Foundations in Writing

Master Teacher: Charmayne Rush
Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (34 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 8th grade level and up.
Tuition: $519 for HSLDA Members / $599 for non-members.

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.

Watch a short introduction from Course Developer Melissa Dean.

Watch a sample clip of an Academy live class session. 

Sign up for Foundations in Writing and other courses

Live Online Class Session Schedule

Dates: August 23, 2021 - May 6, 2022

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1: Closed

Mondays, 2:30–4:00 p.m. Eastern

Mrs. Tamara Grubbs

Section 2: Closed Tuesdays, 12:30–2:00 p.m. Eastern

Ms. Devon Kelly

Section 3: Closed Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Eastern

Ms. Devon Kelly

Section 4: Closed Mondays, 9:00–10:30 a.m. Eastern Mrs. Tamara Grubbs
Section 5: Closed Tuesdays, 3:00–4:30 p.m. Eastern Mrs. Cherise Curby
Additional class times may be added to the schedule later in the registration period. Please note: all class times are subject to the availability of each individual instructor. See this page for more information. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

  • How much homework is in Foundations in Writing?

    We estimate that the course workload will take 5-7 hours per week.

    During a typical week in this course, students will complete the following coursework:

    • 60–90 minutes of live class instruction
    • Video lecture (5-10 minutes)
    • 4-10 pages of grammar exercises (self- or parent-graded)
    • ~40-50 pages of reading (guided by questions)
    • Discussion forum
    • Weekly grammar test (peer- or parent-graded)
    • Weekly writing practice (activity varies by week)

    Throughout the year, students will also complete the following tasks:

    • Reading: 4 books (8 weeks per book)
    • 6 essays (including one multi-week research paper) 

    Please see this Sample Schedule for an idea of the weekly workflow.

  • What books will I use in Foundations in Writing?

    The official booklist for Foundations in Writing is now available. In the official booklist, you will find information about the editions, book descriptions, and the reasons why HSLDA Online Academy selected these books.

    You can order course materials for competitive prices through the bookstore. Use the Textbook Finder to locate the required resources for your courses. Please note that while most books are available through, some titles are not carried and will need to be purchased elsewhere.

  • 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 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 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 the tuition for Foundations in Writing?

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

    HSLDA members save $80 on yearlong high school courses in addition to Early Registration discounts!