No One Fails if they Have the Tools

That was Marie Rackham's firmly held belief.

She spent her life helping others gain the tools they needed to succeed, whatever that happened to mean to them.

She even had a sign made to hang in her classroom:

"No one fails if they have the tools." Marie Rackham

This spirit animates her cozy video courses, lovingly filmed by producer/director David Mielke and an intrepid crew of film professionals, family, and friends.

Marie believed that by taking grammar out of the classroom, away from the whiteboard and from abstract examples, it's possible to make the subject engaging and interesting again.

By placing the study of language back into the context of nature and everyday life, the subject comes alive and students gain the tools of grammar easily, even joyfully.

Course Descriptions

The following buttons will take you to more information about Cozy Grammar's courses, including those soon to be released.

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The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Marie describes the Basic Cozy Grammar Course

In the cornerstone course of the Cozy Grammar series, Marie guides you step by step through the foundations of grammar, on the beach, around her garden, and in her cozy cottage on the edge of Discovery Passage.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course assumes no previous grammatical knowledge and is suitable for ages 9 and up. Both younger and older students have enjoyed it, as well as families and adults.

The introduction and each of the 27 lessons of the Basic Cozy Grammar Course consist of a streaming video in which Marie introduces the day's topic in memorable and gently playful ways, an interactive online workbook with Marie's study notes and additional examples, and exercises designed to help students master the fundamentals not simply of grammar, but of how to think their way into the workings of a sentence.

You can learn more about Marie's approach by reading an excerpt from the preface to the course.

Features of the Basic Cozy Grammar Course

  • A video introduction and 27 video lessons from Marie, optimized for viewing on every kind of device, from desktop and laptop computers to the latest tablets and smartphones.
  • Detailed and interactive study notes with additional examples, supplementary videos, and creative writing activities, continually updated and improved.
  • Interactive exercises for each lesson that provide specially-tailored feedback aimed at helping students not only master the fundamentals of grammar, but also learn how to think their way into the workings of language.
  • A classical music soundtrack designed to enhance learning, performed by Marie Rackham herself.
  • 4 Review Tests with specially-tailored feedback.
  • Sentence Review Module with specially-tailored feedback.
  • The ability to track progress and begin exactly where a student has left off.
  • An official course completion certificate at the end of the course.
  • The option to access and print a complete record of exercise results for documentation of learning.
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Up to 4 additional family sub-accounts, each with their own course tracking and personalized certificate.

Scroll Through the Testimonials of Students, Families, and Language Learners of All Kinds:

 

Takes away intimidation about grammar

As a former elementary teacher and Learning Assistant and E.S.L. teacher at the junior level, I wish I had had access to this grammar course. Marie’s relaxed, concise but clear instructions take away any intimidation a teacher, student or homeschooling parent might have about teaching grammar.

Mary Clark
Elementary Teacher, Learning Assistant, ESL Teacher

Phenomenal educational series

You are great! What a phenomenal educational series you have created!

Thanks for making these videos. I am a retired elementary school principal and hold the same view on grammar instruction as you do!  I’m so glad this is available for everyone to enjoy!

Retired Elementary School Principal

Delightfully refreshing approach to teaching grammar

A delightfully refreshing approach to teaching grammar, the Basic Cozy Grammar Course lends itself to a variety of instructional contexts: Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Business English, home-schooling, libraries, distance education, and community learning centers, to name but a few. Familiar settings for lessons such as the beach, the woodshed, and the dinner table, help students to associate grammar with everyday conversation. A highly recommended teaching tool.

Janet Richardson, BHE, BC Teaching Certificate, MDE
British Columbia, Canada

A daunting subject comes alive

Thank you so very much for the beauty, warmth and great information you share in your Cozy Grammar/Punctuation courses. Another homeschooling mother and I trade expertise and she shared your courses with me. You truly make a rather daunting subject come alive for children as well as for their mothers!

Michelle
Homeschooling Mom

Pretty cool

When our teacher said we were going to learn grammar, and he started playing the first Cozy Grammar lesson, everyone kind of looked at each other like, “Oh no, grammar!”  But after watching the first lesson everyone seemed to get into it. Even the camera work and stuff is pretty cool. It worked really well.

Carissa
Grade 8 Student

An excellent course

Although grammar has been relegated to the dusty back shelf in many schools, it is an integral part of effective language usage. This gentle, quiet set of easy to understand lessons brings it back out to the light, and into sharp focus.

Good explanations, examples and practice, with the ability to rewind and repeat, that video is so handy for, make this an excellent course. The lessons are not too simplistic, but take a very basic path, which makes them suitable for youth or adult. The included workbook reinforces the lessons in a clear and concise way, and offers review, tests and answer key. There is none of the flash that most recent kid oriented stuff is so prone to.

I liked this curriculum, and found the price reasonable for the quality.

Sarah A. McCumber-House, Homeschool Help at Sassafrass Grove

Easy to follow and learn

Overall, I think the program is useful and well thought out. I enjoyed the scenery, the music and the quality of production from sound to graphics. The content is strong and well presented, making it easy to follow and learn.

Lorrie Joron
Middle School Teacher

Very satisfied

I am very satisfied with The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The reason I purchased this course is that this fall, I have decided to go back to college after 20 years. This course is a perfect stepping stone to build my confidence in writing properly. I am only half way through the lessons, but I just had to commend you on the excellent course.

Sharon L.
Capistrano Beach, CA

Solid teaching with clear examples

Our family has enjoyed the Basic Cozy Grammar Course very much. Marie Rackham is thorough and imaginative in her teaching and presentation of material. She provides solid teaching with clear examples.

This program is a great teaching tool for all ages. One added bonus to the program is the spectacular photography and music!

Karen Bowman
Homeschool Mom, Texas, USA

A teacher full of dramatic enthusiasm

A report to the District Superintendent of Schools about Marie Rackham as a classroom English teacher:

Marie Rackham’s teaching style might be best characterized by the phrase “dramatic.” She throws her total personality into instruction and as a consequence, receives the enthusiastic input of all of her students. As a result of this infectious enthusiasm, Mrs. Rackham undoubtedly draws many students who might otherwise be “turned off” in more traditional teaching formats. She doesn’t hesitate to take on students who do not fit the expectations of other teachers and has often been very successful in turning these students around. The standard of work submitted by her senior class is high and the expectations she sets are equally challenging. Her modified English class is marked by output not previously accomplished by these students. The informal framework of Mrs. Rackham’s lessons does not detract from the quality of the input nor the standard of the output; in fact the opposite can be said: the achievement is enhanced.

Don Muir, Secondary School Principal
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

A fun way to learn grammar

What a fun way to learn grammar! Everything is clear and simple — and you can easily review each concept as many times as you want to. Although we have enjoyed the videos together, the nice thing about Cozy Grammar is that parental guidance is not a requirement. We will be using it as a review course each year in our homeschool.

S. Starks
Homeschool Parent, California, USA

A wonderful investment!

What a wonderful investment!

Since we opened our ESL Homestay School 3 years ago, we have bought a plethora of programs.  Most of them sit on the shelves gathering dust.  There is one notable exception to the rule – The Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

Our students vie to see who will get the tape next as it does its round from room to room and one of the hardest rules we have to enforce is “only one lesson a day.”

I am looking forward to receiving the new punctuation course.  If it is only half as good as “Cozy Grammar” it will be worth every cent.

Thank you for an excellent product!

Norman K. Archer, President
Mountainside English Language Academy

They truly enjoy it

I believe that my children’s education is an extension of my parenting. I like to use a variety of approaches in my homeschool language arts curriculum and that applies to grammar as well. Cozy Grammar has been a wonderful addition to my collection of resources. My children watch it intently, and they like to keep watching. They truly enjoy it because it’s fun and not so dry, and best of all, they retain what’s being taught. The lessons are succinct and not tedious, and the exercises are effective without being too much. I would recommend Cozy Grammar to other homeschoolers. Please tell Marie and all the people who made this program possible, that we appreciate it very much.

R.R.
Homeschooling Mom, Gainesville, VA

A great resource to supplement class work

Well organized, easy to use. A multi-modality tool for learning grammar. A great A/V resource to supplement class work.

Carol J.
Middle School Teacher - Massachusetts, USA

A valuable contribution to the field of English language learning

As an ESL consultant and developer of specialized ESL and TESL programs, I would like to commend Ms. Rackham on the creation of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. I have been so pleased with the uniqueness of this program that I have recommended it to various international language schools and ESL students. In fact, the viewing of these videotapes is a recommended activity in the Grammar Module of the International TESOL Certificate Program created by our company.

I believe that all ESL teachers could benefit from viewing Ms Rackham’s relaxed, systematic and clear approach to presenting grammar topics. Similarly, ESL students—young and old—who are confused or frightened by English grammar have all responded positively to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The grammar worksheets included in the package further support the effective learning of grammatical concepts. I look forward to the development of a similar grammar program at an advanced level.

Congratulations to Ms Rackham and the whole Splashes From the River team on a unique and valuable contribution to the field of English language learning.

Rebecca Azoulay
President Diplomat Educational Services, Inc.

Great refreshing review

A great refreshing review of grammar basic skills.

Michael Johnson
CPA Master Business Appraiser

A wonderful addition

Most of the students and tutors who are taking part in doing the grammar course are very enthusiastic about both the video and the workbook part of the course. What students find most beneficial is being able to see, hear, and then work with the concepts being presented. One student, who has been with the program for several years and has never shown any interest in grammar before, is particularly pleased at being able to grasp these lessons even though he is not a strong reader. Another student was completely stuck on understanding adjectives so we skipped ahead to this lesson. It made things a great deal clearer, and he was able to continue with confidence.

Most of us, both students and tutors, think that Marie’s teaching style is amusing, and we learn better when we can laugh. I think the overall course is a wonderful addition to basic book learning and teaching, especially in an adult literacy class where many people read at a very basic level, and where the methods used in school have obviously been a failure.

Thank you very much for allowing us to experience this method of learning.

Carol Forbes
Adult Literacy Instructor

A great help

We are in the process of using the cozy grammar videos. I am homeschooling my 7th grade daughter and needed to brush up on my skills as well as teach Chelsea hers. The video has been a great help!

Nicolas
Homeschool Parent, Florida

Dyslexic child responded well

I have three children with different learning styles and they all love The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. Although I have spent some time on grammar with my children, they picked up more just watching the video than they did from any books that I have used. I have one child that is dyslexic and she really responded well to the video presentation. This course has great content without the hype. We really appreciate it.

Heidi L.
Homeschooling Mom, Pennsylvania

Creative and dynamic approach to grammar

I am elated that Marie Rackham has recreated her style of teaching on video and in print. Twenty-five years ago in an elementary classroom, Marie was my teacher. As a university researcher and teacher today, I have a great appreciation for her creative and dynamic approach to grammar. I remain in awe.

Dawn Ford, University of Alberta Faculty of Education
Associate AISI Coordinator, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Video works very well for presenting the material

I have been using the course with a nine year old Japanese boy, a ten year old girl and two eleven year olds. All of them have previously lived in America and are fluent English speakers. I teach them privately one on one and make the video part of the lesson. The video works very well for presenting the material. They are interested in the scenery and think Marie is really funny. Also they get excited when they recognize the music as many kids here in Japan take piano lessons. The retention of the terms is especially good. They can not only match the terms with examples but also spell the terms. Sometimes when we watch the video again we listen for the different types of birds that we hear. They were really excited when I pointed out the sounds of eagles!

Another class I use the video in is a third year university class. The focus of the class is teaching techniques for teaching English communicatively (as opposed to grammar translation or listen and repeat). I am using the course to teach grammar terms in order to enable students to easily give definitions and examples of the different parts of grammar. Everyone is attentive and interested in the scenery. The language is clear and easy to follow and the repetition is enough for them to catch the meaning easily.

Michael Mielke
ESL Instructor -- Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Learn we did, in a seemingly effortless way

My son, who is eleven, looked forward to his daily grammar lessons with Marie. I enjoyed them too. In fact, as we would sit on the couch with our cup of tea, it felt more like we were visiting with an old friend in her beautiful home, than learning grammar. But, learn we did, in a seemingly effortless way.

It may sound strange, but we were both quite sad when the programme ended. I think my son’s words may tell you better than I, just how much he liked learning grammar in Marie’s special way. He said, “Why can’t Marie teach everything?”

Home-based Learning Family
Maple Ridge, British Columbia

Very delightful

Just Excellent! When I was in school, I was grammatically challenged even though I did very well in other language arts areas. I have learned considerably more from watching these videos with my children than I ever did in school. I wish I’d had it then. My children enjoy it because it is fun, easy, self-explanatory, and they love Marie. Very Delightful.

Marilyn V.
Homeschool Mom, Florida

My 10 year old didn’t want to stop

I am homeschooling two sons, ages 10 and 12. At first I wasn’t sure how my sons would respond to this “cozy” grammar course but they thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, on one particular day, my 10 year old didn’t want to stop at the end of the lesson. He wanted to continue working on grammar. One of the things that I personally liked about the course is the fact that the paper work is not excessive.

Marie, thank you for a clear and professional program.

Mrs. Little
Homeschool Parent, Mississippi, USA

Popular and clear

I showed the course to students at the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade levels. I thought that the grade 9 students might object to the learning style, but when I told them that I was going to use a different program, they didn’t want me to change. The students commented that she (Marie) speaks clearly and that they could understand what was being taught.

I plan to use both the grammar and punctuation courses at the grade 6 level in this coming year.

Cindy W.
Charter School Teacher, Florida, USA

I’d like to move where the teacher lives

I think the Cozy Grammar is really nice. I’d like to move to where the teacher lives, because it is beautiful, and I like the beach.

I like Cozy Grammar because the lady is funny and friendly. I like the reading and writing that comes on the picture, and I like how the colors change on the words.

Homeschooled Boys, ages 11 and 13
Virginia, USA

Love how it is presented

Just wanted to let you and Marie know how pleased I am with this program. My son who is 15 has never enjoyed language arts. He wants to do more than one lesson a day!! That has never happened before. Now he is breaking sentences apart and identifying them in our everyday conversations.

It’s so fun to hear. He loves how it is presented. He even told me that it will help him write better sentences.

Just wanted to let you know.

Thanks!

Dita Mallon
Appreciative Mom

Gift for our nieces and nephews

We ordered the grammar course as a gift for our nieces and nephews. They have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bill & Judy M.
Burleson, Texas, USA

Covers everything without a lot of nonsense

My daughter likes your course and it has really helped her understand the English grammar.  We home school, so I would recommend it to any home schoolers out there. I have about $500 dollars worth of English grammar programmes, in search of the perfect programme that covers everything, without a lot of nonsense. You get bits and pieces of information, but nothing quite as straight forward as The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, or as easy to understand.

I am also helping a friend’s son with grammar. He tells me that it is helping him a lot. He is in grade 8, and I was amazed to hear that there was such a lot that he has never even been taught. Marie is right. Grammar does not seem to be a big issue out there at some schools; but it is a real big issue in life. It is the foundation of all other education that we can attain.

Her course has inspired me to go back to school to get my TESL.

You did a great job, Marie!

Elizabeth F.
Homeschool Parent - Ontario, Canada

Presented in a delightful manner

I want to pass along some responses from my colleagues about the Basic Cozy Grammar Course. From their point(s) of view they found the course was presented in a delightful manner using a unique approach in pleasant surroundings. They also mentioned they were fun and easy.

And as a side note: They found Marie to be an endearing character that created a very comfortable learning environment.

Karen M. Samples
CMS, Director, Colleague Development, Arizona

Marie Makes Learning Grammar Painless

I absolutely love this course! Marie makes learning grammar painless. She is always doing something as she teaches nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc. which makes the DVDs very entertaining. She explains very clearly what each part of speech is and demonstrates them as well. It is really a great way to learn grammar. The classical music that is played in the background is very relaxing. The scenery is wonderful as she travels around Vancouver [Campbell River, Vancouver Island] teaching. I wish I had these DVDs when I was learning grammar. My son has really learned well with them. After watching each short lesson the student does the workbook exercises to reinforce what was learned, one concept at a time. I highly recommend this course to everyone. Absolutely fantastic course!

Gina Roberts, Homeschool Mom
Homeschool Reviews

My son is slightly learning disabled

The grammar course is wonderful! My son, who is slightly learning disabled, has used the course over the past year. He now has no fear of grammar, and this course has helped to keep him on par with his classmates. Best of all, he CHOOSES to watch it!

Denise F.
Thankful Mom, New York, NY, USA

Wonderful English course

I just wanted to thank you for helping me to get this wonderful English course.

This is one of the best materials on English grammar I have ever seen.

Thanks, again!

Milton H.
Sweden

I learned a lot using this course

A Student Recommends:

To whoever wants to learn about adjectives, adverbs, comparisons of adverbs, phrases and prepositions, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, principal clauses and compound sentences, conjugation of verbs, nouns, and pronouns, verb phrases, agreement of verbs and verb tenses, I recommend Cozy Grammar. When you watch the lessons, you will find out all of the explanations you need to learn, and it will be easy for you to work in the workbook. I say that it is easy because that is how I did it. I learned a lot using this course.

Gloria, Student Reviewer for Project Read Newsletter
San Mateo Public Library, CA, USA

I commend you

I commend you for your creativity and insight and this fantastic video grammar instructional program you have created!

Iris Rivera
Collegiate Administrator

A resource that can benefit everyone

The setting was very pretty and therefore relaxing. The lessons are good, especially as key terms and concepts are highlighted by placing them in a caption at the bottom of the screen. This makes it easier to follow the video. The recapitulation at the end of the lesson was helpful, as were the ample examples. As a resource, I think this course could be valuable. Many people have more grammatical problems than they realize. Enlivening a dry grammar book with a video to punctuate the lessons may solve some problems that many would never seek to mend.

I am a student of English and Medieval Studies having studied French, German, and Latin: languages which have broadened my understanding of English and leave me feeling that a resource such as this can benefit everyone.

Amy Braye
University Student

Most Unique Language Arts Curriculum

Curriculum: Cozy Grammar/Punctuation Courses
Grade level: All

We love the Basic Cozy Grammar/Punctuation series by Marie Rackham! If you love the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, this series is for you! The series (grammar, punctuation, essay, spelling and intermediate grammar) is based for ages 10 to adult and is a wonderful review for those of us who have ‘forgotten’ along the way. Marie is very adept at teaching in a way that the information is very memorable. After you watch the short (3-5 minute) clip, you can do the exercises provided. We usually do this on Monday, then throughout the week, I give assignments that go along with it (ie. if we are studying verbs, I will ask them to write 5 sentences and underline the verbs or write a short story and use as many verbs as they can, etc.) just to keep them focused. It is the most unique language arts curriculum I have used and the ONLY one that my kids beg to use!That in itself is the highest recommendation I could ever have!It is pricey, but well worth it!

Reviewed by Tammy, Homeschooling Mom
Home School Reviews

Excellent basic grammar course

This is an excellent Basic Grammar course. The instructor is engaging and very effective. I used this to teach my reluctant 7th grader. He doesn’t exactly “love” grammar now, but he is no longer intimidated.

Clarice
Garnet Moon Academy -- South Carolina homeschooling Mom

A teacher that I have looked for all my life

Original Transcription:

Last year, I wrote to the Primer Minister. I told him that the method of teaching immigrant people was wrong. His answered me, but didn’t change. The ESL classes are continuing boring.

I have had some problems to learn English. I gave up some class. Today I went to library and I got your video. It’s amazing!

I am just writing to say “Thank you so much”!

Thank you to show my e-mail to Marie. She is beautiful, kind, happy and extrovert person! She is a teacher that I have looked for all my life.

Gina
From Brazil but live now in North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Gifted teacher

The Basic Cozy Grammar course is exceptional! Marie is an incredibly gifted teacher, and the workbook exercises, I found invaluable. I highly recommend it to all who want to improve their Grammar.

C.S. MacPherson
New York

Grammar taught in a fun and innovative way

The kids thought Marie was very humorous and they enjoyed watching her. By the second or third lesson they ended up saying examples aloud with Marie, mimicking her, and having a great time. Students have mentioned that they finally understand grammar because it’s being taught in a fun and innovative way (not just watching the teacher write notes on the chalk board, or on the overhead projector). They enjoyed the lessons, found them easy to understand, and generally did well on the worksheets.

Heather MacIntosh
Middle School English Teacher

For a wide range of ages

What I enjoyed about the video is that it put the learning of grammar into real life situations, for example learning pronouns around the dinner table. I like the larger font used in the workbook and there are a limited number of practice questions. If the child needs more drill, additional questions can be made up. It is not grade specific so you can use if for a wide range of ages usually found in the homeschool family.

Janet Rainbow
Homeschooling Consultant

Very useful for ESL students

The video is very easy to follow and very well presented. The visuals are strong and interesting and I really liked how the main points were reiterated with graphics. I could see it being very useful for E.S.L. students.

Lorna MacIntosh

Writing skills have greatly improved

I ordered The Basic Cozy Grammar Course as a gift for my Grandchildren. Their writing skills have greatly improved since they began using the course and I am thrilled with their progress. Please keep me on your mailing list for future products.

Edward R.
Concerned Grandparent, Texas, USA

Funny and educational at the same time

I think that the Cozy Grammar Series is a great way of learning because it’s funny and educational at the same time. The video is clear and lessons are easy to understand and remember because it’s funny.

Shawn D.
Grade 9 Student

Refreshing to hear classical music

We have just begun using the Basic Cozy Grammar Course, and thus far have been enjoying it very much. Our children are grasping the material, and I like the fact that each lesson is not too long. The scenery and settings for the lessons help make learning grammar more interesting, and it is quite refreshing to hear classical music.

Nancy O.
Homeschool Parent, Delaware

Our children loved learning grammar Marie’s way

Engaging enough for my active five-year-old son to watch every minute.

Instructional enough for my eleven-year-old son to ace the final exam.

Cozy Grammar proves that grammar lessons need not be tedious or dull, for a teacher or a student. All three of our children loved learning grammar Marie’s way and we want to visit her at her cozy house.

Thank you Marie and Splashes From The River for such a quality learning video.

Mrs. Fraser
Home Educator, Indiana

Better than learning from textbooks

My kids used the grammar course and loved it better than learning from textbooks. At least when they had their grammar lessons, I didn’t get the usual complaints.

Mary E.
Homeschooling Parent, Wisconsin

This course works very well

This course works very well for my learning style. Not only am I an audio/visual learner, but repetition is a key factor in aiding me to grasp new concepts. Being able to watch the lessons more than once has truly been beneficial and the workbook helps to reinforce what I have learned.

Dorothy C.
Mississippi

An easy understanding of grammar

Cozy Grammar really helps to promote an easy understanding of grammar. We especially appreciate the extensive use of on-screen writing. The way the words change color as Marie points to them, makes the concepts so clear and easy to follow. My children respond to it wonderfully. It reminds me of a T.V. show I liked as a child called, ‘The Electric Company’.

Homeschooling Dad

Awesome

I think Cozy Grammar is awesome! It should have been made a long time ago. I hope it gets into all the schools.

Alison Keefe
Parent

Simple and clear

Who am I?
A state certified teacher.
A private tutor.
A paid curriculum consultant.
A MOTHER!
I teach my own 6-year-old, 8-year-old, and 14-year-old.
I teach a 16-year-old recent Russian immigrant.
I teach a high school SLD/dyslexic student.
I tutor several middle- and high-school students in composition (including applied grammar, of course).
So what?
Well, I’m very excited about Marie’s Cozy Grammar course. A friend purchased Cozy Grammar and offered to let me preview it during her 30-day trial period.
The result?
I have purchased the course, and I have since told another friend who has now also purchased the course.
What do we all like about it?
Cozy Grammar is basic–simple and clear in its presentation. The DVD format allows our children to achieve some independence in their instruction as well as review the information as often as necessary.
The backdrops are gorgeous, but not distracting.
Marie is straightforward, consistent, and (my favorite) seems to have a good sense of humor.
I look forward to your next endeavor at Splashes from the River!

Kendra O'Connor
Teacher, Tutor, Homeschooling Parent, Florida

I found this program extremely helpful

I loved the Cozy Grammar video/workbook course. In studying to become a certified ESL teacher I found this program extremely helpful as a review and in understanding the different parts of grammar and their proper use. The demonstrations were very helpful.

I am looking forward to using this program with my future ESL students—what a great teaching tool!

Cheryl P.
Ontario, Canada

Real life presentation

We have really enjoyed the basic grammar course. The ‘real life’ presentation especially appealed to us.

K. Slack
Homeschool Parent - Texas

A pleasure to write this testimonial

It’s a pleasure to write this testimonial in regards to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

I’m the director of a training department for a national health care management company. I used the course for a train-the-trainer series that I held. I was a little apprehensive at first to use this with an adult population. Especially because they thought they knew ‘how to’ use grammar in the composition of training materials. From my point of view the lessons were cognitively ordered in a fashion that made them easily understood using teaching approaches that reinforced what they have been learning. In addition, the workbook provided strong reinforcement of the lessons and is used frequently as a resource tool.

Director of Training
National Health Care Management Company

The gift of a love and zeal for learning

My 10 year old daughter, Alexa, found language a chore and boring. As a homeschool Mom, I searched high and low for a program that would stimulate her interest. I tried other curriculums. Other Moms recommended The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. When it arrived in no time at our home, we tried it. My daughter was excited! Excited! Now she asks to do her lessons! I find myself having to help her pace herself. The woman teaching the lessons, Miss Marie, is priceless. Alexa identifies with her and can’t wait to spend time with her through the next lesson. When Daddy comes home, Alexa wants to tell him what Miss Marie did and said that day. Other programs may teach, but not inspire to remember things learned. Miss Marie instills the lessons of grammar in a way Alexa will never forget! It’s for all learning styles. You have helped me give my daughter the gift of a love and zeal for learning we couldn’t find before. Please create more subjects for us, but only let Miss Marie do the teaching! She’s a treasure.

Darcie P.
Homeschooling Mom, Kentucky

I highly recommend it

I am using The Basic Cozy Grammar Course to personally improve my writing skills. I highly recommend it as an adult learning tool—especially for older adults, like me, who are always looking for ways to better themselves.

