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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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