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Course name
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation & Grammar (HS 9-1) with Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA
Recorded course taught by Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, Bonnie Donlon, Aubrey Heki, Sharon Hamric-Weis, Reilly Starrett High School 9 Series: Essential & Simplified Writing

  Get rid of punctuation and grammar struggles and learn the must-have writing skills for mastering commas, tense, colons, semicolons, dashes, ellipses, and more – and overcome punctuation and grammar mistakes for good.
Take this course with the 9-2 course with this course and gain a full semester’s credit for writing! 

Instructor Access (optional grading support) is available for Unlimited Access or Single Access
See the sidebar to the left for signup information! Scroll down to read the biography of each instructor.  



How to get the most out of the High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation & Grammar (HS 9-1) course:

  • Read the course details below.

  • Prepare a notebook for notetaking and homework. Students -- be sure to take notes during class!

  • Students, begin the course by:

    • LIVE CLASS Students - Coming to the first live Class session on the scheduled date and time.

    • Unlimited Access / Recorded Students - Clicking on the "Recording" and watching Professor Brown’s lecture for Class One.

  • Review any supplemental materials (videos or readings)

  • Complete any Quiz(zes) or homework assignments. The computer will automatically grade the quiz.

    • *Note* If taking the course in Recorded format, the quiz will reset if someone else in the family takes it, so make sure the grade is recorded by a parent.

  • If you need review, watch the recording and/or go over the PowerPoint again.

  • Repeat until all 6 classes are complete.

  • Once the course is completed to the parent's satisfaction, there is a Certificate of Completion at the end of this page (to be filled in for your records). Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping

Special Notes: This is the first of a four-part series. Continue with the HS 9 series (9-2, 9-3, and 9-4) for a full year’s credit for writing.

Total Classes: 6

Prerequisite: none

Suggested Grade Level: 9th grade; however, all high school students are welcome.
Suggested Credit: One-half (½) of a semester’s credit for Writing or English

Combine with High School Simplified Writing 1: Strong Foundational Writing Skills (HS 9-2) for one (1) full semester’s credit. When combined with the 9-2 course, this course is worth one (1) full semester’s credit for writing.

Instructor: Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA

Instructor Email: ebconroy@homeschoolconnections.com

Course Description: This is an essential writing course for all high school students, to solidify the use of upper-level punctuation and grammar—including mastering commas, tense, colons, semicolons, dashes, ellipses, and more. With this course, you can help your student avoid everyday writing struggles and master punctuation and grammar details that may be holding your student back. Sentence constructions move from simple to complex, to prepare your student for upper high school and college courses. Take the 9-2 course with this course and gain a full semester’s credit for writing.

Course Outline:

Class 1: Mastering commas in a series and commas with conjunctions using complex sentences

Class 2: Mastering commas and clauses and tough constructions, including multiple ideas, connectors, and transitions

Class 3: Mastering tense, competing punctuation, quotations, dashes, and ellipses

Class 4: Sticky-pair sentence construction (if-then, not only-but also) and tough grammar in upper-level constructions

Class 5: Mastering colons and semicolons with leading sentence constructions

Class 6: Mastering tricky punctuation details, end punctuation, and the most common grammar challenges

fd377af202c87ef7af20483bb993cf7d28cb5707.jpgCourse Materials: Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success, by Erin Brown Conroy: Buy the hard copy of the book here: http://amzn.to/2FMCose OR, buy the Kindle version of the book here (Download the FREE Kindle app to easily read on your computer, tablet, or mobile device): www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00B7AB90W/catholictreas-20
Microsoft Word or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document is required. If you do not own Microsoft Word, you can use a system such as Google Docs that converts to Word documents FREE.


Homework: Weekly quizzes are graded automatically by the computer for immediate feedback. Estimated two (2) to four (4) hours per week for homework outside of class time, depending on the student’s ability.

©2012-2024 Homeschool Connections and Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA (aka author Erin Brown Conroy/E. B. Conroy) All rights reserved.

This course is designed by Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA.  

  • This material is only to be used for its intended purpose by active subscribers of Homeschool Connections. Any other use without explicit permission is in violation of the seventh commandment (yes, the 7th commandment) and in violation of US and International copyright laws.

  • You may print or download to local hard disk extracts for your personal homeschool and non-commercial use only. This is not to be used for homeschool co-ops without express written permission from Homeschool Connections.


Technical Help: If you experience technical difficulty with watching the recorded classes or have a question about course content, please email us at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com.

