There are some things in life that should be logistically simple...like sending your kids to school. As the parent of twins I have found out that the most simple things in life can become unbelievably complicated. Christian and Patience are in preschool right now and we had their Kindergarten screening and registration this week.
The goofy kids just before we left:
During the screening I asked a simple question "Who do I talk to about my twins' placement next year?". At that point I had opened a floodgate that didn't stop over the next hour. I was told by no less than six different people what I "should" do with the twins for school next year. Let me tell you that the advice of educators, in my experience thus far, is to separate them. The decision to separate them for preschool was easy. I knew it would be good for each of them socially and preschool is only six hours a week. Kindergarten is 7 hours a day 5 days a week...completely different for the kiddos. Christian and Patience WANT to be together next year. Personally I am leaning toward this happening but I haven't made a final decision. I emailed the principal at their future school to ask some questions and wasn't very clear in my email so she got back to me telling me that she would note that we want them in the same room next year but since I haven't made that decision yet I emailed her back to ask a couple of questions about homework and how they would deal with a child who experiences undue anxiety. Hopefully I will hear back about those things soon. So I am still weighing the pros and cons of each situation:
The argument for keeping them in the same classroom:
They will have each other for comfort and emotional support, something familiar in a totally new situation
I won't have to worry about one of them getting to do activities that the other doesn't...something we have run into with preschool resulting in a lot of disappointment
Homework, if not the same, should be similar for each child
Things like field trips or special activities will be on the same schedule and I won't have to split myself between two classrooms
The kids are in a stage where they get physical with each other when they are upset and angry, a behavior we are working hard to end but would be totally inappropriate for school
Patience who is age appropriately on target with her academics would possibly compare her abilities to Christian who excels academically
Christian would possibly be dependent on Patience socially to help him cope and make friends
The argument for separating them
Patience would have the chance to see her peers working at the same basic level she does
Christian would have the opportunity to grow socially without depending on his sister
The kids might get along better at home after being apart all day.
Organization would be more difficult, keeping class assignments straight and calendar dates organized
Different teaching styles may make one child feel left out
The kids would miss each other
Christian tends to be very anxious while figuring out new situations and it is helpful to have Patience with him.
There is no "right" decision here but I want to try to do what is best for my kids. Luckily they are going to a great school next year and the principal has a wonderful reputation. We live in a school district that I was proud to work for during the 5 years prior to the twins' birth. Now if only I could figure it all out.