holding one Twin back a grade - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-04-2005, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My twins are going to be going into grade three, but one of my girls isn't ready. My daughter Emma is just at the level of a child going into grade two not three. The school has had meetings and they want and are trying to insist that she go to grade three because she is a twin. My Daughter Emma only talked the made up language she and her sister made up it is called twin talk untill she was three and a bit .English is harder for her to make the sounds of this has slowed her down alot in school. I know she needs to be held back for her own self esteem. She needs to feel confidnet in school and I know she will get that from going into grade two again not being pushed into a grade she isn't prepared for. Anyone else dealing with twins that are excelling at different levels? I think when it comes to school individualism is the key to helping them learns but our school is fighting me.

Any comments would be great!
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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I just want to say you GO mama!!
My MIL is a first grade teacher and when she has a child who is struggling parents usually come on the other side and refuse to allow the child to be held back even if it could give the child immense benefit.
If your dd is not ready for 3rd grade I would INSIST she be treated as an individual regardless of having a twin.
Her education is at at stake.
Joline
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have added that my daughters are in different classes. I had them in the same for K but after we saw how much Eliza took over for Emma even in Class we seperated them. Emma has been in Learning assistance, had summer school, extra work and so on and this has helped it has brought her up to the level she is at. The work is getting harder though and the kids in grade three might tease her about her abilities so I think keeping her back will be the right thing for her. Allowing her to maybe even help lead a bit, boosting her self esteem. She doesn't have many friends in her grade they are mostly in grade above or below so that isn't realy an issue(she doesn't like the kids in her class because she is afraid they will notice how she struggles she says). The teachers and the support team of Emma's in school are fighting me (they fight all moms about this a friend of mine is going though the same thing but but with a singleton) I know what is best for my child and I know pushing her through isn't right. I am planning on going to the school board and fighting there if I have to but I would like a twin mommies point of view.
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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I'm not a mom of twins, but I'm the wife of one. Sounds like a really difficult situation. My dh always says not to treat them as twins- to treat them as individuals, but this is a big thing IMO. I would worry that either way this will be something that they are both identified by for a LONG time to come. I think in your shoes I would pull them out of school to avoid the situation entirely.

good luck

-Angela
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Or a different school?
One kid at one school one at the other.

I played sports with a set of twins - one very bright one general.
The bright one was a great player, smart in school. They should have gone to different schools as the other girl got by on her sister's coat tails, would have never made the teams is she tried out alone, she was a medicore player but people saw them as 'the twins', she wasn't great in school - but took her sister's classes....and her sister helped her out.

she never developed her own identity or self esteem and now does nails, her sister went to university and has a great job I think if people had seen her not as a unit she might have gotten farther....

8 might be enough
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Had to come back because I asked my dh. First off- in general I'm against holding kids back at all. That was also his first comment. He goes on to say it will depend some on if they have the same friends and social group. His big one is though to be aware that it will brand the one held back FOREVER as the stupid one. Shouldn't be that way- but there you have it. FWIW he and his twin were both very bright- always in gifted programs and such and still his brother was always odd man out and still has a complex about it at 30 years old. Twins are always compared to each other - as unfair as that is. And in comparing them people always point out the differences (he has a mole on his cheek, she smiles more, whatever) and that's a big difference that will be pointed out for the next 10 years at least.



-Angela
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Having her branded as the stupid one is my concern as it is now she can't do half the stuff her sister does. I know in Grade three she will be lost and I know she will be looking at Liz and wishing she could be be like her when it comes to learning. I worry about her resenting her sister for being able to learn easily. I am hoping in grade two she will feel good, because she WILL be able to do the work for once, and all the kids around her will be at the same level.

I am also hoping this will individulize them. They will be on different field trips and different sections at Assemblies. I am unable to take them to different schools since we are in the City and this is the only one near us. Homeschooling is no option with my Emma she needs special assistance that I am unable to give her since I am personaly involved and not trained for it. I personaly think it would do more harm then good if I tried to do this on my own with her.

