school aged twins - differences in success - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 01-21-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wondering if anyone has had to deal with one twin being held back in school?

My fraternal boys are in 1st grade, and are very different, one has a real knack for memorizing things and is very detail oriented and has had an easy time with the way schooling is structured.  The other is much more physical/hands on, and isn't as good at sitting still to figure things out.  He has amazing ability to see how things work, and is very intelligent, but hasn't been as interested in things like reading.

He is behind in reading level and isn't retaining the things they are all learning as well as most others in the class.

They have been in separate classes in both Kindergarten and 1st grade, but are together in after school care.

We have been trying to work more with him and want what is best for him/his needs.

But, we are worried about the possibility of him being held back.

He is much bigger than his brother and most kids already.

 

thanks for any thoughts/experiences!

 


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#2 of 10 Old 01-21-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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Honestly, holding kids back is beginning to become less and less common. The main reason being that numerous studies have shown it to be ineffective. There are obviously situations where it is the right choice for a particular child, but the preference it to try and correct whatever issues are causing the delay rather than just holding a child back a year.

 

Has your child who is struggling been evaluated for learning disabilities?

Has he seen a pediatric optometrist to get his vision checked, not just vision but things like tracking and other vision issues?

What has the school suggested for remediation for him?

 

If I read your signature right the boys are 6.

In my area common red shirting has elevated the expectations in every grade, making it common for the expectations in 1st grade to be somewhat unrealistic for kids who are the correct age for their grade. Are the classroom expectations developmentally appropriate for a 6 year old.

 

It is common for kids at your son's age to still be learning to read.

 

I would be hesitant to hold back a child in the situation you describe regardless of if they are a twin or not.


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#3 of 10 Old 01-21-2012, 11:49 PM
 
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I agree holding back is less common.

 

My twins also have very different abilities. We try to emphasis what each one is good at, but it's hard when one girl can come home pick up a random story and start reading to younger sibs, and the other can barely sound out the words. My girls are a bit above average and average --> struggling a bit. Keep supporting each one, and remind the "weaker" one of his talents whatever they are  (school, sport, art, etc) Mine are in 2nd grade now so I'm hardly the expert, but I just wanted to let you know you are not the only one going through this. (((((((((())))))))))))


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#4 of 10 Old 01-22-2012, 12:04 AM
 
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My boys are only 4, but I see that they both learn very differently and the next year or so will determine if we keep them in the same class or seperate them. I have also worked for a lot of my adult life with children with special needs and have a daughter who is developmentally delayed.

 

If it were my child, the first thing I would do is have him evaluated for a learning difference or difficulty. If he is more hands on, is there a school in your area that is an "open learning framework" that doesn't necessarily go by grades, but by ability where the child is guided and learns in his own time? Maybe right now a more formal school setting is not for him until he is ready?

 

I have worked both in formal and informal school settings, and there are some kids who at a young age are not built do just sit and learn, but need to learn through the environment and senses. Just something to think about.

 

Good luck!


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#5 of 10 Old 01-22-2012, 04:49 PM
 
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My twins are also 6. They have differing abilities, and one definitely learns most things much faster. I agree with the others about recognizing each for their strengths.

 

I have been a teacher, both in primary and upper elementary.  Knowing what I know, and the lack of positive outcomes in the research, I would not hold your one back. I might seek tutoring, or an evaluation, or other things suggested upthread.  In the end, it is (supposed to be) your choice. The school makes recommendations, which may sound like mandates. You can refuse to consent to your child being held back.

 


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#6 of 10 Old 01-23-2012, 07:46 AM
 
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My twin boys are 9 and we have a similar problem, only one boy is accelerated in a highly gifted program and the other is in a traditional classroom.  My traditional boy had trouble reading starting in K and we finally had him diagnosed for a learning issue at the beginning of 2nd grade.  The teachers kept telling us not to compare the boys, but I knew they were just as smart as each other, and couldn't figure out why my one son had so much trouble learning to read and write and the other learned to read really early.  Turns out he has dyslexia.  We had him privately tutored for 2 1/2 years and he's above grade level now and has been accepted in the HG classroom (but we don't think it's the right situation for him, so he'll stay in the typical classroom).  

 

If one boy is struggling and you think he's otherwise on the same level as his twin, I would have him evaluated for a learning issue.  If I had followed the advice of our public school, he would never have  been diagnosed.  As it is, they've hardly given him extra help, but they have given him accomodations (he's allowed to write on a keyboard, for instance) that have made his situation dramatically better.

 

One other note-- the earlier the diagnosis the better.

 

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#7 of 10 Old 01-25-2012, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the replies and info!

I guess it was less that I was thinking we would want to hold him back, but more worrying what if he was... so I'm glad to know that is not the norm anymore and that we have a say in the matter.

We definitely do emphasize (and recognize and appreciate) their individual abilities/strong points.

We may look into tutoring, he had already been doing pull out reading (working one on one with a teacher in addition to the regular group reading time) and has greatly improved in that.  We try to work on other aspects like math at home, but don't want to overdo it either.

 

Having kids with different personalities and strengths can be lots of fun, but also make some areas more complicated.

 

thanks again for the thoughts.

 


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#8 of 10 Old 01-26-2012, 12:28 PM
 
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Yes, having twins with different abilities is hard. My boys are in pre-K this year and last year in preschool they wanted to push D up to pre-k and have him in K this year. We declined for several reasons. 1. The educational push was not worth the trauma of seperating them at this point and 2. He is not emotionally ready even if intellectually he is. I gave him the basics of reading and he pretty much did the rest on his own. His brother is intelligent in a different way, detective-like he notices things that the rest of us miss. I always say when people try to compare them that they are two different people who just happened to be born on the same day at the same time.

 

I'm glad you found a solution, and keeping a child back isn't always the best way to handle a situation. If I would have listened to my daughter's original doctor and not had her privately evaluated, she would never have been ready to mainstream next year. Keep us posted.


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#9 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 02:29 PM
 
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My girls are younger than your boys, but are clearly progressing at different rates.  One girl will write out a coherant creative story with a very little spelling help, while the other girl is just into random words on a page, or better yet, drawing.  They're MZ, and I think the differences are half natural ability and half inclination.  But I'm happy not to worry about it much since they're in different classes and in a montessori program.  One of the great things about our montessori school is that it groups kids into 3 year age groups.  So kids can find their own level and progress at their own speed. 

 

Don't know if it's a possibility, but you might look into a mixed age montessori near you!


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#10 of 10 Old 01-27-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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when you mention that he has a hard time holding still, i always think of NLP "Neuro Linguistic Programing " it talks about different learning modalities and how some of us like to hear things while other like to read things and other still need to Do first hand in order to learn at our fullest. Kinesthetic or feel/do types often have a hard time in structured traditional classrooms that require us to hold still when learning. i know i did and got in trouble for it all my life. when i learned and understood a bit better about the modalities so much made sense. when teaching can be flexible to give all kids what they take in best, it is amazing what come out!  you might want to read up and learn about how it applies to everyone including your kids, it is really fascinating.


partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

 
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