W. Rowe
California

I love this product

I am using the Cozy Grammar Course with my six year old son. My first language is Chinese, and I have always spoken to my son in Chinese so that he will keep it up. The problem is that he is now ready to start first grade, and he needs to focus on his English. I bought the Cozy Grammar to help him with this, and I am so happy I did. It has been helping both of us with our pronunciation because the teacher speaks so clearly and enunciates everything carefully. My son has also been picking up some of the grammar, which I hadn’t expected. It is helping my writing skills also. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!

L.L.
Texas, USA

A refreshing change

This course is a refreshing change from regular texts and workbooks. The video captured my children’s attention and helped them to develop a better understanding of grammar. The written portion of the lessons is easy to work through once a lesson has been watched and learned.

Tania D.
Homeschooling Mom, British Columbia

Lessons come alive for my children

We have watched 4 of the lessons and I can already tell you that this is going to be one of the best purchases for our homeschool! My 7 year-old, who has a difficult time with grammar, was so excited when he could grasp what a subject and a predicate are. We do have a “book” grammar course, but I know that this video course is going to really make those lessons come alive for my children. When my son can actually SEE something described and can HEAR it being taught, then it makes it all the more real for him.

K. Price
Homeschool Parent, Tennessee

I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar

I am a public school 6th grade teacher and homeschooling Mom. I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar, and as a result the reading and writing skills of my students have improved considerably. Many of the students study music, so they also recognized and enjoyed the classical piano pieces.

S.B.
6th Grade Teacher and Homeschooling Mom, Los Gatos, CA, USA

Fantastic for review

We thoroughly enjoy Marie and love the classical music soundtrack. I am a ‘summer schooling’ Mom. My children are in the public school system and I like to enhance their language arts skills with some extra summertime instruction. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is fantastic for review on a yearly basis and having an extra instructor (Marie) available is a blessing.

Adrianna N.
Summer Schooling Mom, Virginia, USA

Ecstatic to have discovered Cozy Grammar

I am absolutely dazzled by the content of this course. As a new Language Arts teacher, I am ecstatic to have discovered Cozy Grammar.

Students so often groan at grammar time. However, now they will be pleading to watch one more lesson in anticipation of what island wonders will be next. The short grammar lessons given by Marie are clear, concise and easy to follow. The music, scenery and cottage grace the lessons with warmth and island beauty. Each clip illustrates beautifully the essence of the lesson. The anticipation of what will come next and how the story will be told keeps me riveted.

Each lesson is an island bouquet. Beautiful paper flowers amongst island greens make common prepositions real. A painting of a rock pool and the brilliant transition to the live pool itself breath life into adjective phrases. The eagle on top of the rock—WOW! The misplaced phrase scene is outrageous and Marie’s laughter contagious. Marie perched high on an eagle rock metaphorically representing coordinate conjunctions is delightfully cheeky and her dialogue with the crab pool a treat for any child or adult. ‘The pool is calm yet alive,’ she says, these words echoing the lessons themselves—calm but filled with life and laughter. The evening scene with the brilliant night sounds and the crackle of fire bring to life the sounds of interjections. The garden scene with Karen, Alexander and Devon is lovely. The little voices of children, their small hands and wonderment are the perfect setting for the conjugation of verbs. The daisy chain gift from Devon to Marie incredibly touching and beautiful. The common errors Elmer scene is an absolute roar.

Dawn Ford
Language Arts Teacher, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Made the study of formal grammar enjoyable

My daughter previously disliked studying grammar. She is an avid reader and as a result she could recognize poor grammar, but didn’t understand the mechanics of it. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course has made the study of formal grammar enjoyable for her.

T.G.
Homeschooling Mom, New Mexico

Special ed student suffers from ADD

My daughter would be considered a special ed student and suffers from ADD. She particularly needed to improve her poor writing skills. While she found the background music somewhat distracting, she nevertheless loved the course, and it was extremely beneficial in improving her skills.

Jan F.
Homeschool Teacher, Montana

Vivid and congenial presentations by Marie

My 6 year old gifted daughter just loved ‘The Basic Cozy Grammar Course’. She watched it with great interest and picked up most of the concepts after a few viewings. The material is clearly printed on the screen, with vivid and congenial presentations by Marie. The clarity and personal touch helped my daughter easily acquire what is generally considered complex material for older students.

Susan Lawrence
Homeschooling mom, Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

It works great in the classroom

I love the fact that the lessons are delivered not only visually through the use of images and strong graphics, but orally as well. As teachers we know that some students are visual learners, and others are audio learners. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course covers all aspects. I usually start my classes with some silent reading and then I put in the video and have the kids do the exercises. The length of the lessons fit nicely within the time structure of the class. The workbook is very well laid out. It is clear and concise and as a teacher it is very convenient to have an answer key. Following Marie’s advice in the introduction to the workbook, I have the kids write the exercises out by hand so they can work on their penmanship. Best of all, my students really enjoy watching the video. They like the entertainment aspect and a lot of kids comment on the interesting camera angles, the beautiful west coast scenery, the incredible gardens and surprisingly, even the classical music soundtrack. All of my students ask me when I am going to play the video again. It works great in the classroom and I think it would be great for homeschooling as well.

Mark Lagos
Middle School English Teacher

We feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching

At the beginning of this year, I stumbled onto a very unique English curriculum – the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation courses, an award-winning series of relaxed English grammar and punctuation tutorials prepared as living textbooks. After a little research (do a Google for either course and you’ll find a number of excellent reviews) I decided to order it and give it a try.  I have been using the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation with my son this past semester, and I highly recommend these courses.  I have noticed a marked improvement in his understanding of grammar and punctuation and a dramatic increase in his interest in learning these subjects.

Marie Rackham is a delightful and effective teacher who has won several awards for her innovative teaching methods.  Her lighthearted teaching style captures the student’s attention immediately. Her lessons are not only educational, they are also entertaining, so my son is always eager to watch the next lesson. Now when my son and I watch the lessons together, we feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching both of us grammar.

I was so impressed with this curriculum that I began recommending it to all my homeschooling friends. I was amazed to learn that none of the seasoned homeschooling families in my area had even heard of Cozy Grammar.  So, I have decided to make it my mission to spread the word about these wonderfully effective courses to other homeschooling families.

Clarice Marchman-Jones, Homeschooling Mom,
Founder, Garnet Moon Academy

The kids grasp the concepts quickly

As a way to learn grammar this beats boring text books, and the kids grasp the concepts quickly. I will/have been recommending it to the homeschoolers here.

Annmarie B.
Homeschooling Mom, Australia
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Library Journal

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Designed by Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a delightful and effective basic grammar program. The 27 English grammar tutorials cover all of the parts of speech and their uses. Rackham introduces the program with a rationale for learning grammar and concludes with an amusing but kindly lesson on common errors. The strength of this program lies in the clarity of its presentation and in its accessibility. The videos are filmed entirely on location in and around Rackham’s cottage on the beach in Campbell River, BC. Concepts and examples are found written in the sand and on the refrigerator door. (They are also superimposed on the screen throughout the videos to make note-taking easier.) Frequently sporting bedroom slippers, Rackham is eccentric and amusing enough to engage the viewer’s attention yet she is never condescending. The two videos are accompanied by a reproducible 110 page workbook that includes lesson outlines, exercises, tests, and an answer key. The workbook is of the same high caliber as the videos; the exercises are clear, well written, interesting, and effective. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is clearly the result of years of classroom experience. This “living textbook” makes grammar painless and is suitable for ages nine to adult.

Highly recommended for middle and high school libraries, as well as public libraries (especially those serving homeschoolers).

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Reviewed by Michelle Visser

American Library Association Review

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

May 15, 2002 issue

Gr. 4-12. Marie Rackham is the polished teacher of this grammar course comprised of 27 short tutorial segments. Pictorially shot at Rackham’s Canadian seaside cottage, the program begins with the host discussing the importance of using proper grammar before distinguishing between casual and colloquial versus formal word usage. Instructions are both spoken and captioned on-screen, with lessons covering verb and subject agreement, sentence structure, predicates, phrases, verb conjugation, clauses, adjectives, and adverbs, among other topics. Incorporating footage of Rackham working in her garden or engaged in other activities as she offers grammar instruction, this excellent primer is suitable for both younger students and those enrolled in adult literacy programs. Includes a companion workbook, study guide, exercises, and tests.

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School Library Journal

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The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Reviewed in the June 2002 Issue

Gr 4-7 — These 27 basic grammar lessons are designed to supplement classroom instruction. Each 2-17 minute lesson builds on the previous one. At the end of each lesson, Marie Rackham, the hostess, refers to the workbook. Each workbook lesson provides one page of review and one page of exercises. Rather than filming in a studio or classroom setting, the producers chose to film at a “cozy” cottage on the Campbell River in Canada—Rackham’s home. The lessons become a part of her daily routine. For example, viewers learn about pronouns when Marie has several friends over for dinner and she offers red or white wine. She uses their preferences to introduce pronouns. These videos will appeal to different learning styles. Visual learners can follow along on screen; auditory learners can listen to Marie; and kinesthetic learners have the reinforcement of workbook exercises. School libraries will benefit from these videos, and public libraries should consider purchasing them if they have large home-schooling or ESL populations. One caveat for American libraries: there are some Canadian pronunciations, which are more likely to cause giggles than confusion.

Reviewed by Sarah Prielipp

TheHomeSchoolMom.Com

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Review: Basic Cozy Grammar and Punctuation Courses

When Splashes from the River contacted me to review The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, my first thought was to wonder how grammar and punctuation could fall under the category of being cozy. After watching the first lesson (taught by Marie Rackham on location on the shores of the Campbell River in British Columbia), I understood exactly how grammar can be cozy. Marie’s warm style and the wonderful scenery at her cabin on the river combine to make the grammar and punctuation courses truly cozy. The course combines a daily video lesson with a worksheet to reinforce the lesson. It is a painless way for any parent to teach grammar, and the lessons are bite-sized to keep student frustration or boredom to a minimum. According to Marie, “Grammar does not make you creative; it is a technique that enhances your creativity. If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.” One challenging aspect to the program for me was the multi-cultural aspect to the location and Marie’s object lessons. The Pacific Northwest has much Asian influence, and eastern religious objects such as toriis and Buddhas periodically pop up in the lessons. For our family it has given an opportunity to discuss eastern religions compared to our own, but some families may wish to avoid such references.

In addition to being a teacher Marie has many years of disciplined training and practice in music, and her classroom experience taught her the value of music as a calming influence on students. “The Cozy Classroom Collection CD is a selection of classical piano compositions that have been performed, arranged, edited, and recorded to facilitate learning.” Although we have not used the Cozy Classroom Collection in a learning setting yet, we have enjoyed listening to the classical music selections (performed by Marie) in the car on our trips to and from town.

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Reviewed by Mary Ann Kelley

The Link Newspaper

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

I cannot recommend this basic grammar course highly enough! I thoroughly enjoy watching a well-done video presenting material I care about and I love grammar as well as English in all its forms and all things “language”. (Of course that is my adult opinion!) I consider the skill of language, written and oral, to be among the greatest achievements Man has wrought – as mysterious as algebra, but far more useful! Marshall McLuhan, the great analyst of media, said that the content of the medium of speech and of writing, both, is thought. However, one who has not developed the ability to speak and write well, may have difficulty convincing anyone that he/she possesses any thought! Nothing aids in developing the dual skills of speaking and writing like grammar. Yes, that hated and feared topic that we all had to sweat through as part of our elementary English (or any other language) skills. Now, as homeschooling parents, we are once more confronted with this “toothed beast” of English and have to find a way to impart it to our children so that they can speak and write to the world, revealing the intellectual light we parents know shines within. Help is here!!

Conservative homeschooling parents will cheer mightily at Ms. Rackham’s approach and her assertion that discipline does not stifle creativity! I am among their number! I do not believe that discipline stifles creativity – one only need look to some of the greatest artists who ever lived to prove this truth: Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Dali, Milton, Tolkien, Lewis, and many, many more, have been noted for their powerful discipline in the development of the technique of their art. The only element that seems to affect creativity is the presence or absence of creativity. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Marie Rackham calls grammar “the technique of English” and she demonstrates that a skilled development of grammar will enable one to speak and write clearly, intelligently and comfortably enough to communicate one’s thoughts so that others wish to hear and/or read them. She mentions these uses for good grammatical writing and speaking skills: Resumes, job interviews, presentations, master’s theses, e-mail that may be read by any number of people beyond the writer’s knowledge and formal letters. In any of these cases, the writer/speaker has one ” shot” to make a favorable impression of his intellectual skill. Considering the stakes, such an impression had better be the best possible.

The setting for the videos is Marie’s home in British Columbia, a cozy, knotty pine sort of house on the ocean that looks the perfect refuge from a wintry rainstorm. Here, she illustrates and demonstrates each lesson with actions of varying sorts: Pouring tea, chopping wood, riding (or not riding) on an exercise bike, discussing the seagulls that populate the beach, etc. In this way, she has skillfully developed a way to teach grammar that satisfies any learning style a student may have. Watching Ms. Rackham move throughout her home and its grounds, creates an ever-changing atmosphere that makes for more interesting viewing than simply a “talking head” lecture approach in a static setting and her movements coinciding with the grammar material keeps the observer attentive and the information flowing! Ms. Rackham warns that this is an elementary course and that there are many excellent materials available to carry the study of grammar to the highest levels. However, because this set is so informative, clearly-written, comfortable to watch and remain attentive to, I wish she would consider quickly producing the necessary sequels to “Cozy Grammar” that she could recommend her own advanced courses, instead! I need a grammar review every so often!

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Michael Leppert, Editor

Homeschooling Today

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Reviewed in the July/August 2002 issue

It’s always a pleasure to review an excellent product. This video grammar course is creative, clear, well-organized, and above all, entertaining. Retired English teacher Marie Rackham is the star of this show. She knows her stuff and explains each point clearly and carefully, but she’s quirky enough, too, that she’s a hoot to watch. The lessons are filmed in and around her beautiful home on the beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Some settings are “cozy” (tea by the fireside) and others are grand (bald eagles aloft), and they’re perfect for homeschooled children who are much more at home in those places than in a classroom. Ms. Rackham–a classically trained pianist–even provides the soundtrack. The course contains 27 lessons, from the basics of identifying subjects and predicates through subordinate clauses and compound sentences. The accompanying workbook restates the basics of each lesson and gives three or four sets of exercises, plus four tests at the end. As we write this, our three oldest children are glued to the TV, laughing and learning with Ms. Rackham.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Homeschooling Today 25 Years

Craig and Cindy Young, Curriculum Corner

KIDS FIRST! Coalition For Quality Children’s Media

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Endorsement: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Whimsical approach to basic English grammar as retired teacher presents light-hearted tutorials in and around her cozy cottage on the seashore. Includes video lessons and workbook with exercises, tests and answer key.

Adult Juror Comments: Educational. Interesting, well organized, in-depth study of grammar. Cheery host in a lovely seaside setting made the lessons less intimidating. Best for late elementary to junior high students, or basic adult learners.

Kid Juror Comments: High-schoolers found the content suitable for themselves but the presentation geared for younger students. “The appeal is for a younger audience and would catch their interest.” “It starts out simple and gradually becomes more in depth.” “Good examples.” Age: 10-14.

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Film Advisory Board

 

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Hollywood, CA

 

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Outstanding! In our twenty-six years of evaluating family/children’s entertainment and educational products, we have never seen a program quite like ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE’!

Marie Rackham, with 34 years of experience as an English teacher is a delightful instructor – and the beautiful surroundings of Campbell River in British Columbia makes for a relaxing and unique learning environment one never wants to leave!

This course is great for kids nine and up and adults alike who wish to improve their speaking and writing skills.  We would also recommend this course to those who speak English as a second language who wish to improve their skills!  This course is ideal for home schooling and should be in every home library!  Kids from nine to 100 will love ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE‘!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about it!

Film Advisory Board Elayne Blythe

Reviewed by Elayne Blythe, President and Founder

Eclectic Homeschool Review

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course was digitally shot on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. The setting is serene and peaceful, leading the viewer to relax. The videos were conceived as a ‘living textbook’ and use the graphics of the surrounding area and the inside of the beach house to clarify examples. A soundtrack features classical piano music that helps break up the usual unnerving silence found in teaching videos.

Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, teaches the English lessons. She walks around, sips a cup of tea, and wanders along the waters edge. At first this casualness seemed foreign, but as I continued watching I enjoyed the lessons more and more. The home setting was better than a sterile classroom setting and Ms. Rackham was able to use ‘live’ examples to illustrate what she was teaching.

As Ms. Rackham taught a lesson, sentences appeared on the screen, clarifying what she was teaching. For example, in a lesson on subject and predicates, the subject was shown in yellow and the predicate was shown in pink. When teaching the parts of speech, the subject was underlined in yellow and the predicate was underlined in pink. This is great for those who learn visually as well as for auditory learners. The accompanying workbook would be the key for those who are tactile learners, giving the student a chance to practice what he or she has just been taught.

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Kelly Crespin, BS in Elementary Education, MS in Gifted and Talented Education

British Columbia Homeschool Association

BC Homeschool Association (Now Provincial Association of Home Schoolers of BC)

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is an award-winning video and workbook program that teaches grammar in a fun way — and teaches it well. This grammar course is well-named; it really is very pleasant to watch. The cheery instructor-hostess takes us through her lovely cottage and along her Vancouver Island beach property as she demonstrates for us the meaning and proper usage of grammar.

From Nouns and Verbs to Subordinate Conjunctions, the two videos use voice, text, and action to reinforce grammar principles in a way that your visual, auditory, or kinesthetic child can understand. The simple, clear workbook has a definition, examples, and exercise questions for each of the 27 lessons, plus tests and an answer key. The workbook is good, very clear, and concise. I really like that in a text! In other books, the explanations can be so unnecessarily long and unclear, esp. for children. Although we found the teacher’s style to be annoyingly pre-school oriented,  it is still an enjoyable course that’s as useful for adults as it is for elementary or high-school students. As homeschooling parents, probably most of us are being faced with trying to help our kids with grammar that we have never learned.

My husband, who has a degree in Linguistics, also was impressed with the teaching in this course and how it was presented. My children enjoyed it and seemed to remember well what they learned. I do think it’s a great product and a wonderful idea, and we will use it often.

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Reviewed by Marianne Mendgen

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Rating (out of 5):

Family Approved

Genre: Family
Starring: Marie Rackham

Synopsis:

Marie Rackham, a former English teacher is the author and narrator of these videos regarding rules of grammar. She provides excellent explanations and examples, and the lessons are very suitable for all ages. Included is a workbook which reinforces the lessons in a clear and concise way, and offers review, tests and answer key. The setting is Marie’s seaside cottage in British Columbia, Canada, and she uses everyday situations and colorful graphics to illustrate examples. She is very enthusiastic about the material, and has a charming, sincere, whimsical manner, which offers a pleasant atmosphere away from the classroom.

Christian Worldview:

Marie’s method of presenting these valuable lessons should appeal to anyone who is interested in learning the correct rules of grammar, something lacking at some levels of education. Grammar is an integral part of effective language usage, and should be recognized as such. Marie taught the curriculum covered in The Basic Cozy Grammar Course in the Canadian Public School System, where it was introduced to children at the age of nine, and completed by the age of twelve, with regular reviews and more challenging examples provided right through to high school graduation. Homeschoolers have found that children as young as six find the videos entertaining to watch, even though they are too young to grasp the material. These videos have received a number of awards in the United States and Canada.

Content Description:

There are no objectionable elements in this video.

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Reviewed by Carol Verbrugge

Island Parent Magazine

Island Parent Magazine (Vancouver Island, BC)

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 Nikki's Book Nook in Island Parent Magazine (Vancouver Island, BC)

English Grammar Made Easy

My 15 year old daughter recently asked me a question about her French homework. She muttered something about pronouns and indirect objects and I could tell she had no idea what she was talking about. The problem was not the French homework at all (the instructions for the exercise were clear enough), but the fact that she really did not understand the grammar in English.

A lack of thorough grounding in English grammar is not at all uncommon.  To address this problem, Marie Rackham, educator and grammar advocate, has created an easy-to-use resource for parents, educators, and students alike.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course consists of two video-tapes and a workbook with plenty of examples, exercises, and an answer key. The course covers all the basics from parts of speech and types of sentences to coordinate conjunctions and misplaced phrases. These concepts are described on the video-tapes using real life situations and settings to illustrate clear and relevant examples.

The video-tapes are shot on location on Vancouver Island beaches and in a cozy home and garden.  The quality of the tapes is excellent – interesting camera angles, classical music, and great settings provide an interesting context for the subject matter. Initially, I was a little concerned that Marie’s over-the-top performance style would soon become irritating.  In fact, the opposite was true.  As I watched more of the tapes, Marie grew on me. I was quite interested to see how she integrated real life settings and situations into each of her 27 grammar lessons. A scene at a dinner table with friends became the perfect excuse for chatting about pronouns, and a trip to the beach provided Marie with many opportunities to talk about the difference between transitive, intransitive, and copula verbs.

Recognizing that students learn in different ways, text is superimposed over the video images to underscore the key points being covered in the lessons.  In this manner, Marie supports visual, auditory, and contextual learning styles.

The accompanying workbook is logically organized, clearly written, and provides clear examples of each grammar topic.  There are enough exercises to get a student started without beating the subject to death.  The workbook also includes answer keys, several grammar tests, and a bibliography for those who would like to tackle more complex grammatical subjects.

A useful tool for ESL students, adults, kids, and teachers, The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is equally suited for classroom and individual use.

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Nikki Tate-Stratton

Homeschool Oasis

Homeschool Oasis Barb Shelton

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Is “Grammar” a word that ranks right in there with “spinach” for you?  Actually, spinach is one of my favorite foods, but then grammar is also one of my favorite subjects!  I realize that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for either spinach or grammar, yet, as parents and homeschoolers, we know our children need at least some of both!

Whether you have a young child just beginning to explore the world of grammar, or are an adult who has been “in the dark” on this subject all your life, this 27-lesson grammar course does for your grammatical muscles what spinach does for your physical muscles. And it does so in a delectable, easy-to-swallow manner! Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, has a delightful way of presenting a full spectrum of grammar basics in a straightforward and non-intimidating manner that lays a thorough foundation of all the grammar basics. Even the most serious cases of “Grammar Phobia” will be cured following Ms. Rackham around her lovely home and beachside property. Cozy ~ one of my favorite words ~ is truly the theme for these lessons as Marie fixes tea, pedals her stationary bicycle, prunes plants in her garden, chops wood (no stunt men; she really does it herself!), and sits by the cozy fire made with the wood! The accompanying workbook is clearly laid out, follows the video lesson by lesson, and is easy to follow and use, reinforcing the lessons taught in each video lesson. The only drawback to this course is that it will make you wish you were there!

(I hope she has a cozy guest room!)

Senior High Book by Barb Shelton Homeschool Oasis

Reviewed by Barb Shelton, Author of SENIOR HIGH: A HOME-DESIGNED FORM+U+LA

All Star Review

All-Star Reviews

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Synopsis: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a video course covering the basics of English grammar presented by a grandmotherly, Canadian English teacher. Included in this set, is a reproducible companion workbook featuring study notes, exercises, tests and answer key.

Age-Appropriateness: The suggested age recommendation is 9-12. However, it held the attention of students from ages 9 through17.

Replay Value: It is hard to find a grammar program which isn’t dull or obnoxious, however, this video succeeded. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course clearly explained the various parts of grammar and presented them in easily digested segments ranging from 3 to 10 minutes each. Each subject was clearly understandable.

Educational Value: This video set is ideal for home schooling, tutoring, as a teacher resource, and other situations that teach basic English grammar skills.

Graphics/Sound: Students enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest and the classical music in the background.

Pros: The program contains 27 short lessons which hold the attention of the students. It is appropriate for multiple ages. The home environment setting is something the children can easily relate to and is familiar to them.

Cons: The only complaint (made by a 17 year old reviewer) is that if your children are used to programs which use cartoons, rap or rock music and silly little characters as the main mode of teaching, this program may not hold their attention very well.

Conclusion: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a refreshing change from the usual grammar course. As a parent, I am not comfortable with academic subjects taught by silly characters or crude teenage humor. It might take some children a few minutes to become comfortable with the style of the host, but she really was delightful once we got used to her. The program was well designed and presented. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the basics of grammar or who just needs a refresher.

Rating (out of 5): All-Star 5-Star Review

Reviewed by Laura Bahrt
All Star Reviews

The Old Schoolhouse

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Old Schoolhouse Basic Grammar Review

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

“Cozy, Cozy, COZIES!” is what my daughter Julia, age 5, shrieks as she dives under her covers and laughs, waiting for me to rush in after her and snuggle. The word “cozy” is just that….a word that makes you feel comfortable and warm, just like Julia feels when she is deep within the blankets, squirming around, squealing for Mama.

Splashes From the River Multimedia, Inc. was smart when they named their product for educators, which is absolutely sweeping the nation with great gusto. Cozy Grammar is the name, and cozy it is — I shall tell you why.

First off, what is warm and fuzzy (in general) about grammar? Come on, be honest. I personally like grammar – It is my favorite subject (even though my punctuation definitely could use some sharpening), but grammar? Cozy? I don’t think so. However, there is a reason this program, which consists of two high-quality video tapes and a workbook (+ answer key), is definitely considered “cozy”. Marie Rackham. This woman is a character in herself. When you see the videos, you will understand what I mean when I say this. She has a cottage on Vancouver Island, right on Campbell River in British Columbia, and she films the classes right there, in and around her beautiful, warm home. The scenery outdoors is breathtaking. Have you ever seen the Anne of Green Gables videos? If you loved that gorgeous scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised at how similar this is. Marie is a retired English teacher who is prim and proper all the way (note the classical music piano soundtrack in the background), yet giggles and takes joy in the simple things around her. Much of the classroom time is spent outdoors, with the gurgling river and on the beach. Teacup in hand, Marie uses her surroundings to introduce grammatical concepts. For instance, she chops her own wood while explaining subjects and predicates. She falls DOWN and “hurts” herself on a log to visually demonstrate a grammar concept to the viewer. We all know how important it is to use visual aids, when we’re driving home a point. This is what Marie does, but she goes far beyond a blackboard and a still-life dummy. You walk with her on the beach, learning to speak and write correctly. You follow her into the kitchen, where she giggles and grabs a cookie. You laugh your head off when she sits on a damp log on the beach, and jumps up in “surprise”, claiming she does not like having a “wet bum”! All of this is for the viewer’s benefit — so they learn grammar.

