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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Preparing Your Twins for Primary School
Preparing Your Twins for Primary School
It's hard to believe that three years have already passed; soon it will be time to send your little twins or triplets off to nursery and then on to 'Big' school. Here is some information that will help you as parents prepare your children for a positive academic experience.

Pre-Reading Skills
Several studies have indicated that twins lag behind their singleton peers in the area of language development in all areas--verbal, reading, and writing. Work with your twins, individually and together, on letter recognition, letter sounds, and basic phonics. Interactive activities usually work best -- playing with flashcards, using computer software, or playing games. Of course, the best way to ensure that your children get excited about reading is to read to them--together and separately--as much as possible, and to make sure they see you reading magazines, newspapers, and books. Your twins are your biggest fans, and they want to be like you!

Attention-Building Skills
There are many reasons that twins tend to have attention problems in and out of the classroom. First, they tend to be born prematurely, and may lag behind developmentally. Second, they are used to being distracted and entertained by one another. Third, twins and other multiples are more likely to have special needs. Boys are more likely to suffer from attention deficits. As a parent with such a child, I know the heartbreak of first admitting there is such a difficulty, and then the problem of figuring out how to deal with it. Each child is different and requires a different approach. If you see one or both of your twins struggling with attention problems, consult a mental health professional for ideas on how to address the issue through parenting, school accommodations, and/or educational materials.

School Etiquette Skills
Because many parents of twins cannot afford child care for two, Mum or Dad may have stayed home to care for the children. This means that many twins have not experienced a school setting before they head off to Nursery. The UK Government now provide a free 2.5 session for every child aged 3 years and you should enrol your twins in this half-day preschool for six months to a year before they go to Primary / First School, to allow them to get used to the routine of a classroom, as well as learn necessary pre-school skills such as number recognition, letter recognition, colours, etc.

Knowing how to raise one's hand, sit still for circle time, and interact with peers other than each other are all skills that twins need to develop. Another plus to enrolling your children in a preschool together is that you will get an idea of whether or not they will do well together in the classroom. This can help you make a decision about placing them in the same Primary school class or not. If preschool is not a possibility, consider creating a "home preschool" for half of your day, where you practice good school etiquette skills with your children.

For more information and advice for parents and teachers, why not take a look through our Resource Centre where we have pulled together some helpful articles that will help you along the school journey. We also have a selection of books that cover the school years from nursery, primary and secondary education and a selection of twins school days gifts to make each year twice as memorable!

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