Homeschool for the 21st Century


I wanted to tell you that your class is what inspired [Mason] to become a teacher. Your class taught him to love reading. He even pulled out the Russian Literature book from your class and was reading from it this week and told me I had to read one of the stories. Mason has never been a big reader. His favorite part of school is writing. Thank you for being such an amazing teacher!


Hello Mrs. Bontrager, I wish so much that you could watch Eli during your class. He has his headphones on across the room and is just so into your class and so unaware of anyone else in the room and is interacting just like he was actually in a classroom. At one point today he was shouting and jumping up and down and I was like what happened? I guess he finally got a mystery question or something like that but he had been trying for so long to get one and he finally did and he had his own little party about it. He also was so bound and determined to catch you in a mistake today and get 5 more points he was glued to everything you were posting and then when he missed the chance you would have thought his team lost the Superbowl by the sounds coming out of that room.

Virtual learning has gotten such a bad rap because of the way public schools did it that I constantly hear how unmotivated their child is due to virtual learning and how it doesn't work for them and I am constantly defending my choice to use virtual learning. If only people could see how your class works and how my child love, love, loves his virtual classroom and he is probably 1000 times more focused because he doesn't have public classroom distractions like announcements or other children's actions going on around him they would be as excited about it as I am. Anyways - just wanted to share. Have a great day.

About Amy Jenkins

We had been homeschooling for two years prior to enrolling with Big River. My daughter is a hard worker but needed a little extra instruction beyond what I was able to provide since I work full time from home. Mrs. Jenkins (Geometry) has been a tremendous blessing for us and provided the extra instruction Abby needed so that we didn't have to spend hours of our evenings after work/school to catch up on what Abby wasn't understanding. Geometry is a hard course to teach remotely but Mrs. Jenkins is wonderful! Abby never liked math but has told me on numerous occasions how wonderful of a teacher Mrs. Jenkins is! AND Abby is doing extremely well!

I can't thank Big River enough for giving us our family time back and providing a Christian homeschool environment to really nurture my daughter's discipline and work ethic. A big thank you to all of her teachers for what they provide!

Mason G

Hello Mrs.Bontrager!

I took classes last year and a few years before with you and some other teachers in Big River Academy. I became great friends with a lot of the kids in my classes, and I just hung out with Jordan Litz today for the first time! I wanted to say thank you for igniting so many friendships with people all over America. Thanks a ton!!


My daughter Sarah took Eng III, Eng IV, and Writing the Research Paper with [Mrs. Bontrager]. I just wanted to share an update with you. This year Sarah was a junior and took Eng 1101 and Eng 1102 through the…dual enrollment program. I have always felt that Sarah was a good writer and you always complimented her and she received high grades in your classes, but in the back of my mind I also wondered if you were just being really nice and maybe not a super tough grader.
Well, this year threw all my questions out the window. Her two classes were very rigorous and the expectations were clearly high. She excelled in both! Sarah's English professor is also the director of the [college]. In his comments on her last research paper, he encouraged her to take his advanced writing class once she is a student on campus that includes an internship position in the Writing Center. Sarah is only a 16 year old junior, and she was praised by more than one of the staff members at the Writing Center during her 2 classes for her maturity and skill.

I say all this, not to brag about Sarah, but to thank you so much for all that you poured into her and helping her develop a love for writing with the skills to go along with it. You were always one of Sarah's favorite teachers, and I just wanted to reach out and let you know your effort is paying off for her! She is considering English as a major, though she still has senior year before even setting foot on campus as a college student so who knows where God may guide her heart. But, wherever it is, I know that Sarah is more than prepared!


Hi, I don't know if you remember me, but I was in your advanced comp course last spring semester. I just wanted to let you know that your course has immensely helped me in college. At the time I thought your course was very hard, but in hindsight the things that you taught and assignments that you issued have greatly helped me. I have gotten A's on all of my papers and my peer students, in comparison to the rules and methods I was taught, have no idea how to write an academic paper. So, thank you very much for your solid teaching.


You guys are awesome and my kids have thoroughly enjoyed every class they have taken.  You are by far the highlight of our HSing experience!!!

