Grammar, Creativity, Excellence, and Peace

The Free Cozy Grammar Newsletter with Marie Rackham and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

Marie and I have both long believed that grammar, properly taught, can enhance creativity. I am therefore particularly delighted to share a poem that was written by one of Cozy Grammar's students, Miguel Gonzalez Del Castillo.

Miguel wrote the following poem in response to a bonus video and creative writing assignment in Lesson 10 of the Basic Cozy Grammar Course, "Tense of Verbs."

The video and the assignment encourage students to see the present tense not simply as a way of speaking about actions in the present, but also as a reminder to appreciate the beauty and goodness that we can find around us in this very moment.

Miguel's poem is a beautiful example of this vital kind of creativity and appreciation.

Acoma Trail
by Miguel Gonzalez Del Castillo

The wind calmly shakes the leaves with each blow.
The lowering sun casts a small shadow.
The clouds form beautiful shapes like a painting by Vincent van Gogh.

The children laugh and play outside,
Their smiles big and wide,
As another day of summer confines.

The moon shows and the sun starts to fall.
The wolves run through the forest and howl,
And everyone is put to sleep by the sounds of the nocturnal owl.

You can also listen to a recording of Miguel reading his poem below:

Thanks for sending us your poem, Miguel!

You can also watch the video for this assignment in our newsletter The Gift of the Present Tense, available in our free online Learning Treasure Trove.

Creativity and Grammar

One of the reasons I appreciate being part of Cozy Grammar is that even at a distance I get to watch how students grow. This past May, for instance, I interviewed several of our homeschooling families and was thrilled to see how even students who don't think they like grammar or language arts suddenly take an interest in words.

And when grammar helps students explore their own creativity, I couldn't be more pleased and grateful.

So I thought to share a recent video we filmed about how grammar and creativity connect. It also includes a writing activity that I encourage you and your students to try.

By the way, if you or your students write something that you're proud of, please do send it our way. Who knows? Maybe it will appear in our next newsletter.

Also, if you have a question you'd like to see me answer in our "Ask Cozy Grammar" series, visit Ask Cozy Grammar and send it in. Or simply reply to this newsletter.

We're always glad to help make the process of learning grammar more clear and more joyful.

Word Order, Creativity, and Interesting Writing

For our second free excerpt this month, I wanted to share a lesson from Marie about how knowledge of grammar can directly affect our sense of creativity and possibility in writing.

This video from the Basic Cozy Grammar Course shows how changing the position of the subject and predicate in a sentence can make our writing more interesting.

Take a peek!

Creativity, Coziness, and Excellence

We're also excited this month to announce that Cozy Grammar was recently chosen by How to Homeschool as a 2020 Top Homeschool Curriculum List winner.

We're delighted and humbled by this honor. Do check out How to Homeschool's list for help finding all the right curriculum for your students or family.

And, as you begin planning for the fall, we also encourage you to take a look at our Basic Cozy Grammar and Basic Cozy Punctuation courses.

Not only have they instructed and inspired students and families around the world, they have also helped them discover deeper levels of creativity in their writing and in their lives.

It would be an honor for us to watch you and your students continue to grow and thrive.

Creativity and Peace

Finally, because August 6th is Hiroshima Peace Memorial Day, we wanted to highlight one of our free Enrichment Programs for families learning at home and invite you to be part of a special project for peace.

In honor of Hiroshima Memorial Day and the possibility of peace everywhere, we're making a filmed performance of A Thousand Thanks: The Gift of Sadako and Her Cranes available for free in August and the first months of the school year.

In this original show, I use theatrical magic, story, and song to explore the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. The performance also draws upon a more recent and historically accurate account of Sadako's life by Sadako’s brother Masahiro Sasaki and Sue DiCiccoThe Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki.

Here's a sample of a song from the show:

The Peace Crane Project

In the spirit of Sadako, we invite you and your students to be part of the Peace Crane Project, an invitation to every student on the planet to fold an origami crane, write a message of peace on its wings, and exchange it with another student somewhere in the world.

Classrooms, teachers, students, schools, community groups, and individuals are all welcome, and it's completely free to participate!

Learn more about the Peace Crane Project and sign up at PeaceCraneProject.org.

This is a wonderful way to link creativity at home with peace and goodwill around the world.

Thank You!

Thanks for joining us this month. If you have any questions about grammar, creativity, or anything else, please feel free to contact us.

We'll answer your questions as quickly as we can. It's an honor for us to be of service.

I hope this finds you and your family well, enjoying the gifts of summer's bounty and remaining healthy, happy, and safe in your homes.

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma



Marie's Language Consultant
The Cozy Grammar Series of Courses