Saturday, December 26, 2009

Twin bonds can exceed scientific explanations

You know how everyone assumes twins have some kind of special telephathy? I don't know it I believe our girls have that special ability or not, but I used to see it with an Aunt/Uncle set of twins.

It might be because they were so in tune with each other more than a special ability, but I always found it amazing.

A new study "Twin bonds can exceed scientific explanations" talks about this with pretty definite results.

Of course, just because there doesn't seem to be strong scientific results doesn't mean it isn't there does it?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

No need to split twins for good grades: study

An interesting study done in Amsterdam's VU University.

Their conclusion?

"The choice of separation should be made by teachers, parents and their twin children, based on individual characteristics of a twin pair," the study concluded.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Power of Two

This is an amazing story about the power of the twin bond. I'm sure you could apply this to higher order multiples as well. It made me appreciate our girls' twin bond even more.

The Power of Two
Separated at birth, twin sisters born in China never doubted that they were somehow part of a pair. Four years, two continents, and a high-speed Internet connection later, they finally met their match.

By Susannah Meadows

Monday, November 30, 2009

Expert Interview: Patricia Malmstrom

The interesting blog Multiples and More! has an interesting interview with Patricia Malmstrom. Her new book, The Art of Parenting Twins, includes information about all things parents of multiples need to know/consider.

Her explanation about why parents should consider keeping their multiples together in school is simple, yet enlightening. It's very close to the reasoning I gave our school district, so I'm glad to know I was on the right track -- even if I didn't really know it at the time. It's always good to have an expert's opinion on the matter.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Separating my twins -- What was I Thinking?

I thought this was an interesting post from the Silicon Valley Moms Blog about deciding to separate twins in school.

Separating my twins -- What was I Thinking??

It's a humorous look at what happens after you decide to separate your twins in school. I'm sure anyone with children of different ages can relate too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Which Twins?

I set a Google alert to find stories about issues related to our campaign. Naturally, one of the alerts uses "twins" as the key word.

You know what I receive most of the time? Stories about the Minnesota Twins.

It just goes to show that what a word means to you depends upon your perspective.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Across the Big Pond...

Just as the Twins Law campaigns are gaining steam in various parts of the United States, the issue crossed "the Big Pond." The Guardian today has an online article called Twin Set.

It's interesting to note that the issue parents of multiples face in the U.K. are the same ones we face here. Truly, we are all in this together.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are twins ill-rewarded for what they teach us?

This is a new study about twins in school. While the study was done in the United Kingdom, the results are applicable anywhere.

Here's my favorite paragraph from the article:

The TAMBA report suggests two other failings in the system: it criticizes the policy of splitting twins up by putting them in different classes without taking parents' wishes into account, and it condemns the inflexibility it claims many local authorities show in refusing to allow parents of premature multiples the chance to hold them back a school year.

Read the entire article at

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Parent Power in Placement of Twins

Here's an interesting article I found on a web site that aggregates articles. State Legislatures, a monthly magazine of state policy and politics, thought the topic of the placement of twins in the classroom merited a story in its September 2009 issue.

Now, we can only hope Illinois legislatures read Parent Power in Placement of Twins. It can only help them understand the trend sweeping across the country.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

There's Always One...

Okay, I have one funny story from the IOMOTC convention that I need to share. My co-chair, Dan Bailey, was sitting at the table talking to someone about placement of multiples in school. A woman walked by and loudly said, "I want them to be separated." She didn't stop to talk. She just said it as she walked by.

This made me think that perhaps some people still don't get what we're trying to do. We don't want to keep your children together, nor do we want to separate them. We want to make sure it is your choice.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to tell her that. Maybe next time she'll stop to talk and find out what we're really doing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wonderful Illinois Organization Of Mother Of Twins Clubs Convention

We had a great time at the Illinois Organization Of Mother Of Twins Clubs. It was wonderful to speak with everyone and hear the stories. Some parents are in great school districts. One Mom told me her school district proactively called her to talk about placement for her multiples. Can you imagine?

Other Moms told us horror stories about their struggles to work with the school district.

