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Foundations in Writing and Literature


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Foundations in Writing and Literature


Full Year (2 Semesters)


Grade:      8

Credit:      1.0


Early Registration - 20% Discount and Grammar, Punctuation, & College Prep Vocabulary 1 at no additional cost!


Please see the BEFORE ENROLLING tab below before checkout.

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Foundations in Writing & Literature (Institute for Excellence in Writing) 


Live, Highly Interactive Online Classes with a Biblical Worldview

This course provides a solid foundation in writing and literature with thirty weeks of ninety-minute classes covering Units 1-8 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing syllabus as well as an introduction to literature focused on fostering a love of reading. It thoroughly prepares students for Writing and Literature 1.



Taught by an IEW-accredited Certified Instructor, this course is designed to meet the needs of students with less than a year of instruction in the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s (IEW) transformative methods.  It equips them with the tools to write compelling and engaging pieces. 


Why are IEW writing methods so effective?             

IEW uses small, incremental steps that anyone can master and starts at the beginning by focusing on a single paragraph.  It then provides a simple method to overcome writer’s block. Having resolved the challenge of what to say, your teen can then focus on how to say it. Adding one writing technique or sentence variation at a time, students practice each one until it is easy before they add another one.  

Thus, the reluctant or beginning-level writer learns not only that he CAN write, but also that he can write WELL, fueling enthusiasm. On the other hand, the more advanced writer learns to produce the flowing and varied sentence structures and word choices characteristic of the more mature writer.


What will your students learn?

Beginning with a basic paragraph, instruction covers Units 1-8 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing Structure and Style syllabus, which will enable students to

        • summarize and create short articles and short stories
        • write reports and simple research papers
        • plan & structure longer reports and research papers
        • write essays and formal essays
        • use IEW dress-ups (techniques to improve writing style)
        • use IEW sentence openers (adding variety to sentence structure that creates flowing sentences)
        • Use IEW decorations (techniques that add maturity, power, and interest to writing)

Strengthen grammar and punctuation skills as needed.

Improve each part of the writing process as they learn to

1.  gather, read, evaluate, analyze, and prepare sources  

2.  brainstorm 

3.  plan and organize thoughts

4.  create a rough draft

5.  edit to improve organization, flow, clarity, artistry, and impact

6.  proof their work to produce a final draft




This course incorporates features that research demonstrates help to fuel students’ desire to read, including the ability to: 


      • Choose much of their reading material (with parental oversight). 


      • Partake in a wide variety of interactive activities that build a reading community of engaged, excited readers.


      • Experience minimal disruption to the reading process from tedious worksheets and note-taking that a growing body of research has shown to kill a love for reading.


      • Read a consistent amount of time, rather than a specific number of pages.  Students are accountable for this time through group activities and discussions with their teacher and classmates.  Evaluations include a series of Book Talks with the instructor in which students share and answer questions about the books they are reading.


What will your students learn? 

Students will learn and apply literary concepts using classic short stories, the Bible, and poetry, as well as self-chosen books and books we will read together as a class (See the BOOKS & SUPPLIES tab above)


Instruction includes

      • Six clues that the author has a literary purpose and has embedded meaning in his or her choice of details, plot elements, and words.  Using these clues to read closely and discover character attributes and themes.

      • Plot elements and analysis and their use in discovering themes

      • Character elements and analysis and their use in discovering themes

      • Literary devices, such as irony, metaphor, and many more, that add to the meaning and tone of a literary work.

In all our courses, students learn to

      • understand the author's intent

      • evaluate an author's intent and worldview from a biblical perspective

      • recognize influence from a variety of worldviews

      • think critically, recognize faulty logic, and evaluate media and other resources

      • appreciate the interplay between literature and the culture at the time it was written

        Classic literature is timeless and becomes a classic in part because it addresses universal themes and truths common to man throughout the centuries.  At the same time,  it is both a response to and often a transformative agent for change in the times in which it is written. Students begin to build awareness of this interplay that will continue throughout their future literature courses.


