I never realized how utterly exasperating the English language was until I started teaching my kid to read.
Holy mackerel. I kept thinking I found a 'rule' to help her with phonics and then a word would come along and prove me wrong. I got especially excited when I discovered it seemed single syllable words that ended in "e" had a long vowel sound (bake, cake, kite, cute, cone, etc.)
And then we got to love. And give. And a few others that made me just start saying "MOST of the time..."
Speaking about learning to read, this summer I talked with an 8 y/old girl who lives in the UK, and for a reason that I cannot fathom and who will, I'm pretty sure, backfire, they where taught to spell words, not using the 'letter' but the sound of the letter in the word.
For example, cat, you should spell it " c/a/t : see/ah/tee" but they had to spell it "kaa/ah/té".
It was weird, is that something that is widely done?
I'm pretty sure kids can learn that cat and ceiling starts with the same letter but that it can sound different ways without that.