Interestingly, we received words of encouragement from both types of Moms. Everyone wants to work together to make sure parents are the key deciders in the placement of multiples in schools.

It was great to sit and chat with so many others who completely understand the joys and challenges of raising multiples.

Thank you for making us part of your event.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Are you headed for the Illinois Organization Of Mother Of Twins Clubs convention tomorrow? Look for us in the exhibit hall. We'll be answering questions and taking information for our email list.

See you then!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Need a New Sponsor

With great appreciation for all his work, I'm sad to say Representative Paul Froehlich is going to retire from the Illinois House of Representatives after this term.  He was our champion for the Twins Bill.

Since he is retiring, we need a new sponsor.  If you are interested in approaching your representative, please contact me at slcs48n1 (at)  I can give you the specifics.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Playing Favorites

These kinds of stories make me crazy.  I heard from a Mom who worked tirelessly with the school administrators to keep her twins together in first grade.  She had meeting after meeting after meeting.  She presented research, letters from experts, etc.

Today she learned the PTA president's twins were kept together in first grade just because the PTA president asked for it.

Yes, I realize that people with connections get what they want.  I'm not new to how the system works.

I just think it's completely unfair and needs to be changed.

This is the kind of story that keeps me working on the Twins Law initiative.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 Mutiples in School Poll has an interesting e-newsletter about Twins and Multiples.  One of the polls on the site asks parents the big question:  How will your twins or other multiples be placed in school this year?

Interestingly, 40% of the 1,500+ parents who responded said they chose to keep their multiples together.  Only 17% chose to separate their multiples.

What does this mean for us?  Well, it's not a scientific poll, but it does show that, when given the choice, parents want to keep their multiples together.  Our mission is to make sure parents have the choice. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Thank you to everyone who sent email to your elected officials. Please remember to copy as many members of the Education Committee as possible. All the information is in a previous post.

You are all very important in our campaign. Thank you!

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Are the Key

Thank you to everyone who is contacting your elected officials. Here's the thing about trying to pass a law. Elected officials only care about what their constituents think. Since I cannot vote for your Illinois State Representative or Senator, a note from me doesn't mean a thing.

A note from you, however, can push us over the edge. You are the key to our success.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

State of Illinois House of Representatives Elementary Education Committee

We need to start contacting the Illinois House of Representatives Elementary Education Committee. Below is a complete list of those people who can help us move our bill from an idea to a law. If you can help us contact these elected officials, please email me. I'll help you pull together your letter.

Role Representative Party
Chairperson : Michael K. Smith D
Vice-Chairperson : Fred Crespo D
Republican Spokesperson : Jerry L. Mitchell R
Member: Suzanne Bassi R
Member: John D. Cavaletto R
Member: Marlow H. Colvin D
Member: Monique D. Davis D
Member: Lisa M. Dugan D
Member: Roger L. Eddy R
Member: Robert F. Flider D
Member: Paul D. Froehlich D
Member: Esther Golar D
Member: David E. Miller D
Member: Harry Osterman D
Member: Sandra M. Pihos R
Member: Robert W. Pritchard R
Member: David Reis R
Member: Darlene J. Senger R
Member: Jim Watson R
Member: Karen A. Yarbrough D

Friday, August 7, 2009

Seeking 70s Clothing

Are you going to the Illinois Organization Of Mother Of Twins Clubs convention in October? We'll be there exhibiting on Saturday, October 17. Stop by to learn more about the Illinois Twins Law effort and how you can help.

Now, if we can just find some clothes to fit with the 1970s theme...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Illinois Legislature in Slow Mo AGAIN

By now we thought we'd be asking you to contact your legislators about supporting our Twin Law bill. We thought we'd be well on our way to building support so your senators and representatives would go back to Springfield in the fall with this issue on their agendas.

Sorry! It turns out we forgot we live in Illinois, a state unable to pass a budget on time.

We're still crossing our fingers we'll be able to report good news soon, but we know nothing will happen until after the legislature passes a budget.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kudos to District 68 for Working with Parents of Multiples

Here is another Mom's story. Kudos to District 68 for including parents in the decision. This is a model of what we wish for every school district in Illinois.

