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I know many moms (myself included) who want to stay at home with their kids, but still would like to make some extra money for their family – from home. It is one of the reasons I love blogging! I get to write from home and encourage other moms to save money, and amazingly, make money in the process. (If you want to learn more about my blogging journey and how I blog on a budget, my blogging advice is here.)
I know blogging is not for everyone. That’s okay! I have a friend who has become a top sales woman with Premier Jewelry, and that has been a blessing for her family. She is excellent at what she does, but direct sales is not for everyone either.
Are you a mom who wants to make money from home, but are struggling to find something to do? If so, I would like to introduce you to my youngest sister, Mikaela.
Mikaela is the fourth child in our family, and although almost 10 years separate us, I am so immensely proud of her. I have been especially proud of her this past year as she ventured into a new online endeavor and has started making very good money for her family – from home! What is she doing, you ask? She’s teaching English to Chinese children with VIPKID. Mikaela is not a trained teacher but she is a mom who stays home with her kids and has found a job that works for her.
Have you heard of VIPKID? Maybe you have, but you are skeptical that it could really make you money. Maybe you haven’t but aren’t sure what it all involves. I’ve invited Mikaela to share her experiences today on the blog. My hope is that it encourages you.
Whether you give teaching with VIPKID a try or not, I hope this shows you that there truly are ways Moms can make money from home.
This post contains affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy.
Tell me about yourself and your family. When did you start teaching with VIPKID and why?
My name is Mikaela Zischke, and I am married to and doing life with my high school sweetheart and our three little ones, who are 4, 2, and 1. We live in Fayetteville, Arkansas where my husband is called as a pastor to plant a new church here–Restoration Lutheran Church. We have lived here for about 2 years now, and although we had never heard of Fayetteville before moving here, we absolutely love it here! Northwest Arkansas is a hidden gem, with the Ozarks and a quickly growing population because of The University of Arkansas, Walmart, Tyson Chicken, and J.B. Hunt.
Anyway, with three little ones at home and a tight budget, I had been on the lookout for different ways to make a little extra money. Enter VIPKID!
VIPKID is a company that pays native English speakers to teach Chinese kids English. One of my friends from seminary had started teaching with VIPKID, I had seen her posts, and it piqued my interest. I asked and she told me more about it, and after thinking about it for too long, I finally applied back in September and began my journey with VIPKID!
I honestly wish I had known about this flexible, great-paying, rewarding, work-from-home option long ago, which is why I want to share this with you all!
What do you have to do to get started?
Apply! The application process has a few steps, which are as follows.
A bachelor’s degree (in anything) is required, along with one year’s experience working with children. Being a mom counts! You can start the application here.
This can be a live interview, or recorded, whichever you choose. You tell a little about yourself and teach part of a lesson. Sometimes there is also an option for an express interview, where you record a 3-5 minute video with a short intro and teaching a few slides they give you. After you pass the interview, you are hired!
3. Mock class
You teach part of a class (10 minutes) to a mentor who then gives you feedback on what you did well and what you can improve on when teaching for VIPKID. You may have to teach one or several mock classes, depending on the feedback you receive. However, you cannot fail the process at this point. Teaching more mock classes just gives you a little more practice before being in the real classroom with real students!
4. Background check and contract
VIPKID will do a background check and once that is passed, you can sign your contract.
5. Intro video and profile
Set up your profile and intro video to introduce yourself to the parents who will choose you to teach their child!
While it may seem like a lot, the whole process can be completed in about a week. Once you pass your interview, you have a couple days to schedule and do your mock class. Once you pass your mock class or classes, then you can get set up to start teaching students!
What start up costs are there?
The start up costs are minimal. To work with VIPKID, you need a computer, a good internet connection, a headset with a microphone, a few props, and a place to teach from. I bought my headset at Best Buy, but there are dozens available for reasonable prices on Amazon. I recommend a headset with noise cancelling capabilities like this one.
I teach in our garage and I know many people teach in closets or laundry rooms! About 95% of the props that I use for lessons are my kids’ toys, so there is little extra cost there. I did buy an orange t-shirt for the interview process, as that used to be a requirement for VIPKID, but that is no longer a requirement, so that is an optional purchase to get started. My classroom background is simply two posters, but you can make it whatever you like!
Do you really make money right away with VIPKID?
For working from home, with such flexible hours, this is an actual job that pays you with an actual paycheck. For the time invested from home, I personally think that the money you can make from VIPKID is well worth it.
