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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