Review: The Basic Cozy Grammar Course
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!