Separate twins or keep them together?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

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  3. MissFroggy

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    We have a set of twins at our school who were together for preschool and separated in K. For one of the twins, school has been difficult. He has had multiple problems, and I think would have been identified as oppositional defiant in public school, but he has has depression, anxiety, learning disabilities. However, the other one has been fine. It just so happens next year they will be together. mom wanted them apart those years, and when we talked about putting them together she thought it would be devastating to the one who was not doing well to see how smart and popular his brother is at school. However, after counseling, the counselor felt they SHOULD have been together all along and a lot of the problems the one boy had were a result of being apart from his brother. Next year will tell us a lot.

    We tried finding some research on this before, and there wasn't really anything we could see except for foreign studies. those said they should be together.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

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    It's an interesting question. I also think it depends on the twins and there shouldn't be a hard and fast rule either way. I've had twins who were together and fed off each other or were in competition with each other too much. I've had them separated where they both really started to develop as individuals more than I think they would have if placed together.
     
  5. peggy27

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    I think it is an individual thing. I have had twins together who did good and not so good. I also had twins separated and that was fine. Common sense should prevail. What is best for the child. Interesting the legislature thinks they need a law for this subject.
     
  6. adventuresofJ

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    From the twin's i've been in school with, they were always in different classes -- at least by the time i knew them which was 5or 6th grade. Maybe its better they are together early on and then seperated in second grade or so... but like the others it depends on the twins.
     
  7. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    New Jersey has just passed a law that gives parents the final say in where their twins or multiples would be placed in grades K-8. When entering HS, the principal can have input.
     
  8. Annie227

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    I've worked with close to a dozen sets of twins (within 4 years). As a teacher, I preferred having them separated. When I did have a set of twins together it was hard not to constantly compare them and since they were identical I called them by the wrong name frequently. (I have identical twin cousins & even at 30 have a very hard time telling them apart.) I am going to have a twin this year who will be separated from his brother part of the day.They are both in special ed. and will be together during that part of the day and with me in Language Arts. Supposedly we are getting another set of twins enrolling this summer. They will be separated for homeroom, but will both be together with me during language arts.
     
  9. Ilovefirst

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    I can't remember exactly the number of sets of twins we have had go through in my school. (At least 5 sets in as many years)Only 2 sets have been split up. In the past the twins that were separated had very different reactions. One set didn't seem to care, actually probably did better NOT together. The other set did not do as well as they were very close and the 2 teachers taught very differently and very different things went home.
    This year I have a pair coming into my room together. I asked the kindergarten teachers about it. They said Mom wants them together that they do much better together. Hopefully I can figure out a way to tell them apart!
     
  10. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    As a parent of twins entering school,
    I have read A LOT on this topic.
    Basically the conclusion is to start them together and after that let them decide.

    As a teacher, I always wanted the tiwns a part.
    Now as a parent of twins, I see the need for them to be together.
     
  11. RainStorm

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    I don't know that I could be objective since our school requires that twins be in different classes. I've never had a set of twins that were kept together. I've always thought it would be better for them to develop as individuals -- but that is just my feeling -- I don't have any research that supports that.
     
  12. corps2005

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    Our school does not like to keeps siblings together, but we are allowed to keep twins together if it works out and if the parent requests it. I had a set of gifted twins last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did keep them at separate tables, but I never had a problem with them talking too much or playing around. In fact, I found it useful for them to be together because if one got upset, the other could easily console that person. It kept problems to a minimum in my classroom. They kept each other in check. :) It was also interesting to see how, without talking, they knew exactly what the other one needed or wanted.
     
  13. 3littlemonkeys

    3littlemonkeys Comrade

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    Where I work, twins always wind up in the same class, because there is only one class per two grade levels. Where I'm student teaching, twins also wind up in the same class, so that they can be on the same track (year-round school), otherwise one would be on vacation and one wouldn't. It's not the system I grew up with, but it doesn't present any extra challenges (beyond telling them apart, lol). I had a set of twins for two years, and I had them sit in various locations (near each other, not near each other) and while they usually were not in the same groups or partnered with each other, occasionally they were. Towards the end of 3rd grade, I liked putting them with each other--they worked well together. I think it really depends on the individual personalities, just like with non-twin siblings. I get some siblings, since I have a combo class, and sometimes the kids need to be on opposite sides of the room, lol, and sometimes they don't.
     
  14. tgi1515

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    At our school, we've had both. Usually, twins have been with different teachers. Last year my partner had twins in her class. The parents insisted that they be together. She told me that one child was more dominant (1) than the other(2). When she separated them into different groups (2)did better. When (1) was out of the room, (2) was a different child and was more outgoing. Next year they will be in different Kindergarten rooms.

