Working as a BookNook Tutor: Worth it? (review)

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BookNook is an online platform that lets you tutor students and earn some extra money. It’s a legitimate site where you actually get paid for your work. And, if you’re thinking about making some cash on the side, BookNook might be a good option, but, as with anything online, it’s crucial to check if you fit the criteria they’re seeking in a tutor.

Wondering about the site’s authenticity? Don’t worry, as always, I have done the research for you.

In this review, I will tell you all about what BookNook offers, so you’ll know what to expect even before joining.  I always make sure I give my honest opinion, only recommending what I feel is worth your time.

Let’s begin.

What is BookNook?

BookNook partners with various school districts, focusing on providing essential reading and math skills for students in grades K-8. These are kids from communities that often face challenges and have been pinpointed as needing some extra help.

All of the teaching happens online, either through Zoom or BookNook’s very own platform. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy; they’ve got video tutorials and webinars to guide new tutors on how to navigate their system. And the best part is that the company takes care of lesson planning. They offer a massive library of over 900+ lessons tailored to the K-8 curriculum.

Each tutoring session is 30 minutes long, with the possibility of teaching up to four students simultaneously. You’re expected to tutor these students two to three times weekly, spanning 8 to 16 weeks, depending on what your students need.  This is just an average. It’s crucial to maintain consistency, so you’ll be working with the same group throughout this period.

You have the flexibility to choose the number of sessions you’d like to conduct, but remember, commitment is key. If you book a session, you should be present. Of course, life happens, so if something urgent comes up, make sure to inform BookNook that you won’t be able to make it.

When it comes to the subjects you’ll be guiding your students through, you’ll focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Don’t stress about preparing materials, as BookNook has got you covered. They’ll provide the curriculum you need. Just a heads up, however, as they’re quite particular about sticking to their material, so ensure you’re well-versed with it before starting.  You can’t just teach on a whim.

A unique thing about BookNook is how they group students. Instead of grouping by age, they focus on skill levels, ensuring that each child gets the attention they need. Each group consists of 1-4 students, ensuring an intimate learning experience. As for the tutors, they have the flexibility to choose the skill and grade levels they feel most at ease with.

Lastly, keep in mind that all your sessions will follow US time since that’s where all your students are based.

Is BookNook Legit?


BookNook Learning is an authentic online tutoring platform that collaborates with numerous schools across 35 states in the US, including well-known school districts in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Established in 2016, BookNook has made a significant impact by assisting numerous underprivileged kids in enhancing their reading skills, and their reach continues to expand.

Who Can Join?

While it’s primarily designed for US residents, you don’t necessarily have to be living in the US at the moment to join. The main thing is, you should be able to tutor according to US time and meet the requirements below.

Now, there are some boxes you’ll need to tick off to be considered as a tutor for BookNook.

First and foremost, you should be at least 18 years old and, of course, a US citizen. Your experience plays a significant role here. You should either have a minimum of 3 years of teaching or tutoring experience. If not, having at least 1 year of experience paired with a Bachelor’s degree (or an advanced one) will work.

Additionally, building meaningful relationships with students from various backgrounds is essential. If you feel like you fit these criteria, you can go ahead and submit your application. This involves filling out a form, after which BookNook will arrange a video interview with you, lasting around an hour.

Now, patience is key here.

Depending on how things proceed, you might hear back about their decision within a week from your interview date. If they decide to bring you on board, there’s one last step – a background check. This check does come with a fee, though the exact amount isn’t specified on the site.  Usually, this is around $30~. Considering the thorough process, keep in mind that you won’t be diving into tutoring right after you hit the “apply” button.

Application Process in Detail

The whole process to apply for BookNook is divided into two main steps.

The initial step is all about filling out an online form. It’s pretty straightforward and will take you just around 10 minutes. You’ll be asked to share details about your teaching experience, the qualifications you have, the times you’re available to tutor, and what grades or subjects you’d prefer to teach.

After you’ve sent in your form, the folks at BookNook will look it over. If everything looks good, they’ll drop you an email in a couple of days, letting you know if you’re in the clear to move to the next step.

The second part is where things get a tad more interactive. You’ll be recording a video interview. Instead of a live chat, you record your responses to a set of questions and also give a short teaching demonstration that’s less than 3 minutes.

