From the archives...
The following question from a parent teaching Logic of English originally appeared on the LOE Forum (now discontinued).
Where do I teach oa says short o as in broad and ie says short e as in friend?
Friend and broad are true exceptions! Friend is the only common English word where IE says short /e/. Reading about it just now, I learned that the Middle English word was "frend," and that it shares an Indo-European root with "free," but I don't know when the i snuck in to the spelling. Similar findings with "broad" - it has roots in Old English "brād."
In terms of when to teach them:
With older students and students who are already reading independently, I'd recommend that when you teach the phonograms IE and OA, you simply let students know that there is one common word that doesn't follow the rule. There are very few exceptions to the rules we teach, and when there is one, we often tell students as soon as we teach the rule or phonogram. It's helpful to students to know that exceptions are not lurking everywhere and that the rules work - the exceptions are few and they can learn and recognize them. Talking about the etymology is often helpful to students too.
With a younger student who is just learning to read, you might leave the exceptions until later and give the child more time to get comfortable with the usual sound the phonogram by using it in other words. Then, whenever friend or broad comes up in something you want the child to read or you decide you want to teach it, be sure to discuss what sound the phonogram is saying in this word, discuss what sound the phonogram normally says, state clearly that the sound in this word is an exception (mark the phonogram with an X in spelling analysis to note this), and let the child know that this exception is very rare.