    Of course, the twins in 1st grade last year, kept trading places and trying to fool the teachers. The only time it worked (for a short time) was when both classes had subs that day.... Gotta love 'em!
     
  15. Maxadoodle

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    I teach 3-year olds, a first school experience for children and often parents too. I find success for having twins/triplets in the same room depends on parents. Some encourage individuality, while others dress them the same, assign a "color" to each child, or want them to do the same activities. It can be hard for other parents who want to invite just one twin/triplet to their home for a playdate. When they are in separate classes, some parents complain that the art activities are not the same (parents don't seem to notice the differences in other centers/learning). I also notice that the parental difficulties are with twins/triplets of the same sex. I guess overall, I would let parents choose to keep them together or apart, at least in preschool.
     
  16. trayums

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    I think it should be a case to case basis. I had 2 twins this year (from diff. families) and one did very well on his own and the other didn't do as well without her sister...
     
  17. teacherSMK

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    I too believe it should be a case to case basis, and I think not only the parents should be consulted, but the students also. WHen I student taught, we had a set of twins, and one day during lunch twin 1 confided in me that while he enjoys being with his brother, sometimes he wished they were in seperate classes. He said that noone asked them, they were just told that their parents insisted they be in the same class. I guess that since he was with his brother all the time at home, church, and school, he was getting kind of tired of him.
    Like I said though, it should be on a case by case basis.

    :2cents: :) Sarah
     
  18. RainStorm

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    I can totally see why some parents want them kept together, especially in preschool. By 1st grade or so, I would think it would be important to be in seperate classes -- but that is just my opinion.

    One year, we had identical twin boys -- one came to my "team" (we team taught) and the other went to another team. Up to this point they had always been in different classes, but they were on the same reading level and basically got the same grades.

    The twin in our class made the honor roll every time, and increased much more than a year in terms of reading and math. He passed all of the state tests with flying colors.

    The twin in the other team made no progress, got all Ds and Es, and had a generally awful year. He failed all of the state exams. I can't help but wonder why there was such a difference.

    I know it is normal for one twin to be more accelerated than the other, but in this case, they had been at the same level until that year.

    It has always made me wonder what exactly was going on in that class.
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think it should be a case by case basis. Twins are individuals in both themselves, and as a set. No two sets of twins are alike, and it's dangerous to attempt to threat them as such. This is, in my opinion, definately a case by case and a parent call issue. Parents, above all, know their children and have the best idea of what will work best for their individual children.

    On a side note, this phenomena doesn't end with twins. My youngest son and my little brother, who's 6 months younger than my son, are part of a "twin" study, only this time, the focus is not on twins raised together vs raised apart, but about children who are NOT twins who are very close in age and raised together. I lived with my parents for a number of years after my divorce and my parents took in my now-brother as a foster child when ds3 was only 6 months old. It's eerie how "twin-like" those two boys are. They fit nearly all the stereotypes of twins like being able to communicate without words, and mere pressence being a comforting factor. It was really hard on both boys when I moved out.
     
  20. Lindsay.Lou

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    I completely agree with most of you that there should not be a hard and fast rule about this sort of thing. The Boston Globe article seems to suggest that "inevitably" one of the twins will be more dominating and tend to try and speak for the other one. This can't be the case with every single set of twins.
     
  21. titansrst

    titansrst Rookie

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    Each case different

    In school matters, I believe parents should never be given the final say over any issue.
    As a teacher of 14 years, I am getting ready to teach my fourth set of twins this year. I have had nothing but good experiences with my twins in the past, but a good part of this comes because their parents were supportive folks. I have heard of horror stories, too, the most glaring coming from cases in which one twin is wonderful and the other is a problem. The mom in these cases somehow blamed the teacher for failing to reach the problem child. If that happened to yours truly, the parent would be invited to take both of her lovely ones out of my class to find the perfect teacher.
     
  22. alschoolteacher

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    Twins are usually seperated at my school, but parents can request that they stay together. Actually, parents can request that they be in the same class as their best friend! In the cases where parents requested them to be together, it usually wasn't a good thing. However, some of the other sets probably would have been fine together. We had 3 sets of twins seperated between our two 3rd grades last year. One set HAD to be seperated. These children were a major problem even just being at recess together! The other two sets did fine. We also had a set of brothers in 2nd grade. The dad wanted them together to promote competition between them. We seperated them because the older child had failed twice and was already 10 years old and had a learning disability, while his brother was on level. We felt it would not be a good idea to have competition between them! It definately depends on the kids.
     
  23. yarnwoman

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    I have two children who are 15 months apart and I have always called them worse than twins. My DS did not speak really until he had ear tubes put in around 2 1/2 yrs. He had chronic ear infections and children's said before his surgery he had a 99% hearing loss. My DD who is older would speak for him and they could communicate. It was very hard for her to give up her role when he finally began speaking.

