homeschool writing curriculum header
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Free Sample Lessons
Science Fiction & Fantasy
--Module "Other Worlds"
Middle School curriculum
Student Forum
NEW: Tutoring
Student Writers' Contest
Contest Winners
Summer Workshop
Winter Workshop
Video Contest

Lesson Topics Include

The Heroic Quest
Point of View
Context and Synopsis
The Five Elements of Story
Someone to Care About, pt 1
Someone to Care About, pt 2
Something to Want, pt 1
Something to Want, pt 2
Something to Want, pt 3
Something to Dread, pt 1
Something to Dread, pt 2
Something to Dread, pt 3
Something to Suffer, pt 1
Something to Suffer, pt 2
Something to Suffer, pt 3
Something to Learn, pt 1
Something to Learn, pt 2
Something to Learn, pt 3
The Supporting Cast
The Villain
The Synopsis, part 2
Acts and Scenes
The Four Defining Chapters
Chapter One: The Inciting Incident
Chapter Three: Embracing Destiny
Chapter Nine: The Black Moment
Chapter Eleven: The Showdown
The Novel Outline: Formulas,
--Plots and Subplots
Chapter Two: Promises,
--Prophecies, Predicaments
Chapter Four: The New World
Chapter Five: The Middle Cycle
Chapter Six: Failure
Chapter Seven: Lessons
Chapter Eight: Achievement
--& Atonement
Chapter Ten: The Coming
Chapter Twelve: Denouement
How to Write a Chapter
Creating Emotion
The Illusion of Reality
Summary (Telling)
Detail (Showing)
Narrative Order
To Be or Not To Be
--(Passive/Progressive Voice)
Too Many Modifiers
--(Adjectives and Adverbs)
Objects with Will
--(Sliding Eyes/Grasping Hands)
I Saw, I Heard
Raising the Stakes
What’s Likely to Go Wrong?
Falling Bodies (What to
--do when stuck)
Character Masks
Character Handles
The Character Interview
Unexpected Humor
Unexpected Tragedy
Unexpected Grace
Double Disasters
Writing the Climax
Setups & Payoffs
Deus ex Machina
Loose Ends
Parting Words
Revising by Verb
Revision and Rewriting
Formatting Your Manuscript
Sharing & Publishing

writing lessonsWow! That's a lot of topics!

The One Year Adventure Novel Writing Curriculum:
A homeschool writing curriculum package taught for you on DVD including a high-quality textbook, workbook and companion materials.


What is it?

   A high school writing curriculum designed for homeschool students (grades 8-12). Students write an adventure novel over the course of one school year. For detailed information on the writing curriculum, click here.

Who is it for?

   Anyone who wants to improve their fiction writing skills and learn more about how to tell a compelling story. It is specifically designed for talented high school students who need to be challenged in the area of writing.

   Home educators sometimes struggle to bring the Arts into the home classroom. This is especially true when it comes to writing fiction. (There are many good writing courses that teach grammar, sentence structure and five paragraph themes. This is not what The One Year Adventure Novel does.)

   It is geared toward those students who need help developing as writers. Unfortunately, most beginners are given very little help beyond the basics of "Read a lot," and "Write a lot," and even, "Write what you know."

   I know of no other program that carefully guides students step-by-step through an exploration of what a story is, how it works, and why it works.

Is it a supplement or a complete English course?

   It can be used either way. However, it is NOT a traditional English curriculum. Students study classic adventure novels and write their own book through a process of answering questions and story building. It offers a great deal of depth, because students learn by doing. In actually writing their own novel, they will understand characterization and conflict much better than they would by merely reading about them, or even by analyzing them in Romeo and Juliet or Cyrano de Bergerac. It is a little like learning to work on an engine. You can read as much as you want about how engines work, but some things must be learned by the experience of taking an engine apart and putting it back. Such practical experience builds understanding and confidence.

   That's the approach taken by The One Year Adventure Novel. First we take stories apart; then we put one together.

   But because of this, the writing curriculum isn't as broad in scope as a traditional English class. We don't study as many topics as traditional curriculums do. What we do study, we study in depth.

Click here for a syllabus of the curriculum.

Do students really create their own original novel?

  Yes. The writing curriculum guides them through this process in-depth.

What if I have more than one student in my home?

   No problem. The curriculum is restricted by a household license, which means students in the same home may share the DVD tutorials and textbook.

   Additional workbooks for more than one student must be purchased separately.

How long does each class take?

   On average, about 1.5 hours per day, three days a week.

Does the class count as an English credit?

   Yes, the course is worth one credit. It is designed to be used three days a week (about 1.5 hours per day) or five days per week for about an hour. The first semester has more readings, and the second semester is more writing intensive. This does not include the optional but encouraged critique time on the student forum.

Is the Student Forum really necessary?

   Although the forum is not essential to the curriculum, it is much more than just a blog. The forum does three things. First, it's a place where students can find answers to basic questions. Second, they can post questions for Mr. Schwabauer in the Ask the Teacher board. We don't guarantee that he will answer every question, but he does monitor the board for questions that are widely applicable. Third, the most important function of the forum is to provide a place where students can critique each other's work. This is a great tool that helps students spot weaknesses in someone else's work, and then apply what they learn to their own prose.