The Old Schoolhouse™ gives Cozy Grammar the “Best all-time Grammar Award” in our book. This is a full course, complete with approximately 2 1/2 hours of teaching time in the videos and an online 110 page workbook (work along while you view the classes). 27 lessons in all and definitely well-worth the price. This is perfect for homeschoolers, absolutely perfect! Moms, take the class with your kids – it’s a wonderful refresher course. Although it is really designed for kids 10 on up, my two younger children loved “Cozy Grammar”, simply because of all the scenery and “cozy sounds” coming from the tapes. They thought it was great, and so do we. Highly recommended by TOS™ — 20 stars on a scale of five! —

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Gena Suarez, Publisher

Education Update Magazine

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Education Update Basic Grammar Review

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, a series of lessons on two videotapes with an accompanying workbook, was released in March by Splashes From The River Multimedia Entertainment. Marie Rackham, an exuberant retired English teacher, coaches her audience through 27 lessons from her idyllic beach cottage “classroom”. Rackham softens the instruction of what, for many, is a frightening subject by delivering the lessons in her slippers while enjoying a cup of tea. The materials are formatted for a student to watch a lesson and then complete the corresponding workbook exercises. Drawn from the curriculum Rackham used in the Canadian Public Schools, each video contains 14 different lessons, including Kinds of Sentences, Agreement of Verbs, Comparison of Adjectives, Misplaced Phrases and Common Errors. At the back of the workbook are answer keys for all exercises as well as four Grammar Tests. “Live” examples of the concepts being taught as well as Rackham’s colorful personality keep students’ attention during the lessons, while a classical soundtrack stimulates their thinking. Suitable for ages nine and up for use at home or in the classroom.

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Reviewed in the August 2002 Issue

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Letter of Recommendation

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course as an ESL resource

As an ESL consultant and developer of specialized ESL and TESL programs, I would like to commend Ms. Rackham on the creation of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. I have been so pleased with the uniqueness of this program that I have recommended it to various international language schools and ESL students. In fact, the viewing of these videotapes is a recommended activity in the Grammar Module of the International TESOL Certificate Program created by our company.

I believe that all ESL teachers could benefit from viewing Ms Rackham’s relaxed, systematic and clear approach to presenting grammar topics. Similarly, ESL students – young and old – who are confused or frightened by English grammar have all responded positively to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The grammar worksheets included in the package further support the effective learning of grammatical concepts. I look forward to the development of a similar grammar program at an advanced level.

Congratulations to Ms Rackham and the whole Splashes From the River team on a unique and valuable contribution to the field of English language learning.

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Reviewed by Rebecca Azoulay, President
Diplomatic Educational Services

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

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Homework Tips with your Guide Cathy Spalding

Product Summary

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Guide Rating – 4.5 Stars

Guide Review

Pros

  • Video and workbook integrate well together.
  • Can use the whole course or just specific parts.
  • Video locations are varied and interesting.

Cons

  • Not enough exercises to go with each tutorial.
  • Narrator’s style could be annoying to some.

The Bottom Line

Uniquely presented video with workbook exercises to compliment each lesson combine to form a well-rounded English grammar course that could be used in many situations.

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Reviewed by Kathy Spalding, Homework Tips Guide

Parent and School Magazine

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

International Education Product

The Cozy Grammar Series hosted by Marie Rackham, is a new educational audio-visual product, officially released to the world Home Video market in 2001. The series includes English grammar tutorials and companion exercises featuring study notes, exercises, tests and an answer key.

Filmed on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage near Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, Cozy Grammar was created to address the fears that many parents have today about the lack of formal grammar being taught in public schools. This resource was produced to empower individuals – parents/ grandparents/ teachers/ students – to take action about this concern. During the development of this project it was discovered that many younger teachers and homeschooling parents had some anxiety about teaching grammar. Hence it was decided that those fears could be alleviated by providing a resource that could be used in a library, classroom or at home. It was also developed to appeal to auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners in a gently entertaining way; something that would be ‘family friendly’ and ‘edutaining’.

Presented by an experienced retired English teacher in an enthusiastic, whimsical manner the lessons are taken out of the classroom and placed in a soothing seaside cottage setting. Marine wildlife are included along with an eclectic classical piano soundtrack. The use of everyday situations and colourful graphics to illustrate examples provides a self-empowering, non ponderous way for any individual to increase their own knowledge of basic English grammar, or help teach someone else to do so.

The uniquely bubbly teaching persona of Marie Rackham is best described as a charming mix of ‘old-fashioned, carefully enunciated, school-marm grammarian sticklerness’, and ‘young-hearted appreciation and giggly joy for life’s simple homespun pleasures’, makes her the perfect teacher to bring The Cozy Grammar Course to students of all ages world-wide.

When the curriculum covered in the resource was taught by Marie in the Canadian Public School System, it was introduced to children at the age of 9, and completed by the age of 12, with regular reviews and more challenging examples provided right through to high school graduation. Reports from viewers however state that children as young as 6 find the videos entertaining to watch. Adult ESL, Literacy and Continuing education students report that even though the examples are very simple, they appreciate how easy it is to grasp the concepts presented.

Parent and School Magazine

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Video Librarian

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

March/April 2002 Edition

Instructor Marie Rackham’s Cozy Grammar Course offers a fine introduction to a subject that most of us blissfully forgot after emancipation from high school (and would opt to undergo multiple root canals rather than revisit.) In filmed lessons, Rackham draws from examples in and around her Canadian beach cottage — puttering in the garden, cleaning up around the house, roasting wienies on the beach, etc. — to teach viewers about subjects and predicates, nouns and verbs, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs, phrases and clauses, compound and complex sentences, verb conjugation, and common errors, among other topics. Shot on digital video with colorful on-screen text examples overlaid to illustrate each grammatical principle, this amiably presented guide (featuring a pleasant classical music soundtrack background) serves equally well as an introduction or refresher course in giving students and/or adult audiences a good grounding in basic grammar.

Recommended Audience: High School, Colleges & Universities, Public Libraries.

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Reviewed by R. Pitman

Life Learning

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Review: Cozy Grammar

Have Fun Improving Your Grammar Skills!

Learning the basics of English grammar has never been this easy…or fun or cozy for that matter. Cozy Grammar is a highly recommended video program that features retired English teacher Marie Rackham hosting a series of relaxed tutorials, in and around her cottage on the beach in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada.

Says Rackham, “Grammar does not make you creative; it is a technique that enhances your creativity. If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.”

There’s no knuckle rapping here, although this package is not short on content. This light-hearted approach to a serious subject has won 13 national and international awards. It is appropriate for self-educating youngsters, private tutoring, ESL situations, adult and family literacy applications, and for virtually anybody ages nine to adult who wants to improve their grammar skills.

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Review: The Cozy Grammar Course

Making the Grade: A+
Value for your Homeschool Dollar: 10

The Cozy Grammar Course

“Grammar does not make you creative: it is a technique that enhances your creativity.  If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.”

So begins, The Cozy Grammar Course, hosted by retired English teacher Marie Rackham.  Cozy is the perfect adjective to describe this program!  Filmed on location at a beach cottage on beautiful Vancouver Island, this grammar course isn’t anything like the way I was taught in school.  In fact, I’ve always thought of learning grammar as being dry and boring.  After using this program in my home, grammar has become far less painful!

The Cozy Grammar Course consists of lessons designed to teach the basics of formal grammar.  The video lessons are incredibly heart-warming and will appeal to the auditory AND visual learners in your home.  In each lesson Marie walks you through the new concept and then instructs you to complete the exercises in your workbook.  There are several exercises for each concept being taught and tests are provided to ensure your student has grasped all the material that has been covered.  An answer key is provided for all exercises and tests.  It’s like having a professional tutor right in your living room!

My first impression was that perhaps the lessons were too “girlish” for my boys – with the cozy cottage, flower gardens, classical music soundtrack and a dramatically cheerful teacher.  After viewing the first two lessons, we were quickly won over!  When Marie introduces a new concept, words are also placed on the screen.  She often gestures first with one hand then the other and as she does the words or phrases are underlined on the monitor.  With this format, the needs of both the auditory and visual learner are met.  For instance, while sitting in a rocking chair in front of a roaring fire, Marie states, “The chair rocks.”  Then she repeats the sentence, it appears on the screen, and underlines appear as she points out that “chair” is the subject and “rocks” is the predicate.  This type of procedure is followed throughout the entire series, making even more challenging concepts much easier to understand. I find the calm, “cozy” atmosphere used in this course to be most refreshing!

While the course could easily be completed in a little over a month of school days, there are several recommendations in the back of the book for using it for a longer period of time.  One suggestion, which we will most likely follow, is to use one lesson a week.  Each lesson in the workbook has 3 sections of exercises, so we will view the lesson on one day followed by the first set of exercises in the workbook.  The next two sections will be completed on two other days during the week.  As the lessons progress, the concepts do get a bit more challenging, so I believe this will work well.  We can even watch the lesson again to reinforce concepts when needed.  I also anticipate reviewing several of the lessons in future years of schooling to reinforce the concepts that are fundamental to excellent communication.  This course would also be great to use in a group teaching situation!

The Cozy Grammar Course has received numerous awards and I enthusiastically add my own endorsement!

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Review by Cindy Prechtel, Editor

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

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English as a Second Language with your Guide Kenneth Beare

In The Spotlight

This video / workbook course focuses on learning a solid grasp of English grammar structure. The tutorials are taught on beautiful Vancouver Island employing an excellently presented multiple-intelligence approach.

Product Summary

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Guide Rating – 3 Stars

Pros

  • Enjoyable way to learn English grammar terms
  • Video expertly employs a multiple intelligence approach to learning
  • Great for reviewing everything from the basics to complex sentence structure

Cons

  • Not for ESL students wanting to focus on conversational English
  • Students need a solid grasp of English to take full advantage of the product

The Bottom Line

A fine product for ESL learners who plan to follow university courses in an English speaking country as the course focuses principally on structural understanding to improve a deeper understanding of the workings of English.

Product Description

  • An entertaining and thorough teacher in a background of spectacular scenery helps students acquire an excellent understanding of English grammar structure.
  • The course provides a companion workbook with which to practice the grammar concepts discussed.
  • The course employs ample listening and visual clues to help students master the ideas presented.

Guide Review

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is designed for native speakers who want to acquire a solid understanding of English grammar. The course is also well suited to ESL students who need a thorough knowledge of grammar terminology in order to study in a higher education setting. The course takes for granted basic fluency and uses a wide range of vocabulary. This makes the course more suitable to ESL students who already have strong vocabulary skills. The spectacular scenery of Vancouver island provides many entertaining learning situations expertly taken advantage of by Marie Rackham, the author and teacher of the course. Visual and listening cues, as well as repeated key concepts on screen employ a multiple intelligences approach to learning.

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Reviewed by Kevin Beare, ESL Guide

Educational Media Reviews

Educational Media Reviews Online MastheadReview: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Rating: Highly Recommended
Audience Level: Grade 6 – Adult
Subject(s): Language, English
Date Reviewed: 1/19/2004

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and workbook is a presentation of English grammar tutorials that instruct on all of the areas commonly considered grammar. The lessons are taught by retired English teacher Marie Rackham, in and around her home in a cottage on the beach in British Columbia. The viewer goes along on the journey as the instructor uses household chores, a dinner party, and other daily life scenarios to teach the concepts. The real life examples in the lessons make the transfer and application of grammar skills clear-cut. Ms. Rackham spends a good deal of time addressing the different learning modalities of her viewers. Her approach to teaching is free spirited, with occasional use of humor, making the lessons run smoothly. Background classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others helps enhance an ideal learning atmosphere.

The transition from one lesson to another is well done and the length of each is kept short enough to hold the viewers attention. The instructor has a playful persona and her passion for language is apparent, making the material very engaging and easy to assimilate. The accompanying workbook has a table of contents, exercises, sample tests, and some extra information not found in the video lessons. Additionally, the appendix has suggestions for using the materials.

I highly recommend that these resource materials be purchased by public, academic, and school media centers. The information found on these lessons would be very useful for the independent learner or as a tutorial to supplement and reinforce classroom instruction. Additionally, these materials are a great resource for students who have learned English as a second language and for the home schooled population. A very worthwhile investment!

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Reviewed by Hope Marie Cook

Aspired Living

 

Review: Cozy English

The Dreaded Last Minute Curriculum Change

You probably haven’t heard of Cozy Grammar. I know that I hadn’t, so let me tell you about it. First of all, I found it in September after a frantic search for a new English program, after I realized I had made a mistake <sigh> when I had picked Winston Grammar. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Winston Grammar is an excellent program; however, it is more teacher intensive than our homeschool distinctives dictate. During this search I ran across Cozy Grammar.

First Thoughts about Cozy Grammar

The first time we set up Cozy grammar the kids loved Mrs. Rackham. They were enthralled by her. Mrs. Rackham looks like the quintessential English Teacher and it is clear that she really enjoys teaching. Literally while I was working on Speed Phonics with one of the children the rest all gathered around the computer to listen to Mrs. Rackham discuss types of sentences, as if they were watching the latest movie.

When I ran across Cozy Grammar I was looking for an independent program that provided a complete overview of Grammar that the children could complete independently. We are enjoying a year of intensive Language Arts and Cozy Grammar’s Mastery approach & independent nature fit the bill.

Cozy English Grammar lessons look like this in our home:

  • The children watch the teaching videos on Monday and do 1 exercise.
  • Then they complete 1 exercise each day.
  • There are periodic tests to evaluate the students progress.
  • Cozy English is a mastery program.

What I like about Cozy English

  • It’s really easy to implement.
  • I really like the fact that it allows my children to work independently on their grammar and punctuation.
  • It doesn’t take a long time for them to finish their English assignments.
  • Mrs. Rackham is really very pleasant to watch and she explains concepts in simple easily understandable terms. If children do not understand the exercises it is usually because they did not watch the video.
  • The same program can be done with children in different grade levels , about 3rd -7th grade.

What I dislike

  • I wish they had  a bit more practice and some review built into the program.

Overall thoughts about Cozy English

We have been using Cozy since the beginning of the year and we are very happy with the program. Like most things in our homeschool, we are slowly working our way through the rather large workbook as we attempt to reach a mastery level in English Grammar & Punctuation, and it is one of our favorite language arts resources. This is a very enjoyable way to execute an English curriculum that can be used with multiple children.

Kyle Suzaane McVay Aspired Living

Reviewed by Kyle Suzanne McVay, Editor

The Usual Mayhem

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

A couple of months ago, the Canadian distributor for Cozy Grammar, Splashes From the River, very generously sent us the Basic Cozy Grammar program to review. It opens with music playing softly (turns out that on one of the printouts from the cd they list the music for you, a very thoughtful touch I thought), and a woman appears (Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher) and begins explaining why grammar is important. She speaks very slowly, and clearly, and repeats herself several times, with some of what she says appearing as words on the screen. Normally this would send M running from the room; she hates it when people talk down to kids. However, the woman in the video seems so pleasant that it is hard to take offense. She also wanders through her cottage making tea and chatting with the viewer the entire time. It’s like a grammar lesson at your favourite aunt’s, or grandma’s, house. When she’s done, she suggests that you go find the worksheet and try it out for yourself and you find yourself actually wanting to go and work on some grammar. To give you an idea of how nice this woman seems, my 18 year old wandered through in the middle of our first lesson to find out what the tinkling music was. He began by mocking it a bit from behind the couch…and then somehow ended up sitting down, watching it, and describing the lesson to my husband at supper later that evening! Even my three year old wants to watch, although I don’t know how much he’s absorbing.

Despite the seemingly slow, somewhat repetitive pace of these lessons, Marie Rackham manages to pack a good amount of very clear, very easy to understand grammar into these videos. The sheets reinforce it, but the simplicity of the videos actually turns out to be its charm and also its strongest point. If you have a child who resists grammar, a younger child, or one who needs a gentle approach that still teaches a great amount (CM homeschoolers will find that it fits the style nicely), this may just be the perfect program for you. For the rest of us, it’s still a thorough program. And there are three levels, the one I’m reviewing being the first in the series, so you can see that it’s quite thorough.

Overall, I would give this an 8 out of ten for enjoyment and a 9.5 out of ten for content. Definitely worth considering if you’re planning for fall now!

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Reviewed by Erin Dean

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“Cozy Grammar is an excellent tool that’s well worth a look.”

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Cindy Downes Masthead

Let me begin this review with some facts: My maiden name is Edwards. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read every Agatha Christie mystery written and I love Earl Grey tea. So, how could I not love Cozy Grammar! Cozy Grammar, produced by Splashes from the River, is a video teaching resource. Splashes from the River has produced several video courses that teach basic grammar, intermediate grammar, punctuation, and essay writing. This review relates to the Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

The main character in this video is the author, Marie Rackham, an active, full-of-life, senior citizen and retired school teacher who lives in British Columbia. In her preface, the author says, “I wanted to get out of the classroom – to present grammar in an everyday setting. The coziness of a home, the familiarity of a garden, the fascination of a beach, and the ever changing moods of the Pacific Coast weather combined to make a stimulating, but non-threatening, setting for teaching a potentially dry and boring subject.”

I can assure you that she did exactly that. She used the beautiful setting of her home in the Pacific Northwest to teach basic grammar skills. For instance, in the first lesson, she teaches about the kinds of sentences while welcoming you into her home and drinking tea. In the second lesson, she teaches about subjects and predicates with a demonstration of chopping firewood, building a fire, and then relaxing in front of it. She illustrates nouns by having a dinner party with friends. She uses name plates to teach personal nouns; she sets the table to show common nouns; she serves the meal while teaching collective nouns, indefinite nouns, pronouns, etc.

I thoroughly enjoyed her slightly English accent, her somewhat “stuffy” English ways, the beautiful scenery, and the background music consisting of piano compositions from composers such as Bach, Chopin, and Beethoven. The experience was pleasant and relaxing, as well as informative. After viewing each segment, there is a worksheet to complete that reinforces what has been taught, as well as tests to be given as needed.

There are a few segments that may bother some Christian homeschooling families. One is the segment where Marie is having a dinner party and she pours red and white wine in her guests glasses. The other is when she uses a buddha and yin/yang symbol to talk about adjectives. These incidents are brief and I think so minor to the program that they shouldn’t present a problem for most families, no more than seeing them in a TV ad or at the mall. I would use these segments as talking points, if desired.

I highly recommend this series for children who are visual and auditory learners. I would begin the Basic Grammar course with children who are reading fluently and ready for formal grammar instruction. The course is simple to use and is an enjoyable way to learn grammar, especially for those who dislike the traditional textboook approach.

Unfortunately, I think most teenagers will think this series is a little too “cheesy” for them. I don’t believe you’ll find many of them volunteering to watch it. However, I have an idea! Why not assign your older teen to watch it with your younger child to “help him” learn grammar. That way your teen can save “face” and it would give you time to work one-on-one with another child or do housework while this is going on!

My suggestion for this company is that they should create additional sets of Cozy Grammar with new actors and call them, “Wild West Grammar” for the western folks and “Shopping Mall Grammar” for the metropolitan type. That way everyone can enjoy watching them as much as I did!

The checklist by Cindy Downes

Reviewed by Cindy Downes, Founder

Homeschooling Almanac

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Review: Cozy English Grammar

“Discipline does not stifle creativity” Marie Rackham

I cannot recommend this grammar course highly enough! I thoroughly enjoy watching a well-done video, presenting material I care about, and I love grammar — as well as English in all its forms.  I also love all things “language”. I consider the skill of language, written and oral, to be among the greatest achievements Man has wrought — as mysterious as algebra, but far more useful! Marshall McLuhan, the great analyst of media, said that the content of the medium of both speech and writing, is thought. However, one who has not developed the ability to speak and write well, may have difficulty convincing anyone that he/she possesses any thought! Nothing aids in developing the dual skills of speaking and writing like a comfortable grasp of grammar.

Yes, that hated and feared topic that we all had to sweat through as part of our elementary English (or any other language) skills. Now, as homeschooling parents, we are once more confronted with this “toothed beast” of English and have to find a way to impart it to our children so that they can speak and write to the world, revealing the intellectual light we parents know shines within. Help is here!!

Conservative homeschooling parents will cheer mightily at Ms. Rackham’s approach and her assertion that discipline does not stifle creativity! I am among their number! I do not believe that discipline stifles creativity — one only need look to some of the greatest artists who ever lived to prove this truth: Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Dali, Milton, Tolkien, Lewis, and many, many more, have been noted for their powerful discipline in the development of the technique of their art. The only element that seems to affect creativity is the presence or absence of creativity. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Marie Rackham calls grammar “the technique of English” and she demonstrates that a skilled development of grammar will enable one to speak and write clearly, intelligently and comfortably enough to communicate one’s thoughts so that others wish to hear and/or read them. She mentions these uses for good grammatical writing and speaking skills: Resumes, job interviews, presentations, master’s theses, e-mail that may be read by any number of people beyond the writer’s knowledge and formal letters. In any of these cases, the writer/speaker has one “shot” to make a favorable impression of his intellectual skill. Considering the stakes, such an impression had better be the best possible.

The setting for the videos is Marie’s home in British Columbia, a cozy, knotty-pine sort of house on the ocean that looks the perfect refuge from a wintry rainstorm. Here, she illustrates and demonstrates each lesson with actions of varying sorts: Pouring tea, chopping wood, riding (or not riding) on an exercise bike, discussing the seagulls that populate the beach, etc.

In this way, she has skillfully developed a way to teach grammar that satisfies any learning style a student may have. Watching Ms. Rackham move throughout her home and its grounds, creates an ever-changing atmosphere that makes for more interesting viewing than simply a “talking head” lecture approach in a static setting and her movements coinciding with the grammar material keeps the observer attentive and the information flowing!

Ms. Rackham warns that this is an elementary course and that there are many excellent materials available to carry the study of grammar to the highest levels. Besides the Basic Grammar course, she has also created Intermediate Grammar I and II, Punctuation Course, Essay Course and a Free Spelling Course. This entire set is the perfect English Skills course, to be used over a 3- or 4-year period, so the prices are very affordable! This set is also perfect as a grammar review for college students or other adults.

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Reviewed by Michael J. Leppert

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Homeschool English Grammar

Love to Know Laura Henderson  By Laura Henderson

Grammar is one of the cornerstones of language arts. While there is much debate over how to teach grammar, when to teach grammar, and even if you have to teach grammar; most parents approach grammar at least a few times during the course of their child’s education. Fortunately, there are an abundance of grammar programs to consider.

Choosing a Grammar Curriculum

Choosing a curriculum can be the most important step in teaching grammar to homeschool students. Most grammar curriculums build on prior learning, making it important to consider your student’s current learning level and understanding of basic English concepts.

Cozy Grammar Courses

Although some homeschool students learn well just following textbook instructions, others require systematic instruction that parents are not always able to supply. Cozy Grammar Courses are educational DVD courses that provide an on-screen system of learning that includes the instruction of a qualified English teacher. The grammar, punctuation and essay writing lessons encompass a variety of learning modes that can help address your homeschool student’s individual style of learning. These courses include basic grammar, punctuation, essay and spelling and are appropriate for children age nine through adult learners.

Choose the Best for Your Student

Although there are plenty of homeschool grammar curriculums and learning tools available to choose from, the best choice for your homeschool depends on your student’s individual learning style and current understanding of grammar concepts. Since many companies teach concepts systematically, continuing with one type of curriculum can help provide a comprehensive method of building new concepts on prior knowledge.

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Reviewed by Laura Henderson

National Adult Literacy Database

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE listed in the National Adult Literacy Database

The National Adult Literacy Database Inc. (NALD) is a federally incorporated, non-profit service organization which fills the crucial need for a single-source, comprehensive, up-to-date and easily accessible database of adult literacy programs, resources, services and activities in North America and overseas. NALD provides adult literacy information to practitioners, teachers, volunteers, program administrators, policy setters and learners.

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Best Children’s Videos

Kids First Best Children's Videos

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE listed in 2001 Best Children’s Videos

Whimsical approach to basic English grammar as retired teacher presents light-hearted tutorials in and around her cozy cottage on the seashore. Includes video lessons and workbook with exercises, tests and answer key.

Adult Juror Comments: Educational. Interesting, well organized, in-depth study of grammar. Cheery host in a lovely seaside setting made the lessons less intimidating. Best for late elementary to junior high students, or basic adult learners.

Kid Juror Comments: High-schoolers found the content suitable for themselves but the presentation geared for younger students. “The appeal is for a younger audience and would catch their interest.” “It starts out simple and gradually becomes more in depth.” “Good examples.” Age: 10-14.

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AMTEC

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Many people are concerned by what they perceive as a lack of grammar skills being taught in schools today. The producers of THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE have created a self-contained audio/visual learning tool that would help parents and educators to empower themselves to do something about the problem. The goal was to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-follow course in basic English grammar, presented in a relaxed, non-threatening setting, by a retired English teacher considered to be a master teacher by administrators, colleagues, parents and students. Their hope is that teachers or parents could use it to teach themselves. We hope to see it utilized by public and private schools, homeschoolers, adult literacy programs, libraries, tutors etc.

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From the Awards Festival Program
Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada

CLICK HERE TO SCROLL THROUGH COZY GRAMMAR'S NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

Award of Excellence

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE should be in every home, every school and, in addition to being sold online, should be made available to the public through television infomercials! It’s one of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history!”

Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, CA

Questar Award

 

Questar Awards

 

2001 Questar Award Finalist
THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE
Educational For Home Video

 

The Questar Awards Festival of Excellence in Video productions was founded by The International Academy of Communications Arts & Sciences with the principal purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of communications in an international arena, striving to establish and promote high standards of individual and collective achievement by way of recognizing the multi-disciplines involved in professional communications productions. Our Mission is to honor the individuals whose work has made an outstanding contribution.

Communicator Awards

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2001 Award of Distinction Winner

Instructional Videos

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The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in communications.

Cindy Award

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Spring 2001 Gold Cindy Award

Arts and Humanities

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

CINDY, an acronym for “Cinema in Industry,” began in 1959 as an industrial film competition. Today the twice-a-year CINDY Awards are proudly presented by the International Association of Audio Visual Communicators (IAAVC), a non-profit group representing theatrical, broadcast, non-broadcast, and interactive media professionals throughout the world.

AXIEM Award

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2001 Copper Award First Place Winner

 

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

Educational Video for Home Market

 

The AXIEM AWARDS is a national awards program created to honor those who produce the very best in all forms of electronic media.

Videographer Awards

 

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Videographer Awards Distinction

2001 Award of Distinction

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

For Sale / Instructional

 

The Videographer Awards are designed to give winners the recognition that the work they are producing is outstanding and highly regarded by their peers. The works are judged solely on their own quality, creativity and resourcefulness.

WorldFest Houston Remi Award

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Remi Award Bronze2001 Bronze Remi Award

Worldfest Houston

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WORLDFEST, the premiere Indie film/video festival in North America, has discovered some of the top directors and filmmakers in the world today.

Aegis Award

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2001 AEGIS AWARD
Excellence in Educational Media
Training/Education

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Aegis Award of Excellence 2001

 

“Your work on The Basic Cozy Grammar Course has been recognized by your peers as being among the very best in all of North America. As an Aegis winner, you have joined the elite ranks of the most creative video production professionals in the industry.”

The Aegis Awards Panel of Judges

Canada Post Literacy Award

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Canada Post Literacy Award

 

2001 Canada Post Literacy Finalist
Outstanding Literacy Educator

 

MARIE RACKHAM

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

 

“To liberate slow learners from feelings of inadequacy, Marie developed an easily understood grammar course during her 34 year teaching career. That course has become a video/workbook production called The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, which stars Marie, leading a series of 27 lessons for ages 9 to adult.”

Media Agency Communications Award

 

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2001 First Place Winner
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Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

“One of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history! It is well-deserving of our AWARD OF EXCELLENCE.”

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2001 Award of Excellence
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MARIE RACKHAM’S COZY CLASSROOM COLLECTION CD

 

“This is a lovely recording of piano arrangements which serves as an excellent introduction for young people to classical music and hopefully enhances their learning as they listen and enjoy!”

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

“. . . Marie Rackham provides excellent explanations and examples, and the lessons are very suitable for all ages . . .”

Carol Verbrugge

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“The Old Schoolhouse gives Cozy Grammar the “Best all-time Grammar Award” in our book . . . Highly recommended by The Old Schoolhouse — 20 stars on a scale of five!”

Gena Suarez, Publisher

Free 7-Day Preview (Grammar & Punctuation)

One week of free access to see whether Cozy Grammar is a good match for you or your family.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course (1 Year): $19.95 USD

One year of access for an individual or a family.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course (Unlimited): $39.95 USD

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

Basic Grammar & Punctuation Combo (1 Year): $29.95

One year of access for an individual or a family.

Basic Grammar & Punctuation Combo (Unlimited): $59.95

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course

In the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, Marie takes you on the road in her trusty Camino to visit natural and historic landmarks in and around her town of Campbell River.

Along the way, and at each stop, she explains the different ways that punctuation marks serve as language traffic signs.

The introduction, the 14 lessons, and the added bonus lesson each consist of a video in which Marie introduces the day's topic in distinctive and joyful ways, an interactive online workbook with Marie's study notes and additional examples, and exercises designed to help students punctuate with confidence and verve.

In addition, Marie introduces short punctuation poems in each lesson, which serve to make the topics even more memorable. This course is suitable for ages 9 and up.

If you've ever been confused by a comma or stumped by a semicolon, Marie's Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is the perfect antidote. Her guidance will illuminate the art of clarity in written language.

Marie Rackham The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course

Features of the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course

  • A video introduction and 15 comprehensive video lessons from Marie, optimized for viewing on every kind of device, from desktop and laptop computers to the latest tablets and smartphones.
  • Detailed and interactive study notes with additional examples, supplementary videos, and creative writing activities, continually updated and improved.
  • Interactive exercises for each lesson that provide specially-tailored feedback aimed at helping students not only master the fundamentals of punctuation, but also learn how to achieve greater clarity and vibrance in their writing.
  • Memorable punctuation poems for each punctuation mark.
  • A classical music soundtrack designed to enhance learning, performed by Marie Rackham herself.
  • The ability to track progress and begin exactly where a student has left off.
  • An official course completion certificate at the end of the course.
  • The option to access and print a complete record of exercise results for documentation of learning.
  • Glossary of Terms
  • Up to 4 additional family sub-accounts, each with their own course tracking and personalized certificate.

Scroll Through the Testimonials of Students, Families, and Language Learners of All Kinds:

 

How we use parts of speech in everyday life

It is cool because the teacher is on your screen. If you don’t understand something or hear her, you can stop and rewind. The video lessons show how we use parts of speech like adverbs and adjectives in everyday life.

Meghan Ford, Age 13
Middle School Student, Alberta, Canada

A very gentle way to learn punctuation

I homeschool my son and we have completed The Basic Cozy Punctuation CourseThis is a great course and we really enjoyed it. It is a very gentle way to learn punctuation.  Marie uses road signs as visuals to help learn the punctuation marks and my son said that he would never forget them. This course is very easy to use for student and teacher. After the student watches the lesson, he does the exercises from the online companion workbook to reinforce the concept. The lessons are short and to-the-point, one concept at a time. Marie is very clear and she is always actively doing something while teaching to help the concept stick. The lessons are entertaining with beautiful scenery and relaxing classical music. I highly recommend this course for learning basic punctuation.

Gina Roberts, Homeschool Mom

Popular and clear

I showed the course to students at the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade levels. I thought that the grade 9 students might object to the learning style, but when I told them that I was going to use a different program, they didn’t want me to change. The students commented that she (Marie) speaks clearly and that they could understand what was being taught.

I plan to use both the grammar and punctuation courses at the grade 6 level in this coming year.

Cindy W.
Charter School Teacher, Florida, USA

A very useful addition to any homeschool

Looking for an alternative or supplement to language arts workbooks that will entertain and educate your children? Well, my children and I have thoroughly enjoyed using The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course this past school year. It includes 15 lessons in which course author and retired teacher, Marie Rackham, instructs about the finer points of punctuation. This excellent program includes beautiful photography, online exercises, and engages multiple learning styles, and would be a very useful addition to any homeschool, public library, or home learning resource center.

One feature that makes this program irresistible is the scenery. The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is filmed around the Campbell River, British Columbia, area and Mrs. Rackham uses a different locale each lesson to illustrate the concepts being taught.  The program is sort of a cross between a travel show and an English lesson. The photography and editing are very professional and pleasing to the senses. This innovative technique is far superior to watching an instructor lecture in front of a black board.

Learners with different learning styles will find The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course useful, as the program has been designed to utilize all the learning styles. When Mrs. Rackham instructs or illustrates an example, the viewer not only hears her say it, but the words are also put up on the screen over the picture and they are often in different colors to highlight the concept being taught. Mrs. Rackham is also an accomplished musician and each episode highlights a different piece of classical music in the background which adds to the overall atmosphere of the program. Then at the end of each lesson Mrs. Rackham reminds the student to do the exercises in the workbook which requires the learner to actively practice the concepts taught.

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course should be in every public library and home learning resource center, but the cost may be prohibitive to many individual home learners. I think the price is comparable to many of the major publisher’s English programs. Many families may be concerned about the lack of consistent review but I use my children’s writing and dictation for reviewing and reinforcing the concepts taught in the program. If there is a concept that my child seems to be struggling with, we simply replay that episode.

In our five years of homeschooling, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is very high on our list of favorite curriculum resources. I learned along with my children (do you know what an interrobang is?) and it was fun, educational, and effective. We look forward to using it for many years to come, and we also look forward to using all the other programs in this series. So, if you are looking for a program to breathe some life into your language arts curriculum, check out The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.

Sarah Sullivan, Homeschooling Mom, Courtenay, BC, Canada

Fun with grammar and punctuation

This is a fun way to learn English grammar and punctuation!  I love Marie.  I love the scenery, especially when Marie saw the Orca whales, and when she caught a salmon.  I love the mountains and the river and the trees and the beach.

Haya Nakazaki, Age 9
ESL Student, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

A teacher full of dramatic enthusiasm

A report to the District Superintendent of Schools about Marie Rackham as a classroom English teacher:

Marie Rackham’s teaching style might be best characterized by the phrase “dramatic.” She throws her total personality into instruction and as a consequence, receives the enthusiastic input of all of her students. As a result of this infectious enthusiasm, Mrs. Rackham undoubtedly draws many students who might otherwise be “turned off” in more traditional teaching formats. She doesn’t hesitate to take on students who do not fit the expectations of other teachers and has often been very successful in turning these students around. The standard of work submitted by her senior class is high and the expectations she sets are equally challenging. Her modified English class is marked by output not previously accomplished by these students. The informal framework of Mrs. Rackham’s lessons does not detract from the quality of the input nor the standard of the output; in fact the opposite can be said: the achievement is enhanced.

Don Muir, Secondary School Principal
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

We feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching

At the beginning of this year, I stumbled onto a very unique English curriculum – the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation courses, an award-winning series of relaxed English grammar and punctuation tutorials prepared as living textbooks. After a little research (do a Google for either course and you’ll find a number of excellent reviews) I decided to order it and give it a try.  I have been using the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation with my son this past semester, and I highly recommend these courses.  I have noticed a marked improvement in his understanding of grammar and punctuation and a dramatic increase in his interest in learning these subjects.

Marie Rackham is a delightful and effective teacher who has won several awards for her innovative teaching methods.  Her lighthearted teaching style captures the student’s attention immediately. Her lessons are not only educational, they are also entertaining, so my son is always eager to watch the next lesson. Now when my son and I watch the lessons together, we feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching both of us grammar.

I was so impressed with this curriculum that I began recommending it to all my homeschooling friends. I was amazed to learn that none of the seasoned homeschooling families in my area had even heard of Cozy Grammar.  So, I have decided to make it my mission to spread the word about these wonderfully effective courses to other homeschooling families.

Clarice Marchman-Jones, Homeschooling Mom,
Founder, Garnet Moon Academy

A daunting subject comes alive

Thank you so very much for the beauty, warmth and great information you share in your Cozy Grammar/Punctuation courses. Another homeschooling mother and I trade expertise and she shared your courses with me. You truly make a rather daunting subject come alive for children as well as for their mothers!

Michelle
Homeschooling Mom

Master teacher

Mrs. Rackham has exhibited the qualities and abilities associated with the master teacher.

Warren Harle, Secondary School Principal
School District #72, Campbell River, BC, Canada

Most Unique Language Arts Curriculum

Curriculum: Cozy Grammar/Punctuation Courses
Grade level: All

We love the Basic Cozy Grammar/Punctuation series by Marie Rackham! If you love the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, this series is for you! The series (grammar, punctuation, essay, spelling and intermediate grammar) is based for ages 10 to adult and is a wonderful review for those of us who have ‘forgotten’ along the way. Marie is very adept at teaching in a way that the information is very memorable. After you watch the short (3-5 minute) clip, you can do the exercises provided. We usually do this on Monday, then throughout the week, I give assignments that go along with it (ie. if we are studying verbs, I will ask them to write 5 sentences and underline the verbs or write a short story and use as many verbs as they can, etc.) just to keep them focused. It is the most unique language arts curriculum I have used and the ONLY one that my kids beg to use!That in itself is the highest recommendation I could ever have!It is pricey, but well worth it!

Reviewed by Tammy, Homeschooling Mom
Home School Reviews
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All Star Review

All-Star ReviewsReview: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Reviewed July 2003

Synopsis: The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow punctuation curriculum for homeschools, libraries, private tutoring, ESL, adult literacy, teacher resources and anyone wishing to brush up on punctuation skills. The course contains filmed lessons and an online workbook containing lesson overviews, exercises, and answer keys.

Age-Appropriateness: This course teaches punctuation with a relaxed, comfortable style that holds the attention of multiple age groups. The lessons are clear and easily understood, each one ranging from 7 to 18 minutes in length.

Graphics/Sound: Gentle classical piano music in the background and stunning location shots from beautiful British Columbia are a winning combination.

Pros: It is nice to find an educational program which doesn’t insult the student with crude humor and slick gimmicks. Marie, a retired English teacher, presents the potentially dry material in such a way as to be entertaining as well as educational. Also, she gives the learner little tips to help remember some of the punctuation rules. Each lesson is short and to the point, reinforced by the accompanying exercises and the written dialogue on the TV screen. The video format allows the student to go directly to the lesson he/she is working on, which saves time and frustration.

Cons: Kids of the MTV mind set might be inclined to make fun of the gentle style of this program, and ignore the genuine educational value of the material.

Conclusion: The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is another delightful product from the producers of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. My children not only polished their punctuation skills, but they also learned some geography of British Columbia, and gained a renewed desire to practice their classical piano pieces… not bad for an English course. Whether or not you know what an interrobang or a loonie is, you need this course.

Ages:9 to adult

Rating (out of 5): All-Star 5-Star Review

Reviewed by Laura Bahrt
All Star Reviews

Film Advisory Board

 

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Hollywood, CA

 

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Excellent! We first had the pleasure of evaluating the outstanding ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE‘ – and now we can enjoy retired English teacher, Marie Rackham, as she educates us on punctuation! The soothing, picturesque scenery of Campbell River, British Columbia and the welcoming personality and skill of Marie Rackham make this educational video course, complete with online workbook, a unique and very enjoyable learning experience! ‘THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE’ should be in every home, every school and, in addition to being sold online, should be made available to the public through television infomercials! It’s one of the best educational products the FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history!

Film Advisory Board Elayne Blythe

Reviewed by Elayne Blythe, President and Founder

Library Journal

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Library Journal recommends The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course for grade school through high school and ESL instruction

September 1, 2003 Issue

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course set contains 15 lessons, of varying lengths, on the proper usage of punctuation marks (periods, comma, parentheses, etc.).

Marie Rackham, a Canadian teacher, offers clear, real-world examples of proper usage. An online workbook, with exercises for each lesson, is included, and answer keys are provided. Short poems appear from time to time as learning aids.

The overall presentation is clear and specific; the Vancouver Island, BC, backgrounds are absolutely stunning. This set would be useful for grade school through high school and ESL instruction.

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Reviewed by Jay Schwartz

Video Librarian

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

November/December 2003 Edition

Sporting the bumper sticker “Punctuation Rules!” on the back of her car, retired English teacher/instructor Marie Rackham tools around natural settings on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, pointing out noteworthy sites while sharing insights into the finer points of punctuation. Divided into 15 lessons, Rackham’s survey looks at the proper use of periods, commas, exclamation marks, quotation marks, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, dashes, parentheses, brackets, slashes, and the “interrobang” (a combination question-exclamation mark that is not yet in common usage, nor found on computer keyboards).

Shot on digital video with colorful onscreen text examples used to illustrate each grammatical principle (in fact, nearly all of the script is transcribed onscreen), this excellent primer (featuring a pleasant classical piano background performed by Rackham) serves equally well as an introduction or refresher course in giving students and/or adult audiences a good grounding in the rules of punctuation. Unfortunately, the workbook (for which permission to reproduce has been granted) is referred to at the end of each lesson, and does have some fill-in-the-blank sections,  making the course somewhat problematic for public libraries (although the instruction can stand alone without it, since the workbook only contains practice exercises). In addition, I have to say that Rackham’s slow-paced set-ups and perambulations would drive some people bonkers in a New York minute.

Still, the instruction is both comprehensive and superb, and punctuation courses on video and DVD are rare, making this one highly recommended.

Audience: High Schools, Colleges and Universities, Public Libraries.

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Reviewed by R.Pitman

American Library Association

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

January 1 & 15, 2004 Issue

Gr. 6-12. Retired teacher Marie Rackham follows up The Basic Cozy Grammar Course (2002) with this similarly helpful punctuation primer.

Strolling around her comfy home on picturesque Vancouver [Island] B.C. environs, Rackham compares punctuation marks to “traffic signs for reading and writing” and explains how the placement of commas, periods, exclamation points, and other symbols follow speech pauses and verbal inflections. Practical examples show how changing the location of a comma, for example, completely changes the meaning of a sentence. The program features the teacher’s homespun advice and punctuation rules in captions. The accompanying workbook enhances the usefulness of this excellent tutorial for classroom or self-study purposes.

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Educational Media Reviews

Educational Media Reviews Online MastheadReview: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Rating: Educational Media Reviews Online Highly Recommended Check Icon Highly Recommended
Audience Level: Elementary – Adult
Subject(s): Language, English
Date Reviewed: 1/19/2004

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is a presentation of 15 English punctuation tutorials that encompass the rules for the proper use of commas, question marks, colons, and other punctuation. The lessons are taught by retired English teacher Marie Rackham; the background surroundings are set in and around some of the most beautiful views in British Columbia. Classical background music by composers Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and others add to a peaceful learning environment. The real life examples used in the lessons make the transfer and application of these skills clear-cut.

The transition from one lesson to another is well done and the length of each is kept short enough to hold the viewers attention.  The instructor has a colorful personality and her enthusiasm for language is evident; this makes the material less tedious and easier to assimilate. The accompanying workbook has a table of contents, exercises, answer key and some extra information not found in the filmed lessons. Short, catchy sayings are included in each lesson. For example when explaining the comma the quote attached is: “Of all the punctuation marks, I like the comma best, for when I’m running out of breath she lets me take a rest.”  Additionally, in the appendix is a glossary and a listing of the music incorporated in the lessons.

This resource is highly recommended and should be purchased by public, academic, and school media libraries. The information found in these lessons would be very useful for the independent learner or as a tutorial to supplement and reinforce classroom instruction. The home schooled population would find this material succinct and practical. Additionally, these materials are a great resource for students who have learned English as a second language.

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Reviewed by Hope Marie Cook

Eclectic Homeschool Review

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Okay. Swallow hard. Here’s a course on basic punctuation that your 6th through 12th graders could actually like! Let retired school teacher Marie Rackham take you to beautiful scenic spots – like a lighthouse, forest, shoreline, Native totem poles, and a waterfall – to make question marks, double quotation marks, and capitals more palatable. Really!

Splashes from the River Multimedia Entertainment brings you Rackham’s The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, and it delivers! Here, find 14 lessons broken up over 178 minutes on video, plus intro and conclusion, to go with your online workbook. The course – shot on location in beautiful British Columbia – includes 52 tracks of classical music woven into the assignments along with poems and highlighted graphics, thereby interesting and holding the attention of your audio learner, your visual learner, and your hands-on, workbook-doing learner in tutorials ranging from 7 to 18 minutes each.

Great for ESL, classrooms, corporate seminars, and homeschoolers, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course will make you giggle, fill your eyes and ears with beauty, and cause you to learn or re-learn/remediate the elasticity of punctuation. What? I said “elasticity”? That’s right, for Rackham notes the evolution of punctuation (invented by publishers) and the introduction of new marks as well as new uses and popularity for old marks. [No, Marie; I had never heard of `interrobang’ before, and neither had my spell-check program!] Thankfully, she includes an answer key to help the teachers navigate the treachery of changing commas, slashes and dashes, and periods that have a “to be, or not to be” sense of humor.

This “living textbook” not only challenges, but encourages. The company’s very mission statement makes you want to -uh- dive right in: “Creating original, rehydrating material for questers who get thirsty while wandering and wondering through the backwoods of their imaginations.” The grandmotherly-looking veteran teacher is warm and hospitable, inviting you into her home and along for an educational ride in her trusty Camino. Excellent!

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Reviewed by Deborah Deggs Cariker

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Homeschooling From the Heart

Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

When I received The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course to review, I thought, “How could the word cozy go with punctuation?” Well, I soon found out!

I told my kids to get ready to review The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course. They all came back with their pillows and quilts. I laughed and said, “Why not?” We situated ourselves in a “cozy” manner and began the introduction, where we “met” retired schoolteacher, Marie Rackham, who spoke to us as if we were in her home getting ready to go with her on a peaceful outing.  Her speech is quite different, as she pronounces everything very distinctly. This made us chuckle a bit, but not enough to disturb the lesson. One of my sons said he liked how clearly she spoke because there was no question as to what she said — nothing misunderstood. As we continued on to Lesson One, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, soothing background music, and how easy it was to understand the material. As with the Basic Cozy Grammar program reviewed in a previous issue, Basic Cozy Punctuation appeals to both auditory and visual learners through the use of graphics, color, and background scenery to emphasize the concept being taught. Auditory learners will also appreciate the clever poems included with each lesson that serve as a helpful reminder of the punctuation rule.

After each lesson we used the accompanying exercises.  My three boys (ages 7, 9, & 11) did very well and their success continued with each lesson. My two girls (ages 3 & 6) also watched the lessons with us.  I’m not sure how much punctuation they have learned, but the lessons definitely held their attention. In addition to the punctuation instruction, Marie weaves facts and interesting information about the Pacific Northwest into each lesson. Not only are the students learning punctuation, but historical, geographical and even scientific facts as well. As for topics covered, the 15 lessons on two DVDs begin with basic sentence endings and continue through commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, colon and semi-colon use, parentheses, brackets and more. In addition to the exercises, each lesson from the video is also presented in the workbook. This becomes a handy resource, which the student can refer to as they apply what they have learned in their daily writing.

Basic Cozy Punctuation seems best suited for elementary grades. Older students, especially those used to fast-paced videos might find the flow of the lessons a bit slow. Marie repeats key concepts often, which is good for retention, but occasionally seems to “drag out” the lesson too much. As I’ve mentioned, the setting of the lessons themselves make this course a delight for the eyes and the material is covered in a very thorough manner. The publisher encourages using this course in a classroom situation. I’m not sure how we would like Basic Cozy Punctuation in a classroom setting. We are a cuddly family and greatly enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere, even watching the lessons with the lights off!

Overall, Basic Cozy Punctuation is a thorough course presented in a step-by-step, visually pleasing format. Since each lesson only takes about 20 minutes to complete, it can be an easy addition to your homeschool routine.

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Reviewed by Lori Carvell

Education Clearinghouse

Education Clearinghouse Reviews

Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

“Remember the purpose of punctuation is clarity of meaning.” Marie Rackham

Quick, how many punctuation marks can you think of? Ten? Fifteen? We’re not talking hundreds here, so why is punctuation so hard to master? Retired English teacher Marie Rackham doesn’t think it’s difficult and she has the course to prove it!

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course covers all aspects of punctuation from periods and commas to hyphens and interrobangs. Comparing punctuation marks to street signs, she reminds the student that the primary purpose of punctuation is to alert the reader to stops, pauses, and detours in the written work. In addition, she also covers parts of speech and types of sentences along with the appropriate punctuation.

Consisting of 170 minutes of streaming video this self-teaching course offers fifteen lessons taught on camera by Mrs. Rackham. These lessons are beautifully filmed at various scenic locales near the author’s home in Campbell River, British Columbia, and are accompanied by an assortment of classical music selections. Onscreen text provide examples to complement Mrs. Rackham’s delightful presentation.

Referring to hand copying as a lost art, Mrs. Rackham recommends that students copy the online exercises by hand as they complete the work. There is a full page of exercises for each of the fifteen lessons and the introductory lesson. The companion online workbook section is followed by an answer key, and appendices that cover capitalization, italics, and a glossary of terms.

Watching the video lesson, reviewing the lesson notes, and completing the online practice exercises will take the average student about an hour for each lesson.

This course is beautifully presented, designed for self-teaching, and quite thorough. I highly recommend it for junior high and high school students who haven’t yet mastered punctuation rules.

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Volume 10 – Number 1 – October 2004

In acknowledging that there is no absolute agreement on the correct or preferred use of many punctuation marks, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course introduces the listener/reader to the basic ways to use punctuation.  The author’s “cozy” approach to teaching the uses of punctuation is perfectly captured by her words, “Punctuation marks are language traffic signs/ They tell you when to start and stop/ Or how to read the lines”.

The author employs humorous short poems to convey the essentials of what the “dots, lines and squiggles” mean and how they are used.  The filmed tutorials, set in the Campbell River area on Vancouver Island, feature colorful graphics and classical music to set a relaxed mood for learning the punctuation basics.  One of the lessons discusses discrepancies in uses of punctuation marks and emphasizes clarifying meaning and preventing misunderstanding through the use of punctuation.

Lessons deal with periods, commas, exclamation marks, quotation marks, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, dashes, parentheses, brackets, and slashes.  Each lesson includes exercises and answer keys.  Appendices cover capitalization, italics, and a glossary of terms.

The course is useful for classroom settings, private tutoring, home schooling, adult basic education and by anyone who wants to improve their use of punctuation.

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Reviewed by C. Lyn Currie

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Award of Excellence

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE should be in every home, every school and, in addition to being sold online, should be made available to the public through television infomercials! It’s one of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history!”

Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, CA

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2001 Questar Award Finalist
THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE
Educational For Home Video

 

The Questar Awards Festival of Excellence in Video productions was founded by The International Academy of Communications Arts & Sciences with the principal purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of communications in an international arena, striving to establish and promote high standards of individual and collective achievement by way of recognizing the multi-disciplines involved in professional communications productions. Our Mission is to honor the individuals whose work has made an outstanding contribution.

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2001 Award of Distinction Winner

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Spring 2001 Gold Cindy Award

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CINDY, an acronym for “Cinema in Industry,” began in 1959 as an industrial film competition. Today the twice-a-year CINDY Awards are proudly presented by the International Association of Audio Visual Communicators (IAAVC), a non-profit group representing theatrical, broadcast, non-broadcast, and interactive media professionals throughout the world.

