Sunday, March 22, 2009

The One Year Adventure Novel - A wonderful writing curriculum

Do you know what makes a novel interesting? Have you ever started to write something to find out later that you were bored with it or just couldn’t go further after a while? Or do you have a child who loves to write and would like to go further in this gifting? If so, I have a great homeschool writing curriculum for you. It is called the One Year Adventure Novel and it is printed by ClearwaterPress. Initially geared for teenagers (grades 8-12), it can also be used by adults who would love to write and expand their creativity.

I was given the opportunity to review the product with an adult perspective and I must say that I am quite impressed with the curriculum. The lessons are on video and a textbook called The Compass complete them. The student will also have a workbook called The Map in which he/she will be able to answer the questions about the story that he/she wants to write. Also coming with the package is a book titled The Prisoner of Zelda which we have to read following some lessons. This entire curriculum is very well done and I am totally impressed with the quality of the lessons on DVD and by both The Compass and The Map.

Let’s concentrate on the video lessons for a second. The author is Daniel Schwabauer who is an award-winning novelist. Being himself a novelist, he must know what he is talking about no? Well he explains the process of writing a book in simple terms and guides the student in a step by step process of 78 lessons to complete an adventure novel at the end of the program. He also included a teacher guide to help parents to evaluate the work of their student. Finally, he completes the curriculum by including a CD which contains quizzes, videos as well as 14 classic adventures novels to read!

As I said previously, this curriculum is geared for teenagers but it can also be used by adults who would like to write a book. How many times, do you hear the comment “I started a book and I can’t seem to be able to finish it.” from friends or loved ones. This curriculum can help them to complete it. I had an extreme fun to go through the video lessons I have done so far and it got me seriously thinking about the bases of a novel. WoW! It is quite some work… I am personally juggling homeschooling and raising 4 kids (ages 7 and under) as well as other tasks like housework, business and church that I think it will take me more than a year to complete the novel. It doesn’t matter though because I am learning so much with the videos that I prefer taking my time in doing it so that the novel is worth reading. Also, I must specify that English is not my first language and I think I am meeting some road blocks because of this. Consequently, I am seriously thinking I should restart the lessons I made so far but answer the question in French so I can create a French Adventure Novel instead. I love the example that Daniel is showing in the videos and even in the books. He uses old classics as well as well as TV shows or movies like Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings and so on… Also he makes you think of all the different aspects of writing a novel. When someone never wrote one, it is good to have a mentor to guide you on the proper path so that you don’t get lost in your writing. And Daniel is that mentor for teenagers and adults who love to write!

A student forum is also set up to help you with various aspects of your writing. I accessed the forum and immediately some friendly users welcomed me. After introducing myself and telling them what I was reviewing the curriculum, they only had praises for the program and they seemed excited about it too! When this happens, you know that the curriculum is special and worth trying…

The price is 199$ US which is quite a lot of money to spend but it includes everything you need to write an adventure novel within a year. And if you have more than one student who would like to go through this curriculum, more student books can be purchase for the price of 25$ US each. One advantage of this curriculum would be that your student could re-use it from year after year (with a new workbook obviously) and write a new adventure novel every year as part of his schoolwork. Imagine finishing high school and have 5 adventure novels under your belt… I think it would be totally awesome! Also, I think this curriculum is also great for the fact that it can be used by multiple people – teenagers and adults alike. Why not participating as a parent in this program at the same time as your teenagers? Make it a little competition at the same time, the adult revise the student work and the student revise the adult work. Then the student would have an idea of what mom or dad go through while teaching them… Really for 25$ US to buy a workbook I would encourage the parents to go through this curriculum with their student(s). It’s a great way to share thoughts and ideas between each other.

We don’t have teenagers yet but my husband and I will go through the videos and create each our novel as a special project as a married couple. I think this is a great way to do something different together. And I am keeping this wonderful curriculum for when my kids will be old enough to use it. I’m totally sold out for The One Year Adventure Novel and encourage everyone to look into this wonderful gem to include in their homeschool. The One Year Adventure Novel is worth the price and you will be very impressed with it. And if you divide the amount of the curriculum by the number of students/adults as well as number of years used, I think the cost-value is more than acceptable because you can reuse the DVDs more than once. The only book you will need to purchase for every use would be the workbook called The Map.

So if you want to develop your creative side and discover which stories are hiding in you, get the One Year Adventure Novel and launch a wonderful quest for yourself.

Want to read some novels created with the program? Simply go to .

Sample lessons are also available to watch at

You can order a free demo DVD by going to

The yearly contest form is accessible here

The syllabus is available online so you can see what this curriculum will teach during the year. Go to .

No comments:

Post a Comment