Cozy English Courses

Review by:
Sarah Sullivan, Homeschooling Mom,
Courtenay, BC

Review of “The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course”

Looking for an alternative or supplement to language arts workbooks that will entertain and educate your children? Well, my children and I have thoroughly enjoyed using “The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course” this past school year. It includes 15 lessons in which course author and retired teacher, Marie Rackham, instructs about the finer points of punctuation. This excellent program includes beautiful photography, a reproducible workbook, and engages multiple learning styles, and would be a very useful addition to any homeschool, public library, or home learning resource centre.

One feature that makes this program irresistible is the scenery. “The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course” is filmed around the Campbell River , British Columbia area and Mrs. Rackham uses a different locale each lesson to illustrate the concepts being taught. The program is sort of a cross between a travel show and an English lesson. The photography and editing are very professional and pleasing to the senses. This innovative technique is far superior to watching an instructor lecture in front of a black board.

Learners with different learning styles will find “The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course” useful, as the program has been designed to utilize all the learning styles. When Mrs. Rackham instructs or illustrates an example, the viewer not only hears her say it, but the words are also put up on the screen over the picture and they are often in different colors to highlight the concept being taught. Mrs. Rackam is also an accomplished musician and each episode highlights a different piece of classical music in the background which adds to the overall atmosphere of the program. Then at the end of each lesson Mrs. Rackham reminds the student to do the exercises in the workbook which requires the learner to actively practice the concepts taught. The purchaser has reproduction rights for the workbook, which save a lot of money for schools and homeschoolers.

“The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course” should be in every public library and home learning resource centre, but the cost may be prohibitive to many individual home learners. $124.95 Canadian [no frills packaging version $79.95], it does seem to be a large outlay, but if a family has multiple children and with the reproduction rights for the workbooks, I think the price is comparable to many of the major publisher’s English programs, and the resale value should be high. Many families may be concerned about the lack of consistent review but I use my children’s writing and dictation for reviewing and reinforcing the concepts taught in the program. If there is a concept that my child seems to be struggling with, we simply replay that episode.

In our five years of homeschooling, The “Basic Cozy Punctuation Course” is very high on our list of favorite curriculum resources. I learned along with my children (do you know what an interrobang is?) and it was fun, educational, and effective. We look forward to using it for many years to come, and we also look forward to using all the other programs in this series. So, if you are looking for a program to breathe some life into your language arts curriculum, check out “The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course.”


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