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2001 Copper Award First Place Winner

 

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2001 Award of Distinction

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Remi Award Bronze2001 Bronze Remi Award

Worldfest Houston

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

WORLDFEST, the premiere Indie film/video festival in North America, has discovered some of the top directors and filmmakers in the world today.

Aegis Award

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2001 AEGIS AWARD
Excellence in Educational Media
Training/Education

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Aegis Award of Excellence 2001

 

“Your work on The Basic Cozy Grammar Course has been recognized by your peers as being among the very best in all of North America. As an Aegis winner, you have joined the elite ranks of the most creative video production professionals in the industry.”

The Aegis Awards Panel of Judges

Canada Post Literacy Award

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Canada Post Literacy Award

 

2001 Canada Post Literacy Finalist
Outstanding Literacy Educator

 

MARIE RACKHAM

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

 

“To liberate slow learners from feelings of inadequacy, Marie developed an easily understood grammar course during her 34 year teaching career. That course has become a video/workbook production called The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, which stars Marie, leading a series of 27 lessons for ages 9 to adult.”

Media Agency Communications Award

 

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2001 First Place Winner
THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Panisonic Award

 

The Association for Media and Technology in Education (AMTEC) presents a national showcase for educational media.

Award of Excellence

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

“One of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history! It is well-deserving of our AWARD OF EXCELLENCE.”

Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, CA

Panasonic Video Communications Award

 

Ametc 2001 Logo

 

2001 First Place Winner
Best Overall Videotape Production

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Panisonic Best Videotape Production

 

Awarded by Panasonic to the educational video production judged to have accomplished the highest overall level of quality standards.

AMTEC Award

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2001 Award of Excellence
Informational-Visual

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Amtec Award of Excellence

 

AMTEC is committed to evaluating educational technologies which reflect sound pedagogical theory, which are accessible to all learners and teachers, which promote innovation in learning and teaching, and which celebrate best teaching/learning practices in all educational environments. One Award of Excellence is granted in each category.

Telly Award

 

2001 Telly Award Winner

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Telly Award Trophy

Resource Links Best of 2004

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ResourceLinks Best of 2004

Audio/Visual Product

 

MARIE RACKHAM’S COZY CLASSROOM COLLECTION CD

 

“This is a lovely recording of piano arrangements which serves as an excellent introduction for young people to classical music and hopefully enhances their learning as they listen and enjoy!”

Ann Ketcheson

The Dove Foundation

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Dove Family Approved Seal

Family Approved

 

 

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

“. . . Marie Rackham provides excellent explanations and examples, and the lessons are very suitable for all ages . . .”

Carol Verbrugge

The Dove Foundation

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

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Honorable Mention 2001

Excellence In Education Award

Old Schoolhouse Magazine Excellence in Education Award

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

“The Old Schoolhouse gives Cozy Grammar the “Best all-time Grammar Award” in our book . . . Highly recommended by The Old Schoolhouse — 20 stars on a scale of five!”

Gena Suarez, Publisher

Free 7-Day Preview (Grammar & Punctuation)

One week of free access to see whether Cozy Grammar is a good match for you or your family.

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course (1 Year): $19.95 USD

One year of access for an individual or a family.

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course (Unlimited): $39.95 USD

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

Basic Cozy Grammar & Punctuation Combo (1 Year): $29.95

One year of access for an individual or a family.

Basic Grammar & Punctuation Combo (Unlimited): $59.95

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

The Basic Cozy Grammar and Punctuation Combo

Marie loves all the paintings!

Over the years, we've found that students and families often combine the Basic Cozy Grammar Course with the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.

The courses naturally lend themselves to this pairing.

Marie, in fact, designed them to complement one another, and more students and families than we can count have used them in tandem.

We've therefore decided to offer the two courses together at a discounted price.

You can return to the Basic Cozy Grammar Course description by clicking here.

You can return to the Basic Cozy Punctuation Course description by clicking here.

As with our individual courses, your subscription to this combo allows you unlimited access for the period that you've purchased, with the option to renew at a 50% discount.

We would be pleased to have you join us for both of these special courses.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

AND

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course

Scroll Through the Testimonials of Students, Families, and Language Learners of All Kinds:

 

Master teacher

Mrs. Rackham has exhibited the qualities and abilities associated with the master teacher.

Warren Harle, Secondary School Principal
School District #72, Campbell River, BC, Canada

A wonderful investment!

What a wonderful investment!

Since we opened our ESL Homestay School 3 years ago, we have bought a plethora of programs.  Most of them sit on the shelves gathering dust.  There is one notable exception to the rule – The Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

Our students vie to see who will get the tape next as it does its round from room to room and one of the hardest rules we have to enforce is “only one lesson a day.”

I am looking forward to receiving the new punctuation course.  If it is only half as good as “Cozy Grammar” it will be worth every cent.

Thank you for an excellent product!

Norman K. Archer, President
Mountainside English Language Academy

Presented in a delightful manner

I want to pass along some responses from my colleagues about the Basic Cozy Grammar Course. From their point(s) of view they found the course was presented in a delightful manner using a unique approach in pleasant surroundings. They also mentioned they were fun and easy.

And as a side note: They found Marie to be an endearing character that created a very comfortable learning environment.

Karen M. Samples
CMS, Director, Colleague Development, Arizona

Ecstatic to have discovered Cozy Grammar

I am absolutely dazzled by the content of this course. As a new Language Arts teacher, I am ecstatic to have discovered Cozy Grammar.

Students so often groan at grammar time. However, now they will be pleading to watch one more lesson in anticipation of what island wonders will be next. The short grammar lessons given by Marie are clear, concise and easy to follow. The music, scenery and cottage grace the lessons with warmth and island beauty. Each clip illustrates beautifully the essence of the lesson. The anticipation of what will come next and how the story will be told keeps me riveted.

Each lesson is an island bouquet. Beautiful paper flowers amongst island greens make common prepositions real. A painting of a rock pool and the brilliant transition to the live pool itself breath life into adjective phrases. The eagle on top of the rock—WOW! The misplaced phrase scene is outrageous and Marie’s laughter contagious. Marie perched high on an eagle rock metaphorically representing coordinate conjunctions is delightfully cheeky and her dialogue with the crab pool a treat for any child or adult. ‘The pool is calm yet alive,’ she says, these words echoing the lessons themselves—calm but filled with life and laughter. The evening scene with the brilliant night sounds and the crackle of fire bring to life the sounds of interjections. The garden scene with Karen, Alexander and Devon is lovely. The little voices of children, their small hands and wonderment are the perfect setting for the conjugation of verbs. The daisy chain gift from Devon to Marie incredibly touching and beautiful. The common errors Elmer scene is an absolute roar.

Dawn Ford
Language Arts Teacher, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar

I am a public school 6th grade teacher and homeschooling Mom. I built my language arts curriculum around Cozy Grammar, and as a result the reading and writing skills of my students have improved considerably. Many of the students study music, so they also recognized and enjoyed the classical piano pieces.

S.B.
6th Grade Teacher and Homeschooling Mom, Los Gatos, CA, USA

Takes away intimidation about grammar

As a former elementary teacher and Learning Assistant and E.S.L. teacher at the junior level, I wish I had had access to this grammar course. Marie’s relaxed, concise but clear instructions take away any intimidation a teacher, student or homeschooling parent might have about teaching grammar.

Mary Clark
Elementary Teacher, Learning Assistant, ESL Teacher

Phenomenal educational series

You are great! What a phenomenal educational series you have created!

Thanks for making these videos. I am a retired elementary school principal and hold the same view on grammar instruction as you do!  I’m so glad this is available for everyone to enjoy!

Retired Elementary School Principal

Better than learning from textbooks

My kids used the grammar course and loved it better than learning from textbooks. At least when they had their grammar lessons, I didn’t get the usual complaints.

Mary E.
Homeschooling Parent, Wisconsin

I highly recommend it

I am using The Basic Cozy Grammar Course to personally improve my writing skills. I highly recommend it as an adult learning tool—especially for older adults, like me, who are always looking for ways to better themselves.

W. Rowe
California

Funny and educational at the same time

I think that the Cozy Grammar Series is a great way of learning because it’s funny and educational at the same time. The video is clear and lessons are easy to understand and remember because it’s funny.

Shawn D.
Grade 9 Student

A daunting subject comes alive

Thank you so very much for the beauty, warmth and great information you share in your Cozy Grammar/Punctuation courses. Another homeschooling mother and I trade expertise and she shared your courses with me. You truly make a rather daunting subject come alive for children as well as for their mothers!

Michelle
Homeschooling Mom

Excellent basic grammar course

This is an excellent Basic Grammar course. The instructor is engaging and very effective. I used this to teach my reluctant 7th grader. He doesn’t exactly “love” grammar now, but he is no longer intimidated.

Clarice
Garnet Moon Academy -- South Carolina homeschooling Mom

A pleasure to write this testimonial

It’s a pleasure to write this testimonial in regards to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

I’m the director of a training department for a national health care management company. I used the course for a train-the-trainer series that I held. I was a little apprehensive at first to use this with an adult population. Especially because they thought they knew ‘how to’ use grammar in the composition of training materials. From my point of view the lessons were cognitively ordered in a fashion that made them easily understood using teaching approaches that reinforced what they have been learning. In addition, the workbook provided strong reinforcement of the lessons and is used frequently as a resource tool.

Director of Training
National Health Care Management Company

This course works very well

This course works very well for my learning style. Not only am I an audio/visual learner, but repetition is a key factor in aiding me to grasp new concepts. Being able to watch the lessons more than once has truly been beneficial and the workbook helps to reinforce what I have learned.

Dorothy C.
Mississippi

Most Unique Language Arts Curriculum

Curriculum: Cozy Grammar/Punctuation Courses
Grade level: All

We love the Basic Cozy Grammar/Punctuation series by Marie Rackham! If you love the Charlotte Mason method of teaching, this series is for you! The series (grammar, punctuation, essay, spelling and intermediate grammar) is based for ages 10 to adult and is a wonderful review for those of us who have ‘forgotten’ along the way. Marie is very adept at teaching in a way that the information is very memorable. After you watch the short (3-5 minute) clip, you can do the exercises provided. We usually do this on Monday, then throughout the week, I give assignments that go along with it (ie. if we are studying verbs, I will ask them to write 5 sentences and underline the verbs or write a short story and use as many verbs as they can, etc.) just to keep them focused. It is the most unique language arts curriculum I have used and the ONLY one that my kids beg to use!That in itself is the highest recommendation I could ever have!It is pricey, but well worth it!

Reviewed by Tammy, Homeschooling Mom
Home School Reviews

Refreshing to hear classical music

We have just begun using the Basic Cozy Grammar Course, and thus far have been enjoying it very much. Our children are grasping the material, and I like the fact that each lesson is not too long. The scenery and settings for the lessons help make learning grammar more interesting, and it is quite refreshing to hear classical music.

Nancy O.
Homeschool Parent, Delaware

A great help

We are in the process of using the cozy grammar videos. I am homeschooling my 7th grade daughter and needed to brush up on my skills as well as teach Chelsea hers. The video has been a great help!

Nicolas
Homeschool Parent, Florida

They truly enjoy it

I believe that my children’s education is an extension of my parenting. I like to use a variety of approaches in my homeschool language arts curriculum and that applies to grammar as well. Cozy Grammar has been a wonderful addition to my collection of resources. My children watch it intently, and they like to keep watching. They truly enjoy it because it’s fun and not so dry, and best of all, they retain what’s being taught. The lessons are succinct and not tedious, and the exercises are effective without being too much. I would recommend Cozy Grammar to other homeschoolers. Please tell Marie and all the people who made this program possible, that we appreciate it very much.

R.R.
Homeschooling Mom, Gainesville, VA

Learn we did, in a seemingly effortless way

My son, who is eleven, looked forward to his daily grammar lessons with Marie. I enjoyed them too. In fact, as we would sit on the couch with our cup of tea, it felt more like we were visiting with an old friend in her beautiful home, than learning grammar. But, learn we did, in a seemingly effortless way.

It may sound strange, but we were both quite sad when the programme ended. I think my son’s words may tell you better than I, just how much he liked learning grammar in Marie’s special way. He said, “Why can’t Marie teach everything?”

Home-based Learning Family
Maple Ridge, British Columbia

Popular and clear

I showed the course to students at the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade levels. I thought that the grade 9 students might object to the learning style, but when I told them that I was going to use a different program, they didn’t want me to change. The students commented that she (Marie) speaks clearly and that they could understand what was being taught.

I plan to use both the grammar and punctuation courses at the grade 6 level in this coming year.

Cindy W.
Charter School Teacher, Florida, USA

Writing skills have greatly improved

I ordered The Basic Cozy Grammar Course as a gift for my Grandchildren. Their writing skills have greatly improved since they began using the course and I am thrilled with their progress. Please keep me on your mailing list for future products.

Edward R.
Concerned Grandparent, Texas, USA

Lessons come alive for my children

We have watched 4 of the lessons and I can already tell you that this is going to be one of the best purchases for our homeschool! My 7 year-old, who has a difficult time with grammar, was so excited when he could grasp what a subject and a predicate are. We do have a “book” grammar course, but I know that this video course is going to really make those lessons come alive for my children. When my son can actually SEE something described and can HEAR it being taught, then it makes it all the more real for him.

K. Price
Homeschool Parent, Tennessee

Dyslexic child responded well

I have three children with different learning styles and they all love The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. Although I have spent some time on grammar with my children, they picked up more just watching the video than they did from any books that I have used. I have one child that is dyslexic and she really responded well to the video presentation. This course has great content without the hype. We really appreciate it.

Heidi L.
Homeschooling Mom, Pennsylvania

Very useful for ESL students

The video is very easy to follow and very well presented. The visuals are strong and interesting and I really liked how the main points were reiterated with graphics. I could see it being very useful for E.S.L. students.

Lorna MacIntosh

The gift of a love and zeal for learning

My 10 year old daughter, Alexa, found language a chore and boring. As a homeschool Mom, I searched high and low for a program that would stimulate her interest. I tried other curriculums. Other Moms recommended The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. When it arrived in no time at our home, we tried it. My daughter was excited! Excited! Now she asks to do her lessons! I find myself having to help her pace herself. The woman teaching the lessons, Miss Marie, is priceless. Alexa identifies with her and can’t wait to spend time with her through the next lesson. When Daddy comes home, Alexa wants to tell him what Miss Marie did and said that day. Other programs may teach, but not inspire to remember things learned. Miss Marie instills the lessons of grammar in a way Alexa will never forget! It’s for all learning styles. You have helped me give my daughter the gift of a love and zeal for learning we couldn’t find before. Please create more subjects for us, but only let Miss Marie do the teaching! She’s a treasure.

Darcie P.
Homeschooling Mom, Kentucky

Wonderful English course

I just wanted to thank you for helping me to get this wonderful English course.

This is one of the best materials on English grammar I have ever seen.

Thanks, again!

Milton H.
Sweden

It works great in the classroom

I love the fact that the lessons are delivered not only visually through the use of images and strong graphics, but orally as well. As teachers we know that some students are visual learners, and others are audio learners. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course covers all aspects. I usually start my classes with some silent reading and then I put in the video and have the kids do the exercises. The length of the lessons fit nicely within the time structure of the class. The workbook is very well laid out. It is clear and concise and as a teacher it is very convenient to have an answer key. Following Marie’s advice in the introduction to the workbook, I have the kids write the exercises out by hand so they can work on their penmanship. Best of all, my students really enjoy watching the video. They like the entertainment aspect and a lot of kids comment on the interesting camera angles, the beautiful west coast scenery, the incredible gardens and surprisingly, even the classical music soundtrack. All of my students ask me when I am going to play the video again. It works great in the classroom and I think it would be great for homeschooling as well.

Mark Lagos
Middle School English Teacher

I learned a lot using this course

A Student Recommends:

To whoever wants to learn about adjectives, adverbs, comparisons of adverbs, phrases and prepositions, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, principal clauses and compound sentences, conjugation of verbs, nouns, and pronouns, verb phrases, agreement of verbs and verb tenses, I recommend Cozy Grammar. When you watch the lessons, you will find out all of the explanations you need to learn, and it will be easy for you to work in the workbook. I say that it is easy because that is how I did it. I learned a lot using this course.

Gloria, Student Reviewer for Project Read Newsletter
San Mateo Public Library, CA, USA

I love this product

I am using the Cozy Grammar Course with my six year old son. My first language is Chinese, and I have always spoken to my son in Chinese so that he will keep it up. The problem is that he is now ready to start first grade, and he needs to focus on his English. I bought the Cozy Grammar to help him with this, and I am so happy I did. It has been helping both of us with our pronunciation because the teacher speaks so clearly and enunciates everything carefully. My son has also been picking up some of the grammar, which I hadn’t expected. It is helping my writing skills also. I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!

L.L.
Texas, USA

Delightfully refreshing approach to teaching grammar

A delightfully refreshing approach to teaching grammar, the Basic Cozy Grammar Course lends itself to a variety of instructional contexts: Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, Business English, home-schooling, libraries, distance education, and community learning centers, to name but a few. Familiar settings for lessons such as the beach, the woodshed, and the dinner table, help students to associate grammar with everyday conversation. A highly recommended teaching tool.

Janet Richardson, BHE, BC Teaching Certificate, MDE
British Columbia, Canada

A fun way to learn grammar

What a fun way to learn grammar! Everything is clear and simple — and you can easily review each concept as many times as you want to. Although we have enjoyed the videos together, the nice thing about Cozy Grammar is that parental guidance is not a requirement. We will be using it as a review course each year in our homeschool.

S. Starks
Homeschool Parent, California, USA

Grammar taught in a fun and innovative way

The kids thought Marie was very humorous and they enjoyed watching her. By the second or third lesson they ended up saying examples aloud with Marie, mimicking her, and having a great time. Students have mentioned that they finally understand grammar because it’s being taught in a fun and innovative way (not just watching the teacher write notes on the chalk board, or on the overhead projector). They enjoyed the lessons, found them easy to understand, and generally did well on the worksheets.

Heather MacIntosh
Middle School English Teacher

My son is slightly learning disabled

The grammar course is wonderful! My son, who is slightly learning disabled, has used the course over the past year. He now has no fear of grammar, and this course has helped to keep him on par with his classmates. Best of all, he CHOOSES to watch it!

Denise F.
Thankful Mom, New York, NY, USA

Pretty cool

When our teacher said we were going to learn grammar, and he started playing the first Cozy Grammar lesson, everyone kind of looked at each other like, “Oh no, grammar!”  But after watching the first lesson everyone seemed to get into it. Even the camera work and stuff is pretty cool. It worked really well.

Carissa
Grade 8 Student

We feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching

At the beginning of this year, I stumbled onto a very unique English curriculum – the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation courses, an award-winning series of relaxed English grammar and punctuation tutorials prepared as living textbooks. After a little research (do a Google for either course and you’ll find a number of excellent reviews) I decided to order it and give it a try.  I have been using the Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation with my son this past semester, and I highly recommend these courses.  I have noticed a marked improvement in his understanding of grammar and punctuation and a dramatic increase in his interest in learning these subjects.

Marie Rackham is a delightful and effective teacher who has won several awards for her innovative teaching methods.  Her lighthearted teaching style captures the student’s attention immediately. Her lessons are not only educational, they are also entertaining, so my son is always eager to watch the next lesson. Now when my son and I watch the lessons together, we feel like a very dear and enjoyable friend is in our living room teaching both of us grammar.

I was so impressed with this curriculum that I began recommending it to all my homeschooling friends. I was amazed to learn that none of the seasoned homeschooling families in my area had even heard of Cozy Grammar.  So, I have decided to make it my mission to spread the word about these wonderfully effective courses to other homeschooling families.

Clarice Marchman-Jones, Homeschooling Mom,
Founder, Garnet Moon Academy

I’d like to move where the teacher lives

I think the Cozy Grammar is really nice. I’d like to move to where the teacher lives, because it is beautiful, and I like the beach.

I like Cozy Grammar because the lady is funny and friendly. I like the reading and writing that comes on the picture, and I like how the colors change on the words.

Homeschooled Boys, ages 11 and 13
Virginia, USA

Real life presentation

We have really enjoyed the basic grammar course. The ‘real life’ presentation especially appealed to us.

K. Slack
Homeschool Parent - Texas

Fantastic for review

We thoroughly enjoy Marie and love the classical music soundtrack. I am a ‘summer schooling’ Mom. My children are in the public school system and I like to enhance their language arts skills with some extra summertime instruction. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is fantastic for review on a yearly basis and having an extra instructor (Marie) available is a blessing.

Adrianna N.
Summer Schooling Mom, Virginia, USA

A valuable contribution to the field of English language learning

As an ESL consultant and developer of specialized ESL and TESL programs, I would like to commend Ms. Rackham on the creation of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. I have been so pleased with the uniqueness of this program that I have recommended it to various international language schools and ESL students. In fact, the viewing of these videotapes is a recommended activity in the Grammar Module of the International TESOL Certificate Program created by our company.

I believe that all ESL teachers could benefit from viewing Ms Rackham’s relaxed, systematic and clear approach to presenting grammar topics. Similarly, ESL students—young and old—who are confused or frightened by English grammar have all responded positively to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The grammar worksheets included in the package further support the effective learning of grammatical concepts. I look forward to the development of a similar grammar program at an advanced level.

Congratulations to Ms Rackham and the whole Splashes From the River team on a unique and valuable contribution to the field of English language learning.

Rebecca Azoulay
President Diplomat Educational Services, Inc.

Fun with grammar and punctuation

This is a fun way to learn English grammar and punctuation!  I love Marie.  I love the scenery, especially when Marie saw the Orca whales, and when she caught a salmon.  I love the mountains and the river and the trees and the beach.

Haya Nakazaki, Age 9
ESL Student, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

Made the study of formal grammar enjoyable

My daughter previously disliked studying grammar. She is an avid reader and as a result she could recognize poor grammar, but didn’t understand the mechanics of it. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course has made the study of formal grammar enjoyable for her.

T.G.
Homeschooling Mom, New Mexico

Marie Makes Learning Grammar Painless

I absolutely love this course! Marie makes learning grammar painless. She is always doing something as she teaches nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc. which makes the DVDs very entertaining. She explains very clearly what each part of speech is and demonstrates them as well. It is really a great way to learn grammar. The classical music that is played in the background is very relaxing. The scenery is wonderful as she travels around Vancouver [Campbell River, Vancouver Island] teaching. I wish I had these DVDs when I was learning grammar. My son has really learned well with them. After watching each short lesson the student does the workbook exercises to reinforce what was learned, one concept at a time. I highly recommend this course to everyone. Absolutely fantastic course!

Gina Roberts, Homeschool Mom
Homeschool Reviews

Simple and clear

Who am I?
A state certified teacher.
A private tutor.
A paid curriculum consultant.
A MOTHER!
I teach my own 6-year-old, 8-year-old, and 14-year-old.
I teach a 16-year-old recent Russian immigrant.
I teach a high school SLD/dyslexic student.
I tutor several middle- and high-school students in composition (including applied grammar, of course).
So what?
Well, I’m very excited about Marie’s Cozy Grammar course. A friend purchased Cozy Grammar and offered to let me preview it during her 30-day trial period.
The result?
I have purchased the course, and I have since told another friend who has now also purchased the course.
What do we all like about it?
Cozy Grammar is basic–simple and clear in its presentation. The DVD format allows our children to achieve some independence in their instruction as well as review the information as often as necessary.
The backdrops are gorgeous, but not distracting.
Marie is straightforward, consistent, and (my favorite) seems to have a good sense of humor.
I look forward to your next endeavor at Splashes from the River!

Kendra O'Connor
Teacher, Tutor, Homeschooling Parent, Florida

The kids grasp the concepts quickly

As a way to learn grammar this beats boring text books, and the kids grasp the concepts quickly. I will/have been recommending it to the homeschoolers here.

Annmarie B.
Homeschooling Mom, Australia

How we use parts of speech in everyday life

It is cool because the teacher is on your screen. If you don’t understand something or hear her, you can stop and rewind. The video lessons show how we use parts of speech like adverbs and adjectives in everyday life.

Meghan Ford, Age 13
Middle School Student, Alberta, Canada

Very satisfied

I am very satisfied with The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The reason I purchased this course is that this fall, I have decided to go back to college after 20 years. This course is a perfect stepping stone to build my confidence in writing properly. I am only half way through the lessons, but I just had to commend you on the excellent course.

Sharon L.
Capistrano Beach, CA

Great refreshing review

A great refreshing review of grammar basic skills.

Michael Johnson
CPA Master Business Appraiser

An easy understanding of grammar

Cozy Grammar really helps to promote an easy understanding of grammar. We especially appreciate the extensive use of on-screen writing. The way the words change color as Marie points to them, makes the concepts so clear and easy to follow. My children respond to it wonderfully. It reminds me of a T.V. show I liked as a child called, ‘The Electric Company’.

Homeschooling Dad

Love how it is presented

Just wanted to let you and Marie know how pleased I am with this program. My son who is 15 has never enjoyed language arts. He wants to do more than one lesson a day!! That has never happened before. Now he is breaking sentences apart and identifying them in our everyday conversations.

It’s so fun to hear. He loves how it is presented. He even told me that it will help him write better sentences.

Just wanted to let you know.

Thanks!

Dita Mallon
Appreciative Mom

An excellent course

Although grammar has been relegated to the dusty back shelf in many schools, it is an integral part of effective language usage. This gentle, quiet set of easy to understand lessons brings it back out to the light, and into sharp focus.

Good explanations, examples and practice, with the ability to rewind and repeat, that video is so handy for, make this an excellent course. The lessons are not too simplistic, but take a very basic path, which makes them suitable for youth or adult. The included workbook reinforces the lessons in a clear and concise way, and offers review, tests and answer key. There is none of the flash that most recent kid oriented stuff is so prone to.

I liked this curriculum, and found the price reasonable for the quality.