All courses include a short two-to-four-week unit in non-fiction reading and media discernment in which students strengthen critical reading and thinking abilities.  Using famous speeches, essays, and articles, students hone specific reading skills vital to the research process and their functioning as informed consumers of information.  Most of these skills are directly tested in college entrance exams.  More importantly, they are crucial to a thriving democracy in which citizens freely make informed choices rather than being manipulated by fallacious reasoning. In Foundations, students increase motivation to seek truth and their ability to

      • separate fact from opinion
      • begin to recognize slant, spin, and bias
      • evaluate a website for slant, spin, and bias                

General Information

Instruction takes place in weekly ninety-minute classes that meet over thirty weeks.  Classes break for 5 minutes out of every 30.

Time to allow for this course:  In addition to class sessions, students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per week preparing for class. 


Enrollment closes August 15 or when the class is full (15 students).


Instructor:    Sandra Selling

                      IEW-Certified Instructor



                      800.578.2527 | 941.676.3140

                      Book an Appointment


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab above before beginning checkout.




Books & Supplies for Foundations in Writing & Literature

Important Note:  We offer these links for your convenience and resource information.  Specific editions are not required.

Kindle or ebooks are excellent so long as students can highlight using different colors. 

Kindle furnishes a free app to use on phones and PC that provides the ability to highlight in colors, AND many of the classics are then free!

Please have the following books and supplies on the first day of class:


    1. A variety of short stories, poetry, high-interest articles, and famous speeches, and sermons will be provided in class and online for free. We also use the Bible, which is available online for free.

    2. Student Resource Notebook by Lori Verstegan
      ISBN: Spiral: 978-1-62341-041-4 $19, or PDF: 978-1-62341-042-1 $15

    3. Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry ISBN-10: 9780689713910 ISBN-13: 978-0689713910 $5.81

    4. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park ISBN-10: 0547577311 ISBN-13: 978-0547577319 $5.29

    5. The Pearl by John Steinbeck ISBN-10: 014017737X ISBN-13: 978-0140177374  $9.94

    6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ISBN-10: 1514696584  ISBN-13: 978-1514696583  $5.31

    7. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare ISBN-10: 0395137195  ISBN-13: 978-0395137192  $6.39

    8. Gospel of Mark 

    9. Notice and Note Literature Log by Kylene Beers, Robert Probst ISBN-13: 978-0325056661  ISBN-10: 0325056668 $9.94

    10. Pangda 700 Pieces Flags Index Tabs 3 Sizes Sticky Notes Writable Labels Page Marker Bookmarks Text Highlighter Strips, 7 Colors, 5 Set $6.97

Required for All Courses

    1. Microsoft Office Word. If you do not currently own Word, the full Office Suite with PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote is available for both MAC and PC users through Office 365. The cost for PC users is $6.99/month for an individual and $9.99/month for a family of up to five. To purchase or see more options, click HERE. 

      Word is a powerful and intuitive tool that students will utilize throughout college. MAC users, please use Word. We cannot guarantee the functionality of all assignments in Pages and other Word substitutes. Students are strongly encouraged to use Word for a more seamless class experience. I edit and grade in Word using its comment feature.

    2. Headset with microphone and USB connection to your computer, NOT a pin-style connection, NOT Blue Tooth, and NOT your PC speakers and microphone. Their use will create audio problems for not just yourself, but the entire group. A noise-canceling microphone is ideal. See pictures at the bottom of this page for a visual of the correct connection.

    3. A webcam is required.


Other Requirements


    1. High-Speed Internet Access (Please Note: Linux operating systems won’t work with our webinar service.)

    2. Parents need a separate email or Gmail address to which the student does NOT have access. Use this email when setting up your parent account. If you have one, please use a Gmail rather than an email address. Gmail will allow more seamless access to some course features.

    3. Each student needs a separate Gmail address to which the parent DOES have access. Collaborative activities use Google Docs with settings that require a Gmail to access. Use a different Gmail for each enrolled student. The unique email address for each student is how the system identifies them, their work, and their grades. (Please note: Parental access to the account is NOT optional.)

    4. Quiet room: Online students MUST have a quiet space in which to attend class to avoid a noisy environment for the entire group. Since we often have oral discussions, muting student microphones until they are ready to speak does not work because it significantly slows down group interaction. Students need a quiet place from which to attend class.

