Updated course information and live class times for the 2017–18 Academic Year will be available when Early Registration opens on February 28.

English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing

Master Teacher:  Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Master Teacher: English 1
Classroom Teacher: AP® English Literature & Composition

Caleb Nelson


MDiv, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
MA, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
BA, Patrick Henry College

Caleb, the eldest of eleven children, was brought up by hand on a sheep ranch in Northern Colorado. By age six he was devouring Reader’s Digest and Smithsonian each month and was already manifesting an active dislike for any book which sported the hateful word “abridged” on its cover. His mother knew literature would feature prominently in his future when, at age twelve, he read and then reread The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

During a rigorous three-and-one-half years at Patrick Henry College, Caleb’s literary horizons expanded by leaps and bounds, particularly when he snagged a book-reviewing job at WORLD magazine. He studied the greatest literature ever penned, God's word, at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina. 

Caleb currently pastors Harvest Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Gillette, Wyoming, where he and his wife Alexa live with their two children. His prayer is that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in his students and congregants, and they in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:12).

This is Caleb’s fifth year teaching for the Academy.

Classroom Teacher:  Makishi Inaba

Makishi InabaClassroom Teacher

Makishi Inaba

BA, Patrick Henry College

Makishi Inaba received his BA in literature from Patrick Henry College. While studying at PHC, he served as an editor for Vessel, PHC’s student-run literary journal, for two years. His favorite works of literature are Dante’s Divine Comedy, Augustine’s Confessions, and C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, but he loves any genre or medium that tells a good story.

His favorite literary endeavors are identifying parallels and wrapping his head around symbols and metaphors. He is of the belief that careful and respectful interpretation of literature can be just as glorifying to God as any other form of worship, when done with the right spirit and mind.

Makishi’s hobbies all revolve around the inner workings of well-made things, whether computers, business trends, or film. He currently resides in Loudoun County, Virginia.

This is his second year teaching for the Academy.

Classroom Teacher:  Andrea Hardy

Andrea HardyClassroom Teacher

Andrea Hardy

BA, Providence College

Andrea Hardy earned her bachelor's degree in English literature and secondary education from Providence College. Following graduation, she pursued her passion for education and began teaching high school English in the Massachusetts public schools.

During her teaching career she has taught courses from 8th grade through 12th grade in a variety of subjects, from British literature to American studies. She designed and taught a new course in literacy to help students with their reading comprehension and firmly believes that reading helps students on the road to becoming great writers. She enjoys assisting students with the writing process and helped to start her school’s first writing center. Additionally, Andrea values civic participation among students and has overseen several service learning projects in her time as a classroom teacher.

In the last couple of years, Andrea has stepped away from teaching to start a family, but she continues to tutor part-time. She enjoys being home with her husband and two beautiful boys and spending her days playing at the park and at the library. Andrea loves reading both contemporary and classic literature. Some of her favorite books include Tess of D’urbervilles, Hamlet, and Gone with the Wind. She looks forward to discussing great literature and helping students to improve their writing this year.

This is her second year teaching for the Academy.

Classroom Teacher:  Annika McKinney

McGovern Classroom Teacher

Annika McKinney

BA, University of Northern Colorado

Annika McKinney grew up on a farm in Northern Colorado. At an early age, she developed a love for books, music, and the land, and all of these impacted her view of the world. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a BA in music and a minor in literature. Her studies convinced her that learning was her passion, and since then she’s taken that passion to new places.

In 2014, Annika married her husband Jared and spent a year in the wilds of Washington, D.C., teaching violin lessons to around 30 students. This teaching solidified what she learned at university and helped her become more empathetic with the needs of students and their parents. It was a great year, so after completing a teaching certification from Cambridge University, she decided to go even further afield and spend 2014-2015 in Beijing, China, teaching English to Chinese university students. Since then she's been to England and Singapore, and will likely be in a totally different country next year!

Annika also enjoys helping Americans expand their reading and writing abilities through HSLDA Online Academy. This is her third year teaching for the Academy.

Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 9th grade level and up.
Tuition: $495 for HSLDA Members/$545 for non-HSLDA Members. 
Save an additional $100 through 3/22 with Early Registration.  

Description: In English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing, students learn to analyze literature, develop skills in writing essays, gain mastery over the basics of English grammar, and expand their vocabulary knowledge and usage.

English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing 
Live Online Class Session Schedule, 2017–18

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Students will be allowed to change class sections free of charge until the start date of the course, as class size permits.  If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290.

Frequently Asked Questions about English 1

Open All | Close All

  • What topics will I learn about in English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing?

    English 1 is a two-semester Language Arts course covering literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary. The goal of this course is to provide a solid foundation in Language Arts so that students can build on it in future studies.

    We will read eight major works of literature together throughout the year along with various shorter works. Students will also read one novel independently during the second semester. Discussions and writing assignments will help students examine literature from a biblical worldview, discover an author’s techniques and styles, and gain practice in analytical thinking and writing. The course will also cover other types of writing, such as descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive. Activities such as peer group editing, collaborative learning groups, and recitations will also be part of the course. Our study of grammar will include parts of speech, sentence types, sentence diagramming, common writing errors, and punctuation. Finally, students will have a hardy dose of vocabulary study each week.

    Students who successfully complete this course will:

    • Become familiar with basic literary elements and terms,
    • Develop skills in analyzing literature by examining literary elements and techniques,
    • Develop skills in writing strong paragraphs with organization and purpose,
    • Develop skills in writing cohesive and coherent essays that answer the writing prompt,
    • Gain a basic understanding of the standard conventions of written English,
    • Expand their vocabulary knowledge and usage.

    This course is meant to help students improve their reading and writing skills, thus inspiring a greater appreciation of literature and composition in general.

  • What books will I use in English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing?

    The 2017-18 English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing booklist is now available. In the offical booklist, you will find information about the editions, book descriptions, and the reasons why HSLDA Online Academy selected these books.

    You can order your books starting June 1 for the 2017–18 academic year through HSLDA Online Academy’s bookstore.

    By purchasing your textbooks through the Academy’s bookstore, you may be eligible for Guaranteed Book Buyback. Please view the eligibility requirements to learn more about Guaranteed Book Buyback.

  • Am I ready to take English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing?

    Students need to be able to read and comprehend at a high school level. Please check the reading list to see the works we will be covering in English 1 to determine your student’s readiness. A student’s understanding of the reading material will become evident in his or her writing.

    We will be doing a fair amount of writing, but we will start from the beginning in terms of how to approach, prepare, and produce a final product. Although we will begin our study of writing with basic sentences and paragraphs, and then build into essays, students should already have had some practice in basic essay writing prior to taking this course.

    Still have questions if you are ready for a standard high school class? Please visit our Academic Readiness page for more information.

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements with their instructors to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts.

  • What is the tuition for English 1: Exploring Literature & Writing?

    Please visit our tuition and discounts page for a full summary about course costs.

    HSLDA members save $50 on yearlong high school courses!