Is it Labor Day yet?

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My four-year-old twins go back to school in three and a half weeks. 24 days, in fact. What, you think I’m counting?

While I hate to wish away the summer, this one will not go down as one of the best on record. My kids need routine, they need structure, and they need some time away from each other. I am so thrilled that they are in separate classrooms.

When I first learned that my twins’ Montessori preschool “strongly preferred” not to put siblings in the same classroom, my stomach dropped a little. My little ones would be only just three years old and going to school for the first time, having been at home with me this whole time. I always assumed they’d be in the same class in preschool, and then maybe I’d split them up in elementary school. But I loved the school so much, I decided to take the plunge.

I am so, so, so glad that I did.

Don’t get me wrong, my son and daughter really are the best of friends. They play together all day long, and it makes my heart practically burst to see how much fun they have together.  They fight, sure, and push each other’s buttons like any siblings would. But the arguments are forgotten as quickly as they start, and back they go.

silly pair

At the same time, however, they are not completely dependent on one another. Both are pretty independent, adaptable, low-anxiety kids.  They love doing separate outings on the weekends, and were thrilled to get their own rooms when we made the move to toddler beds.  In the months before school started, I did my best to explain that they would be in different classrooms, with different teachers, and they thought that was simply peachy.

We have a full year of school under our belts, and I have never regretted having them in separate classrooms. The worst I can say about it is that there’s a little extra juggling on meet-the-teacher night.  While it’s certainly no secret that they are twins, I love that the teacher can see the individual kid, rather than having any temptation to compare to their twin. I love that they can make their own friends and do their own work, relatively free from the influence or distraction of their “other half.”

And for those who would have anxiety over this setup, I will provide the perspective someone pointed out to me. They are in school three hours a day, five days a week. They’re dropped off in the same car, at the same time, to the same building. They play on the same playground at the same time (I’m told they often look for each other – how sweet is that?). They are picked up together, and then spend the other 21 hours of the day in the same house, doing the same activities.  There is no shortage of togetherness.

But as the summer winds down and they are in each other’s faces all day long, I know I’m not the only one who is looking forward to school starting again.  They can’t wait to see their teachers (“and tell her I’m FOUR now!”), and though I don’t expect they’d ever say it in so many words, I think they’re just as excited to have a little personal space, too.

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4 thoughts on “Is it Labor Day yet?”

  1. I kept mine together all through preschool only because the classes didn’t take the same field trips and didn’t do trips on the same day. It was easier for my sanity to have everyone doing the same thing. Tomorrow is the first day of kindergarten and my girls will be split for the first time. There aren’t four kindergarten classes, so they’ll be split two and two and they seem to really be looking forward to the change!

  2. When I was looking at preschools almost a year ago, I ruled one out because the director said it was automatic that my two would be in separate classes for their second year of preschool. I told her that I’d prefer to see how things went the first year, but she said it was pretty firm that they’d be separated no matter what. I didn’t like that at all. They were just 2.5 at the time, and I couldn’t see that far down the road. So, I ruled that preschool out.

    Now, they’re approaching 3.5 and their first year of preschool, and T and I have already decided to talk with the director about the possibilities of separating them for their second year (when the time comes). I love that they’ll be together this first year since Tiny is way more confident and outgoing than Buba, but I think I’d like Buba to start making his own way the following year. I think it will be a much more comfortable situation for him to be on his own for his second year of preschool, rather than make the split when they go to all day kindergarten.

  3. Our girls will be going to a mothers’ day out program this year. There is only one toddler classroom, so they’ll be together this year. I’m glad because the transition from home to preschool is big enough without being apart. I haven’t thought ahead to next year, but if the setting and teachers are familiar, we might consider separating them.

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