This is a dilemma that is faced by every parent who has multiple children entering the same grade. Do you put your children in the same classroom or not?
I think the answer varies from family to family and from child to child. It also varied for us from year to year and from child to child. So, for me, the answer is a big maybe. Here are some of the reasons why.
1. One of my sons is autistic. When he was small, most of his learning was in a special education environment. He needed to be separated from his brothers so they did not feel the need to “care” for him.
2. When my boys were very small (preschool), they seemed to need to be near each other. Besides:
3. There was only one preschool classroom for the 3 year olds, 4 year olds, etc. By necessity, they had to be in the same class. When the kids entered regular school, there were multiple classrooms of the same age children. We could then decide.
4. Some schools have a policy about twins and more. Ours did not. I would use that as a guideline. If you feel that you need to do something different for your children, push to do what’s best. I have always done this for my kids. I call it “being a Mom”.
5. When my boys were in kindergarten, one of them was much more advanced at reading. The other was much more advanced in math. Evidently they made a pact between the two of them that one of them would do the reading and the other would do the math. This is when we decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to separate them for a while. They weren’t too happy. I think they had become too dependent on each other.
6. Another issue can be jealousy or competition. Some children do not do well if one of the others is better at something. While they do need to learn to deal with this, it can be better to have them in separate classrooms for a while for parent sanity. The only insane part of this was having the same spelling list three weeks in a row. Of course, running through the same spelling list with three children the same week wasn’t much better!
7. Remember that the school counselors, teachers and administration have probably “been there” before. Most of the time they are willing to help you work it out if you go in with a positive attitude that we are all there to help the children.
8. As the children advance in school, there will be classes that are only offered once a day. For example, there is only one section of marching band. (Go, Eagles!) Two of them are in the band. Since they have opted to play different instruments, they don’t sit next to each other. The other one and I are the cheering section. Mr. Lasermed is president of Band Boosters this year. I think he lives in the concession stand.
The moral of this whole story is that it is important to be flexible and to do what feels right for your children. What worked for my kids might not work for yours. It’s also helpful to take advice from other moms and from educators. Listen to your kids, too. The whole goal is to get them the best education that we can with the least amount of stress for everyone.