I live in Woodridge, District 68 schools. Here it is up to the parents to decide what to do, but the school recommends splitting them. My boys started 3 year old preschool last year and we split them because it was clear to us that is what was best. One guy is the leader and the other guy sort of a follower and was a little behind in speech and other things due to a heart defect which was then repaired but the recovery caused delays in development. We knew he needed to be in a different class so he could grow without his twin around. the boys had no issues being split and are best friends at home.

I'm sure for other parents the decision is much more difficult. Although in some cases I think some parents just want it easier - one teacher, one set of rules, homework, etc. I often wonder how I will do Curriculum Night when my twins start Kindergarten and my oldest is in 4th grade. One hour, three teachers. But in my case, I have helped in the classrooms for my oldest son, PTO board, and have gotten to know the teachers so I don't think it will be too difficult to manage three kids, three classes. Parents of multiple singletons do it so I can do.

We plan to keep them split unless they specifically tell us they want to be together and then we'll discuss it. We might not have a choice in Kindergarten because if there aren't enough kids to make two AM or PM classes, they'll be in the same class. But after that, they are split again. That has been our experience so far.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Letter to the Editor

We recently sent a letter to the editor as part of our effort to raise awareness of the issues parents of multiple face when trying to determine school placement. So far, we know the letter has appeared in many places. Recently, parents of twins sent me these two links:

Champaign-Urbana News Gazette

State Journal-Register

Have you seen the letter? If so, please send us the link. We'd like to try to keep track of where the letter is published.

Monday, June 15, 2009

We need your stories

We're starting to speak with Illinois legislators. Many of them are asking about what is happening in their districts. We need to hear your stories about your multiples in school.

Was the school administration supportive? Did you run into obstacles? If so, how did you overcome the obstacles? Or did you overcome the obstacles?

Please send your stories to Shari at slcs48n1 at Please let me know where you live so I can keep track of which elected officials represent your district.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Response to the Northwest Herald Article


I read the article in today's Northwest Herald. I have 5-year-old twins who will be in kindergarten this fall. When I registered my children at the elementary school, I wrote on the form that I wanted my children in the same classroom. The principal would not meet with me in person. After some weeks with no return phone call, I called again, and the principal spoke to me on the phone. This principal was so out of line in the way she spoke to me on the phone. She doesn't know me and doesn't know my children. She doesn't want to know us, and doesn't care about the reason I was asking my twins be placed in the same classroom. When I asked her why, her response was, 'because I said so'. When I asked if this was a rule for the district, she responded, 'it's my rule'. When I told her I had a recommendation from the pre-school my children attended, she said she doesn't care what anyone else says, she does what she wants and the district stands behind her. I said I thought I was making a simple request, she interrupted me and said, 'I don't take parent requests'.

I then requested a meeting with the superintendent. He wouldn't meet with me, but spoke to me on the phone, ending by saying he'd get back to me. He never got back to me, but had the principal write me a letter. The principal's letter was very toned down compared to the phone conversation I had with her, but in her letter basically said my children were not my responsibility when they were in her school.

This has been a horrible experience for me and my family. I will be writing my Senator about enacting the Twin Law. Until today, I didn't know this existed.

Though my husband and I cannot financially afford to send our children to a private school, there is no way we will send our children to the elementary school near our home (3 doors away!!). Since my conversation with this principal, I have heard so many bad occurrences involving this principal. And, I don't want to make a big stink about this and then have my children singled out or have my children be frightened in any way by anyone in the school, including the office staff. I just find it hard to believe the superintendent refused to meet with me in person, and another principal in the same district also refused to meet with me in person. I've been very polite and I don't understand why this is happening. Every child is an individual. Just like all children are not the same, all twins are not the same.

Thank you very much.

(Crystal Lake)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Northwest Herald Article

A big thank you to Crystal Lindell for this great article.

The really great thing about this article is that it is another example of how prevalent the issue remains. It's not something only a few parents in a few suburbs or rural school districts deal with. The question about whether or not to separate twins is universal.