Satisfied Parent

I wanted to thank you also for teaching this class (and Theory 1 in the fall as well). My child didn't just love it: it has changed his life. I am so, so incredibly thankful for Big River, and for you, and for this class. He's always had musical interest and ability, and I'm fairly musical myself, but I never took a theory class and didn't have the slightest idea what to do besides make sure he learned to play the piano. But then I saw this class being offered on Big River, and signed him up for it (against his wishes, I might add!!!), and he ended up LOVING the first semester and asking to sign up for the second one. Yay!!! To see him over Christmas break (and again now that school is out and he has more time) sitting down to compose on Noteflight, just for the fun of it, all on his own, is just wonderful!!!

AND to sit at the piano and play something that my own son composed was a really amazing experience. I was thrilled. And when I played his final composition for my Dad (who taught me and all my siblings to play the piano, AND gave him lessons as well), he was teary-eyed.  Thank you for sharing your love of music and your gift for music by teaching this class. I've been wanting to thank you for a long time. I am so grateful for all you've done for him. Thank you!


Hello Mrs. Bontrager! I just wanted to say thank you so so much for all the work you do for our Big River Classes and us! You are a true blessing to many families! As you may remember Caleb and I got to become friends over the months of our English III class! As Caleb and I became friends, over in your English IV Josh Rosa and my brother Christian became friends as well! We didn’t figure out that Josh and Caleb we’re brothers till almost the end of the school semester! That was a huge and amazing surprise for all of us! Later on we figured out that we’ve had other classes with each other for years!

Just this week we finally got to meet the Rosa boys! We (Andrew, Joshua, Caleb, Christian, Micah and I) went to a theme park up in Pennsylvania we had an absolute blast! It was amazing to find another Godly homeschooling family to hang out with! We were all very sad to leave each other but can’t wait until the next time we meet up! We all thank you for what you’ve done in bringing us together! Here are some pictures from our amazing meet up! Much Love the Rosa’s And Dozler’s!


I had a struggling writer, and after a semester class with Wendi, the fear is gone! We plan to take the high school level course this coming year. Great instruction, easy interface. My son loved it.


All three of my children have taken high school level English courses through Big River and we are highly impressed with the teachers, curriculum, grading system, ease of communication with the teachers and so much more! If your child struggles at all with writing then I highly suggest Writing ER with Wendi Reed among many other courses (like Wendi's American Lit) & instructors we've taken classes from such as Jana Bontrager!


LOVE Big River!!! I have had 3 of my kids taking classes through Big River at the high school level and the teachers have been amazing. The kids really enjoy their time in the live interactive classes, however, the classes are recorded as well. If they can't make it to live class, they can come back and watch the class a bit later. SUPER convenient. Their teachers (especially Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Coffey, and Mrs. Walls) are excellent and I can't recommend them highly enough! Jana has also been very easy to work with when we have run into any issue... always willing to communicate and work things out. She genuinely cares about the school and her students.


I just wanted to let you know how much Grace enjoys your class - English 3!  Big River has been easy to deal with and love the posts letting me know new grades are listed.  Been a joy to work with you all thank you!


My son Alex started the MCT Language Arts curriculum back in middle school and while the text is wonderfully unique for an English program, the teachers at Big River are what brought the books to life for him in a way that I could not have at home. Jana taught him Level 4 and this past year we decided to start him in his high school literature courses with Wendi because of the instruction at Big River he was ready to comprehend World Lit and write on a high school level. The instructors at Big River helped him to grow as a writer & challenged him to think outside the text. This is important because I almost quite homeschooling my son over English! I’m grateful also for the grace the teachers at Big River show when “life happens” and you need to make up an assignment or extend due to emergencies. Alex is excited to take American Lit next year with Wendi and I’m looking forward with anticipation to the papers he will imagine to write!


"Just wanted to let you know Madison just completed NWEA map testing, and scored in the 92nd and 94th percentile in Reading and language. I credit that to the English classes she has taken at Big River. Three years ago her scores were half that. Just wanted to thank you for your quality English classes!"

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