***This post was written in partnership with ASG***
There are some days when I really am flying by on the seat of my pants in this parenting gig.
Sometimes my mistakes are as transparent as the crystal waters of Bondi Beach, especially when my child in all of his 4 years of wisdom shrieks: “Be patient, Mama! Be paaaatient!”
One thing I’m determined to get (as close to) right is school readiness.
I used to compare the twinions to others with a fine tooth comb of paranoia.
Now, I’ve realize that can be futile when considering each child is different in growth and development, there are also variables to consider, particularly when it comes to twins and multiples.
Who knows you best than your twin? Who can you speak your own quirky language with, not only have them completely understand what you just said but respond in same level of quirkiness?
Why make friends when you have a constant who knows what games you like to play (and when), who’s your favourite engine and dinosaur.
Of course this is a rare blessing in many aspects.
Yet, there’s this maternal hankering to intervene; to see whether I need to encourage them to play with others.
Here are 3 steps in school readiness for twins we use that will hopefully get the boys excited about big school and new friends but to safely know that their brother is right there. Just no longer right in their face.
Eating lunch separately at pre-school:
I’m very grateful for the teachers implementing this one. The twinions weren’t eating their lunches as they were distracting each other. Like home, like pre-school.
As a solution, the teacher, simply placed each of their lunch boxes at separate tables and voila! Lunch is (mostly) eaten, quietly and without fuss. Win!
Communicate with the “big school”:
We made some phone calls late last year to our local primary school and asked them briefly about the number of their kindergarten classes and if they were up for some sprightly twins due to enroll soon (Heh!).
Most importantly, we’re comfortable knowing that the teachers will be open to discuss what’s best for the twinions – to separate them or not.
A recent parent information night organized by the local council with all the local schools also participating was also helpful.
It was another opportunity to stalk…er, speak with our primary school and find out from the principal when Open Day was happening.
Dang, that lady gonna be sick of us come January, 2015.
Ask them about their friends:
There’s one twin that tends to be a little more introverted than the other and a little too comfortable with his brother’s constant presence.
But I know he’s capable of making other friends, particularly with older girls (ahems).
Just to gently spark his interest, in the morning, as we wake up and enjoy some snuggle time, I’ll ask him: “Who did you play with yesterday? Who will you play with today? Who’s your friend?”
I’m slowly learning the names of the other kids in their class so that’s helping putting my questions into context.
We all know that extracting any information about school is as painful as plucking stubborn eyebrow hairs but we persevere, yes?
Herding the boys into the car after preschool the other day, a little girl who was about to hop into her own car parked on the other side of the road yelled out, “Bye Nunu! Bye K-Bear!”
The twinions had already climbed in by this point and missed her completely.
But me being the overzealous mum – thrilled with the prospect of a new friend from class – yelled back (a little too excitedly) to her.
“Bye! Bye! Sorry, what was your name again???!!”
It was too late. She had whizzed off.
But it didn’t matter. I drove home stupidly happy, my heart filled with hope.
My boys are gonna nail big school. I just know it.
Do/did you have any concerns with your preschooler and school readiness?
Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) is a not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider. ASG has supported over 509,000 children and their families to offset the cost of education. But now ASG is moving towards offering more than just education funds. They’re creating an ever-expanding suite of resources, online tools and guides – like the ‘Motivating children to learn’ e-guide – to support parents and nurture children in their educational journey so they can reach their full potential. Visit www.asg.com.au to discover member benefits or call 1800 648 945.
More articles regarding education issues, development, family members and parenting available on www.asg.com.au/resources
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