Reducing children’s misery

Most children start school eager to learn. The majority also enjoy the first few months of learning to read, with the likes ‘a fat cat sat’ or ‘the pot got hot’.

Their enthusiasm starts to wane when they begin to meet words in which some letters don’t have the sounds which they learned for them first, such as like

‘man – many;   here – there;  no – do’.

Instead of being fun, school starts to become more and more of a drag.

Children like things to be logical, but many English spellings are far from that. And they make learning to read and write English exceptionally slow and tedious. Nearly all of the 83 main spelling pattern have some exceptions.

But English spelling does not have to stay like that. We could easily make many of the silly spellings more sensible and easier to read:

many → menny; there → their; do → doo.

This would make young children’s lives less stressful and more enjoyable. –  Nothing succeeds like success. – Instead of progressing at an excruciatingly slow pace, children would start whizzing through book after book with great enjoyment, without needing much help from anyone.

Having a hard time with learning to read is no fun for anyone – not the children doing the learning or the parents and teachers trying to help them. On the Mumsnet discussion boards many comments start on the lines of, “Lost it again trying to help J….. to read – feel awful”.

So why not consider reducing the stress, anger and tears that learning to read and write English so often causes? Why not make English spelling a bit more sensible and learning to read and write more enjoyable, instead of tedious long chore?

If u were born to English-speaking parents and started to learn to read at a very young age, u are probably so used to seeing English words as they are, that u can no longer see anything wrong with any of their spellings. But many of them are needlessly awful:

puff – rough – through;     keen – mean – meant;   bone –  one,  gone.

There are no good reasons for continuing to keep baffling children’s brains with unfathomable nonsense like that. Most of the irregular spellings resulted from bad changes to the first English spelling system.

Children’s logical early spellings show how we could spell many words more sensibly:

frend,  hed,  sed,  uther, bruther.

They would be much easier to read than the versions which have become enshrined in dictionaries. But teachers spend many hours marking them as ‘wrong’ and training them to spell them stupidly instead, ignoring the reading difficulties which the irregular spellings cause:

fiend – friend,   heap – head,   paid – said,   often – other,    bother – brother…

The people who created the irregular spellings must all have hated kids.

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