   The forum is a fun place to interact with kids who have similar interests.

What if I have another student who isn't ready yet for the class? Can a second or third child take the class in the future without buying the whole curriculum set?

   Yes. The curriculum is restricted to households, so additional students can take the course indefinitely (or even repeat the course) without buying the whole set. However, each additional student must order a workbook for $25. The workbook comes with a separate registration so both students can log on to the Student forum separately. (See Household License Agreement below.)

What about co-ops? Can the video lessons be used by groups in a co-op setting?

   Yes, we do have a plan for co-ops. If a class is going to be taken together (all students watching the video in one place at one time), co-ops can use it under a Classroom License. The cost is $239 for a one year license plus $70 per student. You receive a full curriculum set for the teacher and a textbook + workbook + Zenda + forum registration for each student. This is much cheaper per student, but it is only good for one school year.

What are the Licensing terms?

   Purchase of the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum includes either a Household License or a Classroom License as described below. 

Household License Agreement

   The content of this product is licensed, not sold, to you by Daniel Schwabauer for the exclusive use of one student in your household. Household means you and your immediate family living in the same residence. Additional students in your household may use this product under this household license if they purchase a separate workbook and forum registration. 

   The video lessons on the DVDs included in this curriculum set may not be shown publicly, including to small groups at a co-op or private school, without purchase of a classroom license.

   This license is valid for your household indefinitely. You may use it year after year, as long as each new student using the product purchases a separate workbook and forum registration. However, the license is non-transferable. The curriculum may not be resold to another household. Reselling this product will void this license and invalidate your registration. Thank you for respecting the licensing terms.

Classroom License Agreement
For Schools and Coops

   The content of this product is licensed, not sold, to you by Daniel Schwabauer for use in a classroom setting, including public and private schools and co-ops, for one classroom. Classroom means all involved students are doing the curriculum in one place at the same time. This license is limited to 50 students, and does not include the per-student registration required for each student to participate. Each student must buy a separate student kit, which includes textbook, workbook, The Prisoner of Zenda, and a student registration for the online forum

   The video lessons on the DVDs included in this curriculum set may not be shown publicly or privately except in the classroom for which this curriculum is licensed, though they may be viewed privately by the teacher. 

   This license is valid for one school year. If you wish to extend this license another year you must purchase a renewal license, which will be made available at a discounted rate. Any renewal will also require purchase of student kits for each student who takes the course in the renewal year. This license is non-transferable. Although at this time we do not require the return of the DVDs or books at the end of the license year, the curriculum may not be resold to another school, co-op or individual. Reselling this product will void this license and invalidate your registration. Thank you for honoring the licensing terms.

   If you have a question about the use of this product, please contact us at

What do you do with the registration information?

   We use your registration information to confirm your right to access certain features that we can't provide to the general public. For instance, to access the Student Forum, or post questions for Mr. Schwabauer on the Ask the Teacher board, you will need to supply your serial number. You must also present your serial number in order to purchase additional copies of the workbook for other students in the same household, or to enter the Student Novel Writing Contest.

   Registration is important to us because it protects our investment of time and resources in creating the curriculum as well as the ongoing support resources we offer you. We may occasionally (3 times per year or less) send an email or letter regarding updates to the curriculum or additional resources available to you. We NEVER sell or share your information with anyone.

This looks great! But do you have anything for the middle school range?

   YES! Our brand new writing curriculum, Cover Story, was tailor made for middle school students. See the Cover Story website for more details.

Can I purchase The One Year Adventure Novel at a convention or through another distributor?

We are the sole distributor of our curriculum, worldwide.

2015 Convention Itinerary:

Receive free shipping (value of $12.65 or more) and $20 off the price of a basic set of Cover Story and/or The One Year Adventure Novel.

St. Louis, MO: Expo - March 19–21
Nashville, TN: Teach Them Diligently** - March 19–21
Cincinnati, OH: Great Homeschool Conventions - April 9–11
Atlanta, GA: Teach Them Diligently** - April 9–11
Kansas City, MO: MPE - April 24–25
Winston-Salem, NC: NCHE - May 21–23

** Daniel Schwabauer will be speaking.

Receive free shipping to Canada (value of $40.15 USD or more; applies to purchases of sets only). Payment must be made by credit/debit card.

Kitchener-Waterloo, ON - March 28
Red Deer, AB: AHEA - April 10–11
Ottawa, ON - April 18
Ancaster, ON: OCHEC - May 1–2

Will my student's finished novel be publishable?

   That depends on many factors, but the short answer is "probably not." Why? Because of the market. Because of your student's age. It's hard to write a meaningful novel before you've really lived.

   Publishing a novel through a traditional publisher takes an enormous amount of both skill and even luck. Yes, we know about young Christopher Paolini. It is possible. But it is not likely that your student will sell millions of copies of the novel they write during this course.

   However, if they work hard and follow carefully the instructions in the writing curriculum, they may write a novel of publishable quality - and certainly they can see it up on the OYAN site.

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One Year Adventure Novel - homeschool writing curriculum