Sarah A. McCumber-House, Homeschool Help at Sassafrass Grove

Solid teaching with clear examples

Our family has enjoyed the Basic Cozy Grammar Course very much. Marie Rackham is thorough and imaginative in her teaching and presentation of material. She provides solid teaching with clear examples.

This program is a great teaching tool for all ages. One added bonus to the program is the spectacular photography and music!

Karen Bowman
Homeschool Mom, Texas, USA

A very useful addition to any homeschool

Looking for an alternative or supplement to language arts workbooks that will entertain and educate your children? Well, my children and I have thoroughly enjoyed using The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course this past school year. It includes 15 lessons in which course author and retired teacher, Marie Rackham, instructs about the finer points of punctuation. This excellent program includes beautiful photography, online exercises, and engages multiple learning styles, and would be a very useful addition to any homeschool, public library, or home learning resource center.

One feature that makes this program irresistible is the scenery. The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is filmed around the Campbell River, British Columbia, area and Mrs. Rackham uses a different locale each lesson to illustrate the concepts being taught.  The program is sort of a cross between a travel show and an English lesson. The photography and editing are very professional and pleasing to the senses. This innovative technique is far superior to watching an instructor lecture in front of a black board.

Learners with different learning styles will find The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course useful, as the program has been designed to utilize all the learning styles. When Mrs. Rackham instructs or illustrates an example, the viewer not only hears her say it, but the words are also put up on the screen over the picture and they are often in different colors to highlight the concept being taught. Mrs. Rackham is also an accomplished musician and each episode highlights a different piece of classical music in the background which adds to the overall atmosphere of the program. Then at the end of each lesson Mrs. Rackham reminds the student to do the exercises in the workbook which requires the learner to actively practice the concepts taught.

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course should be in every public library and home learning resource center, but the cost may be prohibitive to many individual home learners. I think the price is comparable to many of the major publisher’s English programs. Many families may be concerned about the lack of consistent review but I use my children’s writing and dictation for reviewing and reinforcing the concepts taught in the program. If there is a concept that my child seems to be struggling with, we simply replay that episode.

In our five years of homeschooling, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is very high on our list of favorite curriculum resources. I learned along with my children (do you know what an interrobang is?) and it was fun, educational, and effective. We look forward to using it for many years to come, and we also look forward to using all the other programs in this series. So, if you are looking for a program to breathe some life into your language arts curriculum, check out The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.

Sarah Sullivan, Homeschooling Mom, Courtenay, BC, Canada

Special ed student suffers from ADD

My daughter would be considered a special ed student and suffers from ADD. She particularly needed to improve her poor writing skills. While she found the background music somewhat distracting, she nevertheless loved the course, and it was extremely beneficial in improving her skills.

Jan F.
Homeschool Teacher, Montana

Easy to follow and learn

Overall, I think the program is useful and well thought out. I enjoyed the scenery, the music and the quality of production from sound to graphics. The content is strong and well presented, making it easy to follow and learn.

Lorrie Joron
Middle School Teacher

Very delightful

Just Excellent! When I was in school, I was grammatically challenged even though I did very well in other language arts areas. I have learned considerably more from watching these videos with my children than I ever did in school. I wish I’d had it then. My children enjoy it because it is fun, easy, self-explanatory, and they love Marie. Very Delightful.

Marilyn V.
Homeschool Mom, Florida

I commend you

I commend you for your creativity and insight and this fantastic video grammar instructional program you have created!

Iris Rivera
Collegiate Administrator

Gifted teacher

The Basic Cozy Grammar course is exceptional! Marie is an incredibly gifted teacher, and the workbook exercises, I found invaluable. I highly recommend it to all who want to improve their Grammar.

C.S. MacPherson
New York

Our children loved learning grammar Marie’s way

Engaging enough for my active five-year-old son to watch every minute.

Instructional enough for my eleven-year-old son to ace the final exam.

Cozy Grammar proves that grammar lessons need not be tedious or dull, for a teacher or a student. All three of our children loved learning grammar Marie’s way and we want to visit her at her cozy house.

Thank you Marie and Splashes From The River for such a quality learning video.

Mrs. Fraser
Home Educator, Indiana

My 10 year old didn’t want to stop

I am homeschooling two sons, ages 10 and 12. At first I wasn’t sure how my sons would respond to this “cozy” grammar course but they thoroughly enjoy it. In fact, on one particular day, my 10 year old didn’t want to stop at the end of the lesson. He wanted to continue working on grammar. One of the things that I personally liked about the course is the fact that the paper work is not excessive.

Marie, thank you for a clear and professional program.

Mrs. Little
Homeschool Parent, Mississippi, USA

Video works very well for presenting the material

I have been using the course with a nine year old Japanese boy, a ten year old girl and two eleven year olds. All of them have previously lived in America and are fluent English speakers. I teach them privately one on one and make the video part of the lesson. The video works very well for presenting the material. They are interested in the scenery and think Marie is really funny. Also they get excited when they recognize the music as many kids here in Japan take piano lessons. The retention of the terms is especially good. They can not only match the terms with examples but also spell the terms. Sometimes when we watch the video again we listen for the different types of birds that we hear. They were really excited when I pointed out the sounds of eagles!

Another class I use the video in is a third year university class. The focus of the class is teaching techniques for teaching English communicatively (as opposed to grammar translation or listen and repeat). I am using the course to teach grammar terms in order to enable students to easily give definitions and examples of the different parts of grammar. Everyone is attentive and interested in the scenery. The language is clear and easy to follow and the repetition is enough for them to catch the meaning easily.

Michael Mielke
ESL Instructor -- Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

I found this program extremely helpful

I loved the Cozy Grammar video/workbook course. In studying to become a certified ESL teacher I found this program extremely helpful as a review and in understanding the different parts of grammar and their proper use. The demonstrations were very helpful.

I am looking forward to using this program with my future ESL students—what a great teaching tool!

Cheryl P.
Ontario, Canada

Vivid and congenial presentations by Marie

My 6 year old gifted daughter just loved ‘The Basic Cozy Grammar Course’. She watched it with great interest and picked up most of the concepts after a few viewings. The material is clearly printed on the screen, with vivid and congenial presentations by Marie. The clarity and personal touch helped my daughter easily acquire what is generally considered complex material for older students.

Susan Lawrence
Homeschooling mom, Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Awesome

I think Cozy Grammar is awesome! It should have been made a long time ago. I hope it gets into all the schools.

Alison Keefe
Parent

Covers everything without a lot of nonsense

My daughter likes your course and it has really helped her understand the English grammar.  We home school, so I would recommend it to any home schoolers out there. I have about $500 dollars worth of English grammar programmes, in search of the perfect programme that covers everything, without a lot of nonsense. You get bits and pieces of information, but nothing quite as straight forward as The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, or as easy to understand.

I am also helping a friend’s son with grammar. He tells me that it is helping him a lot. He is in grade 8, and I was amazed to hear that there was such a lot that he has never even been taught. Marie is right. Grammar does not seem to be a big issue out there at some schools; but it is a real big issue in life. It is the foundation of all other education that we can attain.

Her course has inspired me to go back to school to get my TESL.

You did a great job, Marie!

Elizabeth F.
Homeschool Parent - Ontario, Canada

Gift for our nieces and nephews

We ordered the grammar course as a gift for our nieces and nephews. They have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Bill & Judy M.
Burleson, Texas, USA

Creative and dynamic approach to grammar

I am elated that Marie Rackham has recreated her style of teaching on video and in print. Twenty-five years ago in an elementary classroom, Marie was my teacher. As a university researcher and teacher today, I have a great appreciation for her creative and dynamic approach to grammar. I remain in awe.

Dawn Ford, University of Alberta Faculty of Education
Associate AISI Coordinator, Edmonton, AB, Canada

A wonderful addition

Most of the students and tutors who are taking part in doing the grammar course are very enthusiastic about both the video and the workbook part of the course. What students find most beneficial is being able to see, hear, and then work with the concepts being presented. One student, who has been with the program for several years and has never shown any interest in grammar before, is particularly pleased at being able to grasp these lessons even though he is not a strong reader. Another student was completely stuck on understanding adjectives so we skipped ahead to this lesson. It made things a great deal clearer, and he was able to continue with confidence.

Most of us, both students and tutors, think that Marie’s teaching style is amusing, and we learn better when we can laugh. I think the overall course is a wonderful addition to basic book learning and teaching, especially in an adult literacy class where many people read at a very basic level, and where the methods used in school have obviously been a failure.

Thank you very much for allowing us to experience this method of learning.

Carol Forbes
Adult Literacy Instructor

A great resource to supplement class work

Well organized, easy to use. A multi-modality tool for learning grammar. A great A/V resource to supplement class work.

Carol J.
Middle School Teacher - Massachusetts, USA

A teacher full of dramatic enthusiasm

A report to the District Superintendent of Schools about Marie Rackham as a classroom English teacher:

Marie Rackham’s teaching style might be best characterized by the phrase “dramatic.” She throws her total personality into instruction and as a consequence, receives the enthusiastic input of all of her students. As a result of this infectious enthusiasm, Mrs. Rackham undoubtedly draws many students who might otherwise be “turned off” in more traditional teaching formats. She doesn’t hesitate to take on students who do not fit the expectations of other teachers and has often been very successful in turning these students around. The standard of work submitted by her senior class is high and the expectations she sets are equally challenging. Her modified English class is marked by output not previously accomplished by these students. The informal framework of Mrs. Rackham’s lessons does not detract from the quality of the input nor the standard of the output; in fact the opposite can be said: the achievement is enhanced.

Don Muir, Secondary School Principal
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

A refreshing change

This course is a refreshing change from regular texts and workbooks. The video captured my children’s attention and helped them to develop a better understanding of grammar. The written portion of the lessons is easy to work through once a lesson has been watched and learned.

Tania D.
Homeschooling Mom, British Columbia

For a wide range of ages

What I enjoyed about the video is that it put the learning of grammar into real life situations, for example learning pronouns around the dinner table. I like the larger font used in the workbook and there are a limited number of practice questions. If the child needs more drill, additional questions can be made up. It is not grade specific so you can use if for a wide range of ages usually found in the homeschool family.

Janet Rainbow
Homeschooling Consultant

A very gentle way to learn punctuation

I homeschool my son and we have completed The Basic Cozy Punctuation CourseThis is a great course and we really enjoyed it. It is a very gentle way to learn punctuation.  Marie uses road signs as visuals to help learn the punctuation marks and my son said that he would never forget them. This course is very easy to use for student and teacher. After the student watches the lesson, he does the exercises from the online companion workbook to reinforce the concept. The lessons are short and to-the-point, one concept at a time. Marie is very clear and she is always actively doing something while teaching to help the concept stick. The lessons are entertaining with beautiful scenery and relaxing classical music. I highly recommend this course for learning basic punctuation.

Gina Roberts, Homeschool Mom

A teacher that I have looked for all my life

Original Transcription:

Last year, I wrote to the Primer Minister. I told him that the method of teaching immigrant people was wrong. His answered me, but didn’t change. The ESL classes are continuing boring.

I have had some problems to learn English. I gave up some class. Today I went to library and I got your video. It’s amazing!

I am just writing to say “Thank you so much”!

Thank you to show my e-mail to Marie. She is beautiful, kind, happy and extrovert person! She is a teacher that I have looked for all my life.

Gina
From Brazil but live now in North Vancouver, BC, Canada

A resource that can benefit everyone

The setting was very pretty and therefore relaxing. The lessons are good, especially as key terms and concepts are highlighted by placing them in a caption at the bottom of the screen. This makes it easier to follow the video. The recapitulation at the end of the lesson was helpful, as were the ample examples. As a resource, I think this course could be valuable. Many people have more grammatical problems than they realize. Enlivening a dry grammar book with a video to punctuate the lessons may solve some problems that many would never seek to mend.

I am a student of English and Medieval Studies having studied French, German, and Latin: languages which have broadened my understanding of English and leave me feeling that a resource such as this can benefit everyone.

Amy Braye
University Student
CLICK HERE TO SCROLL THROUGH PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS FROM NATIONAL PUBLICATIONS

Library Journal

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Designed by Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a delightful and effective basic grammar program. The 27 English grammar tutorials cover all of the parts of speech and their uses. Rackham introduces the program with a rationale for learning grammar and concludes with an amusing but kindly lesson on common errors. The strength of this program lies in the clarity of its presentation and in its accessibility. The videos are filmed entirely on location in and around Rackham’s cottage on the beach in Campbell River, BC. Concepts and examples are found written in the sand and on the refrigerator door. (They are also superimposed on the screen throughout the videos to make note-taking easier.) Frequently sporting bedroom slippers, Rackham is eccentric and amusing enough to engage the viewer’s attention yet she is never condescending. The two videos are accompanied by a reproducible 110 page workbook that includes lesson outlines, exercises, tests, and an answer key. The workbook is of the same high caliber as the videos; the exercises are clear, well written, interesting, and effective. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is clearly the result of years of classroom experience. This “living textbook” makes grammar painless and is suitable for ages nine to adult.

Highly recommended for middle and high school libraries, as well as public libraries (especially those serving homeschoolers).

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Reviewed by Michelle Visser

American Library Association Review

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

May 15, 2002 issue

Gr. 4-12. Marie Rackham is the polished teacher of this grammar course comprised of 27 short tutorial segments. Pictorially shot at Rackham’s Canadian seaside cottage, the program begins with the host discussing the importance of using proper grammar before distinguishing between casual and colloquial versus formal word usage. Instructions are both spoken and captioned on-screen, with lessons covering verb and subject agreement, sentence structure, predicates, phrases, verb conjugation, clauses, adjectives, and adverbs, among other topics. Incorporating footage of Rackham working in her garden or engaged in other activities as she offers grammar instruction, this excellent primer is suitable for both younger students and those enrolled in adult literacy programs. Includes a companion workbook, study guide, exercises, and tests.

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School Library Journal

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The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Reviewed in the June 2002 Issue

Gr 4-7 — These 27 basic grammar lessons are designed to supplement classroom instruction. Each 2-17 minute lesson builds on the previous one. At the end of each lesson, Marie Rackham, the hostess, refers to the workbook. Each workbook lesson provides one page of review and one page of exercises. Rather than filming in a studio or classroom setting, the producers chose to film at a “cozy” cottage on the Campbell River in Canada—Rackham’s home. The lessons become a part of her daily routine. For example, viewers learn about pronouns when Marie has several friends over for dinner and she offers red or white wine. She uses their preferences to introduce pronouns. These videos will appeal to different learning styles. Visual learners can follow along on screen; auditory learners can listen to Marie; and kinesthetic learners have the reinforcement of workbook exercises. School libraries will benefit from these videos, and public libraries should consider purchasing them if they have large home-schooling or ESL populations. One caveat for American libraries: there are some Canadian pronunciations, which are more likely to cause giggles than confusion.

Reviewed by Sarah Prielipp

TheHomeSchoolMom.Com

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Review: Basic Cozy Grammar and Punctuation Courses

When Splashes from the River contacted me to review The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, my first thought was to wonder how grammar and punctuation could fall under the category of being cozy. After watching the first lesson (taught by Marie Rackham on location on the shores of the Campbell River in British Columbia), I understood exactly how grammar can be cozy. Marie’s warm style and the wonderful scenery at her cabin on the river combine to make the grammar and punctuation courses truly cozy. The course combines a daily video lesson with a worksheet to reinforce the lesson. It is a painless way for any parent to teach grammar, and the lessons are bite-sized to keep student frustration or boredom to a minimum. According to Marie, “Grammar does not make you creative; it is a technique that enhances your creativity. If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.” One challenging aspect to the program for me was the multi-cultural aspect to the location and Marie’s object lessons. The Pacific Northwest has much Asian influence, and eastern religious objects such as toriis and Buddhas periodically pop up in the lessons. For our family it has given an opportunity to discuss eastern religions compared to our own, but some families may wish to avoid such references.

In addition to being a teacher Marie has many years of disciplined training and practice in music, and her classroom experience taught her the value of music as a calming influence on students. “The Cozy Classroom Collection CD is a selection of classical piano compositions that have been performed, arranged, edited, and recorded to facilitate learning.” Although we have not used the Cozy Classroom Collection in a learning setting yet, we have enjoyed listening to the classical music selections (performed by Marie) in the car on our trips to and from town.

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Reviewed by Mary Ann Kelley

The Link Newspaper

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

I cannot recommend this basic grammar course highly enough! I thoroughly enjoy watching a well-done video presenting material I care about and I love grammar as well as English in all its forms and all things “language”. (Of course that is my adult opinion!) I consider the skill of language, written and oral, to be among the greatest achievements Man has wrought – as mysterious as algebra, but far more useful! Marshall McLuhan, the great analyst of media, said that the content of the medium of speech and of writing, both, is thought. However, one who has not developed the ability to speak and write well, may have difficulty convincing anyone that he/she possesses any thought! Nothing aids in developing the dual skills of speaking and writing like grammar. Yes, that hated and feared topic that we all had to sweat through as part of our elementary English (or any other language) skills. Now, as homeschooling parents, we are once more confronted with this “toothed beast” of English and have to find a way to impart it to our children so that they can speak and write to the world, revealing the intellectual light we parents know shines within. Help is here!!

Conservative homeschooling parents will cheer mightily at Ms. Rackham’s approach and her assertion that discipline does not stifle creativity! I am among their number! I do not believe that discipline stifles creativity – one only need look to some of the greatest artists who ever lived to prove this truth: Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Dali, Milton, Tolkien, Lewis, and many, many more, have been noted for their powerful discipline in the development of the technique of their art. The only element that seems to affect creativity is the presence or absence of creativity. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Marie Rackham calls grammar “the technique of English” and she demonstrates that a skilled development of grammar will enable one to speak and write clearly, intelligently and comfortably enough to communicate one’s thoughts so that others wish to hear and/or read them. She mentions these uses for good grammatical writing and speaking skills: Resumes, job interviews, presentations, master’s theses, e-mail that may be read by any number of people beyond the writer’s knowledge and formal letters. In any of these cases, the writer/speaker has one ” shot” to make a favorable impression of his intellectual skill. Considering the stakes, such an impression had better be the best possible.

The setting for the videos is Marie’s home in British Columbia, a cozy, knotty pine sort of house on the ocean that looks the perfect refuge from a wintry rainstorm. Here, she illustrates and demonstrates each lesson with actions of varying sorts: Pouring tea, chopping wood, riding (or not riding) on an exercise bike, discussing the seagulls that populate the beach, etc. In this way, she has skillfully developed a way to teach grammar that satisfies any learning style a student may have. Watching Ms. Rackham move throughout her home and its grounds, creates an ever-changing atmosphere that makes for more interesting viewing than simply a “talking head” lecture approach in a static setting and her movements coinciding with the grammar material keeps the observer attentive and the information flowing! Ms. Rackham warns that this is an elementary course and that there are many excellent materials available to carry the study of grammar to the highest levels. However, because this set is so informative, clearly-written, comfortable to watch and remain attentive to, I wish she would consider quickly producing the necessary sequels to “Cozy Grammar” that she could recommend her own advanced courses, instead! I need a grammar review every so often!

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Michael Leppert, Editor

Homeschooling Today

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Reviewed in the July/August 2002 issue

It’s always a pleasure to review an excellent product. This video grammar course is creative, clear, well-organized, and above all, entertaining. Retired English teacher Marie Rackham is the star of this show. She knows her stuff and explains each point clearly and carefully, but she’s quirky enough, too, that she’s a hoot to watch. The lessons are filmed in and around her beautiful home on the beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Some settings are “cozy” (tea by the fireside) and others are grand (bald eagles aloft), and they’re perfect for homeschooled children who are much more at home in those places than in a classroom. Ms. Rackham–a classically trained pianist–even provides the soundtrack. The course contains 27 lessons, from the basics of identifying subjects and predicates through subordinate clauses and compound sentences. The accompanying workbook restates the basics of each lesson and gives three or four sets of exercises, plus four tests at the end. As we write this, our three oldest children are glued to the TV, laughing and learning with Ms. Rackham.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Homeschooling Today 25 Years

Craig and Cindy Young, Curriculum Corner

KIDS FIRST! Coalition For Quality Children’s Media

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Endorsement: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Whimsical approach to basic English grammar as retired teacher presents light-hearted tutorials in and around her cozy cottage on the seashore. Includes video lessons and workbook with exercises, tests and answer key.

Adult Juror Comments: Educational. Interesting, well organized, in-depth study of grammar. Cheery host in a lovely seaside setting made the lessons less intimidating. Best for late elementary to junior high students, or basic adult learners.

Kid Juror Comments: High-schoolers found the content suitable for themselves but the presentation geared for younger students. “The appeal is for a younger audience and would catch their interest.” “It starts out simple and gradually becomes more in depth.” “Good examples.” Age: 10-14.

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Coalition For Quality Children's Media, Adult Jurors, Youth Jurors

Film Advisory Board

 

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Hollywood, CA

 

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Outstanding! In our twenty-six years of evaluating family/children’s entertainment and educational products, we have never seen a program quite like ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE’!

Marie Rackham, with 34 years of experience as an English teacher is a delightful instructor – and the beautiful surroundings of Campbell River in British Columbia makes for a relaxing and unique learning environment one never wants to leave!

This course is great for kids nine and up and adults alike who wish to improve their speaking and writing skills.  We would also recommend this course to those who speak English as a second language who wish to improve their skills!  This course is ideal for home schooling and should be in every home library!  Kids from nine to 100 will love ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE‘!  I can’t say enough wonderful things about it!

Film Advisory Board Elayne Blythe

Reviewed by Elayne Blythe, President and Founder

Eclectic Homeschool Review

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course was digitally shot on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada. The setting is serene and peaceful, leading the viewer to relax. The videos were conceived as a ‘living textbook’ and use the graphics of the surrounding area and the inside of the beach house to clarify examples. A soundtrack features classical piano music that helps break up the usual unnerving silence found in teaching videos.

Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, teaches the English lessons. She walks around, sips a cup of tea, and wanders along the waters edge. At first this casualness seemed foreign, but as I continued watching I enjoyed the lessons more and more. The home setting was better than a sterile classroom setting and Ms. Rackham was able to use ‘live’ examples to illustrate what she was teaching.

As Ms. Rackham taught a lesson, sentences appeared on the screen, clarifying what she was teaching. For example, in a lesson on subject and predicates, the subject was shown in yellow and the predicate was shown in pink. When teaching the parts of speech, the subject was underlined in yellow and the predicate was underlined in pink. This is great for those who learn visually as well as for auditory learners. The accompanying workbook would be the key for those who are tactile learners, giving the student a chance to practice what he or she has just been taught.

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Kelly Crespin, BS in Elementary Education, MS in Gifted and Talented Education

British Columbia Homeschool Association

BC Homeschool Association (Now Provincial Association of Home Schoolers of BC)

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is an award-winning video and workbook program that teaches grammar in a fun way — and teaches it well. This grammar course is well-named; it really is very pleasant to watch. The cheery instructor-hostess takes us through her lovely cottage and along her Vancouver Island beach property as she demonstrates for us the meaning and proper usage of grammar.

From Nouns and Verbs to Subordinate Conjunctions, the two videos use voice, text, and action to reinforce grammar principles in a way that your visual, auditory, or kinesthetic child can understand. The simple, clear workbook has a definition, examples, and exercise questions for each of the 27 lessons, plus tests and an answer key. The workbook is good, very clear, and concise. I really like that in a text! In other books, the explanations can be so unnecessarily long and unclear, esp. for children. Although we found the teacher’s style to be annoyingly pre-school oriented,  it is still an enjoyable course that’s as useful for adults as it is for elementary or high-school students. As homeschooling parents, probably most of us are being faced with trying to help our kids with grammar that we have never learned.

My husband, who has a degree in Linguistics, also was impressed with the teaching in this course and how it was presented. My children enjoyed it and seemed to remember well what they learned. I do think it’s a great product and a wonderful idea, and we will use it often.

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Reviewed by Marianne Mendgen

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Rating (out of 5):

Family Approved

Genre: Family
Starring: Marie Rackham

Synopsis:

Marie Rackham, a former English teacher is the author and narrator of these videos regarding rules of grammar. She provides excellent explanations and examples, and the lessons are very suitable for all ages. Included is a workbook which reinforces the lessons in a clear and concise way, and offers review, tests and answer key. The setting is Marie’s seaside cottage in British Columbia, Canada, and she uses everyday situations and colorful graphics to illustrate examples. She is very enthusiastic about the material, and has a charming, sincere, whimsical manner, which offers a pleasant atmosphere away from the classroom.

Christian Worldview:

Marie’s method of presenting these valuable lessons should appeal to anyone who is interested in learning the correct rules of grammar, something lacking at some levels of education. Grammar is an integral part of effective language usage, and should be recognized as such. Marie taught the curriculum covered in The Basic Cozy Grammar Course in the Canadian Public School System, where it was introduced to children at the age of nine, and completed by the age of twelve, with regular reviews and more challenging examples provided right through to high school graduation. Homeschoolers have found that children as young as six find the videos entertaining to watch, even though they are too young to grasp the material. These videos have received a number of awards in the United States and Canada.

Content Description:

There are no objectionable elements in this video.

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Reviewed by Carol Verbrugge

Island Parent Magazine

Island Parent Magazine (Vancouver Island, BC)

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 Nikki's Book Nook in Island Parent Magazine (Vancouver Island, BC)

English Grammar Made Easy

My 15 year old daughter recently asked me a question about her French homework. She muttered something about pronouns and indirect objects and I could tell she had no idea what she was talking about. The problem was not the French homework at all (the instructions for the exercise were clear enough), but the fact that she really did not understand the grammar in English.

A lack of thorough grounding in English grammar is not at all uncommon.  To address this problem, Marie Rackham, educator and grammar advocate, has created an easy-to-use resource for parents, educators, and students alike.

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course consists of two video-tapes and a workbook with plenty of examples, exercises, and an answer key. The course covers all the basics from parts of speech and types of sentences to coordinate conjunctions and misplaced phrases. These concepts are described on the video-tapes using real life situations and settings to illustrate clear and relevant examples.