    5. Siblings attending the same class at the same time must each have their own computer. They CANNOT share one. Siblings attending different classes or the same class at different times CAN share a computer.

    6. Siblings attending an online class at the same time must attend from separate rooms. Otherwise, they will create echoes for the group.


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab above before beginning checkout.

headset connections

Before Enrolling


Please ask yourself three questions before you begin checkout:

A. Are you a returning student or parent?  

  • If yes, please be sure to use your existing password and email address used in prior years. Otherwise, all previous coursework and grades will become unavailable to you.

B. Are you enrolling more than one student?

  • If yes, please register only one student at a time! Please complete BOTH the enrollment and payment processes for your first student before beginning to enroll your second student. 

C. Do you have the following ready?

  1. A separate PARENT email (preferably Gmail) address to which the student does NOT have access.  Use this email when setting up your parent account and for all correspondence with Inspired Writing and Literature.  If you have a Gmail account, please use this one. Again, if you are a returning parent, please use the same unique email you have used in prior years.

  2. For EACH student, a separate and unique email (preferably Gmail) address to which the parent DOES have access.  If your student has a Gmail account, please use this one. Use this Gmail or email for enrolling your student. Again, if yours is a returning student, be sure to use the same email used in prior years.



Please feel free to call your instructor Sandra Selling at (800) 578-2527 for guidance on courses or any other questions or concerns.  You may also email me at Sandra@InspiredWritingandLit.com or make an appointment at Book Now.

Parent Involvement


Parents are always welcome to attend student classes or watch class recordings at their convenience.


Initial Parent & Student Surveys & Student Assessments

Within a week of enrolling pupils, parents new to Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) will receive access to and complete an Initial Survey about their teen's learning needs, previous writing and literature experience, and other helpful information. They will do this for each student one time per year only. Students will complete a similar survey and also complete a skills assessment.  


Survey answers and assessment results allow me to tailor lessons to meet the needs of the class and to ensure each student receives the greatest benefit possible. Please take the time to answer the survey questions thoughtfully; they are your chance to tell me how best to help your student.

Introductory New Parent Webinar

All new parents of students enrolled with Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) for the first time are invited to attend a required introductory webinar to learn ways they can support their students at home and help to ensure their success.  Here they also will learn what student progress to expect from the course, how to monitor their progress, and how this course contributes to meeting college admissions requirements, as well as the best ways to communicate with the instructor. 


Returning parents are encouraged to attend if they feel the need for review.


A time for questions will follow the session. This webinar is offered once in the morning and once in the evening Monday, September 14, the first regular week of class.  See the Academic Calendar for these dates and times.  


School-Year Expectations

During the school year, parents monitor their students' progress to ensure they remain current with lessons and assignments.   Grades, as well as completed and edited assignments, are always accessible online to both students and parents 24/7. 


To maximize the use of class time for learning, parents administer and proctor longer tests at home during a time convenient to them.  Parents will receive both guidance and support in this if they desire.


Help for Parents and Students

I am readily available to both parent and student for consultation and help with current lessons during the week in my online office hours, and at other times by appointment.   I am also available throughout the school day via chat and video webinar through Zoom services.  If you are unfamiliar with these services, they are provided to you free of charge along with any help you need to use them. You will love the degree of teacher accessibility this service offers you and your students! 


In my online office, I can see and type on your student's paper or share a book as we talk. He or she can do the same and can also write and draw on the whiteboard or document on my screen. We can find resources together on the internet or pull up any needed materials or papers from our computers. I can help with drafts, the organization of files in file folders, and even occasionally walk them through using helpful features on their computers. Parents are encouraged to join student consultations whenever possible.


Parents Group

In the Parent Group, parents will find a forum where they can ask questions of the group or me and share information, ideas, and advice. I love it when moms, dads, or students from last year can answer questions or reassure newcomers from the perspective of one who has been there. Please feel free to jump in if you have something to add.  Of course, if you have a highly personal question that would not be of interest to others, you may Zoom, call, book an appointment, or email me privately.  Be sure to put the word PARENT or STUDENT in all caps on the subject line of any emails. Doing this will highlight your email so that it stands out.


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab before beginning checkout.