Tutoring Twins: The Disruptive Aspect of Adaptive Learning


Tutoring Twins: The Disruptive Aspect of Adaptive Learning

The debate about whether to separate twins in educational settings isn’t a new one.  For identical twins who garner the most attention and psycho-social accommodations, educational and social settings frequently fail to address individual needs.

Educators, family members and friends tend to view twins as two sides of the same coin, and can expect twins to have the same skills, personal likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses.   This, despite the fact that they are two very different and individual human beings, with unique motivational needs and communication styles.

If you have decided to find a tutor for your twins, the concern that most parents address is the impact of a shared teaching resource between two children.   Will your children distract each other and reduce the efficacy of structured lessons, or will they thrive in a shared learning environment?

Evaluating Learn Style and Co-Learning Tolerances

Not all municipalities in the United States mandate that twins should be separated into different classrooms.  Frequently the decision rests with the institution to determine how to construct the most successful learning environment for each twin.  An evaluation of the unique learning style for each child is necessary, as well as observation to see whether they prefer independent or adaptive learning.

Positive Indicators

  • Each child indicates an eagerness to learn and help each other through difficult assignments.
  • Twins are able to focus independently, without interrupting their sibling.
  • Twins experience difficulty in the same core area, i.e., math, science, writing or reading.

Learning Detriments

  • Twins who prefer to learn together may actually experience anxiety when separated from their twin. This can impact both comprehension and retention.
  • If one twin is an introvert and the other is an extrovert (as is often the case) the introverted twin may not engage fully with the tutor, and be ‘overshadowed’ by his or her outgoing sibling.
  • High levels of competition between siblings.

For economical reasons, many parents consider shared tutoring sessions when children require remedial learning in the same area.  Before you schedule a tutor for your twins, there are some other important considerations.

Can Twins Share a Tutor?

If twin children have been separated by the school system into different classrooms, there is an opportunity for them to enjoy learning together with a private tutor.   In fact, given the separation during the day, many twins may excel while sharing a tutor, and view it as a privilege to be together, particularly if the tutor structures lessons as group work, and the siblings enjoy a collaborative learning exercise.

Alternatively, if behavior is disruptive, or learning becomes competitive, or if one child learns at a rate that hinders the pace for the sibling, it will not benefit children to share a single tutor.   The best option in that case is to schedule separate sessions for each child, despite the fact that it can double costs for parents.

Remember that if your twins are better able to grasp concepts and coursework independently, you will get more value for your tutoring fees, and a better learning outcome for each child by hiring a separate tutor.  Your own observations and the recommendations of your school administration can help you make the best decision for the focused learning needs of your children.

About Jared R

Jared, founder of The Knowledge Roundtable, is passionate about the advancement of knowledge. He has a B.S. in astronomy and physics from UMass and an MBA in Advanced Financial Analytics, also from UMass. He has a day job as a Data Scientist in Boston. He has over 500 hours of tutoring experience in everything from algebra to writing. He taught our SAT prep group courses for two years in NH, and before that developed educational content for math, stats, and finance textbooks for two years. His teaching style is hands-on with a focus on problem-solving and critical thinking.