heading for splitsville?

we’re in deep contemplation, friends, and need some advice. the boys have been in a great montessori program for exactly one year now. they love their teachers, they are happy and thriving. problem is, it’s about a 40 minute round trip commute, and on my days off work, that pretty much sucks. i’m also less than thrilled with the next two classes the boys will advance into. the vibe i get just passing by the rooms leaves much to be desired.

enter the montessori school one minute from our house. less than one minute, really. my curiosity finally got the better of me and i scheduled a visit before the holidays. i was seriously impressed. great facility, wonderful teachers (although one seemed a little too “in control” of everything), and did i mention it’s less than ONE MINUTE from our house?!? seriously, i could walk the boys to school.

it all sounds too good to by true, no? well, the catch is they require all twins, even siblings, to be in separate classes. their logic makes sense. spliting them up fosters their individuality and autonomy without the dynamic of their twin around. unintended side effects: home life is easier because they are not in each other’s faces every day. the ole’ “absense makes the heart grow fonder,” i guess? i totally get it and even believe it to a certain extent. i’m first in line when it comes to the philosophy of fostering individuality and sense of self. but at age three? not so convinced. i’m even less convinced of this philosophy being policy. and i think it’s downright cruel to expect our kids to transition to a brand new school and, while we’re at it, split them up so they don’t even have each other for support.

i’m torn (no pun intended). i love so much about the school and the convenience aspect just can’t be beat. it just seems like a no-brainer. i’ve even talked to another mom with three-year old twins at the school and she assured me her boys are thriving (although she did say they are learning totally differently and she can’t figure out if it’s a factor of their nature or their classroom/teacher). maybe i’m having so much trouble with it because i hate being pushed into something? i’m thinking of calling them and seeing if they can be in the same class for a transition period and then make the move after their comfortable in the new school. or is that like slowly pulling the bandaid off when it would be better just the rip it off in one felt swoop?

i’ve read that when it comes to splitting up twins, the only right decision is what will be best for your kids. if only i felt that intuitive at this moment. any idea, advice, experiences?

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6 Responses to heading for splitsville?

  1. As you well know, I was confronted with this same choice, for the same reason.For one thing, though it may be "policy," if you really want you can check TX state laws. I know they passed a law in MA stating that the ultimate choice of separating multiples or keeping them together is at the discretion of the parents. Don't know if that applies to private preschools.BUT.Is it half-day or all-day? Is there some time when they'll be together, anyways?At the Montessori we chose, it's just a half-day program (8:30-11:30). The kids will be in separate classrooms, but all of the kids hit the playground together at the end of the morning, so they will see each other then, as well as at all-school-together kind of events like special guests, etc.I'm sure that it could make the actual transition a little more difficult. I have the same concern, of course. But, ultimately, I'm really happy with it. I think it will be good for each of their independence in different ways. I think it will be good for Becca to be out of Daniel's more outgoing shadow, and Daniel won't have her as his leader.I also think it's a good thing (even more so in your case) because it doesn't let the teacher see the two of them as two halves of a single unit. Even the most conscientious of teachers would have a hard time truly seeing them as individuals instead of a pair, even on a sort of sub-conscious level. (And, for some teachers, it's a more overt problem.)Obviously, I understand your hesitation. I understand the feeling of your heart breaking just a little at the thought of pulling them apart. I understand resisting even more because you feel like it's being forced on you. I really get that. And only you can decide what's the right thing for your boys.But they're still brothers. They're still twins. They still live together, play together, sleep together, etc. They will NOT lose each other. I *do* think they'll gain something.That's my take on it (as someone who has only sent in the deposit, not actually started preschool yet!).

  2. LauraC says:

    DUDE. I had SERIOUS issues with this before my boys transitioned to the 3s room. I literally could not decide on what to do. I almost drove the director crazy. Ultimately we decided to keep them together because they decided to split the two 3s rooms into older 3s and younger 3s and the director felt the one in the older 3s would have an advantage and how do you make that decision?!Anyway when it came time to transition, Alex was not potty trained and Nate was. We made the decision to move Nate up until Alex was potty trained. After 3 years in school together, I almost had a panic attack dropping them off the first day. We talked about it ahead of time with both of them. They did absolutely fine, never looked back once. They kept calling that room Nate's room. Both boys were really happy, no crying, no adjustment issues being apart.The one thing that did crack me up is we told Alex he couldn't go to the next room until he used the potty. AN ENTIRE YEAR of potty talking, attempts, etc and nothing from him. One day with Nate in another room and he was using the potty. I don't think it was bc he wanted to be with Nate. I think he was ready to go to another bigger more exciting room.Anyway this is a SUPER long way of saying my boys spent a few weeks apart and they had no issues. They had more issues when they were back together again because they considered it Nate's room and Nate had made friends already. So I actually would not start them together somewhere bc then one of them would have to leave and that would be a hard decision on who has to leave, kwim?THen again I get super anxious when I think about them being separated when they start real school and that is two years away.

  3. LauraC says:

    Oh the other thing to consider is I think there is a more of a bias against identical twins when it comes to treating them as a unit. And I'm sure you've already learned that being in school and being part of a "pack" they get to work out different relationship dynamics whether or not they are with their twin. And we did find that we had to separate the boys for sleeping bc of too much together time, almost like they get sick of being together 24/7. Again I wish we could separate them in the 4s bc I think they are ready to be apart.(And our school is 2 miles from home, LOVE IT. When the weather's nice, I run the boys to and from school. Super convenient for giving meds, stopping in, or when I forget stuff.)

  4. Cheryl Lage says:

    We had a year together, and it was so obvious with our two they'd do better in their own classes. Not that they did "poorly" together, just didn't venture toward other friends as much as we'd hoped…they knew how to deal with each other, was easier than navigating new relationships. They've been in separate classes now for 3 and a half years, and both prefer it…although they still like sharing the same bedroom! šŸ˜‰ As Goddess and Laura have said, they'll be together PLENTY even if they do have their own classes. šŸ™‚ Don't hesitate to talk to the teachers actively..I do think most schools allow parental preference at this stage…either way!

  5. Krissy says:

    Hey Tracey!Just piping in here, since you asked for opinions. I don't plan on putting F and J into preschool until they are 4.5, but I have always planned on sending them to different class rooms. I wouldn't say that my two are overly bonded, and in fact, they thrive on time away from each other. So maybe I am looking at this from a completely different angle, as Able and Oz seem really close.I guess my main thought has always been that if they were just brother and sister and not twins, they wouldn't have ever had a sibling in the same class as them, and they would have to figure out their own way of making friends, starting friendships, etc. I want them to lean on each other, but not depend on the other one for comfort and support. After all, as much as it is a perk of twins, singletons do not have that and must do everything on their own.Geez, just typing this makes me feel heartless. I'm not, I swear! But I do think for F and J it would easier to separate them early rather than later. PS I still can hardly believe O and A are identical. Mindboggling.

  6. My twin boys are only 5 months old and I honestly haven't thought about putting myself in your shoes before tonight. That being said, my husband is a twin and he said that him and his sister weren't split up until 1st grade and that he was the "shy" one out the the duo and wouldn't have wanted to be split up any sooner….but as you said, I think its different for every set of twins. Good luck!

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