Should you or shouldn’t you place your school-aged twins in the same classroom? It’s a question that has sparked some pretty heated debates among parents and school legislators. Most school systems prefer placing twins in separate classrooms, while others are more lenient and willing to bend according to a parent’s wishes if keeping them together seems important. But which is best situation for school aged twin students? And does either decision have an affect on academic performance?
The benefits of keeping twins together
There are actually advantages to doing both. Lots of parents prefer to have their twins enter kindergarten sharing a classroom and continue doing so throughout their elementary school years. Their reasoning is that twins share such a special bond and benefit more from being together than apart – especially when starting school for the very first time. Why add to any anxiety they may already be feeling about starting school by forcing them to separate?
Keeping twins in the same classroom can also be beneficial because they will have the same homework assignments, attend field trips together and may even help one another with homework. It can make attending parent/teacher conferences easier as well. Twins are known for their competitiveness which can work to their academic advantage. Some parents worry about whether being in the same class will make it harder for twins to establish separate identities, however, experts say that when teachers and classmates get to see identical twin students everyday they will eventually start seeing their differences and learn to tell them apart.
Separate classrooms fosters independence
An advantage to placing your twins in separate classrooms is that they get treated as individuals instead of a matching set. This can be especially helpful if you have a twin who tends to be more passive. They get to make their own friends. Part of being a twin is enduring constant comparisons from family, teachers and friends. This can become a big issue for twins who are together in a classroom. Even though it’s normal, constant comparisons can be harmful to their developing self-esteem. It’s important for twins to develop an identity independent of one another. School is the perfect environment to help the process along.
Which way is best?
There is no one right answer. Consider your own children. Are they independent from one another, or do they seem to depend on each other for comfort? Some twins hardly bat an eye about being apart, while others are as thick as thieves. You know your own children’s personalities and temperaments well enough to make the right decision. Some schools will support your decision to keep them in the same class. Once you make the decision about whether to keep them together or separate them, be sure to work closely with their teachers and monitor your twins’ progress closely. It’s the best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t.