When I wrote a post last week about whether I'll separate my daughters in school, a good question came up: will I be forced to separate them? There are some school districts with policies stipulating that siblings can't be in the same class. Fortunately, my district is not one of those.
For now, it has been my decision. As I explained in my previous post, I kept my daughters together their first year of preschool and this year, as well. Now I'm being "encouraged" by their teacher to split them next year. I just don't know. I don't intend to keep them in the same class for their entire school career, but I don't know if now is the time to do it.
Still, I'm grateful that my input matters. I have a good idea of which of my daughters are ready for some independence and who may need to be with her sisters a little longer. Yet I appreciate the input from their teacher. She sees them in an environment that doesn't involve mommy and daddy. She sees who blossoms without my protection and who relies on her sisters for comfort.
I don't like the idea, though, that there are school districts that have policies on the books that don't allow multiples to be in the same class. I really think more states need laws similar to the Minnesota Twins Law, which gives parents of multiple birth children the right to decide whether they'll be separated.
There are many reasons to keep multiples together. There are many reasons to separate them. It really needs to be an individual decision. I'm not suggesting teachers shouldn't have a say in what happens, but I think it needs to be an open dialogue between the parents and the school rather than a set policy.
I'm also concerned that with a specific policy deterring multiples in the same class, then you effectively set one (or more) of the children up for failure. Would some of my daughters be denied entrance to honors classes because they can't be in the same class with their sisters? Growing up, my parents made me take all honors classes... even in my worst subject (math). Their philosophy (and I agree with it to an extent) was that it's better to struggle in honors classes and actually learn something, than to coast through an easier class. Throw in some electives and hundreds of other students and it would be hard to keep all four out of the same classes.
Clearly I've just scratched the surface of this issue, but I'll leave you with this final thought: if a parent of a "singleton" can request that their child be in a specific teacher's class (even if you've never done this, you can't tell me you don't know a parent who has), then why can't parents of multiples do the same thing?
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