I didn't become a stickler for grammar or spelling until I was in fourth grade, when my teacher corrected me on the use of the phrase, "I seen." Now I cringe when my own parents say, "What type of wa[r]sher did you get?"
But, if people really think that the English language is so hard, I say we do away with ANYTHING that's too difficult...like Math!
2 + 2 = 5! So easy!
I agree with most of you. I do think it is sad that so many children have horrible grammar. I understand using acronyms in forums and instant messages or text messages, but even in a blog post they will abbreviate the vast majority of words. I'm proud of my little sister. She just turned 14 a few weeks ago and she refuses to talk to other people her age that will not use capital letters and punctuation, or spell out most of their words.
I think that many people are stuck in a cycle, and it is a combination of lack of funding for schools and no one expecting much out of the children and the parents at home making little to no effort (or not being able to help, such as the deaf parents in one member's case). I feel like children should be able to read and do basic mathematics before even entering school, but very often the instructors are required to teach kindergarten students how to read and do basic math because they haven't had any real exposure to it. These children have parents who also were not properly educated, or who don't think of the education as very important, and so they don't get the help or encouragement from home that they need to succeed.
My mom spent a lot of her time with us when my brother and I were very small (my sister is a whole generation behind us, and my mom was working then), so we could read, write, and do arithmetic before we got into school. I hope to be able to do that for my own children as well. My mom even read to me when I was still in the womb. I don't know what made the difference, but I love books.
I doubt we can do anything to change all those children's ability to read and write correctly, but it is definitely sad. It will interfere with their ability to get good jobs, I think.