Crystal also talks to several experts who give different dimensions to the issue. It's a great illustration of how the issue breaks down between parents and school districts.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thank You Clusters!

I had fun last night with the Clusters club. These Moms of Multiples were fun and engaging. We talked about how I ended up with a story in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Twins and More. We chatted about Twins Law and several people shared their thoughts and stories.

At some point during my talk, I started thinking, "Oh #$*&! I don't have any business cards." Yes, in my most professional manner, I had to write my contact information on a scrap of paper. I know, it was impressive.

The Clusters moms were wonderful. Thank you very much for the opportunity to learn about your group and talk about the Twins Law campaign. I look forward to working together as the Twins Law campaign marches towards success.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thank you Southtown Star!

We recently sent a letter to the editor regarding Illinois Twins Law. Shortly after, I spoke with Guy Tridgell about our efforts. Here's the article he wrote about Twins Law.,050609tridgell.article

Of course, being a true journalist, he first spoke with the legislative reporter at the newspaper. While she wasn't aware of the Twins Law effort, she did know about the issue. She told him if he hadn't heard about the ongoing battle between parents and schools, he must not have friends with twins.

It's a fun and funny article. I especially like the beginning when he notes the other issues in front of the Illinois Legislature. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Facebook Group

We have a new Facebook group called

Keep Multiples Together in School!

Yes, we know that not everyone wants to keep their mutiples together. We want to raise awareness of the issue so everyone will have the same options. Facebook is a powerful tool and we hope you will join our group if you are a Facebook member -- and ask others to join.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's Your Story

We need your stories to make the blog come alive. We'd like to hear what works for your twins in the classroom and what doesn't. We'd like to know how you decided whether to keep your twins together or to separate them. Mostly, we'd like to hear what is going on throughout Illinois.

This isn't a forum to bash educators. This is a forum to learn more about how we can all work together to provide the best opportunities for our children. These stories will vary from family to family, but every story has something we can learn from and possibly adapt for our multiples.

This also isn't the northern Illinois Twins Law blog. We need stories from families across the state. We've talked to many of you, so we know the needs are the same whether you are in an urban or a rural school district.

If you're interested in contributing to the blog, please contact me, Shari Schmidt, at slcs48n1 at

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Lot of Work to Do

I was at a school function when another twins Mom starting talking about her daughters. She was stunned to find out we were able to keep our girls together this school year. She was told last year that her daughters couldn't stay together, so the school district separated them.

It's one more example of the arbitrary way school districts treat twins. I know a family in our district with 4th grade twins who were able to keep the boys together last year and this year. Yet, in the preschool program, a set of twins was separated.

People say we don't need another law and I'd agree. We have waaaaay too many laws already. The problem is unless it is a law, most administrators won't even bother with it. We do have a resolution, but most educators don't know about it and if they do, they do not pay any attention to it.

It's these kinds of stories that keep us motivated to make sure that all parents, in all school districts in Illinois have a seat at the table when decisions are made about the placement of their twins.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Law?

When I tell people that our school district told us they would separate our twins in preschool without our consent, people are shocked. Most people just assume that parents will be included in any decision regarding their children.

Given the number of people we talk to about flexible placement of their multiples, it is clear that too many elementary schools still think twins should be separated. Why? It's a mystery to us as all the research points to a need for flexible placement.

We know that not all parents want to keep their children together. In our school district, most of the parents want their children in separate classes. We felt strongly that our children would benefit from being together. And, that's the point of our effort, really. Parents should be able to work with the schools to decide what is best.

You might be surprised to learn that we do have a resolution in Illinois. The problem is either it is ignored or school districts ignore it. And, let's face it, a resolution is nice, but it doesn't have any teeth. A law means the school district needs to follow the rules or face the consequences.

What's funny about all this is that having a flexible placement policy costs schools nothing. It's simply a meeting with parents and the principal to determine the best course of action. Even in these difficult economic times, a meeting is free, yet the outcome could make a difference between a child's success in school and his/her difficulties.

We invite you to join us in our effort to educate and legislate. Tell us your story and we'll try to help each other do what is best for our children's educations.