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Why Balance Matters: A Parent’s Perspective

6 months ago

When people first meet twins, they usually start searching for similarities: Do they look alike? Do they share similar mannerisms? Are they close and do they finish each other’s sentences?

But like other siblings, twins are also defined by their differences. Take, for instance, my children Grace and Charles — or, as we call them, Gracie and Charlie.

Gracie is shy but determined, refusing to give up until she masters whatever she’s set her sights on, whether it’s her schoolwork or her hula hoop. Charlie is like the mayor — everywhere we go, he knows someone from class, church, or his CYO soccer team.

So back when my husband and I were searching for Pre-K programs, we sought a school where Gracie and Charlie’s defining characteristics would be recognized and appreciated. That seemed most likely at a school with a balanced curriculum and small class sizes — where students receive strong one-on-one attention.

We were already leaning towards Catholic education. Having attended Catholic schools myself, I loved the idea of being part of a larger community where our children could belong, grow up among familiar faces, and share our faith life with other families.

We wanted a school with more structure — where Gracie and Charlie could be themselves, but also be challenged to learn and grow.

But important as community is, we also wanted to ensure the curriculum was well-rounded. We wanted a school with more structure — where Gracie and Charlie could be themselves, but also be challenged to learn and grow.

Our first tour of St. Ephrem School only solidified our decision. Their full-day Pre-K program included reading, music, and even Spanish! And they offered a variety of after-school programs where children could get homework help, socialize with older kids, or participate in organized play.

Fast forward a year and a few months, and today Gracie and Charlie are both music-loving, reading-enthused kindergarteners. They’ve both become much more independent. They’re both much more adept at making friends. And they’ve both begun to show a new reverence for Mass and our daily prayers.

Of course, there are still differences between them. Gracie loves participating in Irish dance lessons, while Charlie is more excited about  starting CYO Basketball next year. But they both get to be immersed in a full breadth of lessons, concepts, and activities — and that’s exciting for hula hoopers and mini-mayors alike.


Christine Lyness lives in Bensalem with her husband, David, and their children Grace and Charles, who attend St. Ephrem School in Bensalem.