I’ve known how to read since I was four years old, so I don’t really remember learning it. It’s been very interesting and a little shocking watching my children learning to read. (SillyBilly is learning in school; Napoleona is picking it up through imitation/osmosis.)
What has struck me is how difficult English is to read! Sounding things out only goes so far with such a hodgepodge language. I find myself apologizing to SillyBilly all the time when he tries unsuccessfully to puzzle out a nonphonetic word.
Recently he’s been having a lot of trouble with “of”. To him, quite logically, it should be pronounced as “off”. He very indignantly told me that it should be a “v” to make that sound!
Diphthongs have been a sore trial as well. How is it that the vowel sound in “lie”, “light”, “mine”, and “eye” are all the same? No wonder Dick and Jane stick to cats and mats.
Since he’s learning to read and write at the same time, SillyBilly has started to create some wonderful spellings of his own. Today he wrote,
Wan daa a stinkee volcano explodid. (One day a stinky volcano exploded.)
Of course it did. Stinkee volcanoes often do that.