Having twins is so hard in this area of life. I worry about Liz going to High school with out her sister. I know even though Liz is dominant she needs the comfort of having Em there. I worry about Emma and how to do right by her. I want her to have the best chance. I know she can't do grade three developmentaly but I wonder if socialy grade two is the right choice. I know she will struggle in grade three even with all the help we give her. I worry kids there will look at her as Dumb. I also worry that kids will give her a hard time about being in grade two again. I am thinking of asking the school to create a 2/3 split class where she can do grade two work and meet other grade twos yet still have the grade three kids from her old classes too. To me this would be the answer then when next year hit she would know the kids going into grade three and socialy she might get away with it. There is no easy answer in this. I feel so bad for my children right now, and I feel unfit to make such an important choice. I however don't think the school has HER best interests in heart.

Your advice and examples are very nice in helping me get an idea of how many different probelms can arise from this one choice. Thank you so much.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Tough one, but this is from my gut. I wouldn't separate them like that. I would hs them both and perhaps in a year or two see where they are at. Of course, I', a hser. : So I'm biased.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:14 PM
 
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For most kids, it does more harm than good to hold them back. It would probably be better to look into getting her all the special help you can. I would suggest home schooling, but I noticed you said that is not an option.
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Old 08-04-2005, 07:23 PM
 
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Hi there, My godsons are identical twins (now 16). They both have very different abilities and due to circumstance (one was very ill in 4th grade) went through school in different grades and excelling in different areas (same school). I asked them how it was for them and this is the gist of their response.

They felt being seperated by a grade let them go through school as individuals and as *brothers* (emphasis theirs). One felt they had the option of being twins when they wanted this way, but most people treated them as individuals as opposed to part of a package.

They felt based on conversations with other twins they got the best of both worlds this way - they got the fun of having a twin, but didn't have to live with the daily comparisons (one has significant learning delays, but is more athletic).

The one that was a grade behind was rarely teased on the subject and when he was it didn't bug him, "kids always tease other kids for something".

They plan very different career paths so have no issue with one finishing school first and then going to university alone.

Not sure if this is usful to you, but thought I would pass on a twin success story
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Diane First off love the name . I thank you for the story. It is so hard to know what to do.

I think alot of it will hang on how I deal with it at home. This is a good thing for Emma not a bad thing she is not held back for being dumb but rather to help her learn more easily. I will teach her alot of comebacks for teasing that will hopefully help the kids see that see is ok with it. She wil be able to help other kids and she loves that, she hates being helped (one of the reasons I can't teach her). We have a high number of special kids in our school, 5 autististic children, and many kids going to L.A. We have been getting Elizabeth ready to have emma be in grade two. We are telling her it is because Emma just needs more time to learn since she was such a suborn baby and wouldn't speak english. We keep telling them that it would be so cool for them to each have their own grade and not have to have the same things on their class pictures. I am hoping this will help them and not drive a wedge between them. I had them Cosleeping, and sharing a room so a different grade might be nice....I hope.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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I have heard many negative opinions about holding a child back. But I sincerely think a child deserves to be taught where they are at. The child will accept what the adults in her life accept. THe kids in her 2nd grade class wont really understand that she has been held back or that she is any different from them. (unless the adults give this message)
It is not failure to repeat a grade. It is a second chance to make a fresh start. If we let go of the negative implications we feel about being held back, a child is not going to feel bad or rejected or like they are stupid.
I grew up with kids who were held back. I knew that I had siblings in my grade who werent twins. It was years before I knew that one had been held back. My daughter has friends who are much older than she is at school that were held back. And although she has always been "highly gifted" she has never felt that these kids were "stupid".
If we dont send the message that being held back is a bad thing, then the child can learn freely at their own level without feeling those messages.
I firmly believe that every child deserves to learn to their potential. But the only way a child's potential can be realized is when they are treated as an individual and are taught from where they ARE and not where they SHOULD BE..
I personally think no child should be advanced who has not mastered the grade. If it happenned a little more, perhaps fewer children will be failed by a system which shuttled them ahead when they weren't ready. And it would be more accepted.
Joline
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Old 08-06-2005, 09:14 PM
 
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As a teacher myself, it is imperative that you stick to your guns! I can not tell you how detrimental it will be to your daughter to push her into a grade she is not ready for! It is far more destructive to passs a student who isn't ready than it is to hold them back! And, I'm speaking as a teacher, here. I am appalled that her school is trying to push her through!

