Homeschooling From the Heart

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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