The video-tapes are shot on location on Vancouver Island beaches and in a cozy home and garden.  The quality of the tapes is excellent – interesting camera angles, classical music, and great settings provide an interesting context for the subject matter. Initially, I was a little concerned that Marie’s over-the-top performance style would soon become irritating.  In fact, the opposite was true.  As I watched more of the tapes, Marie grew on me. I was quite interested to see how she integrated real life settings and situations into each of her 27 grammar lessons. A scene at a dinner table with friends became the perfect excuse for chatting about pronouns, and a trip to the beach provided Marie with many opportunities to talk about the difference between transitive, intransitive, and copula verbs.

Recognizing that students learn in different ways, text is superimposed over the video images to underscore the key points being covered in the lessons.  In this manner, Marie supports visual, auditory, and contextual learning styles.

The accompanying workbook is logically organized, clearly written, and provides clear examples of each grammar topic.  There are enough exercises to get a student started without beating the subject to death.  The workbook also includes answer keys, several grammar tests, and a bibliography for those who would like to tackle more complex grammatical subjects.

A useful tool for ESL students, adults, kids, and teachers, The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is equally suited for classroom and individual use.

Island Parent Online

Nikki Tate-Stratton

Homeschool Oasis

Homeschool Oasis Barb Shelton

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Is “Grammar” a word that ranks right in there with “spinach” for you?  Actually, spinach is one of my favorite foods, but then grammar is also one of my favorite subjects!  I realize that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for either spinach or grammar, yet, as parents and homeschoolers, we know our children need at least some of both!

Whether you have a young child just beginning to explore the world of grammar, or are an adult who has been “in the dark” on this subject all your life, this 27-lesson grammar course does for your grammatical muscles what spinach does for your physical muscles. And it does so in a delectable, easy-to-swallow manner! Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher, has a delightful way of presenting a full spectrum of grammar basics in a straightforward and non-intimidating manner that lays a thorough foundation of all the grammar basics. Even the most serious cases of “Grammar Phobia” will be cured following Ms. Rackham around her lovely home and beachside property. Cozy ~ one of my favorite words ~ is truly the theme for these lessons as Marie fixes tea, pedals her stationary bicycle, prunes plants in her garden, chops wood (no stunt men; she really does it herself!), and sits by the cozy fire made with the wood! The accompanying workbook is clearly laid out, follows the video lesson by lesson, and is easy to follow and use, reinforcing the lessons taught in each video lesson. The only drawback to this course is that it will make you wish you were there!

(I hope she has a cozy guest room!)

Senior High Book by Barb Shelton Homeschool Oasis

Reviewed by Barb Shelton, Author of SENIOR HIGH: A HOME-DESIGNED FORM+U+LA

All Star Review

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Synopsis: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a video course covering the basics of English grammar presented by a grandmotherly, Canadian English teacher. Included in this set, is a reproducible companion workbook featuring study notes, exercises, tests and answer key.

Age-Appropriateness: The suggested age recommendation is 9-12. However, it held the attention of students from ages 9 through17.

Replay Value: It is hard to find a grammar program which isn’t dull or obnoxious, however, this video succeeded. The Basic Cozy Grammar Course clearly explained the various parts of grammar and presented them in easily digested segments ranging from 3 to 10 minutes each. Each subject was clearly understandable.

Educational Value: This video set is ideal for home schooling, tutoring, as a teacher resource, and other situations that teach basic English grammar skills.

Graphics/Sound: Students enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Northwest and the classical music in the background.

Pros: The program contains 27 short lessons which hold the attention of the students. It is appropriate for multiple ages. The home environment setting is something the children can easily relate to and is familiar to them.

Cons: The only complaint (made by a 17 year old reviewer) is that if your children are used to programs which use cartoons, rap or rock music and silly little characters as the main mode of teaching, this program may not hold their attention very well.

Conclusion: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is a refreshing change from the usual grammar course. As a parent, I am not comfortable with academic subjects taught by silly characters or crude teenage humor. It might take some children a few minutes to become comfortable with the style of the host, but she really was delightful once we got used to her. The program was well designed and presented. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn the basics of grammar or who just needs a refresher.

Rating (out of 5): All-Star 5-Star Review

Reviewed by Laura Bahrt
All Star Reviews

The Old Schoolhouse

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Old Schoolhouse Basic Grammar Review

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

“Cozy, Cozy, COZIES!” is what my daughter Julia, age 5, shrieks as she dives under her covers and laughs, waiting for me to rush in after her and snuggle. The word “cozy” is just that….a word that makes you feel comfortable and warm, just like Julia feels when she is deep within the blankets, squirming around, squealing for Mama.

Splashes From the River Multimedia, Inc. was smart when they named their product for educators, which is absolutely sweeping the nation with great gusto. Cozy Grammar is the name, and cozy it is — I shall tell you why.

First off, what is warm and fuzzy (in general) about grammar? Come on, be honest. I personally like grammar – It is my favorite subject (even though my punctuation definitely could use some sharpening), but grammar? Cozy? I don’t think so. However, there is a reason this program, which consists of two high-quality video tapes and a workbook (+ answer key), is definitely considered “cozy”. Marie Rackham. This woman is a character in herself. When you see the videos, you will understand what I mean when I say this. She has a cottage on Vancouver Island, right on Campbell River in British Columbia, and she films the classes right there, in and around her beautiful, warm home. The scenery outdoors is breathtaking. Have you ever seen the Anne of Green Gables videos? If you loved that gorgeous scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised at how similar this is. Marie is a retired English teacher who is prim and proper all the way (note the classical music piano soundtrack in the background), yet giggles and takes joy in the simple things around her. Much of the classroom time is spent outdoors, with the gurgling river and on the beach. Teacup in hand, Marie uses her surroundings to introduce grammatical concepts. For instance, she chops her own wood while explaining subjects and predicates. She falls DOWN and “hurts” herself on a log to visually demonstrate a grammar concept to the viewer. We all know how important it is to use visual aids, when we’re driving home a point. This is what Marie does, but she goes far beyond a blackboard and a still-life dummy. You walk with her on the beach, learning to speak and write correctly. You follow her into the kitchen, where she giggles and grabs a cookie. You laugh your head off when she sits on a damp log on the beach, and jumps up in “surprise”, claiming she does not like having a “wet bum”! All of this is for the viewer’s benefit — so they learn grammar.

The Old Schoolhouse™ gives Cozy Grammar the “Best all-time Grammar Award” in our book. This is a full course, complete with approximately 2 1/2 hours of teaching time in the videos and an online 110 page workbook (work along while you view the classes). 27 lessons in all and definitely well-worth the price. This is perfect for homeschoolers, absolutely perfect! Moms, take the class with your kids – it’s a wonderful refresher course. Although it is really designed for kids 10 on up, my two younger children loved “Cozy Grammar”, simply because of all the scenery and “cozy sounds” coming from the tapes. They thought it was great, and so do we. Highly recommended by TOS™ — 20 stars on a scale of five! —

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Gena Suarez, Publisher

Education Update Magazine

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Education Update Basic Grammar Review

Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, a series of lessons on two videotapes with an accompanying workbook, was released in March by Splashes From The River Multimedia Entertainment. Marie Rackham, an exuberant retired English teacher, coaches her audience through 27 lessons from her idyllic beach cottage “classroom”. Rackham softens the instruction of what, for many, is a frightening subject by delivering the lessons in her slippers while enjoying a cup of tea. The materials are formatted for a student to watch a lesson and then complete the corresponding workbook exercises. Drawn from the curriculum Rackham used in the Canadian Public Schools, each video contains 14 different lessons, including Kinds of Sentences, Agreement of Verbs, Comparison of Adjectives, Misplaced Phrases and Common Errors. At the back of the workbook are answer keys for all exercises as well as four Grammar Tests. “Live” examples of the concepts being taught as well as Rackham’s colorful personality keep students’ attention during the lessons, while a classical soundtrack stimulates their thinking. Suitable for ages nine and up for use at home or in the classroom.

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Reviewed in the August 2002 Issue

Diplomatic Educational Services

Diplomatic Educational Services

Letter of Recommendation

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course as an ESL resource

As an ESL consultant and developer of specialized ESL and TESL programs, I would like to commend Ms. Rackham on the creation of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. I have been so pleased with the uniqueness of this program that I have recommended it to various international language schools and ESL students. In fact, the viewing of these videotapes is a recommended activity in the Grammar Module of the International TESOL Certificate Program created by our company.

I believe that all ESL teachers could benefit from viewing Ms Rackham’s relaxed, systematic and clear approach to presenting grammar topics. Similarly, ESL students – young and old – who are confused or frightened by English grammar have all responded positively to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. The grammar worksheets included in the package further support the effective learning of grammatical concepts. I look forward to the development of a similar grammar program at an advanced level.

Congratulations to Ms Rackham and the whole Splashes From the River team on a unique and valuable contribution to the field of English language learning.

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Reviewed by Rebecca Azoulay, President
Diplomatic Educational Services

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

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Product Summary

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Guide Rating – 4.5 Stars

Guide Review

Pros

  • Video and workbook integrate well together.
  • Can use the whole course or just specific parts.
  • Video locations are varied and interesting.

Cons

  • Not enough exercises to go with each tutorial.
  • Narrator’s style could be annoying to some.

The Bottom Line

Uniquely presented video with workbook exercises to compliment each lesson combine to form a well-rounded English grammar course that could be used in many situations.

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Reviewed by Kathy Spalding, Homework Tips Guide

Parent and School Magazine

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

International Education Product

The Cozy Grammar Series hosted by Marie Rackham, is a new educational audio-visual product, officially released to the world Home Video market in 2001. The series includes English grammar tutorials and companion exercises featuring study notes, exercises, tests and an answer key.

Filmed on location on Vancouver Island in and around a beach cottage near Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, Cozy Grammar was created to address the fears that many parents have today about the lack of formal grammar being taught in public schools. This resource was produced to empower individuals – parents/ grandparents/ teachers/ students – to take action about this concern. During the development of this project it was discovered that many younger teachers and homeschooling parents had some anxiety about teaching grammar. Hence it was decided that those fears could be alleviated by providing a resource that could be used in a library, classroom or at home. It was also developed to appeal to auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners in a gently entertaining way; something that would be ‘family friendly’ and ‘edutaining’.

Presented by an experienced retired English teacher in an enthusiastic, whimsical manner the lessons are taken out of the classroom and placed in a soothing seaside cottage setting. Marine wildlife are included along with an eclectic classical piano soundtrack. The use of everyday situations and colourful graphics to illustrate examples provides a self-empowering, non ponderous way for any individual to increase their own knowledge of basic English grammar, or help teach someone else to do so.

The uniquely bubbly teaching persona of Marie Rackham is best described as a charming mix of ‘old-fashioned, carefully enunciated, school-marm grammarian sticklerness’, and ‘young-hearted appreciation and giggly joy for life’s simple homespun pleasures’, makes her the perfect teacher to bring The Cozy Grammar Course to students of all ages world-wide.

When the curriculum covered in the resource was taught by Marie in the Canadian Public School System, it was introduced to children at the age of 9, and completed by the age of 12, with regular reviews and more challenging examples provided right through to high school graduation. Reports from viewers however state that children as young as 6 find the videos entertaining to watch. Adult ESL, Literacy and Continuing education students report that even though the examples are very simple, they appreciate how easy it is to grasp the concepts presented.

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Christchurch, New Zealand

Video Librarian

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

March/April 2002 Edition

Instructor Marie Rackham’s Cozy Grammar Course offers a fine introduction to a subject that most of us blissfully forgot after emancipation from high school (and would opt to undergo multiple root canals rather than revisit.) In filmed lessons, Rackham draws from examples in and around her Canadian beach cottage — puttering in the garden, cleaning up around the house, roasting wienies on the beach, etc. — to teach viewers about subjects and predicates, nouns and verbs, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs, phrases and clauses, compound and complex sentences, verb conjugation, and common errors, among other topics. Shot on digital video with colorful on-screen text examples overlaid to illustrate each grammatical principle, this amiably presented guide (featuring a pleasant classical music soundtrack background) serves equally well as an introduction or refresher course in giving students and/or adult audiences a good grounding in basic grammar.

Recommended Audience: High School, Colleges & Universities, Public Libraries.

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Reviewed by R. Pitman

Life Learning

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Review: Cozy Grammar

Have Fun Improving Your Grammar Skills!

Learning the basics of English grammar has never been this easy…or fun or cozy for that matter. Cozy Grammar is a highly recommended video program that features retired English teacher Marie Rackham hosting a series of relaxed tutorials, in and around her cottage on the beach in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada.

Says Rackham, “Grammar does not make you creative; it is a technique that enhances your creativity. If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.”

There’s no knuckle rapping here, although this package is not short on content. This light-hearted approach to a serious subject has won 13 national and international awards. It is appropriate for self-educating youngsters, private tutoring, ESL situations, adult and family literacy applications, and for virtually anybody ages nine to adult who wants to improve their grammar skills.

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Review: The Cozy Grammar Course

Making the Grade: A+
Value for your Homeschool Dollar: 10

The Cozy Grammar Course

“Grammar does not make you creative: it is a technique that enhances your creativity.  If you can’t speak well and write well your windows of opportunity are closed.”

So begins, The Cozy Grammar Course, hosted by retired English teacher Marie Rackham.  Cozy is the perfect adjective to describe this program!  Filmed on location at a beach cottage on beautiful Vancouver Island, this grammar course isn’t anything like the way I was taught in school.  In fact, I’ve always thought of learning grammar as being dry and boring.  After using this program in my home, grammar has become far less painful!

The Cozy Grammar Course consists of lessons designed to teach the basics of formal grammar.  The video lessons are incredibly heart-warming and will appeal to the auditory AND visual learners in your home.  In each lesson Marie walks you through the new concept and then instructs you to complete the exercises in your workbook.  There are several exercises for each concept being taught and tests are provided to ensure your student has grasped all the material that has been covered.  An answer key is provided for all exercises and tests.  It’s like having a professional tutor right in your living room!

My first impression was that perhaps the lessons were too “girlish” for my boys – with the cozy cottage, flower gardens, classical music soundtrack and a dramatically cheerful teacher.  After viewing the first two lessons, we were quickly won over!  When Marie introduces a new concept, words are also placed on the screen.  She often gestures first with one hand then the other and as she does the words or phrases are underlined on the monitor.  With this format, the needs of both the auditory and visual learner are met.  For instance, while sitting in a rocking chair in front of a roaring fire, Marie states, “The chair rocks.”  Then she repeats the sentence, it appears on the screen, and underlines appear as she points out that “chair” is the subject and “rocks” is the predicate.  This type of procedure is followed throughout the entire series, making even more challenging concepts much easier to understand. I find the calm, “cozy” atmosphere used in this course to be most refreshing!

While the course could easily be completed in a little over a month of school days, there are several recommendations in the back of the book for using it for a longer period of time.  One suggestion, which we will most likely follow, is to use one lesson a week.  Each lesson in the workbook has 3 sections of exercises, so we will view the lesson on one day followed by the first set of exercises in the workbook.  The next two sections will be completed on two other days during the week.  As the lessons progress, the concepts do get a bit more challenging, so I believe this will work well.  We can even watch the lesson again to reinforce concepts when needed.  I also anticipate reviewing several of the lessons in future years of schooling to reinforce the concepts that are fundamental to excellent communication.  This course would also be great to use in a group teaching situation!

The Cozy Grammar Course has received numerous awards and I enthusiastically add my own endorsement!

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Review by Cindy Prechtel, Editor

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

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English as a Second Language with your Guide Kenneth Beare

In The Spotlight

This video / workbook course focuses on learning a solid grasp of English grammar structure. The tutorials are taught on beautiful Vancouver Island employing an excellently presented multiple-intelligence approach.

Product Summary

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Guide Rating – 3 Stars

Pros

  • Enjoyable way to learn English grammar terms
  • Video expertly employs a multiple intelligence approach to learning
  • Great for reviewing everything from the basics to complex sentence structure

Cons

  • Not for ESL students wanting to focus on conversational English
  • Students need a solid grasp of English to take full advantage of the product

The Bottom Line

A fine product for ESL learners who plan to follow university courses in an English speaking country as the course focuses principally on structural understanding to improve a deeper understanding of the workings of English.

Product Description

  • An entertaining and thorough teacher in a background of spectacular scenery helps students acquire an excellent understanding of English grammar structure.
  • The course provides a companion workbook with which to practice the grammar concepts discussed.
  • The course employs ample listening and visual clues to help students master the ideas presented.

Guide Review

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course is designed for native speakers who want to acquire a solid understanding of English grammar. The course is also well suited to ESL students who need a thorough knowledge of grammar terminology in order to study in a higher education setting. The course takes for granted basic fluency and uses a wide range of vocabulary. This makes the course more suitable to ESL students who already have strong vocabulary skills. The spectacular scenery of Vancouver island provides many entertaining learning situations expertly taken advantage of by Marie Rackham, the author and teacher of the course. Visual and listening cues, as well as repeated key concepts on screen employ a multiple intelligences approach to learning.

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Reviewed by Kevin Beare, ESL Guide

Educational Media Reviews

Educational Media Reviews Online MastheadReview: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Rating: Highly Recommended
Audience Level: Grade 6 – Adult
Subject(s): Language, English
Date Reviewed: 1/19/2004

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and workbook is a presentation of English grammar tutorials that instruct on all of the areas commonly considered grammar. The lessons are taught by retired English teacher Marie Rackham, in and around her home in a cottage on the beach in British Columbia. The viewer goes along on the journey as the instructor uses household chores, a dinner party, and other daily life scenarios to teach the concepts. The real life examples in the lessons make the transfer and application of grammar skills clear-cut. Ms. Rackham spends a good deal of time addressing the different learning modalities of her viewers. Her approach to teaching is free spirited, with occasional use of humor, making the lessons run smoothly. Background classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others helps enhance an ideal learning atmosphere.

The transition from one lesson to another is well done and the length of each is kept short enough to hold the viewers attention. The instructor has a playful persona and her passion for language is apparent, making the material very engaging and easy to assimilate. The accompanying workbook has a table of contents, exercises, sample tests, and some extra information not found in the video lessons. Additionally, the appendix has suggestions for using the materials.

I highly recommend that these resource materials be purchased by public, academic, and school media centers. The information found on these lessons would be very useful for the independent learner or as a tutorial to supplement and reinforce classroom instruction. Additionally, these materials are a great resource for students who have learned English as a second language and for the home schooled population. A very worthwhile investment!

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Reviewed by Hope Marie Cook

Aspired Living

 

Review: Cozy English

The Dreaded Last Minute Curriculum Change

You probably haven’t heard of Cozy Grammar. I know that I hadn’t, so let me tell you about it. First of all, I found it in September after a frantic search for a new English program, after I realized I had made a mistake <sigh> when I had picked Winston Grammar. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Winston Grammar is an excellent program; however, it is more teacher intensive than our homeschool distinctives dictate. During this search I ran across Cozy Grammar.

First Thoughts about Cozy Grammar

The first time we set up Cozy grammar the kids loved Mrs. Rackham. They were enthralled by her. Mrs. Rackham looks like the quintessential English Teacher and it is clear that she really enjoys teaching. Literally while I was working on Speed Phonics with one of the children the rest all gathered around the computer to listen to Mrs. Rackham discuss types of sentences, as if they were watching the latest movie.

When I ran across Cozy Grammar I was looking for an independent program that provided a complete overview of Grammar that the children could complete independently. We are enjoying a year of intensive Language Arts and Cozy Grammar’s Mastery approach & independent nature fit the bill.

Cozy English Grammar lessons look like this in our home:

  • The children watch the teaching videos on Monday and do 1 exercise.
  • Then they complete 1 exercise each day.
  • There are periodic tests to evaluate the students progress.
  • Cozy English is a mastery program.

What I like about Cozy English

  • It’s really easy to implement.
  • I really like the fact that it allows my children to work independently on their grammar and punctuation.
  • It doesn’t take a long time for them to finish their English assignments.
  • Mrs. Rackham is really very pleasant to watch and she explains concepts in simple easily understandable terms. If children do not understand the exercises it is usually because they did not watch the video.
  • The same program can be done with children in different grade levels , about 3rd -7th grade.

What I dislike

  • I wish they had  a bit more practice and some review built into the program.

Overall thoughts about Cozy English

We have been using Cozy since the beginning of the year and we are very happy with the program. Like most things in our homeschool, we are slowly working our way through the rather large workbook as we attempt to reach a mastery level in English Grammar & Punctuation, and it is one of our favorite language arts resources. This is a very enjoyable way to execute an English curriculum that can be used with multiple children.

Kyle Suzaane McVay Aspired Living

Reviewed by Kyle Suzanne McVay, Editor

All Star Review

All-Star ReviewsReview: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Reviewed July 2003

Synopsis: The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow punctuation curriculum for homeschools, libraries, private tutoring, ESL, adult literacy, teacher resources and anyone wishing to brush up on punctuation skills. The course contains filmed lessons and an online workbook containing lesson overviews, exercises, and answer keys.

Age-Appropriateness: This course teaches punctuation with a relaxed, comfortable style that holds the attention of multiple age groups. The lessons are clear and easily understood, each one ranging from 7 to 18 minutes in length.

Graphics/Sound: Gentle classical piano music in the background and stunning location shots from beautiful British Columbia are a winning combination.

Pros: It is nice to find an educational program which doesn’t insult the student with crude humor and slick gimmicks. Marie, a retired English teacher, presents the potentially dry material in such a way as to be entertaining as well as educational. Also, she gives the learner little tips to help remember some of the punctuation rules. Each lesson is short and to the point, reinforced by the accompanying exercises and the written dialogue on the TV screen. The video format allows the student to go directly to the lesson he/she is working on, which saves time and frustration.

Cons: Kids of the MTV mind set might be inclined to make fun of the gentle style of this program, and ignore the genuine educational value of the material.

Conclusion: The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is another delightful product from the producers of The Basic Cozy Grammar Course. My children not only polished their punctuation skills, but they also learned some geography of British Columbia, and gained a renewed desire to practice their classical piano pieces… not bad for an English course. Whether or not you know what an interrobang or a loonie is, you need this course.

Ages:9 to adult

Rating (out of 5): All-Star 5-Star Review

Reviewed by Laura Bahrt
All Star Reviews

Film Advisory Board

 

Film Advisory Board Hollywood CA

Hollywood, CA

 

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Excellent! We first had the pleasure of evaluating the outstanding ‘THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE‘ – and now we can enjoy retired English teacher, Marie Rackham, as she educates us on punctuation! The soothing, picturesque scenery of Campbell River, British Columbia and the welcoming personality and skill of Marie Rackham make this educational video course, complete with online workbook, a unique and very enjoyable learning experience! ‘THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE’ should be in every home, every school and, in addition to being sold online, should be made available to the public through television infomercials! It’s one of the best educational products the FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history!

Film Advisory Board Elayne Blythe

Reviewed by Elayne Blythe, President and Founder

Library Journal

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Library Journal recommends The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course for grade school through high school and ESL instruction

September 1, 2003 Issue

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course set contains 15 lessons, of varying lengths, on the proper usage of punctuation marks (periods, comma, parentheses, etc.).

Marie Rackham, a Canadian teacher, offers clear, real-world examples of proper usage. An online workbook, with exercises for each lesson, is included, and answer keys are provided. Short poems appear from time to time as learning aids.

The overall presentation is clear and specific; the Vancouver Island, BC, backgrounds are absolutely stunning. This set would be useful for grade school through high school and ESL instruction.

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Reviewed by Jay Schwartz

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

November/December 2003 Edition

Sporting the bumper sticker “Punctuation Rules!” on the back of her car, retired English teacher/instructor Marie Rackham tools around natural settings on Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, pointing out noteworthy sites while sharing insights into the finer points of punctuation. Divided into 15 lessons, Rackham’s survey looks at the proper use of periods, commas, exclamation marks, quotation marks, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, dashes, parentheses, brackets, slashes, and the “interrobang” (a combination question-exclamation mark that is not yet in common usage, nor found on computer keyboards).

Shot on digital video with colorful onscreen text examples used to illustrate each grammatical principle (in fact, nearly all of the script is transcribed onscreen), this excellent primer (featuring a pleasant classical piano background performed by Rackham) serves equally well as an introduction or refresher course in giving students and/or adult audiences a good grounding in the rules of punctuation. Unfortunately, the workbook (for which permission to reproduce has been granted) is referred to at the end of each lesson, and does have some fill-in-the-blank sections,  making the course somewhat problematic for public libraries (although the instruction can stand alone without it, since the workbook only contains practice exercises). In addition, I have to say that Rackham’s slow-paced set-ups and perambulations would drive some people bonkers in a New York minute.

Still, the instruction is both comprehensive and superb, and punctuation courses on video and DVD are rare, making this one highly recommended.

Audience: High Schools, Colleges and Universities, Public Libraries.

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Reviewed by R.Pitman

American Library Association

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

January 1 & 15, 2004 Issue

Gr. 6-12. Retired teacher Marie Rackham follows up The Basic Cozy Grammar Course (2002) with this similarly helpful punctuation primer.

Strolling around her comfy home on picturesque Vancouver [Island] B.C. environs, Rackham compares punctuation marks to “traffic signs for reading and writing” and explains how the placement of commas, periods, exclamation points, and other symbols follow speech pauses and verbal inflections. Practical examples show how changing the location of a comma, for example, completely changes the meaning of a sentence. The program features the teacher’s homespun advice and punctuation rules in captions. The accompanying workbook enhances the usefulness of this excellent tutorial for classroom or self-study purposes.

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Educational Media Reviews

Educational Media Reviews Online MastheadReview: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Rating: Educational Media Reviews Online Highly Recommended Check Icon Highly Recommended
Audience Level: Elementary – Adult
Subject(s): Language, English
Date Reviewed: 1/19/2004

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course is a presentation of 15 English punctuation tutorials that encompass the rules for the proper use of commas, question marks, colons, and other punctuation. The lessons are taught by retired English teacher Marie Rackham; the background surroundings are set in and around some of the most beautiful views in British Columbia. Classical background music by composers Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and others add to a peaceful learning environment. The real life examples used in the lessons make the transfer and application of these skills clear-cut.

