked the twins what they would like to do. One wanted to be in his own, and one wanted to be with the entire family. Sorry, kid. That’s not happening. But, it was a cute answer.
We finally decided on separate classrooms for 2 reasons.
The first reason is that Big C is more dominant. Every time we’re reading a story or I ask a question, he always answers. He doesn’t let Little P take a turn. I know that waiting your turn and raising your hand before speaking is something they will eventually learn in school, but it’s not something they entirely understand yet.
The second reason is they are always together. They sleep in the same room, they play together at home, they go to childcare at the gym together, they eat together, watch the same shows…you can see where this is going. They’ve never been apart for more than an hour or two since the NICU. I’ve taken one to the store with me on a very rare occasion, and I also took one to the Urgent Care alone, but that’s about it.
We wanted to give them a chance to be by themselves and see what it’s like. Let them make their own friends, explore and play on their own, and have a few different experiences. Preschool is only a couple of times a week, so if they don’t like it, they can spend every other second of the week together.
So far, the twins have been loving preschool and their teachers. Here’s all the good stuff that has happened so far:
- Making their own art projects
- Each having something different to talk about when they get done with school
- Making their own friends
- Being happy to see each other (and me!) at the end of school
- Being known by their names, not just “the twins”
- Learning to share when each one gets a different “treat” from class
- Each having their own teacher who they really love
There are a few things that came up that we didn’t really think about before separating them. They are not all necessarily bad, but it gives us something to think about for next year.
- Different projects in class…which leads to one being jealous and envious of the other project.
- More work for Mom and Dad…keeping up with two different classroom updates, special days, “homework,” paperwork, volunteering, and field trips
- Two different sets of friends = Two different playdates
Things to Think About
So, as you can see, for the most part, it has been a good decision for Preschool. I love that they each have something to talk about when they get home. It feels like they each have something special of their own. I also love that they get some social interaction with other kids on their own.
We have had some tough days, though. The first couple days, especially, they got very upset when they didn’t each make the same art project. One also got a birthday treat that the other didn’t get. He did share with his brother, though! Progress!
The other big obstacle was the field trip. Only one classroom was going, so I made the decision to not let Little P go with his class. I thought that might be too hard for them to understand why one went and the other didn’t.
Instead, he stayed with his brother’s class that day…which they also really liked. The kids in the class were a little confused. One even commented that there were 2 Big C’s in class! Kids are so funny.
So, will they stay in separate classes for kindergarten? We’ll see. There is a lot more “homework,” field trips, and activities that might be hard if they are separated. Plus, kindergarten is a full day, and I don’t know if they want to be apart that long every day.
For now, we’ll keep plugging along, and see how they feel in a couple of months. I’m really glad we tried the separation, no matter what we decide next.
Terri Lynn Grothe says
There would def be pros and cons to this situation. I have heard of twins staying together as it works best for them, I am sure the right choice will be made
Lindsay @ The Flynnigans says
I think it’s super sweet that one share the birthday treat with his brother. Kids are so funny and innocent eh? It’s adorable that they were interested yet confused as to why there was two Big C’s in class. 🙂
Shann Eva says
The teacher thought it was hilarious! 🙂
Lauren B. says
It sounds like you really thought out this decision and it sounds like a good thing for the boys.
Shann Eva says
Thank you Lauren!
Tiffany Austin says
Wow Shann! Good for you – it must have been a hard decision but it sounds like you thought it out really well. Sounds like it really is what is best for them and your family. Good luck!
Shann Eva says
Thank you so much Tiffany!
Jasmine Hewitt says
I can understand why you did this, and I like it. I don’t have twins, but I totally get the positives!
Shann Eva says
Thank you Jasmine!
My Urban Family says
I totally see why you made this decision – and best of luck! It will probably be more work but I’m sure it’ll be super worth it in the end. 🙂
Thanks for articulating all of your thoughts on this – not an easy decision for any multiple family!
This must’ve been a hard decision, but it seems like it will be really good for them! They’ll get to spread their wings and try their independence a bit. I’m sure they’ll have fun!
Susan Croox says
Wow, I never even thought about this scenario. I have to say, before I had kids I thought having twins was like winning the lottery. Now I’m like, thank God it’s not me!
Krystal Miller says
From a teacher perspective, I hated having twins in the same class. From a parent perspective, I can see the pros and cons of both sides. I think you have to do whatever works best for your family.
Julie S. says
I think putting them in separate classrooms is a great idea and good for their development of their own personalities. I didn’t think about the two classroom projects and double the playdates issue though heh.
Jen C @ Apples & Oranges says
All the twins I have known have been in separate classes. I’m sure yours will do great!
Stacy taylor says
I agree with your decision. Nobody knows best more than their parents ? I hope they enjoy school
Megan Zakrewsky says
Great idea, and even better you’ve put so much thought into it. It’s awesome that you’re facilitating their individuality!
Separate class rooms seems like a great idea. I can see how it could also be challenging. I think it is really awesome that you are trying it out!
Chrissie M says
I think this is a great idea for twins. It certainly gives them more room to grow their own personality and individuality. Great post!
Jill Robbins says
We never even considered the same classroom when the boys got to elementary school. They were in the same class at preschool and it was just too much togetherness. They squabbled with each other way more than they did with the other kids and it’s nice that they have some time apart. The work for me is more, but it’s so much better for them.
Fullest Mom says
I’m glad you guys chose separate. I think if I had twins, I’d go that route, too. Full support of individualism. You all are awesome parents and I thank you, for sharing this topic with us. It couldn’t have been an easy decision, but I really feel you went the right way.
Inez @ For the Love of Mom says
I have NO idea what I would do but, yes, I am sure everyone has an opinion! I do think that the idea of them not being “the twins” is a big pro of separate classes. I think it’s important to have something of their own. Maybe I am team separate classes. haha. Great post, I am sure this is very helpful for parents of twins. 🙂
Michael Kennerson says
Its hard but worth it. Sometimes it’s what you need…
Stefanie / The Monarch Mommy says
Sounds like you made the right decision!
Brittany Ferrell says
As a teacher of thirteen years, I really think you made the right decision! What often ends up happening is that one twin ends up “mothering” the other twin. In separate classes, they learn to rely on themselves and shine on their own merit. However, sometimes you have no option but to have them in the same class, in which case, talk to the teacher about creative strategies. I made it work with enough together and apart time in one room. I just had to be a little crafty!
Shann Eva says
Awesome. Thank you for a teacher’s perspective…so helpful!