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

Foundations in Writing

Master Teacher:  Melissa Barnes

Melissa BarnesMaster Teacher

Melissa Barnes

EdS, University of Michigan
MA, University of Michigan
BA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Melissa Barnes earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in English education, literacy education, and curriculum development. These culminated from a lifelong love of reading, writing, and teaching that began on the first day of first grade when she came home and announced that she wanted to be a teacher.

Melissa has taught both high school and middle school students and is currently a homeschool mom. In addition to teaching, Melissa enjoys serving as a freelance writer and editor for the Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) and has written for local newspapers in years past.

Melissa and her husband reside in Chesapeake, Virginia. They have eight children. In her occasional spare time, you can find Melissa reading books, playing games or watching movies with her family, or enjoying coffee with a friend.

This is her second year teaching for the Academy.

Classroom Teacher:  Clark Wickman

Bio coming soon! 

Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 8th 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 Foundations in Writing, students learn the basics of English grammar and composition, while learning how to analyze short literary works. This course is designed for students in 8th or 9th grade and prepares students for English 1.

Foundations in Writing — Live Online Class Session Schedule, 2017–18

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4 TBA TBA
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
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 Foundations in Writing


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  • What topics will I learn about in Foundations in Writing?

    Students in this course will learn to write for a variety of purposes: to reflect, inform, explain, evaluate, judge, inquire, analyze, interpret, and take a stand. Students will improve the mechanics in their writing through a formal study of English grammar.  

    Students will approach the literature they read from a biblical worldview that focuses both on analyzing the author’s techniques and styles as well as responding to and applying the themes of the literature to their own life experiences.  Students in this course will engage in reading, planning, composing, revising, and editing.  They will work independently as well as collaboratively.  They will experience a variety of instructional methods including lectures with visual components, discussion forums, peer response groups, quizzes, and process writing.  

    Students who successfully complete this course will:


    • Write effectively for a variety of purposes.
    • Understand English grammar and mechanics.
    • Edit their own and others’ writing.
    • Read and respond to literature from a Biblical worldview.
    • Recognize and analyze basic literary elements.
    • Expand their vocabulary through studying words in context of their reading.


    This course is meant to provide students with a solid foundation in writing, grammar, and literature study upon which they can build in subsequent high school English courses.

  • Am I ready to take Foundations in Writing?

    Students are expected to be able to read at least at an 8th grade level and recognize basic parts of speech.  While there is a fair amount of writing, students will start from the beginning in terms of how to approach, prepare, and produce a final product. This course is meant to provide students with a solid foundation in writing, grammar, and literature upon which they can build in subsequent high school English courses at HSLDA Online Academy.

    Please visit our Academic Readiness page for more information.

  • What books will I use in Foundations in Writing?

    The official booklist for Foundations in Writing for the 2016–17 academic year 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 now order your books for the 2016–17 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.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with the listed Foundations in Writing class time?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements 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 a Live Online Class Session in Foundations in 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 is the tuition for Foundations in Writing?

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

    HSLDA members save $50 on yearlong high school courses!