Honest Sunshine Method Review – Read Before Applying! (2022)

Published by Dr Daniel Spence on

The Sunshine Method logo

Table of Contents

The Sunshine Method Review Summary

The Sunshine Method hires US-based tutors as academic mentors for vulnerable K-12 children. Tutoring sessions last 90-120mins, are online or in-home, with $15-$20 an hour pay. 2 years’ experience and a 6-month commitment is required, and while tutor satisfaction is high, bookings are not guaranteed.

Pay (per hour):$15-$20
Location / language requirements?USA
Degree / diploma required?No
Teaching certificate required?No
Teaching experience required?2 years
Adult / child students?Children
Class size:1v1
Minimum availability (per week):10 hours

The Sunshine Method Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Can make a difference as a mentor to children in need
  • Options for both online and in-home tutoring (location dependent) in several subjects across K-12
  • Tutors choose the students they wish to teach
  • Long-term students
  • High tutor satisfaction

Cons:

  • Unpaid prep, planning and reporting
  • Lengthy group interview
  • Candidates must pay for their background check/fingerprinting
  • Must be willing to tutor longer sessions of 90-120 minutes
  • Must commit to 6 months
  • No mass bookings

Is The Sunshine Method Legit?

The Sunshine Method school is a legitimate ‘Equity in Education’ company that has its headquarters in Miami, with locations across Florida, Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina. Since its founding in 2012, it has helped over 22,000 children and 275 communities in need by providing online and in-person tutoring and mentorship to foster children, children’s hospitals, refugee programs, the National School Lunch Program, and others.

Its 10,000+ tutors are drawn from a variety of backgrounds, including current and retired professors, university students, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, lawyers, doctors and nurses.

What Is Sunshine Method Tutoring?

Sunshine Method tutoring is conducted one-on-one with K-12 children, either online or in-home.

To gain classes, tutors apply through a list of available students (shown in the video below). Successful applicants are then matched based on their personality, interests and the student’s academic need. It is important to understand that Sunshine Method tutors also perform the role of mentors, usually staying with a student for at least 6 months (the minimum commitment), though students are allowed to change tutors if they are dissatisfied.

While there is an online database of teaching resources, these are reportedly quite limited, and tutors are expected to prepare their own lesson materials, in partnership with parents/guardians, that directly address the student’s needs. They also have to submit monthly progress reports and devise an individualized plan for goal setting and progress tracking.

Here is a list of the subjects that can be tutored through The Sunshine Method:

  • English and Humanities
    • English Language Arts and Writing
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Social Science
    • Foreign Language
  • Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Elementary School Science
    • Middle School Science
    • High School Science
  • Math
    • Algebra I and II
    • Geometry
    • Pre-Calculus
    • Calculus
    • Trigonometry
    • Elementary School Math
    • Middle School Math
    • High School Math
  • College and Test Prep
    • Test Prep
    • College Admissions
    • Study Skills and Time Management

How Much Does The Sunshine Method Pay?

The Sunshine Method tutor pay is between US$15-20 an hour depending on subject, grade, location and whether tutoring takes place online or in-home. A bonus is available after a year.

The Sunshine Method Hours

Sunshine Method lessons are lengthier than most other companies, usually lasting between 90-120 minutes. They most commonly take place on weekday evenings/after-school, or at weekends, though precise times are decided in consultation with the parents/guardians.

Applicants are asked whether they are available for at least 10 hours a week (to a maximum of 40 hours).

Being focused on mentorship, there is an emphasis on forming a few long-term relationships with students rather than building up mass bookings.

The Sunshine Method Requirements

  • Must have at least 2 years of teaching/tutoring and mentoring experience
  • Located in the U.S. with the right to work there
  • Have afternoon and evening availability
  • Be able to commit at least 6 months
  • Highly motivated with a charismatic personality
  • Be consistent, compassionate, and committed
  • Empathetic in nature
  • Have a passion for teaching & inspiring student success
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Know how to motivate children who are struggling in school
  • Reliable transportation (for in-home jobs)
  • Ability to pass a background check (at tutor’s expense) with 2 references and W-9

The Sunshine Method Application Process

To apply, visit The Sunshine Method jobs page and submit the following information:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • ZIP code
  • Subjects
  • Availability
  • Additional information (also include if you were referred by anyone)
  • Attachments (resume, certificates, etc.)

Open positions are also listed on the Sunshine Method Indeed page, though these are more often location-dependent for in-home tutoring.

Upon passing an initial screening, applicants are sent a Google Form to complete with information for student matching and multiple-choice questions relating to hypothetical scenarios. They are then invited to interview.

The Sunshine Method Interview

The Sunshine Method conducts a group interview over Zoom with several candidates simultaneously (past applicants report interviewing with 6-14 other people).

You will be asked to answer 2-4 questions directly, some of which will be repeated for the other prospective tutors, and there is an opportunity to pose your own questions to the interviewer at the end; consequently, the interview can be long, lasting between 1-2 hours.

Here are some previous Sunshine Method interview questions:

  • What do you do to plan for your tutoring sessions?
  • How do you structure your tutoring sessions?
  • How do you progress monitor with your students?

Successful interviewees will finally provide 2 references and undergo a background check and fingerprinting at a cost of $50 to themselves.

The Sunshine Method Reviews

The Sunshine Method Glassdoor page gives the company a rating of 4.5 out of 5, with 92% willing to recommend them, though this is averaged from just 12 reviews (at the time of writing). The comments are predominantly positive and are summarized below (the issue of pay drew mixed views):

  • Advantages:
    • Flexible schedule – choose own hours
    • Enriching work for an important cause
    • Bonus after a year
    • Understanding leadership
    • Tutors choose the students they want to work with
    • Choice of working remotely or in-person
    • Helpful and nice company/supervisors
    • Quick hiring process
  • Disadvantages:
    • Have to be self-sufficient
    • Unpaid lesson planning/preparation and monthly reports
    • Some management directives unclear
    • Uncertain hours
    • Painful interview process

The Sunshine Method Indeed page provides an identical rating of 4.5 out of 5, and these reviews (28 currently) are similarly effusive in their praise, with nothing lower than 4* in 2 years. Below are a couple of examples:

The Sunshine Method Indeed review
The Sunshine Method Indeed review

Conclusion – Is The Sunshine Method Worth It?

The Sunshine Method is an opportunity to help vulnerable children most in need of mentorship and academic guidance, providing genuinely meaningful work with high tutor satisfaction. It requires a minimum 6-months commitment, however, demands a lot of unpaid prep, planning and reporting, and bookings are not guaranteed.

A list of other non-China companies can be found here.

To help update this article, share your experiences, or suggest other companies to review, please contact us.


Dr Daniel Spence

Daniel Spence is the founder of Online Teaching Review. He has been an international teacher since 2008, an award-winning academic, author of two books, and holds a PhD, MA, BA (Hons), and TESOL.

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