Leading double lives
Becoming fully independent is a big part of growing up, which is why most schools separate twins into different classes so they can better find their own way.
"Not always, but quite often, in twins one twin is more dominant," explains Naas Elementary School Principal Kimberly Brooks. "It doesn't serve either one of them well, socially or academically (to learn together). We find if we're able to teach them individually they tend to grow better — they get to have their own circle of friends and shine individually."
Regardless, it can sometimes take a bit longer to find twins to find their own individuality. But there are always subtle differences that make each one unique.
Welches 8-year-olds Alex and Nick Fearneyhough's grandparents, Steve and Lisa, actually have a system to identify the brothers for strangers: red and blue balloons.
Alex likes red and Nick likes blue. Otherwise, they are almost completely identical. They only have to look at one another to communicate.
"If one does something, the other one has to do it too," Lisa Fearneyhough explains.
"I'm Superman!" Alex says, thrusting his fist into the air as if to fly away.
"And I'm Batman!" Nick adds, proving his grandmother's point.
Though the boys love superheroes, they also like to spend time together watching their favorite cartoon "Spongebob Squarepants" and cooking with their grandmother.
When one brother is sick, the other will take care of him, and both admit they'd miss each other if they weren't together.
"I'd miss Alex this much," Nick says, spreading his arms wide.
"I'd miss Nick this much," Alex adds, mimicking his brother.
Sugar and spice
Aubree and Haylee Santos are the living definition of identical twin sisters.
"Jinx," Aubree yells, pointing at her sister after they say the same thing at the same time.
"Jinx," Haylee yells back, synchronized perfectly with her sister.
Both of the Santos girls love to play together and make art. "We have a lot of coloring books," Aubree notes.
Haylee says one big difference between her and her twin is she likes to write more, while Aubree would rather draw or color.
"I just like writing pictures because they're more fun," Haylee adds. "And words take up a lot of time."
The 6 year olds are very close, which made it very difficult for them to be separated when they were assigned to separate classes at Sandy Grade School.
"I was crying for a month," Aubree explains. "It's hard to be split up. Nobody plays with you."
Even though they have different teachers, the girls still look out for each other at school, and other students often get them mixed up.
"Everybody calls me Haylee," Aubree says. "Some people do it on purpose."
At home, when the girls aren't "doing art," they even try to trick their parents and older sisters. "We change clothes in our room," Haylee giggles.
They say it's one of the best parts of being a twin.
"I also like being able to steal my sister's stuff," Aubree laughs.
Second-grade twins Kylie and Brooke Anderson from Sandy Grade are actually friends with the Santos sisters and like being able to relate to the other girls when it comes to typical twin-only topics.
Like Aubree and Haylee, Kylie and Brooke were also put in separate classes, and miss having each other around during the day.
"It gets way boring without Brooke," Kylie says.
"And it's way boring without Kylie," Brooke quickly adds.
When together at home, the girls enjoy teaming up on their family in a friendly game of dodgeball. Brooke notes that "even our brother gets us mixed up."
Both Anderson twins are interested in a career in public service — Kylie as a police officer and Brooke as a firefighter.
"Because (we're) brave," Brooke explains.
In the world of multiple siblings, fraternal twins are a game changer.
Fifth-graders at Naas Elementary School Rayne and Snow Carnahn will tell you they are definitely not as alike as one might assume. They are about as similar as, well, rain and snow.
Rayne sports blond locks and is a bit shorter than Snow, who has brown hair.
"We're twins, but we don't look anything alike," Rayne says.
Besides appearances, the girls also have major differences in academic interests. Rayne explains that people expect them to get along more than they do.
Rayne enjoys reading, an activity Snow pretty much detests, preferring mathematics.
In the time the twins do spend together, they use their differing skill sets to help each other with homework, watch "Steven Universe" and jump on their trampoline.
"(Being a twin) is weird, but also fun," Snow notes enthusiastically. "It's like a rollercoaster. On our birthday, we get different cakes and smash our faces in the cakes."
The end game for both girls, however different they may be, is to become a veterinarian.
For Charlee and Mattie Pomazi the double-life experience is quite similar to that of fellow fifth-graders Rayne and Snow.
"People also ask if you're a twin and then act all surprised because they're a different height or have different eyes," Charlee notes.
Mattie adds that the differences between the fraternal twin sisters extends past their looks. "I like video games more and she's girlier."
"But you always have a best friend," Charlee adds. "My mom says 'You never know the definition of bored because you always have …"
"Something to do," Mattie says, completing her sister's sentence."
Finishing each others sentences also makes the list of "twintastic" tendencies for fifth-graders Kelsey and Grant Shupe, but because they are fraternal twins of opposite genders, they say their differences vastly outweigh their similarities.
"I'm a troublemaker," Grant eagerly admits.
"And I try to be social," Kelsey chimes in. "I like to be able to go up to someone and start a conversation."
Both twins like to read, but their genre tastes ranges. Grant likes young adult fiction, whereas Kelsey prefers "adventure books with dragons."
"I like to go somewhere I can't go in the real world," she explains. "(When I grow up) I'd like to be an author or live in Africa and start a reserve for endangered species."
Though Kelsey says she enjoys "seeing the shocked faces when I tell people Grant and I are twins," she dislikes that "people know my name even if I don't want them to because (of Grant)."
"I like that fact that I can brag that I'm five minutes older than her," Grant says.