Tackling the homework schedule of one child is enough; add two, three or four in the same grade at the same time and you’ll start to think maybe sleep training wasn’t so bad after all. At Twiniversity we know parents of multiples will have many different challenges along the path of parenting. So when it comes to the homework stage, we wanted to give you one less thing to worry about. What better place to find out what works than from the multiples doing the actual homework?
I’m excited for you to meet the twins and triplets I interviewed. They live in Northern California and were happy to share their experiences and the best tips they could give on managing homework as a twin or triplet.
Emma and Abby, Age 13
First let me introduce you to our identical girl/girl twin set. Emma and Abby, age 13, are heading into the eighth grade and I had the joy of interviewing them first over Skype. Let me tell you, as a mom of two-year-old twin girls, watching Emma and Abby interact, I knew I’ve got to be ready because my girls are going to be their age before I know it! Emma and Abby are in different classes. Emma loves English, French and Art. Abby loves Science, Engineering and Spanish.
Adrian and Bryce, Age 14
My second group is boy/boy twins Adrian and Bryce, fraternal, age 14, going into the eighth grade. I interviewed the boys through Skype and they are currently in the same classes. Out of all the sets of twins and triplets that I interviewed, they were the only ones to be in the same classes. Adrian enjoys science and biology. Bryce likes math and physics.
Mackenzie and Casey, Age 14
When I interviewed Adrian and Bryce, their close friend Mackenzie was there too, who also happens to be a twin. He is part of a boy/girl set of twins. I got the chance to interview him, and later on his twin sister sent in her answers. Mackenzie and Casey are 14, going into the ninth grade. They will be in different classes. Mackenzie is really good at math and formulas and Casey shared she is really good at English and writing essays.
Aidan and Maia, Age 11
The other set of boy/girl twins I interviewed are Aidan and Maia. I interviewed them through email. They are age 11 and have been in the same class since third grade. This upcoming school year they will be going into the sixth grade and will change classes for subjects. They both like math, but they are different when it comes to science and language arts.
Annabelle, Benjamin, and Jacob, Age 7
When it came to interviewing my set of triplets, I realized organizing a set of triplets in the middle of summer activities and camps is much harder than I thought. They ended up sending me their answers and I was thankful they did. Annabelle, Benjamin and Jacob are seven years old and are going into the second grade. They are not in the same class. Annabelle likes all things at school, especially art and math. Benjamin likes music and Jacob rips through math.
Homework Time and Location? Aim for same time, but be open for different locations.
When they shared that most of them did their homework at separate times, in separate locations and liked different subjects, it surprised me. Adrian and Bryce where the only set of twins who were in the same class, did their homework at the same time and in the same location. Triplets Annabelle, Ben and Jacob sometimes did their homework together at the kitchen table but it depended on after school activities. Aidan and Maia are part of a homework club with friends and tend to do homework at their friends house at different times. Casey shared that sometimes they do their homework at the same time but now they have separate desks.
Emma and Abby’s mom Jennifer shared a great tip. When the girls first get home from school, she has them take a fifteen minute break to decompress and have a snack. Then they do their homework at the same time in different places. She says she finds it easier if they have that short window of time to themselves before they begin.
Computer needs? Plan for more than one.
I was very interested in answers related to twins and triplets computer needs. I imagined trying to satisfy twins and triplets with one computer would be difficult. I remember my own younger sister and I fighting over the computer. My interviews showed that every one of them had a laptop or computer. It was even more important and helpful once they reached sixth grade.
Mackenzie and Casey both have MacBooks. Adrian and Bryce’s family have one desktop computer and one laptop they all share. Emma and Abby each have a Chromebook laptop. Aidan and Maia recently both got computers for their birthdays from their grandparents now that they were going into middle school. For the triplets, who are still in elementary school, they each have an iPad.
School projects together or apart? Competition will happen and that’s okay.
So as each interview continued, I kept imagining two same-aged children, and I being their mom. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if they did the same project and did their homework together? Guess again. A big theme that came out of my interviews was a theme of competition.
Take for example the house of triplets. Three different classes, three different teachers, and three different kinds of homework. How does their mom handle the competition? Mira, their mom, shared, “1. If you have them all do their homework at once, choose a different page to start on for each. If you have any stragglers in a subject make sure they don’t do homework side by side. They probably already know, but they don’t need the discouragement. 2. Do not compare speed. It is more about focus and motivation as to whether they get it done faster, not necessarily competence.” This is good advice for all of us.
Homework Tips You Recommend? Help each other and give each other space.
They all had some great tips to share. As parents, the more we know how they are feeling and what they need, the more we can make it easier for them.
When they have different teachers, Abby shared the key for them was having different teachers. They found they socialized together, but were different when it came to academics.
When they are doing homework together, Adrian suggested, “Don’t talk endlessly to each other while trying to do homework.” Bryce added, “And of course don’t copy each other. Teachers expect that.”
When you find multiples distracting each other, Mackenzie shared “Instead of distracting each other, try to work together when it comes to homework.”
When it is time for them to have their own homework space, Casey shared, “It is most important to be sitting at your own desk away from the other person. Then you can’t get in fights or get distracted. You don’t want to share too many ideas because you might end up having very similar looking projects, which the teachers won’t appreciate.”
When they start to get competitive, Maia shared, “Healthy competition between siblings is fine. It can help you to finish your homework faster, but do not go overboard with it. Remember to help each other if you get stuck.”
When one is better at one subject than the other, Aidan shared “Do not fight over who is better at a subject.” Maia agreed, “It is better to help each other than argue over who is the best.”
Middle and high school multiples need our guidance to schedule a set time during the day for homework, and for us to give them their own space to complete it. Remember, competition among multiples comes and goes, but when they need each other, they will be there to help the other one succeed.
Victoria Worch is a writer for twiniversity.com. After advising and developing student leaders for 13 years, she chose to develop her new twin daughters (and their older brother) instead and became a stay at home parent. She enjoys taking her toddler age twins to gymnastics and the local parks, along with riding bikes with her son and being active in her twin club and in her community. You can follow her on her blog,Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, She posts photos of inspirational and mindful quotes written on her front entry way blackboard. For more articles by Victoria, click here.