When you pass the interview, you will receive what your base pay is per class, which will be anywhere from $7-9. This is your pay per class, and each class is 25 minutes long. For each class you teach that you are on time for (which should be every class), you will receive an extra $1 per class. Once you teach 30 classes in a month, you will receive $0.50 extra per class. Once you teach 45 classes in a month, you receive an extra $1 per class.
So, for example, say after the interview, you are offered $8 for your base pay. You decide to teach one hour every morning from 6-7 am. In a month with 30 days, this means you will teach 60 classes. You will receive $8 per class ($8 x 60 = $480) plus $60 for being on time to each class, plus $60 for teaching more than 45 classes that month. Just like that, you’re at $600! VIPKID also has extra incentives throughout the month where you can earn some more money as well for opening certain time slots.
The disclaimer for this job is, you are hired as an independent contractor. With the exception of trial classes, the company does not book you to teach classes. The parents do. This means it typically does take a little time to build up a full schedule. Just because you open a time slot doesn’t guarantee you will teach that slot. Parents can look at your profile and choose you to teach their child. So if you are looking at this job because you NEED a certain amount of money each month to pay rent or something non-negotiable, then I would be hesitant to tell you to work for VIPKID. While it is an amazing way to earn extra income, bookings can change over time, or even ebb and flow during summer holidays or Chinese New Year. Alright, just needed to say that.
I have been teaching with VIPKID for 7 months and my pay does vary. My first month was my lowest month, but even then, I made $352. In the interest of full disclosure, my pay has averaged around $800 a month. Some months are lower and some are higher, depending on how much I teach, but that is my average over 7 months. This will differ for everyone based on your base pay and how much you teach. I share this simply to show you that you really can make significant money from home in only a few hours a day.
What things should moms know about VIPKID?
The thing that I love most about VIPKID is how easy it is to do from home, while my kids are still sleeping (mostly!) and with however many hours I choose. You get to set your own schedule and can work however many hours fit in your life at this point.
Are you kids sleeping great at night? Great! You can pick up some classes on Friday or Saturday nights. Going to have another baby? Wonderful! Take a month or two (or more!) off and then ease back in when you are ready, maybe just teaching one class a morning. Also, I am home with my kids all day, every day (which I love), but VIPKID has made me feel like I have my own time where I am doing my own thing apart from my kids – just with other people’s kids!
It’s not always easy to get up early. I am not naturally a morning person, but it has gotten easier as I have continued teaching.
How are the classes set up? Do I have to prepare my own material?
Each class is 25 minutes long, with one student. Once you are booked for a class, you will be able to access the class material on your teacher portal. Each class is a powerpoint prepared by VIPKID, which is typically 27-28 slides long. The curriculum is all made by VIPKID, so you simply have to look through the slides for what you are going to teach and then grab any props that you want to use for the lesson.
In my first months teaching, I honestly did spend time and probably too much thought on each lesson. Now, six months in, I typically glance through the slides in the evening in about 5 minutes and grab anything extra I might need for the lessons.
There are 7 different levels that you can be certified in to teach. You can certify for as many or as few levels as you like, based on what level English learners you would like to teach. The levels start as young as 3 year olds with Level 1 (very beginning English) up to Level 7 which are advanced English students.
Isn’t there a huge time difference between here and China? What hours do you work?
There is a major time difference between here and China, but that’s what makes this work so great! I am in the Central Time zone, and I typically teach from 6-8 am, as those are the current peak hours for booking students. Obviously that changes with Daylight Savings Time as that is not observed in China, so during those months I was teaching from 5-7 am. However, you can also teach before or after that when the kids are out after school. Friday and Saturday nights (all night) are also great times to teach as these are China’s Saturday and Sunday during the day when kids are not in school. As a teacher, you are free to open whatever times work with your schedule!
What else should I know?
VIPKID is a great company to work for! I feel very blessed to have found this as a work-at-home job while I stay home with our littles. I love getting to build relationships with my students halfway around the globe and make a little money for our family while I do it. If you are looking for a way to make extra money for your family with a dependable, outstanding company, then check out VIPKID!
If you decide to apply, I would love to help you through the process and answer any questions you may have as you begin teaching with VIPKID! Simply apply to VIPKID here and VIPKID will update me on your application process and I will help you in any way I can. Leave a comment below if you have any more questions, and I will be happy to answer them.