As a parent of twins, it is very hard! Our boys are only 4, but we already notice a big difference developmentally between the two. And, yes, it is very important to treat them as individuals instead of a package. My sister (not a twin) was held back in first grade and was never teased for it, although she was the oldest in her class. Had she been forced to proceed while not ready, she would never be where she is today.

Whatever your decision, remember to do what is best for your daughter, regardless of her twin. What would you do if she was not a twin? If she is pushed through with her sister, it's only going to make her feel like more of a package deal, IMO. Let her progress at her own pace and she's likely to be happier about her own life, rather than feeling second rate to her sister.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I thank you all for your helpfull advice. I have decided that it is best for Emma to stay in grade two. There is another mom in Emmas class that is trying to get her daughter held back too. This would be so helpfull for both the girls I think, making the change (of class mates)much easier.

Emma is liking the idea of going back into grade two. Her and I sat down with her grade three summer work book and took a look at it. She can't do the work not even with ALOT of help from me. Her and I went out and got another grade two book and she is doing so well with that. This helpd her realize that grade two will be nicer for her. She likes the idea of being the smart kid in the class and not needing so much help. She is smiling and excited about the new school year for the first time so this is a good thing.

The school itself isn't helping, they want to tell me statistics and not look at what MY child needs for HER development. I have turned to the District and they are looking at her and seeing if they will change the rules for her. If this doesn't work I will go to the papers and see what I get if I go public. I am not letting them throw my daughter into a grade she not ready for. I know it will crush her spirit and make her remove herself socialy from her peers. The other mother with the same issues is going to fight too although her fight isn't that tough since her daughter is a singleton. I hope this is the right choice for Emma and Eliza. I am following my gut and I pray it is leading me the right way.
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:27 PM
 
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Good for you! I can not believe that a school system would have "rules" in place that would not allow for the separation of twins into different grades. I've never heard of this!

If the school board doesn't let up, go to the papers or the tv stations. My dh is an on-air anchor for a tv station here and I know first hand that things get done when you go to them

Fight it as hard and as far as you can!
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:35 PM
 
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I am not a mother of twins but I am the sister of twins. I am approaching this response from that of a teacher. I teach grade 3 and this past year I had two students who were doing fine in grade 3. It was not until I looked at their ages that I realized that they were a year older than the others. When I double checked their records I realized that they were kept back in grade 2. The other students never really knew but when it did come up the students tended to accept it as part of their school history and not as them being dumb. I know that these students were doing fine in grade 3 because they were kept back. I feel that if you are going to retain a child it is better to do it when they are in the primary grades. Also you would be surprised at the number of students kept back at some point and they brush it off as just needing an extra boost to learn. I hope this helps.

Mama to two loqacious and bouncy boys.
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:53 PM
 
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I have older sisters that are twins, in first grade my parents decided to hold one of them back. Yes she said the first year was hard, more socially for the one who stayed behind, but now my sisters are 29. They liked being seperated and beyond the educational aspect, which is very important, it also helped ease other situtations like if only 1 get invited to a party. Not fighting over the same friends, no educational competition...I think your mommy instincts are telling you what to do. The only suggestion I have if you do decide to hold one back is let them both be involved in seperate after school activities if possible. That way the one wont feel that she wasn't as good as the other.
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Old 08-13-2005, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the advice and the stories it helped alot. I will keep you all updated on how it goes.
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