Course name
High School Essential Writing 1: Punctuation & Grammar (HS 9-1) with Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA
Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, Bonnie Donlon, Aubrey Heki, Sharon Hamric-Weis, Reilly Starrett
Writing ➤ 9 Series: Essential & Simplified Writing
Grade level
High School
Course type
Recorded, free with subscription
Start time
November 1st, 2023 at 12:00 AM ET
Relative due dates
Relative due dates are disabled for this course.

About Erin Brown

Professor Brown has a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing/Genre Fiction (terminal degree in writing) from Western Colorado University, a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Rehabilitation, and a Bachelor of Music (BM) degree in Education from Western Michigan University. Professor Brown was a homeschooling parent for 34 years and homeschooled 10 children. She lives in Michigan and enjoys writing Science Fiction and Fantasy books in coffee shops, speaking online and at conferences, and walking her dogs.

Erin M. Brown, MA, MFA, is the creator and Director of the Aquinas Writing Advantage program. She is the author of nine books (including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Writing Success) and has been a professional author, editor, and university professor for over 30 years.
Erin designed the online writing program for three universities and taught at Patrick Henry College (writing, research); Cornerstone University (multiple writing courses, interpersonal communication, management and leadership, and critical thinking); and led the General Education Communications curriculum development (writing, communications, critical thinking) for Western Governors University.

Click here for more info about Erin Brown!

Mrs. Bonnie Donlon earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Literature from the University of Virginia. She taught writing at the Charlottesville Writing Center summer camp, then taught multiple subjects at The Covenant School in Charlottesville, Virginia, with Pre-K through 4th-grade students, including reading and writing in the classroom and in the after school programs. Mrs. Donlon also co-taught with her husband for the elementary level religious education program at St. Thomas Aquinas parish. When not teaching and grading student work, Mrs. Donlon enjoys reading, exploring the natural world with her son, and spending time with her extended family, including her sister-in-law, Mrs. Eleanor Nicholson, who is the High School Victorian Literature Instructor for Homeschool Connections.

Click here for more information about Bonnie Donlon!

Aubrey Heki, BA lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and four daughters, ranging from middle school to toddlerhood. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Theory from Patrick Henry College, a classical liberal arts school in VA. She has eight years of experience as a writing instructor, Assistant Lead Director of an online writing program, freelance editor, and Writing Assessment Coordinator with Homeschool Connections. She has also held a key administrative position in a private school for nearly three years. As the Managing Director of Aquinas Writing Advantage (AWA) for the past two years, she guides the day-to-day operations, supporting both AWA teachers and parents. One of her favorite pastimes is drinking a hot coffee paired with a baked treat while reading. She enjoys relaxing with family and friends, baking sourdough bread, and reading to her children. Click here for more info about Aubrey Heki!

About Sharon Hamric-Weis

During her last year of teaching, Mrs. Hamric-Weis converted to the Catholic Church and was confirmed. Upon her acceptance to the Dickinson School of Law, she and her husband relocated to her home state of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Hamric-Weis practiced law as Assistant Counsel for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and has been published in the Dickinson Journal of International Law, as well as working as a decision writer for the Pennsylvania Board of Workers’ Compensation.

After working in law, Mrs. Hamric-Weis left her employment to raise her children and homeschool for several years before returning to work as a paraprofessional teaching and caring for a student with multiple disabilities.

She is happy to be homeschooling her three children and teaching the advanced writing courses for Homeschool Connections.

Click here to learn more about Sharon Weis!

Teacher of ESL and Test Preparations
Your AWA Instructor for Middle School Writing and Instructor Access

About Mr. Starrett

Mr. Reilly Starrett is a proud graduate of a Catholic K-12 education and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts  (BA) in Philosophy and a minor in Anthropology from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. 

He has traveled to Chinandega, Nicaragua, with Amigos for Christ, an organization similar to Habitat for  Humanity, and when not building houses or digging ditches, played with the local children, learned  Spanish, and taught English informally. During college, Mr. Starrett volunteered in Kathmandu, Nepal, and after finishing college, taught in the Denver Public School system (United States). Today, Mr. Starrett lives in Yokohama, Japan, and teaches English Conversation and Essay Writing to students of all ages,  preschool through adult. He also helps English as a Second Language (ESL) students improve their English proficiency in writing, reading, listening, and speaking and guides students in their English proficiency test preparation for assessments such as the TOEIC, Eiken, and IELTS. 

When not teaching, Mr. Starrett loves hiking and camping in national parks, taking road trips, reading classical literature, and spending time with his wife and daughter (most of all). Mr. Starrett teaches as a LIVE course instructor and team-teaching grader for the 7/8 Series Middle School Writing courses.

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