From 1990 to 2013, the percentage of three- to five-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs like preschool increased from 59% to 65%. Clearly, most parents today understand the importance of enrolling their children in preschool. While finding the right preschool program for one child can be tough, trying to choose the right local preschool program for two students can be an even bigger challenge. If you’re a parent of twins, you may run into twice the difficulty when it comes to deciding on a preschool and preparing your children for this change. We hope the tips below will help make the transition a bit easier for your whole family.
- Start looking early
Although it’s not guaranteed that a school with a long waiting list will definitively offer a high-quality education, it’s likely that a very popular preschool is popular for a reason. When you need to enroll two children in school, you can’t take your chances about securing these spots. Therefore, it’s important that you start your search early (ideally, about a year ahead of time at least) and narrow down the choices early on. Take tours, talk to staff members, and see whether you feel your children will do well in these environments. Keep in mind that if you live in an urban area or a town in which preschool is a highly competitive enterprise, you’ll need to give yourself some extra wiggle room in case you aren’t able to get them in the first year.
- Determine whether they should stick together or separate
For parents with twins, each school year may come with the question: “should my children stay in the same classroom, or would they benefit from being separated?” There are differing philosophies when it comes to separating multiples; some people believe that separation allows each twin to flourish independently and discover their own identity, while others believe that a shyer twin might suffer without their more outgoing sibling there to balance out the partnership. Ultimately, this choice is totally personal and should be determined by the parents. If it’s important to your twins’ experience that they be separated, you’ll want to choose a local preschool program that can accommodate your wishes. If you want your children to stay together, you should communicate that to school staff. You’ll want to re-evaluate this decision each year, and as your children mature, you can include them in the conversation.
- Sign up for community programs
Preschool can provide your children with grade school readiness, but it’s your job to make sure your children are ready for preschool. Consider signing your children up for some community programs (like ones you’ll find at your public library, museums, or summer camps). These programs can provide them with some experience that will come in handy once preschool starts, like quietly sitting and listening, crafting, and socializing. Twins are used to being physically close to one another. They may need to learn more about how they should behave with other children and with their teachers. While their special bond can’t be broken, they’ll come to understand that it’s unique to them.
Finding a reputable and local preschool program for your children can feel overwhelming, but the solution might be directly in front of you. To find out more about our school and how your children can benefit from it, contact us today.