3 year old cries every day before school
My dd is 3 years old and enrolled in a summer program at a Montessori school. It's M-F for 3 hours for 4 weeks. She cries every day before going to school. Her first language is English and this program is Mandarin (we just moved to another country), which makes adjustment harder. She does understand Mandarin though, as she was in a bilingual English/Mandarin toddler program for a year. It's only been a week, and the teacher says she is fine once I leave.
Kindergarten starts at 3 years old here, and she's going to attend full-day Montessori school that starts next month. It will be Mandarin immersion. I'm a little worried about the transition period.
Previously she was in a Montessori toddler program from 18 months onwards, and while she seemed to enjoy it, she did cry a lot in the mornings. Even if she didn't cry she wouldn't want to go to school.
I'm not sure what to make of this. I would have liked to homeschool, but homeschooling is not legal in my country. Technically, schooling is only required from 6 years old onwards, however, the competition for schools is fierce and it's not easy to get into a good school without attending kindergarten. I'm uneasy about this competition at such a young age but I don't know what else to do. My daughter seemed to thrive in her Montessori classroom before so I'm hoping to continue as long as possible. After age 6 there is only one accredited Montessori school in this city and thus has a long waiting list. There are no other alternative forms of schooling.
Besides this, we live in the city. My apartment is small, there is limited play areas and playmates (most kids go to school!), so I think school would be more enriching for her than staying at a home watching videos all day, which is what she would probably do if I let her.
Is it normal that kids cry when adjusting to school? Is there anything I can do to help her transition?
single mama to DD1 (June 2011) and DD2 (Dec 2014)