We have a 2.5 year old daughter and speak Turkish at home. Recently we moved to Cheyenne Wyoming. I’m feeling concerned a bit about the future. What I have observed in my friends who grew up here is that their use of oral language is perfect, but writing is almost always a problem.
I am curious about how to deal with reading and writing. I know it’s too early, but I see that here children are already beginning to learn the alphabet. I’ve looked at homeschooling options, and I feel perplexed for two reasons: I don’t feel competent enough to do it and there are no resources in Turkish as far as I know (there is no homeschooling in Turkey). I was planning to have playdates but we seem to have moved to a city where there are no other Turks (which is unbelievable to me).
Reading and writing are skills that you don’t learn unless you are specifically taught, like maths. This means two things: that these skills do not come naturally to people, and that you need to be mature enough to learn them.
For writing, children need to have developed the fine motor control allowing them to hold a writing instrument steadily in their hand and putting it to paper. For both writing and reading, children need the cognitive gear that enables awareness of the conventional association between printed marks and sounds, syllables or words in speech, depending on the script used for the language in question.
A 2.5-year-old child like yours is too young for either, so I agree with you that thinking about literacy skills at this age is (way) too early. You can of course teach toddlers to associate printed marks with speech but toddlers are too young to be taught to read and write. In Scandinavian countries, for example, literacy is taught first from age 7. Younger children have no need for this.
I cannot help you about the lack of Turkish resources where you live, unfortunately, but I may have a suggestion, in case you don’t want to feel left out of the circle of people you see alphabetising their children, as you say, for your sake, and just for fun, for your child’s sake. Can you get hold of a Turkish magnetic alphabet set, those plastic coloured letters that you can have on your fridge? An English set might do too, to which you can add/remove umlauts, cedillas and/or dots. You can play school, or play alphabet with your girl in this way, if you so wish. But do keep in mind that that’s all you’ll be doing: playing with letters.
Do feel free to contact me privately, if you wish to discuss these matters in greater detail.