For English this year my fourteen year old (ninth grader) is finishing the One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN). He has thoroughly enjoyed the program and his enthusiasm has not waned since beginning last year. If you click the link and watch the introductory video, E14 is the perfect kid for this program. He has lots of ideas, but begins to wash out part way through his story. The program is designed to develop the outline of your story for the first semester and in the second semester you construct your novel. At the end and along the way, you can share your novel on the website.
The first task is to watch the video segment for the day, read from the text book called The Compass, and then do exercises from the workbook called The Map. Part way through, we’ll begin work on the novel rather than doing the workbook which is the outline of the novel. Each of The Map exercises requires a teacher evaluation based on a rubric. There are also weekly quizzes.
The program’s author and instructor is interesting to watch and the video segments are pretty compelling. I’m excited to see how E14’s novel shapes up with some direction. We hope to revisit the One Year Adventure Novel again in 11th grade to see how his writing matures.
I cannot say enough about this program! We have learned so much about story and what makes a good book. I highly recommend it to all homeschooling families. Actually, I would recommend this program to any family regardless of their schooling choices. I challenge any of you to look at any story the same way after going through this curriculum. It has been a great talking point for E14 and I to discuss all stories old and modern and how they fit the model Mr. S shares in his lessons. All good stories point to Truth and Mr. Schwabauer’s purpose is to shed light on that concept and develop it with the students.
The program consists of 78 lessons each with a video lesson segment, a text reading, a workbook page/or novel writing portion, and read alouds from various adventure novels. Sometimes they are novel excerpts in the text but we have also been reading Prisoner of Zenda regularly.
The cost for One Year Adventure Novel is $199. For each additional student the cost is $25 for The Map (workbook) which also entitles the additional student access to the forum.
E14 loves this program and R12 can hardly wait until it’s her turn. We’ve recently added the forums to E’s routine and he’s had fun reading what other kids are writing and it’s been fun for him to see other kids his age enjoying some of the same tastes in stories! The OYAN forum is an integral part of the OYAN program and allows the kids to be in community together and to encourage one another. E has been successful in developing his character more using the advice of other students participating in the forum. It’s been delightful to see him get feedback from others going through the same process and those that have more experience and who continue to write. You can also read the work of other students which has been motivating for E14. As a parent, I believe it is an intentional online community for students participating in OYAN and it appears to be well monitored by the author and his moderators. We’ve also enjoyed a few webinars offered through Mr. Schwabauer’s website.
Not so long ago, he finished the summary of his novel. Would you like to see it?
Things are grim in Andwarda. Gestronza Vordyke, a former military leader, threatens peace and security. A collection of agents are trying to stop him, but things aren’t going well. Enter Colter Hargrove, a young, thirteen year old boy. After his parents are kidnapped by Gestronza, he joins the agents, bringing new hope to them. But will Colter be strong enough to beat Gestronza? Or will Vordyke get his revenge? Find out in E’s compelling adventure novel.
I’ve been doing this along with E14 and had started a novel, but I did not enjoy the turn it was taking so I took some time off. My job as mentor is to talk with him about his work and to evaluate it. For example, his premise for why his villain was vile was sort of weak. Through discussion we were able to come up with a premise much more compelling for why his villain has it in for the “agents”. That’s what I’m here for…to coach this process. I can’t emphasize enough how valuable this has been for our homeschool.
At the end of the course, when he’s finished his book, we plan to publish it with an online publishing service. This will be a fun way to have it in print and have others read it.
He’s finished the writing and creating ideas within the boundaries Mr. S created. Now he’s working on individual scenes through disasters and dilemmas that will take him through his novel. Next week he begins the actual novel writing. Pretty exciting stuff and such a well thought out process we have thoroughly enjoyed.
Heather W blogs at Blog, She Wrote where you can read about her family’s adventures using unit studies with a sprinkling of unschooling and Charlotte Mason style homeschooling. This year they are homeschooling 9th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd grades.
Great review! I really get the whole idea of how this writing curriculum works. Sounds great! Do you have any sources for a good online publishing company? My 16 yo is interested in possibly publishing her novella, just to share with others. Betsy
This sounds terrific for my daughter! She has no less than 20-25 unfinished “books” from over the last few years. She begins passionately, but then a new idea hits her and she heads off in that direction without finishing any of her previous story lines.
I wonder, though, how this would fit in with an already full schedule. We use Sonlight curriculum which includes coordinated history, reading, literature and writing. I feel that if I take the writing assignments off her schedule, she’ll miss out on valuable/necessary learning. She already has a fair amount of gaps in regards to technical writing because I’ve allowed her to focus so much on her creative writing with only keeping up on grammar, vocab and spelling. She will be going into 9th grade and has done very few reports, essays, writing assignments that she hasn’t chosen. She’s not done any “grade level” writing curricula in over a year. I was considering having her take online courses with an outside teacher to get her up to level for college.
I suppose the book writing could be one of her electives? I’d love to know what you think.
Heather Woodie says
Jessi, you can absolutely use One Year Adventure Novel as an elective. We use it for creative writing at our house.
I’d love to talk to you more about your 9th grader and her essays/writing. Hop on over to BlogSheWrote.org where I’m all high school all the time!