Rise Out: Big History

  • September 21, 2018
  • December 14, 2018
  • 12 sessions
  • September 21, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • September 28, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • October 05, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • October 12, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • October 19, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • October 26, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • November 02, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • November 09, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • November 16, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • November 30, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • December 07, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • December 14, 2018, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM
  • Voyagers


The Big History Project is a social studies course that spans 13.8 billion years. It weaves insights from many disciplines to form a single story that helps us better understand people, civilizations, and how we are connected to everything around us.

Rise Out has adapted this curriculum into a three-semester format suitable for homeschoolers. In this first semester we will cover the first four thresholds of “big history”:

1. The Big Bang
2. Stars Light Up
3. New Chemical Elements
4. Earth and the Solar System

Later semesters will cover the beginning of life, human evolution, the invention of agriculture and civilization, the modern revolution, and speculations about “deep future.”

Although taught as a history course, this first semester can also be considered an introductory science class. It’s ideal for students who are more interested in history than math, and are searching for a science class that approaches astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, and other scientific topics from a philosophical perspective. (It’s also good for students more interested in science than history, and are searching for a history class about science!)

This is an ambitious course that will have at least 3 hours of homework every week, including writing assignments and a semester-long timeline project that you do at home. You also have the option of taking this course for a grade. Taking it for a grade is not required, but we’re offering this option because some parents have requested more ways to show colleges that their students’ work has passed independent assessment.

This is an exciting class that we’ve spent over a year developing. It combines art, archaeology, philosophy, biology, astronomy, history, geology, and other disciplines to answer the question: “How did we get here?”

For more information about The Big History Project and the curriculum we will be using, see David Christian’s TED Talk or visit The Big History Project web page.


Suggested age range: 13+

Outside work: 3+ hours of homework per week. All materials are provided online. Students will need an internet connection and access to a computer or laptop with a keyboard and reasonable screen size. The course can be accessed by a smart phone but the readings have not been adapted for small screens and the writing assignments require a keyboard.

When: Fridays from 12:30-1:30, Sept. 21-Dec. 14, 2018. No class Nov. 23.

Fee: $250 for the semester, which includes a non-refundable registration fee of $10. There will be one required $2.99 YouTube movie rental midway through the semester. Please read Rise Out's media policy. $10 discount for Voyagers members. Payment plans available. Fees waived for families with financial need.  (Rise Out waivers and payment plan information)

Note: Students who enroll in all three Rise Out classes offered on Fridays at Voyagers receive a $100 discount on the third class.


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66 Princeton St.
North Chelmsford, MA 01863

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