Homeschool for the 21st Century


Our one-semester classes are $280 each, and our full-year classes are $560 each. Math classes are $675 each. A few 12 week classes (Public Speaking, Banned & Burned, Drama) are $225 each. This does not include books, but there is no additional registration cost.

We offer a payment plan for tuition! At registration, 10% of total tuition is due, and the remaining interest-free balance is split equally over the following 10 months. The card used to pay the initial 10% down is auto drafted for the month’s payment on the 1st of each month until tuition is paid in full.

Eastern Standard Time (New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, etc). While we do have students at Big River from all over the world, we keep all of our times posted for our classes in Eastern Standard Time for consistency’s sake. It takes a little adjusting for other time zones, but it’s not too hard to get used to.

We follow Daylight Savings Time–for now–as most of the United States still observes it. If you live in a state or country which does not observe Daylight Savings Time, in the fall and in the spring there will be some change to your child’s class time for your local time zone. 

The books for individual classes are posted on our course catalog page.​ Once your student is enrolled, you can also find the book lists on the Schoology page (our website we use for homework). 

Most textbooks for our live online classes can be found on Amazon, and we recommend trying to find used ones if needed. Often you can find the right textbook in good shape used for lower cost.

There are lots of reasons a student can’t come to one or more live online class meetings: family vacations, illness, etc. We’ve even had students who live on the other side of the world who couldn’t make it to our live class times because it was the middle of the night for them.

If a student has to miss a class or more, never fear! All of our classes are recorded and posted to the Schoology classroom for anyone who needs to watch them later. Some of our students use this feature to review lessons taught even if he/she attended live class.

Live attendance is not mandatory, but we do highly recommend it. We’ve had plenty of students who aren’t able to attend the live class meetings be successful in our classes, but most students have a better experience when they attend live classes. Live attendance is highly recommended for foreign language classes.

None of our students’ personal information is revealed in the online classroom. Students log in using only their first name and the state or country in which they live. They do not provide last names or any contact information in the online classroom. Only teachers can see any personal information about each student.​

If students want to contact each other–and many do because they become friends in classes–we only allow them to share emails and only outside of class recordings. Exchanging of other information beyond that is at the discretion of the parents. We make your child’s privacy a priority!

Quite often students will create group chats in Google Hangouts, through their favorite video games, and other avenues. We always encourage students to ask parents’ permission before joining such groups.

Math classes meet twice a week for one hour each meeting, and all of our other classes meet once per week for 90 minutes. As we were building our math department, our math instructors saw the need to touch base with students two times during the week to keep tabs on learning. While all other classes meet once per week, students still have access to teachers outside of that live class time. Emails, office hours, and even sometimes texts and phone calls are used to give students support in their learning.

We cover the week’s material and lessons during the live classes. During the 90 minute classes, teachers take a short break around the 45 minute mark to allow students to step away or just catch their breath if needed. Most days, students are surprised at how fast an hour and a half flies by in our live online classes.

Yes! We offer two one-week breaks during each semester. There is a larger break between the fall semester and spring semester for Christmas and New Years. We follow a similar schedule as colleges and universities. See the Semester Calendar page for more details.​

Breaks are a great way for students to catch up if they have fallen behind, read ahead, or just to take a breather if needed. Some of our families like to schedule their vacations around these breaks. Communication is still open between teachers and students via email during these times off.

Adobe Connect is our live online classroom provider, and Schoology (formerly PowerSchool) is our online classroom in which students complete assignments. ​We’ve tested other systems, and these are the best we’ve found!

We put your student into the Schoology system about a month before classes begin, and you’ll receive an email with an “invitation” and instructions of how to access his/her login. Once you’re in Schoology, you’ll be able to see your child’s classes and welcome pages with basic information about the live online classes you purchased.

Adobe Connect (live classroom) does require a small download to get it going, but that download shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes to get. The steps to the download automatically pop up if a download is needed. We recommend jumping into the live classroom before live classes meet for the first time to avoid technical surprises on the first day of class. Once a student has access to his/her Schoology account, the link for the live classroom can be accessed.

Chrome works very well.​ Safari does, too. Firefox, however, doesn’t play well. Internet connection is the important part. If you live in an area where internet is not great, closing all tabs on the computer helps with the live classroom connection. Other tips are to move closer to the wifi router, having other devices pulling on the wifi shut off, and pausing the teacher’s camera. Most connections, even rural ones, can connect at least fairly well with these adjustments.

Mobile hotspots work well for students to join live online classes even from the car!

If internet is unavailable or just has too many issues on a given day, all classes are recorded and posted to the Schoology classroom for students to view.

