Wednesday, November 13, 2013

School Separation Update

So it has been just over two months since our boy and girl started in a new school and in separate classrooms for grade one. At their previous school, they had been in the same class for two years of kindergarten. We thought that grade one was the year to separate them, but since they were moving to a new and larger school, we had requested they stay together for one more year. Instead, the school separated them, as apparently they do for all sets of twins. My son has three other twin children in his class, and some of their siblings are in my daughter’s class. At least they were placed in classes next door to each other that are connected by a pod area. They also happen to have gym class together. A teacher told us that at the class placement meetings, the teachers placed all the twins first because there are so many of them in the school! So how is it going so far? I will start with the only negative and finish with the positives. The homework schedule is a little confusing. The grade one teachers plan together so their programs are very similar but the homework is scheduled for different days for each of our children. This is due to the fact that each class has a different day to go to the library to exchange books, and this affects the scheduling of everything else. Not everything is done exactly the same way either, but as a teacher myself I wouldn’t expect this. Sometimes, to make our lives easier, we do the same homework together on the same day when it is possible and feasible. But this is a small inconvenience compared to the fact that they each seem to be doing well in their own classroom. They still walk together to and from school and spend about an hour each day in the before and after school care program, along with time spent at home. They can play together at recess and lunch if they choose, but usually don’t as they have, for the most part, separate groups of friends and different interests. This was the case even in kindergarten when they were in the same classroom. They also have the gym class together, and this has been, for the most part positive. There was one occasion of one twin tattle-tailing on the other, but there was also the time that when my son was hurt, he picked his sister to go with him to get an ice pack. And one day, when my son was off sick, I got a phone call to come get my daughter who was complaining of not feeling well. I believe she was a little ill, but I found it interesting that she complained to her teacher only during gym, which was probably a reminder of two things: her brother was away and she missed him...and he was probably at home watching movies! But clearly, despite not being in the same class together anymore, they still do find comfort in the other twin being there at school. But the thing that I think is best for both of them is that they aren’t being compared to each other, which isn’t really fair in the first. Our twins do not have to worry about being reported on, by each other, for minor transgressions in school that otherwise would never have come to our attention. Separation has been very good for our twins, but that was because it was the right time to do it, not because it would be the best for every set of twins.

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