When we were children, we learned the horrific rules of English spelling in school. Things like "I before E except after C", rules that broke the rules. English says, "It's always like this, except when it's not." I suppose all natural languages have their exceptions, but English seems to have cornered the market.
As a kid, I watched Sesame Street and the Electric Company, like many others of my generation. As an adult I learned more about the genius of people like Tom Lehrer, who penned and performed many fantastic and funny songs, including a couple which appeared on those children's shows. Here's one of my favourites: Silent E.