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Boy Girl Twins at different levels


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Thanks for taking time to go thru this query. I've 4.5 year old boy/girl twins. They are different in 90% of the things and have to say that my dd has been very ahead of her age compared to her twin brother or other same age kids. She is now reading. My ds is good in some social activities but in most he tries to follow or look up to his twin sister.

We had both of them in a private christian school from last one and half year. This year ds had difficulties setting in his class when the reading program started and he started to dislike the school and the teacher. My dd was in different class in same school but happy with the teacher and got caught up well in class. There has been a lot of difference in class work where DD would do by herself and ds needed lot of help. Looking at this and his dislike towards the school, we took a step back and pulled him out to go for another private school which does not push kids like the first school does and this school is more of kids own pace oriented. My ds liked the school and the teacher and has started to do a few things he was not doing in other school even tho it was taught there and other kids were doing. He somehow felt out of place, it looked like there and started to feel good in new school. Right now , though it is practically difficult for us to manage drops and pickups in 2 places and times, my dd is doing well and is moving ahead fast and is getting exposed to lot of good things in school 1. And ds is happy at the school, there is no push and he is slowly learning step by step. There is a lot of difference now in what dd and ds know. At home I try to sit with them for home work and attend to each in different ways at different pace. dd has home work and ds does not. It is more of Kumon and home schooling. I thought he might be able to catchup with his twin sister but am little scared to push him and if we let him go in his pace, he may not be able to catch up in near future. Given where we are , we need to think of next year. I need help here.


Coming summer they will be 5 and ready for public school kindergarten. When we originally put them on private christian school , the thought was to continue either till they are or 6/8 and then move to public , given the good curriculum the school has. They follow Abeka curriculum. But now due to the complexity and the difference in kids nature and pace, we are a little lost on the options and their pros/cons. We see a few options possible at this time -


1. Continue with current model for one more year. Where DD is in accelerated curriculum (almost 2 years ahead of public school) and DS is progressing at his comfort level with no push and is still ahead of public school. The plus here is kids seem to be happy and we are able to give the best exposure possible to them. The minus is that they may just grow with the difference and not sure if they realize and develop any thoughts over the differences. Another minus is the practical difficulty to transport the twins.


2. Put DS back in the private school to be with DD. This means I'll have to rush through and also push DS to move quicker by next summer to catchup with his sister. He may or not and the school may or not take him. The plus is the transport and convenience of having same curriculum. Another plus is the satisfaction that we have exposed them both to a good school. Minus is that my DS may or not be happy at that age to go back. Minus is the amount of push that may be conssitently needed for DS.


3. Pull out DD from christian school and put in the new private school that DS is going to. since my DD is ahead, she may find it easy in the new school and if the teachers are able to move her ahead, she might thrive on here. The plus is the convenience. Minus is that while the christian school is a A+ category and moves ahead aggressive, the new school is quite casual and my DD may miss out on a couple of advanced exposure. And if it did not work out, we might have caused some upset to DD since she likes her school now.


4. Put both in public school. Given the amount of exposure the kids had so far, for my DD it could be a absolute vacation for almost a year. For DS it could be atleast for 6 mo.s or so and might slowly start later. The plus is convenience, cost etc. Minus is that we loose a lot of good exposure and a foundation that we were willing to give to the kids.


In addition to the said things above, my DS is also very soft natured and sensitive and DD knows that she is ahead of him. It does happen sometimes that she tries to answer for all his questions and he either follows her or screams and hits her. We try to tell them, but it seems inevitable that comparison and fights do happen. I need some suggestion on how to keep them growing up healthy and not develop any kind of superior or inferior feelings.


With your experience please suggest if any of above options or any others you can think of are good for kids in long run. OVerall my intention was to give the best exposure to the kids in our capacity and see them thrive with good foundation in younger years.



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Seeing how successful my in-laws were in dealing with their fraternal twins, who are 19 now, I have this advice:


Treat each as an individual, and meet them where they're at. If they weren't twins, what would you do? If they were different ages and thus in different schools, you might have the same logistical problem. What would you do then? I'd do my best to make sure they both thrive. If they have a strong desire to go to the same school, or you really need to make that change for overall family logistics, I'd probably move DD; it sounds like she'd do well most anywhere while your son would not. If it proves a bit inadequate, you can always do some afterschooling with her to make sure she stays challenged.


BIL and SIL are twins, but very different. Because of development problems that started in the womb, BIL was always behind. He has developmental delays and pretty severe ADHD. SIL graduated with honors and is now in college a couple of hours from home. BIL also graduated high school, but was not traditionally college bound. He works at a grocery store, lives at home, and takes one college class at a time, which is all he can handle. Both are happy, well-adjusted, and meeting their potential.

