How to Teach Creative Writing with One Year Adventure Novel

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Creative Writing is the perfect one credit course when you are homeschooling high school. This is especially true if you have a budding writer in your midst. You can use it as an elective or as your core English for the year. Many families repeat the program if they start at the beginning of high school because their finished novels have more depth. How to Teach Creative Writing with One Year Adventure Novel is the story of how our family used this program and the impact it had on our writers.

books arranged nicely on a hickory floor

Disclaimer: I purchased all the materials for One Year Adventure Novel, twice. I have the original and the second edition. This post is our experience with the curriculum. There may be affiliate links in this post. Thanks for your support!

We first tried One Year Adventure Novel when our oldest was 12 years old. That was 12 years ago! He had been super excited to get started and kept asking all summer if we could just start already. We began right away and he loved it! If you click the link and watch the introductory video, Ethan was the perfect kid for this program. He has lots of ideas, but begins to wash out part way through his story.

One Year Adventure Novel 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 you can share your novel on the website.

Introduction to One Year Adventure Novel

books and videos strewn on a hickory floor

One Year Adventure Novel leads your student through outlining their novel using the principles of story telling. In the second semester, your student will writing the first draft of their 12 chapter novel.

The big goal of One Year Adventure Novel is to give your student the structure and guidance they need to finish a story they begin.

So far we are enjoying it a lot. The program’s author and instructor is interesting to watch and the video segments are pretty compelling. I’m excited to see how E12’s novel shapes up with some direction. We hope to revisit the One Year Adventure Novel again in 10th or 11th grade to see how his writing matures.

Scheduling Elements of One Year Adventure Novel

open text book with another peeking out from behind on a hickory surface

The course is designed so that your student will do a new video lesson three times a week.

Obviously, you can adjust the schedule to meet the needs of your teen. When it comes to out of the box teens, that is the name of the game.

  • Watch the video segment for the day– when we first started, we used the DVDs. Now we stream the content which is more convenient for on the go watching.
  • Read from the text book called The Compass– which reinforces what the video teaches and gives you extra questions and insight.
  • Read the adventure book excerpt– that goes with the lesson or you may be asked to read from the full length adventure novel that goes with the course.
  • Do exercises from the workbook called The Map– this is where the magic is written. You’ll record your assignments that go with the lesson there.

When we went through the curriculum the first time, I followed along so that we could have good discussions about the content.

I also attempted to write my own novel, so that we could evaluate each other’s work. It would also make me a better sound board if I was doing the course with him.

In the end, I didn’t finish the novel. It took a turn I didn’t like and left it!

Instead, I devoted my OYAN energy to cheering on my 12yo son, Ethan.

Benefits of Using One Year Adventure Novel for Creative Writing

Woman with an OYAN tshirt on that says OYAN Mom with a teen boy peeking around her shoulder with a shocked look on his face
Our oldest, Ethan, was all in on One Year Adventure Novel.

One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN) made a huge impact on our homeschool high school.

Here are some of the details:

  • Shares Compelling Video Instruction– Mr. S (as he is known to the teens and their families), does a fantastic job with the ideas in his lessons and you can always look forward to the next one.
  • Promotes Conversation– those compelling videos provide the perfect opportunity for discussions with your teen.
  • Sets Boundaries– especially the first time through, so that your teen can be successful
  • Demonstrates the Essential Pieces– of a good novel from character development to story elements and more and it tells you why these things are important.
  • Provides Structure– so that your teen can complete a 12 chapter novel from their story idea
  • Makes a Place for Recording– so your teen will have their outline and other narrative details in one well designed, consumable workbook.
  • Reinforces the Video Instruction– with a textbook, so that you can your teen can use both formats for each lesson.
  • Includes Text and Questions– on adventure novels that are good examples of the concepts the author is trying to teach
  • Shows a Rubric– which helps you to evaluate each lesson’s work which will ultimately be part of the novel.
  • Offers Quizzes– if you want a way to quantify what your teen is learning. Or, you can simply do that through conversation and their workbook exercises.
  • Allows You to Focus on Grammar– through editing the novel draft and provides some guidance for that.
  • Encourages Community– through a moderated online forum for teens.
  • Includes the Opportunity to Engage with Other Writers– at a summer writer’s workshop where your teen can bring their novel and participate in critique groups with other teens and mentors and hear from professional writers and novelists. Plus there’s a whole lot of fun!
  • Invites Your Teen to Compete in a Novel Contest– with their finished novel. The prizes for the top three vary, but there can be a chance to publish the novel.

There’s a lot to this curriculum, but curriculum is never the boss of me.

We are flexible with the schedule of this program because our out of the box and neurodivergent teens worked on a different timeline for most things.

The Lasting Impact of One Year Adventure Novel

teen boy with glasses typing at a laptop with a bookcase in the background

To say that One Year Adventure Novel left a lasting impact on our family would be an understatement.

Particularly for our oldest, Ethan, OYAN was a game changer because it:

Ethan graduated from Purdue University.

When he was well enough to apply to college, Ethan applied to Purdue University’s Professional Writing program (home of the Purdue OWL) and received their biggest scholarship in the highest amount.

He was admitted to the Honors College and loved every minute!

Today Ethan is a full time technical writer for an engineering firm in the Midwest (which is a long way from upstate NY, sadly).

Sometimes a homeschool curriculum will light a spark for your teens.

One Year Adventure Novel was one of them for our family.

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