TOS Crew Review: The One Year Adventure Novel

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I have to tell you that this is yet another product I’m squealing over.  When I saw the box arrive in the mail, I had no idea what to expect.  And telling my teen boys that they were about to start writing their own novels was not exactly something I was relishing doing.  Then I opened the box . . . and changed my mind! 

This program is, first of all, exceptionally produced.  It contains . . .

The Compass

A textbook with detailed explanations of the concepts explored in each class and sections of classic adventure novels used for study. 8.5 x 11.

writing curriculum texkbook

writing curriculum workbookThe Map

A workbook with over 400 questions designed to provoke thought and inspire creativity. 8.5 x 11.

The Map acts as a guide to your student’s original story and gives direction toward making that story more effective.

teacher's guideTeacher’s Guide

An easy to use system for grading your student’s work and helping them improve their writing skills. 5.5 x 8.5.

Set of Instructional DVDs

Writing lessons on DVD7 DVDs, containing all 78 lessons, covering every topic and each step in the curriculum. Each lesson is about 10 to 15 minutes long and is taught using a variety of reinforcements.
Your students will not be bored in class!

Bonus Resource disk containing:

* 26 Weekly quizzes that can be administered by computer.

resource disk* Video FAQs

* 14 classic adventure novels, including:
Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, The Blood Ship, Black Rock, Captains Courageous, Rupert of Hentzau, Tarzan, King Solomon’s Mines, Wulf the Saxon, Peter Pan and more

* Computer desktop images/wallpaper

adventure novel bookThe Prisoner of Zenda

Anthony Hope’s classic swashbuckling tale of court intrigue and double-identity in trade paperback format. 5.5 x 8.5.


   This program, in fact, looks so fabulous that I couldn’t stand to do it with the boys alone this year, nor to just half-heartedly tack it onto what we’re doing already.  At this point, I’m thinking seriously about gathering a group of senior high students who’ll meet in my home twice weekly to work through this program together.  It’s that wonderful!

Here’s one of my favorite things about this program: while being absolutely sufficient as a senior high English credit, it also has a secondary level of education going on which is much more philosophical and yet true, true, true . . . the importance and power of *story* itself.  The lessons cover topics such as The Heroic Quest, Point of View, Context and Synopsis, the Five Elements of Story, Someone to Care About, Something to Want, Something to Dread, Something to Suffer . . . And herein students will learn to discern value and truth (or the lack of those things) in the stories they are being told–whether through movies, music, books, or even the ones they hear on Sunday morning.  Most important, they will see the truth of the reality of their own story–the story of their life–in the context of God’s story–the story of all of history!  The first half of this year-long curriculum focuses on discovering story in well-written novels from the past.  Students watch a short DVD lesson (10-15 minutes long) and then read excerpts and answer questions in their workbooks.  The second half of the year is spent translating what they’ve learned by pulling stories apart into the writing of their own novel, with step-by-step guidance.  It can be completed in about an hour and a half, 3 days per week.

I’m very impressed with this program and definitely believe we’re going to have a great English class next fall, and even have something to show for it at the end!  The One Year Adventure Novel program costs $199, with additional workbooks and supplementary materials available for $70 per student.  You can read a lot more about it, including sample lessons and FAQS, at .

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2 Responses to TOS Crew Review: The One Year Adventure Novel

  1. Misty B. says:

    I just took a peek at this on their website. It looks like a great program. It didnt seem too overwhelming and it made sense. Let me know if you plan to start a Sr. High class for it, I would love for Devin to do it, and I would be glad to help you in any way I could with it. :)

  2. 4sweetums says:

    Wow! Thanks for the review. This sounds like a cool program.



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