Help maintain a large garden project for our son who has special needs, homeschool a bit, and help around the house in California, USA


United States

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 Min stay requested: 1 month or more

  • Description


    Come and shelter at home with us during this virus. We are looking for someone who can commit to at least two months (but more is better). There are loads of outdoor activities and opportunities on the central coast, so social distancing while enjoying this incredible location is totally possible. Beach, hike, mountains, creeks, etc.

    We are a family of 5: my husband and I have 3 boys, one who is off in college in Belgium, a 16 year old with special needs and a 10 year old. We have a young woman who lives in a tiny house on our property who works full time with our son who has special needs. We have a golden retriever dog, Finn, a cat named Felix and a bunch of chickens. Our middle son has a genetic syndrome with developmental delay, kind of similar to Down's Syndrome. He is learning self-help and independence skills and absolutely adores people. Developmentally, he is like a 3-4 year old and he communicates using an ipod and sign language and more and more words all the time. We have a dream of creating a life for him that helps to accomplish two goals: connection to community and to be productive during the day with a purpose in life. With those goals in mind, we have created a project for him. We have a really large garden, about 25 fruit trees and about 25 chickens. Jonas grows (well, the workawayers and our family grow) items that he delivers to people in the neighborhood. We also need help maintaining our home and our property. We also need help with homeschooling our 10 year old (he has dyslexia and A LOT of energy, but doesn't have special needs). A rough estimate is that you may spend about 6-8 hours a week working with my son on a school project, and about 5-8 hours a week on maintaining the house, and the rest of the time working on the garden and chicken project or on an upkeep project or general maintenance project. Come and help build our project!

    Do you have a special interest or skill? We always prefer to have workawayers working in their area of passion and strength. If you have an idea, please reach out! Other things we are interested in: language practice (Spanish for my 10 year old, French for me), teach me how to use WordPress for website design, help me with my travel business, add to the beauty of our project and home by creating an art project to contribute. We're open to ideas!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Language practice
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We're happy to share our life with you and hope that you will join with us in family outings and activities that we participate in (although live is pretty mellow and slow now with COVID). You will learn about life in the United States and in California, in particular. By joining with our family, you will also learn a lot about living with and loving a person with special needs and the family dynamics (and challenges) that go along with that and experience the joy and connection that our special little guy brings to everyone who knows him. You'll also have the chance to live in one of the most beautiful places in the United States, the central coast of California, while also learning about landscaping, gardening practices, and teaching and working with someone with special needs. We love to travel, love other languages, and know that we can all learn from each other!

  • Help


    We'd like to trade a spare bedroom in our house and meals for 5 hours of help per day for 5 days per week. You'll need to do tasks independently, by yourself much of the time while we are busy with work and home schooling. For meals, we'll provide food for breakfasts and lunches, but everyone prepares their own food. The evening meal will be communal when we all eat together. We see meal preparation as a group project and while it won't be a part of the 5 hours of volunteering, we'd love help and can prepare the evening meal together.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Beginner
    French: Beginner
    Italian: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
    You can contact them directly for more information.

  • Accommodation


    You'll have a nice spare bedroom in our home. The bed is a double bed (it can cozily fit two).

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in paradise! The beautiful central coast of California! It is a nature-lover's paradise with the beach nearby (Pismo Beach and Avila Beach), numerous hiking trails, and other famous tourist sites, including San Luis Obispo with it's fun Thursday night Farmer's Market, numerous live music concerts outdoors, Hearst Castle up the coast, we are surrounded by California wine country, and Santa Barbara is just a 1.5 hour drive to the south. We are quite far from a big city, but we have numerous middle-sized cities all around us! We live in a neighborhood (other houses close by), but we're about a 5 minute drive from the center of town. Within 10 minutes walking distance of our house there are three restaurants (a bbq steak house, a pizza place, and a Mexican food restaurant), a grocery store, and a gas station with a mini-market. We don't have good public transportation connections, but we're happy to invite you along on our outings.
    We have a couple of bicycles you can borrow too.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I also work from home. We have decent, dependable wifi sufficient enough to stream movies, etc. The tiny house is your quiet zone where it is peaceful to work, there is a table where you can set up your laptop.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week per person

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

Cultural exchange: (5.0)

Communication: (5.0)

Host ref number: 419319519628