Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Being Together or in Separate Classes

My own son and daughter started in the same junior kindergarten class. This was our request and the school's principal was more than happy to comply. This went very well for two years.

 Our kids, according to their kindergarten teacher, were very independent of each other. She said that on occasion they would enter the classroom together holding hands, but would then separate for the rest of the day, Each twin was his and her own person with very different interests and friends. The teacher also recognized that our twins enjoyed each others comfort, but that this did not impact negatively on either of their learning and growth.

 This is why when we moved to a new school, which was much larger, she suggested keeping our twins together for one more year. However, this request could not be accommodated, and our kids were placed in separate classes, right next door to each other.

So now we have experienced our children in the same and separate classrooms. There are pros and cons to both. But the bottom line is that parents know their kids best and should advocate for which situation they feel is best for their twins. Keeping twins together is probably especially good at the beginning of their education, due to the fact that it adds that comfort factor, Also, it can only be a positive for a child to start school with a close or best friend. Greater comfort level and happiness will usually Increase learning.

I am an elementary teacher as well as a father of twins. There are two possible cons to your children being in the same classroom. If one tends to follow the other around like a puppy, he or she may be too dependant on his or her brother or sister. This is not a great learning situation for either twin. Also, teachers are human and have the tendency to compare. The other side of the coin is that in separate classrooms, comparisons by teachers are rare. If your twins are identical or fraternal but very hard to tell apart, being in separate classrooms helps the teachers better distinguish the two of them, not only physically but each one's unique personality.

The biggest con that we found to being in separate classes was dealing with different teacher's homework and other expectations. Sometimes teachers will plan together and even assign the same homework, but not always. It can become confusing on occasion. But we also found that each teacher seemed to fit our son and daughter's learning styles, which was definitely an added benefit. Both of them loved their teacher.

So both being in the same or separate classes have pros and cons that have to be weighed, and then adjusted according to your own situation.

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