One of the most magical parts of homeschooling is being right there next to your child when she discovers reading. And it really is magic, because English–let’s face it–is not an orderly language. It’s full of redundancies (what for instance, is the point of x?) and rule exceptions and letters that slyly change what they’re saying every time you turn your back.
For example, just flipping through my daughter’s basic, no-frills primer shows me that the long a sound can be represented in the following ways:
- a_e (but not when the word is “are” or “have”)
- ai (but not in “again” or “said”)
- ei (say what??!)
- eigh (*words fail me at this point*)
Amazingly enough, in spite of the vagaries of the English language, many many of us learn to read, write, and–*gasp*–spell it.
If you could reform the English language, how would you change it? Add or remove letters? Change spellings? Which words do you find a challenge to spell?
(As for how English got to be the way it is, check out this 10-minute video about the history of the English language. It’s a little crude/naughty at times, so be warned if you have younglings peering over your shoulder. Otherwise, it’s pretty funny and informative).