Curious about the kind of questions you might encounter in the interview? They could ask things like:

  • “Can you share a bit about yourself?”
  • “How do you manage students who drift off during lessons?”
  • “What tricks do you have up your sleeve to inspire students?”

Don’t sweat it; recording your answers is a breeze. You’ll get a link, and with a click, you can start recording using your computer’s microphone and camera. Once you’ve wrapped up your recording and sent it over, you can expect to hear back about your application’s outcome in roughly a week or so.

Now, a quick heads up: even if you make the cut and join the BookNook team, it doesn’t mean you’ll be flooded with tutoring requests right off the bat. You’ll be offered tutoring gigs as and when they come up. Just like many part-time gigs, the work might come in waves, with busy seasons and quieter times. So, it’s a good idea to have some backup plans to earn a little extra on the side, especially during times when tutoring slots might be scarce.

Getting Paid

You’ll earn based on an hourly rate, which is about $18 at the time of this writing. This means for each 30-minute session, you’ll make about $9. On top of this, however, there’s an opportunity to score some bonuses for certain programs, boosting your total earnings.

If you’re based in the US, you’ll get your payment directly into your bank account. They process payments twice a month, although the exact dates aren’t explicitly mentioned on the site. However, once you’re actively tutoring with BookNook, you’ll get a clearer picture of the payment schedule.

For those of you outside the US, your payment will be handled through a program called WorkMarket. You can opt to receive your funds via PayPal or HyperWallet. The good news is, there’s no minimum earnings threshold. As long as you’ve held your tutoring sessions, your payment will be sent through the chosen method.

BookNook’s payment setup is quite simple and user-friendly. The direct bank transfer option is especially appealing. If you appreciate this mode of payment, there are other platforms you might want to explore that also offer direct bank transfers.

How Much Can I Make?

You have the freedom to schedule as many sessions as you’re comfortable with each week, giving you some control over your potential earnings. Given the hourly rate and possible program bonuses, the earnings can be pretty decent.

In my view, the rate is reasonable, and the overall earning potential on BookNook is commendable. However, while it’s a great way to earn extra, it might not replace a full-time income. Think of it as a nifty way to supplement your earnings.

There’s no right answer to this as it will depend on how many students you can book as well as how much you work.  If you work 20 hours, for instance, then you have the potential to make $350 gross.  Remember, you’re a freelancer, so you can work as you please, but you will be responsible for your taxes.  Of course, you won’t pocket 100% of what you make.

The Pros:

  • First off, the pay is definitely on the higher side, which is always a bonus.
  • The application process is quite straightforward: you fill out a form and participate in an interview that doesn’t require live interaction.
  • If you lack certain qualifications but have relevant experience, they might consider you, which is pretty cool. Plus, they’re looking for both math and reading tutors for students from kindergarten to 8th grade.

The Cons:

  • BookNook primarily seeks experienced teachers or tutors from the US.
  • The number of hours you get might vary based on how many state background checks you’ve done. Speaking of which, you’ll have to cover the costs of these checks upfront, and they could take up to a month to complete.
  • You’d also need to be okay with tutoring groups of students, not just one-on-ones.
  • Consistency is key; they’d want you to stick to a regular weekly schedule.
  • And if you’re the kind who likes to hear from others who’ve walked the path before, it might be a tad disappointing to know that there’s limited feedback from current tutors.

Final Thoughts

7/10BookNook is a legitimate online platform where you can earn money by tutoring students. Like anything, it has its strong points and areas where it might fall short.

From where I stand, BookNook offers a nice chance to pocket some extra money, especially since they provide competitive pay. But, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. You’ve really got to resonate with kids and meet the criteria they’re looking for in a tutor. That means it might not be everyone’s cup of tea and it’s not as easy as you think.

If you feel like you’ve got the tutoring knack, by all means, shoot your shot. But remember, it might take some time before you’re officially on board due to the thorough application process.  There are more tutoring options if you’re not sold on BookNook.

On another note, if your goal is to earn a stable online income without relying on being hired, consider starting your own online tutoring business. There are resources and courses that guide you on setting up a business online, allowing you to earn, sometimes even while you’re off the clock.  YouTube has hundreds of free videos with advice.

That’s going to do it for now.

As always, if you want to comment on your experience with BookNook, feel free to do so below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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