The transition from one lesson to another is well done and the length of each is kept short enough to hold the viewers attention.  The instructor has a colorful personality and her enthusiasm for language is evident; this makes the material less tedious and easier to assimilate. The accompanying workbook has a table of contents, exercises, answer key and some extra information not found in the filmed lessons. Short, catchy sayings are included in each lesson. For example when explaining the comma the quote attached is: “Of all the punctuation marks, I like the comma best, for when I’m running out of breath she lets me take a rest.”  Additionally, in the appendix is a glossary and a listing of the music incorporated in the lessons.

This resource is highly recommended and should be purchased by public, academic, and school media libraries. The information found in these lessons would be very useful for the independent learner or as a tutorial to supplement and reinforce classroom instruction. The home schooled population would find this material succinct and practical. Additionally, these materials are a great resource for students who have learned English as a second language.

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Reviewed by Hope Marie Cook

Eclectic Homeschool Review

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Okay. Swallow hard. Here’s a course on basic punctuation that your 6th through 12th graders could actually like! Let retired school teacher Marie Rackham take you to beautiful scenic spots – like a lighthouse, forest, shoreline, Native totem poles, and a waterfall – to make question marks, double quotation marks, and capitals more palatable. Really!

Splashes from the River Multimedia Entertainment brings you Rackham’s The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, and it delivers! Here, find 14 lessons broken up over 178 minutes on video, plus intro and conclusion, to go with your online workbook. The course – shot on location in beautiful British Columbia – includes 52 tracks of classical music woven into the assignments along with poems and highlighted graphics, thereby interesting and holding the attention of your audio learner, your visual learner, and your hands-on, workbook-doing learner in tutorials ranging from 7 to 18 minutes each.

Great for ESL, classrooms, corporate seminars, and homeschoolers, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course will make you giggle, fill your eyes and ears with beauty, and cause you to learn or re-learn/remediate the elasticity of punctuation. What? I said “elasticity”? That’s right, for Rackham notes the evolution of punctuation (invented by publishers) and the introduction of new marks as well as new uses and popularity for old marks. [No, Marie; I had never heard of `interrobang’ before, and neither had my spell-check program!] Thankfully, she includes an answer key to help the teachers navigate the treachery of changing commas, slashes and dashes, and periods that have a “to be, or not to be” sense of humor.

This “living textbook” not only challenges, but encourages. The company’s very mission statement makes you want to -uh- dive right in: “Creating original, rehydrating material for questers who get thirsty while wandering and wondering through the backwoods of their imaginations.” The grandmotherly-looking veteran teacher is warm and hospitable, inviting you into her home and along for an educational ride in her trusty Camino. Excellent!

Ecletic Homeschool Online Pencils

Reviewed by Deborah Deggs Cariker

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Homeschooling From the Heart

Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

When I received The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course to review, I thought, “How could the word cozy go with punctuation?” Well, I soon found out!

I told my kids to get ready to review The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course. They all came back with their pillows and quilts. I laughed and said, “Why not?” We situated ourselves in a “cozy” manner and began the introduction, where we “met” retired schoolteacher, Marie Rackham, who spoke to us as if we were in her home getting ready to go with her on a peaceful outing.  Her speech is quite different, as she pronounces everything very distinctly. This made us chuckle a bit, but not enough to disturb the lesson. One of my sons said he liked how clearly she spoke because there was no question as to what she said — nothing misunderstood. As we continued on to Lesson One, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery, soothing background music, and how easy it was to understand the material. As with the Basic Cozy Grammar program reviewed in a previous issue, Basic Cozy Punctuation appeals to both auditory and visual learners through the use of graphics, color, and background scenery to emphasize the concept being taught. Auditory learners will also appreciate the clever poems included with each lesson that serve as a helpful reminder of the punctuation rule.

After each lesson we used the accompanying exercises.  My three boys (ages 7, 9, & 11) did very well and their success continued with each lesson. My two girls (ages 3 & 6) also watched the lessons with us.  I’m not sure how much punctuation they have learned, but the lessons definitely held their attention. In addition to the punctuation instruction, Marie weaves facts and interesting information about the Pacific Northwest into each lesson. Not only are the students learning punctuation, but historical, geographical and even scientific facts as well. As for topics covered, the 15 lessons on two DVDs begin with basic sentence endings and continue through commas, quotation marks, apostrophes, colon and semi-colon use, parentheses, brackets and more. In addition to the exercises, each lesson from the video is also presented in the workbook. This becomes a handy resource, which the student can refer to as they apply what they have learned in their daily writing.

Basic Cozy Punctuation seems best suited for elementary grades. Older students, especially those used to fast-paced videos might find the flow of the lessons a bit slow. Marie repeats key concepts often, which is good for retention, but occasionally seems to “drag out” the lesson too much. As I’ve mentioned, the setting of the lessons themselves make this course a delight for the eyes and the material is covered in a very thorough manner. The publisher encourages using this course in a classroom situation. I’m not sure how we would like Basic Cozy Punctuation in a classroom setting. We are a cuddly family and greatly enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere, even watching the lessons with the lights off!

Overall, Basic Cozy Punctuation is a thorough course presented in a step-by-step, visually pleasing format. Since each lesson only takes about 20 minutes to complete, it can be an easy addition to your homeschool routine.

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Reviewed by Lori Carvell

Education Clearinghouse

Education Clearinghouse Reviews

Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

“Remember the purpose of punctuation is clarity of meaning.” Marie Rackham

Quick, how many punctuation marks can you think of? Ten? Fifteen? We’re not talking hundreds here, so why is punctuation so hard to master? Retired English teacher Marie Rackham doesn’t think it’s difficult and she has the course to prove it!

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course covers all aspects of punctuation from periods and commas to hyphens and interrobangs. Comparing punctuation marks to street signs, she reminds the student that the primary purpose of punctuation is to alert the reader to stops, pauses, and detours in the written work. In addition, she also covers parts of speech and types of sentences along with the appropriate punctuation.

Consisting of 170 minutes of streaming video this self-teaching course offers fifteen lessons taught on camera by Mrs. Rackham. These lessons are beautifully filmed at various scenic locales near the author’s home in Campbell River, British Columbia, and are accompanied by an assortment of classical music selections. Onscreen text provide examples to complement Mrs. Rackham’s delightful presentation.

Referring to hand copying as a lost art, Mrs. Rackham recommends that students copy the online exercises by hand as they complete the work. There is a full page of exercises for each of the fifteen lessons and the introductory lesson. The companion online workbook section is followed by an answer key, and appendices that cover capitalization, italics, and a glossary of terms.

Watching the video lesson, reviewing the lesson notes, and completing the online practice exercises will take the average student about an hour for each lesson.

This course is beautifully presented, designed for self-teaching, and quite thorough. I highly recommend it for junior high and high school students who haven’t yet mastered punctuation rules.

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Resource Links

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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

Volume 10 – Number 1 – October 2004

In acknowledging that there is no absolute agreement on the correct or preferred use of many punctuation marks, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course introduces the listener/reader to the basic ways to use punctuation.  The author’s “cozy” approach to teaching the uses of punctuation is perfectly captured by her words, “Punctuation marks are language traffic signs/ They tell you when to start and stop/ Or how to read the lines”.

The author employs humorous short poems to convey the essentials of what the “dots, lines and squiggles” mean and how they are used.  The filmed tutorials, set in the Campbell River area on Vancouver Island, feature colorful graphics and classical music to set a relaxed mood for learning the punctuation basics.  One of the lessons discusses discrepancies in uses of punctuation marks and emphasizes clarifying meaning and preventing misunderstanding through the use of punctuation.

Lessons deal with periods, commas, exclamation marks, quotation marks, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, dashes, parentheses, brackets, and slashes.  Each lesson includes exercises and answer keys.  Appendices cover capitalization, italics, and a glossary of terms.

The course is useful for classroom settings, private tutoring, home schooling, adult basic education and by anyone who wants to improve their use of punctuation.

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Reviewed by C. Lyn Currie

The Usual Mayhem

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

A couple of months ago, the Canadian distributor for Cozy Grammar, Splashes From the River, very generously sent us the Basic Cozy Grammar program to review. It opens with music playing softly (turns out that on one of the printouts from the cd they list the music for you, a very thoughtful touch I thought), and a woman appears (Marie Rackham, a retired English teacher) and begins explaining why grammar is important. She speaks very slowly, and clearly, and repeats herself several times, with some of what she says appearing as words on the screen. Normally this would send M running from the room; she hates it when people talk down to kids. However, the woman in the video seems so pleasant that it is hard to take offense. She also wanders through her cottage making tea and chatting with the viewer the entire time. It’s like a grammar lesson at your favourite aunt’s, or grandma’s, house. When she’s done, she suggests that you go find the worksheet and try it out for yourself and you find yourself actually wanting to go and work on some grammar. To give you an idea of how nice this woman seems, my 18 year old wandered through in the middle of our first lesson to find out what the tinkling music was. He began by mocking it a bit from behind the couch…and then somehow ended up sitting down, watching it, and describing the lesson to my husband at supper later that evening! Even my three year old wants to watch, although I don’t know how much he’s absorbing.

Despite the seemingly slow, somewhat repetitive pace of these lessons, Marie Rackham manages to pack a good amount of very clear, very easy to understand grammar into these videos. The sheets reinforce it, but the simplicity of the videos actually turns out to be its charm and also its strongest point. If you have a child who resists grammar, a younger child, or one who needs a gentle approach that still teaches a great amount (CM homeschoolers will find that it fits the style nicely), this may just be the perfect program for you. For the rest of us, it’s still a thorough program. And there are three levels, the one I’m reviewing being the first in the series, so you can see that it’s quite thorough.

Overall, I would give this an 8 out of ten for enjoyment and a 9.5 out of ten for content. Definitely worth considering if you’re planning for fall now!

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Reviewed by Erin Dean

Homeschool Kids YouTube

Homeschool Kids You Tube IconReview: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

“Cozy Grammar is an excellent tool that’s well worth a look.”

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Cindy Downes Masthead

Let me begin this review with some facts: My maiden name is Edwards. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read every Agatha Christie mystery written and I love Earl Grey tea. So, how could I not love Cozy Grammar! Cozy Grammar, produced by Splashes from the River, is a video teaching resource. Splashes from the River has produced several video courses that teach basic grammar, intermediate grammar, punctuation, and essay writing. This review relates to the Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

The main character in this video is the author, Marie Rackham, an active, full-of-life, senior citizen and retired school teacher who lives in British Columbia. In her preface, the author says, “I wanted to get out of the classroom – to present grammar in an everyday setting. The coziness of a home, the familiarity of a garden, the fascination of a beach, and the ever changing moods of the Pacific Coast weather combined to make a stimulating, but non-threatening, setting for teaching a potentially dry and boring subject.”

I can assure you that she did exactly that. She used the beautiful setting of her home in the Pacific Northwest to teach basic grammar skills. For instance, in the first lesson, she teaches about the kinds of sentences while welcoming you into her home and drinking tea. In the second lesson, she teaches about subjects and predicates with a demonstration of chopping firewood, building a fire, and then relaxing in front of it. She illustrates nouns by having a dinner party with friends. She uses name plates to teach personal nouns; she sets the table to show common nouns; she serves the meal while teaching collective nouns, indefinite nouns, pronouns, etc.

I thoroughly enjoyed her slightly English accent, her somewhat “stuffy” English ways, the beautiful scenery, and the background music consisting of piano compositions from composers such as Bach, Chopin, and Beethoven. The experience was pleasant and relaxing, as well as informative. After viewing each segment, there is a worksheet to complete that reinforces what has been taught, as well as tests to be given as needed.

There are a few segments that may bother some Christian homeschooling families. One is the segment where Marie is having a dinner party and she pours red and white wine in her guests glasses. The other is when she uses a buddha and yin/yang symbol to talk about adjectives. These incidents are brief and I think so minor to the program that they shouldn’t present a problem for most families, no more than seeing them in a TV ad or at the mall. I would use these segments as talking points, if desired.

I highly recommend this series for children who are visual and auditory learners. I would begin the Basic Grammar course with children who are reading fluently and ready for formal grammar instruction. The course is simple to use and is an enjoyable way to learn grammar, especially for those who dislike the traditional textboook approach.

Unfortunately, I think most teenagers will think this series is a little too “cheesy” for them. I don’t believe you’ll find many of them volunteering to watch it. However, I have an idea! Why not assign your older teen to watch it with your younger child to “help him” learn grammar. That way your teen can save “face” and it would give you time to work one-on-one with another child or do housework while this is going on!

My suggestion for this company is that they should create additional sets of Cozy Grammar with new actors and call them, “Wild West Grammar” for the western folks and “Shopping Mall Grammar” for the metropolitan type. That way everyone can enjoy watching them as much as I did!

The checklist by Cindy Downes

Reviewed by Cindy Downes, Founder

Homeschooling Almanac

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Review: Cozy English Grammar

“Discipline does not stifle creativity” Marie Rackham

I cannot recommend this grammar course highly enough! I thoroughly enjoy watching a well-done video, presenting material I care about, and I love grammar — as well as English in all its forms.  I also love all things “language”. I consider the skill of language, written and oral, to be among the greatest achievements Man has wrought — as mysterious as algebra, but far more useful! Marshall McLuhan, the great analyst of media, said that the content of the medium of both speech and writing, is thought. However, one who has not developed the ability to speak and write well, may have difficulty convincing anyone that he/she possesses any thought! Nothing aids in developing the dual skills of speaking and writing like a comfortable grasp of grammar.

Yes, that hated and feared topic that we all had to sweat through as part of our elementary English (or any other language) skills. Now, as homeschooling parents, we are once more confronted with this “toothed beast” of English and have to find a way to impart it to our children so that they can speak and write to the world, revealing the intellectual light we parents know shines within. Help is here!!

Conservative homeschooling parents will cheer mightily at Ms. Rackham’s approach and her assertion that discipline does not stifle creativity! I am among their number! I do not believe that discipline stifles creativity — one only need look to some of the greatest artists who ever lived to prove this truth: Bach, Beethoven, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Dali, Milton, Tolkien, Lewis, and many, many more, have been noted for their powerful discipline in the development of the technique of their art. The only element that seems to affect creativity is the presence or absence of creativity. You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Marie Rackham calls grammar “the technique of English” and she demonstrates that a skilled development of grammar will enable one to speak and write clearly, intelligently and comfortably enough to communicate one’s thoughts so that others wish to hear and/or read them. She mentions these uses for good grammatical writing and speaking skills: Resumes, job interviews, presentations, master’s theses, e-mail that may be read by any number of people beyond the writer’s knowledge and formal letters. In any of these cases, the writer/speaker has one “shot” to make a favorable impression of his intellectual skill. Considering the stakes, such an impression had better be the best possible.

The setting for the videos is Marie’s home in British Columbia, a cozy, knotty-pine sort of house on the ocean that looks the perfect refuge from a wintry rainstorm. Here, she illustrates and demonstrates each lesson with actions of varying sorts: Pouring tea, chopping wood, riding (or not riding) on an exercise bike, discussing the seagulls that populate the beach, etc.

In this way, she has skillfully developed a way to teach grammar that satisfies any learning style a student may have. Watching Ms. Rackham move throughout her home and its grounds, creates an ever-changing atmosphere that makes for more interesting viewing than simply a “talking head” lecture approach in a static setting and her movements coinciding with the grammar material keeps the observer attentive and the information flowing!

Ms. Rackham warns that this is an elementary course and that there are many excellent materials available to carry the study of grammar to the highest levels. Besides the Basic Grammar course, she has also created Intermediate Grammar I and II, Punctuation Course, Essay Course and a Free Spelling Course. This entire set is the perfect English Skills course, to be used over a 3- or 4-year period, so the prices are very affordable! This set is also perfect as a grammar review for college students or other adults.

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Reviewed by Michael J. Leppert

Love To Know

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Homeschool English Grammar

Love to Know Laura Henderson  By Laura Henderson

Grammar is one of the cornerstones of language arts. While there is much debate over how to teach grammar, when to teach grammar, and even if you have to teach grammar; most parents approach grammar at least a few times during the course of their child’s education. Fortunately, there are an abundance of grammar programs to consider.

Choosing a Grammar Curriculum

Choosing a curriculum can be the most important step in teaching grammar to homeschool students. Most grammar curriculums build on prior learning, making it important to consider your student’s current learning level and understanding of basic English concepts.

Cozy Grammar Courses

Although some homeschool students learn well just following textbook instructions, others require systematic instruction that parents are not always able to supply. Cozy Grammar Courses are educational DVD courses that provide an on-screen system of learning that includes the instruction of a qualified English teacher. The grammar, punctuation and essay writing lessons encompass a variety of learning modes that can help address your homeschool student’s individual style of learning. These courses include basic grammar, punctuation, essay and spelling and are appropriate for children age nine through adult learners.

Choose the Best for Your Student

Although there are plenty of homeschool grammar curriculums and learning tools available to choose from, the best choice for your homeschool depends on your student’s individual learning style and current understanding of grammar concepts. Since many companies teach concepts systematically, continuing with one type of curriculum can help provide a comprehensive method of building new concepts on prior knowledge.

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Reviewed by Laura Henderson

National Adult Literacy Database

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE listed in the National Adult Literacy Database

The National Adult Literacy Database Inc. (NALD) is a federally incorporated, non-profit service organization which fills the crucial need for a single-source, comprehensive, up-to-date and easily accessible database of adult literacy programs, resources, services and activities in North America and overseas. NALD provides adult literacy information to practitioners, teachers, volunteers, program administrators, policy setters and learners.

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Best Children’s Videos

Kids First Best Children's Videos

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE listed in 2001 Best Children’s Videos

Whimsical approach to basic English grammar as retired teacher presents light-hearted tutorials in and around her cozy cottage on the seashore. Includes video lessons and workbook with exercises, tests and answer key.

Adult Juror Comments: Educational. Interesting, well organized, in-depth study of grammar. Cheery host in a lovely seaside setting made the lessons less intimidating. Best for late elementary to junior high students, or basic adult learners.

Kid Juror Comments: High-schoolers found the content suitable for themselves but the presentation geared for younger students. “The appeal is for a younger audience and would catch their interest.” “It starts out simple and gradually becomes more in depth.” “Good examples.” Age: 10-14.

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Coalition For Quality Children's Media, Adult Jurors, Youth Jurors

AMTEC

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Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course

Many people are concerned by what they perceive as a lack of grammar skills being taught in schools today. The producers of THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE have created a self-contained audio/visual learning tool that would help parents and educators to empower themselves to do something about the problem. The goal was to provide a comprehensive, easy-to-follow course in basic English grammar, presented in a relaxed, non-threatening setting, by a retired English teacher considered to be a master teacher by administrators, colleagues, parents and students. Their hope is that teachers or parents could use it to teach themselves. We hope to see it utilized by public and private schools, homeschoolers, adult literacy programs, libraries, tutors etc.

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From the Awards Festival Program
Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada

CLICK HERE TO SCROLL THROUGH COZY GRAMMAR'S NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

Award of Excellence

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY PUNCTUATION COURSE should be in every home, every school and, in addition to being sold online, should be made available to the public through television infomercials! It’s one of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history!”

Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, CA

Questar Award

 

Questar Awards

 

2001 Questar Award Finalist
THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE
Educational For Home Video

 

The Questar Awards Festival of Excellence in Video productions was founded by The International Academy of Communications Arts & Sciences with the principal purpose of advancing the arts and sciences of communications in an international arena, striving to establish and promote high standards of individual and collective achievement by way of recognizing the multi-disciplines involved in professional communications productions. Our Mission is to honor the individuals whose work has made an outstanding contribution.

Communicator Awards

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2001 Award of Distinction Winner

Instructional Videos

Communicator Awards Silver Trophy

 

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in communications.

Cindy Award

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Spring 2001 Gold Cindy Award

Arts and Humanities

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CINDY, an acronym for “Cinema in Industry,” began in 1959 as an industrial film competition. Today the twice-a-year CINDY Awards are proudly presented by the International Association of Audio Visual Communicators (IAAVC), a non-profit group representing theatrical, broadcast, non-broadcast, and interactive media professionals throughout the world.

AXIEM Award

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2001 Copper Award First Place Winner

 

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THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

Educational Video for Home Market

 

The AXIEM AWARDS is a national awards program created to honor those who produce the very best in all forms of electronic media.

Videographer Awards

 

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Videographer Awards Distinction

2001 Award of Distinction

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For Sale / Instructional

 

The Videographer Awards are designed to give winners the recognition that the work they are producing is outstanding and highly regarded by their peers. The works are judged solely on their own quality, creativity and resourcefulness.

WorldFest Houston Remi Award

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Remi Award Bronze2001 Bronze Remi Award

Worldfest Houston

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WORLDFEST, the premiere Indie film/video festival in North America, has discovered some of the top directors and filmmakers in the world today.

Aegis Award

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2001 AEGIS AWARD
Excellence in Educational Media
Training/Education

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Aegis Award of Excellence 2001

 

“Your work on The Basic Cozy Grammar Course has been recognized by your peers as being among the very best in all of North America. As an Aegis winner, you have joined the elite ranks of the most creative video production professionals in the industry.”

The Aegis Awards Panel of Judges

Canada Post Literacy Award

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Canada Post Literacy Award

 

2001 Canada Post Literacy Finalist
Outstanding Literacy Educator

 

MARIE RACKHAM

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

 

“To liberate slow learners from feelings of inadequacy, Marie developed an easily understood grammar course during her 34 year teaching career. That course has become a video/workbook production called The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, which stars Marie, leading a series of 27 lessons for ages 9 to adult.”

Media Agency Communications Award

 

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2001 First Place Winner
THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Panisonic Award

 

The Association for Media and Technology in Education (AMTEC) presents a national showcase for educational media.

Award of Excellence

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Film Advisory Board Award of Excellence

 

“One of the best educational products FILM ADVISORY BOARD has evaluated in its twenty-eight year history! It is well-deserving of our AWARD OF EXCELLENCE.”

Film Advisory Board, Hollywood, CA

Panasonic Video Communications Award

 

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2001 First Place Winner
Best Overall Videotape Production

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Panisonic Best Videotape Production

 

Awarded by Panasonic to the educational video production judged to have accomplished the highest overall level of quality standards.

AMTEC Award

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2001 Award of Excellence
Informational-Visual

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Amtec Award of Excellence

 

AMTEC is committed to evaluating educational technologies which reflect sound pedagogical theory, which are accessible to all learners and teachers, which promote innovation in learning and teaching, and which celebrate best teaching/learning practices in all educational environments. One Award of Excellence is granted in each category.

Telly Award

 

2001 Telly Award Winner

THE BASIC COZY GRAMMAR COURSE

 

Telly Award Trophy

Resource Links Best of 2004

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ResourceLinks Best of 2004

Audio/Visual Product

 

MARIE RACKHAM’S COZY CLASSROOM COLLECTION CD

 

“This is a lovely recording of piano arrangements which serves as an excellent introduction for young people to classical music and hopefully enhances their learning as they listen and enjoy!”

Ann Ketcheson

The Dove Foundation

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Family Approved

 

 

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“. . . Marie Rackham provides excellent explanations and examples, and the lessons are very suitable for all ages . . .”

Carol Verbrugge

The Dove Foundation

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

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Honorable Mention 2001

Excellence In Education Award

Old Schoolhouse Magazine Excellence in Education Award

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“The Old Schoolhouse gives Cozy Grammar the “Best all-time Grammar Award” in our book . . . Highly recommended by The Old Schoolhouse — 20 stars on a scale of five!”

Gena Suarez, Publisher

Free 7-Day Preview (Grammar & Punctuation)

One week of free access to see whether Cozy Grammar is a good match for you or your family.

Basic Cozy Grammar & Punctuation Combo (1 Year): $29.95

One year of access for an individual or a family.

Basic Grammar & Punctuation Combo (Unlimited): $59.95

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

The Free Cozy Spelling Course

the word "succeeded" with Marie smiling before the water on the beach

The Free Cozy Spelling Course is a 36-week, text and audio based curriculum that teaches the spelling of 600 words at the 7th grade level. It contains different Monday to Friday activities, including pretests, exercises, dictation sentences, spelling rules, final tests, and answer keys.

At the end of the course, students will have the option to print out a course completion certificate. Even more important, they will have greater confidence in their spelling skills because they will have a greater understanding of the principles of spelling.

The Free Cozy Spelling course is based on the spelling courses Marie taught during her distinguished teaching career in Campbell River, BC, and includes special audio tracks recorded by Cozy Grammar's producer and director, David Mielke.

"This is our gift to you," he says. "Just as Marie gave me a way to develop confidence in my spelling skills, I hope her time-tested Cozy Spelling Course will do the same for you."

NOTE
You can read more about The Free Cozy Spelling course in the April 2018 issue of the Cozy Grammar Newsletter.

The Cozy Spelling Course: FREE

Unlimited access for an individual or a family.

Marie's Other Courses

The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course, and The Free Cozy Spelling Course are just three of Marie's courses.

In the year ahead, we look forward to offering The Basic Cozy Essay Course, in which she describes failing second year university English three times because no one had taught her the proper format for an essay.

In this course she teaches the format that not only brought her grade up to an A, but led her to major in English.

We also look forward to offering her two-part Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course and the remaining grade levels in Cozy Grammar's Spelling Series.

No one fails if they have the tools.

Here's a peek at what's coming:

 

The Basic Cozy Essay Course

The Basic Cozy Spelling Series, Grades 2-8

The Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course, Level I

The Intermediate Cozy Grammar Course, Level II

We also look forward to opening our online music shop.

Many people have been struck by Marie's interpretation of classical piano music, and by her original compositions, all of which form the soundtrack to the Cozy Grammar Courses.

Starting in 2019, we will begin releasing recordings of the soundtrack she performed in the studio for The Basic Cozy Grammar Course and The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.

Watch for the news about our first new release:

Marie makes a rainbow of colors dance from the keys of her piano.
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