Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Early results are in: the twins are thriving in the same classroom.

Jonathan in blue, Matthew in red
Last week, I had our first conference with Matthew and Jonathan's kindergarten teacher.
So far, so good.
Their teacher admitted he was hesitant when he learned we had requested that they be in the same classroom and, for those first few days, there were some issues. Mostly, he said, Jonathan and Matthew had to learn they could not get physical with each other in school - no poking or prodding allowed.
But now, he said, "they're just like any two kids in the classroom. When there are issues, they are just boy issues -- boys being boys." 
He no longer even relies on clothing to tell them apart.
Their report cards were not identical, but they were very similar. In the few areas where they differed academically, personality had a strong influence. For instance, Matthew's report card showed he could count only to 30 while Jonathan's showed a limit of 100.
Matthew has been counting to 100 since he was three. It's always been a game for him and his twin brother, counting in the back seat as we drove. They also learned to count by tens at an early age. So I know he knows this stuff.
But while Jonathan sees any kind of testing as a challenge, Matthew finds it annoying. He is is easily bored with reading aloud, counting and any other form of quizzing, preferring to deny knowledge so he can move on to more active pursuits. 
Homework with him is already a struggle.
Emotionally and socially, I saw the personality differences that have always been apparent reflected. Jonathan wears his emotions tattooed prominently across his forehead. When is angry, he is very angry. When he is sad, he is a blubbering ball of emotions.
Matthew has greater control and, though this was not on the report card, he certainly knows how to push his twin's buttons. He is emotional as well, but he is more covert -- just slightly less likely to lose his cool. 
Each has his own friends and a few shared ones, though they claim they are often picked on by the same girl. Our oldest daughter complains she can rarely sit with them at lunch. They usually sit at separate tables and she doesn't want to choose one over the other.
Gym class worried me the most though.
The boys are highly competitive and they can become physically abusive to each other when they argue over games or races. But their gym teacher assured me they rarely even communicate in her class. Each goes off with his own his own group and does his own thing.
Their issues in gym are more typical of their development as individuals. In the beginning, they would each get upset it they did not get the color of their choice, or if they did not get a turn. That has improved, she said, more so with one twin making bigger strides than the other (Guess who!).
A few days after the conference, I asked Matthew and Jonathan whether they enjoy being together in school and whether they might want to stay together next year.
Normally, Jonathan would begin to tear up at the thought of any separation that lasts more than a few hours, and Matthew would pounce on that, insisting they each go their own way just to a reaction. We know this because if we actually try separating them, Matthew is the first to break down.
This time, however, Matthew was the first to react positively, nodding his head vigorously.
"I want to be with my brother," he said.
"Yeah," Jonathan said, smiling. "Me too."  


MotherRunner said...

Awww, so sweet.

My twins are 2.5 years old. It makes me very uncomfortable to think of them forcibly being split up when they go to school, and I will request the same classroom. If there are issues, of course, we'll reevaluate, but it's really nice to hear how it's going for your family.

Twinsmom said...

If it becomes a problem, let me know. I'll arm you with an arsenal of information!

MsBordenRoystonComputerTeacher said...

The information would be muchly appreciated. My identical twin boys are in the same kindergarten/grade one class this year. However, there is talk from thier teacher about trying to seperate them for next year. I do not want to and would like the "research" that supports "why not to" sperate them. Thanks, Tanya