We are Emma and Kevin, a British couple with three children (2, 4 and 6 years old) living and working in Matara, Sri Lanka. We are looking for energetic people to come and help us homeschool our two oldest children and also help with household tasks, cooking, gardening and occasional babysitting.
We have a spacious and modern detached house on the edge of Matara town, within walking distance of the town beach and a 5 minute tuktuk ride from the surfing at SK Town. There is a guest house next door to us which has a swimming pool which you can use for a very small fee (about $1). We are both English teachers, although at the moment Emma is homeschooling the kids full time. Non-native English speakers are welcome to a free English lesson (1 -2 hours) a week with either of us, although you will probably learn more from the kids!
We would like to introduce our kids to different ideas, skills, perspectives and cultures and want to welcome workawayers into our home to help us do that. We are ideally looking for people with some background in education, but welcome anyone with the right attitude and enthusiasm for playing, fun and adventure based learning. Although we aim for 2 hours of school a day, our homeschooling ethos is relaxed and flexible with no fixed curriculum or learning goals. We are just as likely to spend the morning counting shells on the beach as sitting in front of a book.
We want the children to have a chance to develop a meaningful and trusting relationship with our guests and so are only looking for people who can commit to a minimum of two weeks. Because of Kevin's shift pattern we ask that our guests work Wednesday to Saturday, with days off on Monday and Tuesday. Working hours are 5 hours a day, usually 8am-1pm.
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Sri Lanka is a country bursting with culture and opportunities for learning. Sri Lankan people are friendly and hospitable and you will have no problem making friends in the local area. We are happy to show you the local hangouts where you will be able to connect with other travelers, and local Sri Lankans. There is surfing all along the South Coast and if you want to learn to surf we can point you in the direction of trusted local surf instructors. There are also a number of guest houses which offer yoga classes within a tuktuk ride from our house.
We offer one English lesson a week (1-2hours) to non-native English speakers.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Our guests will mainly be required to help with the play-based homeschooling of our two older children. This will include helping with activities, setting up and preparing materials, reading with the children and most importantly bringing you own ideas, games, songs and skills to our home.
We also need you to generally help out around the house and garden. We have a cleaner who comes everyday, so help around the house will not include routine cleaning. We might need you to do some grocery shopping, take the baby for a walk in her stroller, cook a simple lunch, water the plants, accompany us to the pool or the beach. We might occasionally ask you to babysit in the evening rather than work during the day.
You will have a large bedroom on the ground floor of our house. It has a lockable door for privacy, and also an external door to the garden if you want to have a private entrance to the house. The room has a ceiling fan, double bed, new mosquito net, cupboard and bookcase. Our house is not air-conditioned, but well ventilated with numerous ceiling fans. You will use the family bathroom which is also downstairs and has a hot shower. We will provide bedding and towels. We have a TV and wifi connection which you can use, but Sri Lankan internet is not fast or unlimited. You will be able to make a skype call, use social media, google etc, but not stream TV or download movies.
If you wish to join us at our family meals (mostly vegetarian, occasional chicken or fish) you are most welcome to breakfast, lunch and dinner on the days that you are working. You will also have full access to our kitchen and space in the fridge if you wish to cook anything extra or different. If you are staying around the house on your weekend days, we ask that you buy and cook your own meals in our kitchen. Unfortunately our children's diet is not compatible with vegan guests, we rely heavily on eggs, cheese and fish to keep them well nourished (and happy!). There is a water filter for drinking water. There is a well stocked supermarket within walking distance of the house, and a KFC next to it.
There are a couple of good Sri Lankan take away restaurants within walking distance where you can get rice and curry for about $1. We eat takeaway Sri Lankan food once or twice a week as it is delicious and cheap.
We have young children, and young children get up early. Ours, anywhere between 6 and 8am depending on the day. While we do not expect you to get up when they do, you have to expect that there will be a certain amount of noise in the house quite early in the morning. These early mornings also mean that we have quite early nights! While we are happy for you to go out in the evenings, and we will certainly enjoy a few beers with you, we ask that you keep the noise to a minimum after 11pm.
Matara is right in the middle of the tourist hotspots of Southern Province, with many beaches and surf spots within easy reach, snorkelling with sea turtles at Pohena beach is just 15 minutes away. It is only 20 minutes to Mirissa beach where you can go whale watching and see blue whales. We can provide you with details of reliable tour operators and tuk tuk drivers if you want to explore the surrounding area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week