How To Teach Almost Anything At Home

Learn how to teach a variety of things at home. An excerpt from “101 Practical Ways to Make Money at Home.”

| March/April 1976


Tutoring and teaching others can be a rewarding experience.  More importantly for some self-employers, it can be a source of income.


I was born during the depression and my earliest years were spent surrounded by people who "got by" by being more or less self-employed. Perhaps that's why I've always had an insatiable hunger for every scrap of information I can find about home businesses, start-on-a-shoestring enterprises, and work-on-your-own ventures. That interest, of course, is reflected in MOTHER, which always contains one or more do-it-yourself employment ideas. 

Over the years I've collected thousands of books, clippings, reports, tracts, treatises, and pieces of personal correspondence from, by, and about the people who've successfully set themselves up in some kind of self-employment venture. One of the best buys for the money in this work-on-your-own reference library, I feel, is 101 Practical Ways to Make Money at Home. And here's a short excerpt from that book.—JS. 

Giving Lessons

"Those who can," runs an old saying, "do. Those who can't, teach." Stripped of its cynicism, the proverb offers encouragement to those with marketable abilities but no way to put them to work directly to make money. If you have expert knowledge in some field — and the patience and skill to teach what you know to others — you may be able to earn extra income with very little investment other than your own time.

General Guidelines

Teaching is an art in itself, quite separate from knowledge of the subject being taught. Some of the world's greatest scholars are terrible teachers. If you have never taught before, you may be surprised (perhaps dismayed!) when you discover how much time, close analysis, and self-discipline it takes to organize a course in anything.

Your competition may be not only other private individuals or schools but adult education programs in the public schools and classes organized by Y's, civic groups, clubs, and possibly even local stores (to promote the use of their products). Check all these to determine what you'll be up against, and also to find out what others are charging for the kind of instruction you intend to offer.

Zoning laws usually do not apply to home classes (though it is always wise to check). But any kind of sign, even a small card in a window, will probably require permission.

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