Since Big River live classes meet once per week, teachers generally assign enough homework to have students do an hour or so five days out of the week (we don’t expect students to do homework over the weekends). However, the amount of homework does vary from teacher to teacher and from class to class. For instance, the amount of reading pages for a 6th grade class will be less than for an 11th grade class. It also depends on your child’s work pace. As homeschoolers, we know every kiddo is different! It is best to contact the instructor to find out exactly what to expect.

We refund your purchase except for a $25 processing fee up until the week before classes begin. We can’t offer refunds after classes begin because seating is limited in all of our live online classes. 

Transfers between classes are free! If you change your mind on which classes you’d like to sign up for, it is a pretty easy switch to move from one class to another. We realize that schedules change and plans need adjusting, so we try to accommodate if we can.

Unfortunately, no. Our classes begin at 5th grade, but we only offer English I, WriteShop Junior, and some Explore science classes for that level. Our live online classes are mostly focused on middle and high school.

We have found that students much younger than middle school age don’t do well with live online classes as we offer them. It’s too much to ask most littles to sit still and pay attention for 90 minutes and then have the self-discipline to do homework without teacher supervision the rest of the week. Our homeschool families usually like to teach their elementary age children on their own at home and then transition to us in those secondary level years (middle and high school). We love elementary schoolers, but we aren’t the best learning model for them.

Foreign language classes have a maximum of 20 students per class, other classes are no more than 30.

Much like a brick-and-mortar school setting, small class sizes are best with our live online classes. Many of our middle school level classes have a maximum of 20 students as well. Since students interact with each other and the teacher in live class, it’s a lot like being in a room all together. If you’ve ever been in a room with 20 seventh graders, you know exactly why 20 is as many as it should be:)

You can sign up for as many as you’d like. There is no minimum or maximum limit.

Some families take a full year’s load of live online classes with us utilizing Big River as their full homeschool academy. Some students only need one or two classes to fill in what isn’t being taught at home by parents. Some students take dual enrollment classes at their local community college and just use Big River for electives. We have even had public school students take supplemental classes with us. Not many brick-and-mortar schools offer Italian as a foreign language or Criminological Crime Scene Investigation as an elective. Big River does:) Basically, we offer classes tailored to your student’s needs.

One semester classes meet for 15 weeks, and full year classes meet for 30 weeks. Our school calendar is set up a lot like a college’s would be with a big break in the middle of the school year at Christmas to separate the fall and spring semesters. We more than fulfill the credit values for each class in this timespan.

We now offer a few classes which only meet for 12 weeks: Public Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, and Banned & Burned Literature.

Yes, except for SAT/ACT Prep. That class is self-paced. Students do meet for one live session at the beginning of the semester to kick things off, but then students work through the curriculum at their own pace with the deadline of finishing by the end of the semester. We used to offer this elective live, but it actually works better as a self-paced option.

The live classroom element is what makes Big River so effective. Since the onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020, it has become more obvious than ever that we need human interaction. That is exactly what we offer: human connection to teachers and peers. Students share their triumphs and challenges with teachers and classmates.

Internet connection (download speeds of minimum 512 Kbps {check with your internet provider for these specifications}), internet browser (Chrome works best, but Safari works well, too), headset with microphone (required for foreign language and music classes, recommended for others), and word processing software for some assignments (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Pages, or the like).

We recommend having a desk top computer or laptop as the main connection to your student’s live online classes, but mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can also be used. Both Schoology and Adobe Connect have free apps which can be used to access those systems. There are some limitations for the mobile apps–especially with smartphones–so we recommend that a mobile device be the backup to the computer.

Yes! Customers are required to pay 10% of the total tuition at time of registration, and payments are divided equally over the next ten months. Payments are autobilled from the card used to pay the first 10% charge. No need to pay manually each month!

While we are not affiliated with a specific denomination, our program is rooted in Biblical principles. Our mission is to provide a wholistic education that nurtures your child – intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Our Christian homeschool program is not just for Christian families, but we welcome students from all backgrounds and faiths. We believe that all students can succeed in our classes because our curriculum is largely focused on the subjects themselves while integrating Christian values and morals.

Still Need Anwers?

We’ll do our best to answer all your questions.

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If your child is interested in attending Big River Academy this fall and they are willing to put in the time and effort to catch up, then late registration is still open for you.                                 APPLY TODAY.

Education is our mission and if we can help just one more student, we are happy to try.

Serving English and Language Arts from 6th-12th grade. LEARN MORE

  • Biology
  • Chemestry
  • Creation Science
  • Astrology
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Spanish

American Government, Economics, & Exploring US History to name a few. LEARN MORE

  • Music Theory & Composition I & II
  • Personal Finance I & II
  • Public Speaking
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