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My boy/girl twins are not at the same level either. At 4.5 my dd was way ahead with most things. Had we been sending them to school it would have been a very hard decision for K. They have a summer birthday and were born 2 months premature so they would have barely been 5 when school started. Dd would have been totally fine but ds would have really struggled especially since in our area there is only full day kindergarten. It would have been difficult to put them in different grades. I think ds would have felt badly about being "behind". We likely won't put them in school until at least high school and at that point I think they would easily go into the same grade.


At 6.5 I don't notice as big a difference in their skill level. My dd is ahead in reading and her handwriting is quite nice. Ds still struggles with CVC words but it is slowly clicking for him and his handwriting is quite sloppy. He does have quite a talent for math though and is definitely ahead of dd in that area. If we were to do public school now I'm not sure what grade I'd pick for ds. He'd likely be placed in K because he's behind in reading by ps standards but he's doing math that is 1st/2nd grade level.

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I'm homeschooling but I've got two boy twins (fraternal) who are extremly different. One's strength is in math (his brother's biggest weakness) and in reality he's more advanced in just about every area academically. His twin has also had some issues that needed extra work--like for example vision therapy--which were so difficult for him and nothing at all for his brother who didn't share his issues.


It is hard to balance. I do see that looking up to. In fact, at times, it seems both boys tend to think of my "it comes easier" twin as older! They know they are the same age but there is definitely a difference/a recognition. It's hard. And you've got issues already. I'd cut the academic stuff with the two of them together honestly.


I try very hard to work with my boys separately. I don't want the comparison and I really had to train my more advanced son out of the habit of answering for his brother when I did do things together. It's still hard (tonight he's whispering answers to me at one point that I was asking his brother) but he's better with age. Are your two doing completely different things? Your daughter doing math homework and your son Kumon for example? Don't allow your daughter to compare. It's different....they are in different schools...the assignments are different..he's learning different things than you! Isn't that neat (find something "neat" if necessary for him to do perhaps) and on. Hammer home that different is just different.


If your preschooler is coming home with a lot of homework in the evening (daughter) I think I'd be uncomfortable with that honestly unless I'm missing something. Studies show that play is extremely important to later academic success. Other things she could be doing with her time would be much more productive and helpful to her. But I'm assuming she doesn't have a lot of time in the evenings doing work, right? So you can help her while your son plays and then, if you have to...I wouldn't at this age...I wouldn't) work with him on something else apart from her at a different time. Then, if you don't work with him at this young age, you could just tell her that her school gives homework and his doesn't.


Also talk with her (and him). I've also had lots of talks with my sons about how it doesn't matter if things are hard at first for one person compared to another or it takes someone longer to learn something--that person may be just as good or even better in time! I talk with them about how working hard to achieve something is such a wonderful thing. Your daughter will run across things that don't come easily (if she's not already...if she is then use it as an example) so this prepares her to see those challenges as opportunities.


Find what your son is good at and play that up. Find something he can "teach" your daughter. We really play up my son's imagination and stories. Both my boys think he has the world's best imagination. He tells stories and his twin writes them down. Find his strength and build it for both of them.


I also hope you can relax. I think studies are pretty clear in showing that initial academic differences in children at the K-1-2 grade levels even out at 3rd to 4th grade. So the academic differences in your children (siblings are statistically likely to have very similar intelligence in studies) are extremely likely to be solely about gender or a combination of that and personality. Girls mature faster, are often advanced in language skills compared to boys particularly at young ages, and schools are generally "set up" for girl rather than boy strengths.


Sure they will have individual strengths but from an academic perspective I think your son is much better served by protecting his feelings of competence as a learner and capablities in school than in his learning or not learning anything particularly in K. I think you're projecting too much in terms of his future outcomes based on his present (very young..most boys that age aren't ready for formal school....) situation and performance. The average child isn't reading when your daughter is. And, barring those who are profoundly gifted, early reading doesn't mean a child will be a better reader than a sibling who reads at a more typical age. That's one example but it applies across the board.


Ack...I'm going on...I'm sorry:


The crux:

I would protect his feelings of competence as a learner with my son's placement in your situation and put him where he will be most successful. Whether your daughter should follow I don't know! I guess it would depend on the level of inconvenience for me. I see advantages to them learning different things honestly as you can play off differences as being just different schools that emphasize different things in learning more easily. Work hard to build up his strengths in both their minds and also to build up the idea that different is just different.

Edited by sbgrace
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Work hard to build up his strengths in both their minds and also to build up the idea that different is just different.


:iagree:My twins just turned 8. One read at 4, the other just really started reading this school year. They present very differently, but as previously mentioned their potential is the same, they test within one IQ point of each other. ;) I meet each where they are. We emphasize strengths and weaknesses, we all have them, they are all different.


They are also very young yet. :)

Edited by melmichigan
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