    I had twins last year and the parents have always requested that they be in the same class to make it easier on the tutor. In my opinion these boys should be seperated since they are now going into 8th grade. One twin relies on the other to keep up with when things are due, what the assignment is etc. I think they would do better seperated but the parents request it and the admin puts them in the same class. So if I get them this year I will do my best to get the one twin to depend less on his brother.
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    yarn...my own two youngest kids are only 11mo apart, but they don't show nearly the "twin" behaviors as my youngest and my little brother. I do think it would have been better for them if they could have been in the same class at school this last year. It would have helped them deal with the separation, but the kids are on either side of the cut off date to start kinder, so my ds was in kinder and my brother was in pre-k.

    I just think the issue of twins is not cut and dried. Any policy regarding twins needs to be extremely flexible and allow the final say to be with the parents, unless there is a very compelling reason to override them.
     
  25. yarnwoman

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    I agree with this statement. However the twins in my school have been in the same class since 2nd grade. Teachers have tried and tried but the parents have them together. Infact this year they were in different math classes (we seperate for math) and 3/4 of the way through the year the parents asked for them to be in the same math class. The reason was to make it easier on the parents and tutor where homework was concerned.
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    See, that might be a compelling enough reason to override the parents...not knowing the whole story it's hard to say.
     
  27. scooter503

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    As a twin, I guess I have a different perspective than most. I was in the same class as my (identical) twin sister from preschool through 6th grade...we were first separated in 7th grade. We were in the same class again in 8th grade. This was not by choice...we lived in a very small town where all the grades were split, and there was only one class per grade. We also had many classes together in high school...mostly because we took all the same classes.

    I really think this is a case by case issue. My sister and I were very shy and would never have functioned if we'd been separated when we first started school. I'm glad we were not separated until much later...by then we were becoming more independent. I also agree that it shouldn't just be up to the parents...I think the twins should be allowed to give input as well.

    Having been together most of our schooling lives, we made a decision to go to separate colleges so we could try to develop individual groups of friends and be individual people. We both ended up majoring in education...she in secondary math, me in elementary ed with a minor in math. We now live in the same town and have a similar group of friends (some who we've known since school, some newer). Guess you never can tell.
     
  28. WaProvider

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    As an early childhood teacher, I have very small hand selected classrooms. I have a huge amount of siblings, more than 90% of my class. They aren't usually twins (although my brother and sister were), but are close in age. I enjoy the sibling units, and like other posters have found that it can often work as a time saver. However, I do request that my children not "cling" to each other. I ask that they each talk (my own siblings didn't both talk. One always spoke for the other) and that they choose different activities for at least part of the day. After a while of learning about each other we learn to work together and are "off to the races". As a parent I would hope that the schools do listen to what parents want, in many cases for more than just families of twins. I have always been able to choose my children's teachers, and in many cases have hand picked the teachers for the graduates of my classroom. I feel that the school and I make the best decisions for my children when we work together. Mutual respect is the best compliment.
     
  29. Ms.Jasztal

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    Twins have always been separated at my school. Honestly, I prefer things that way. Every student should have the opportunity to flourish on his or her own.
     
  30. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    The lady who groups kids at my school is a firm believer that twins must be seperated, period. I had a set that was moving up to k and I felt that they'd be better together, and so did the parents, but she overuled us! In the end, all was fine, but I think they'd have had an easier adjustment to all day school if they'd had each other.

    On a related note, one of the factors that allows kids to be enrolled in my needs-based Pre-K program is low birthweight, which happens more frequently in twin births. One year (two years ago), I had 5 sets of twins. FIVE! That means that fully one quarter of my 40 students were in a class with a sibling. And, on top of that, I had 3 cousins, as well. And the cousins were neighbors to one of the sets of twins....it was a little like a big family reunion on the playground!

    Kim
     
  31. Rabbitt

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    :confused:
    Why can't they have the opportunity to flourish on thier own if they are in the same class?
     
  32. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    I had many of the same feelings of all these posts until I became a parent of identical twins myself. I only know my twins. There are many times they want to be a part and dress differently. Then there are many times they want to be together and dress the same.

    I follow this slogan:
    Although they are two people, they are one of the same.

    I currently let them decide to be one or two.
     
  33. WaProvider

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    As I stated before I have many many siblings in my early childhood class, I think sometimes that when we make rules as the agency we then learn to follow them. Rearranging what we see and experience to fit the mold we have made. I am not saying that the rule is wrong, for everyone, but I find it very interesting that the posters that are expressing an understanding of the reasons to leave the twins together are now parenting twins. If the rule were as cut and dried as we as good employees were told, wouldn't the input of the teacher/multiple parents be the same as the teachers?
     
  34. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    WA...I think you are exactly right.
    Molds can be adjusted for indivisual circumstances.
     

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