Bizi Toki: assuming our children’s education

 

Bizi Toki project (a living place) is carried out among about ten families in a farmhouse called Goïtia in Behauze (Béguios). The project started in July 2011when we decided to assume our children’s education.

 

Education is a holistic process and therefore, it requires other people, as well as parents, to take part in the process (as an ancient African proverb suggests, “the whole community is needed to raise a child”). We think that it is essential to define the values and knowledge the people involved want children to develop and how they want to do it.

 

Bizi Toki project has been set up according to the values we think are essential to raise (and live) our children:

Cultural values: understanding the Basque language as a communicative tool but always being careful of the possible of television, video games, the Internet, mobile phones.

Ecological values: a sustainable lifestyle that is compatible with the ecological balance of the planet; to live in contact with nature…

Social values: sharing and mutual gift; to take care of human relationships: honesty, confidante, respect, to help each other… ; nonviolent communication.

Political values: autonomy; to reach agreements that satisfies everyone…

Pedagogical values: to educate without punishments or rewards; freedom to choose their own learning process according to their motivations.

 

It is important for us that we first understand and live the values we want to transmit to our children since the learning process is the natural acquisition of those values of the environment. It happens the same with knowledge. That is, it is necessary that things make sense to the adults around them so it makes sense to the children. For example, it is a lot easier for a child to learn Basque language if the people around learn it or speak it; if we want the children to make handcrafts, they need to see us doing it; if we want them to be curious about learning, we will also have to show interest. This is the way in which learning and living are seen as a whole. That is why we have named our Project as Bizi Toki (a living place).

We believe that creating such a collaborative project which gets together parents, adults not necessarily parents, elders, children and babies is very interesting. That is, creating real community gives sense to the values of live. The fact of assuming our children’s education or our friends’ children’s education gives us the opportunity to live in a very enriching environment where emotions are also emphasized.

 

There are two matters that motivate us to spread out the values we live in Bizi Toki: “What kind of world are we going to leave to our children?” and “what kind of children are we going to leave to the world?”. In order to develop our Project, our reflexions, experiences and findings are accessible to anyone interested in and we are also pleased to help others creating similar projects in other places.

 

We are convinced that every adult is able to teach a child or a teenager how to learn. In fact, we believe that all needed is willingness to do so and taking the time needed. For that, time of “work” can be reduced diminishing and simplifying our daily basic necessities (habitat, transport, food, medical assistance, tools, objects...) choosing a lifestyle of mutual help and collective autonomy thanks to self production to satisfy them. This way, we could take more time for our children’s education.

 

Bizi Toki welcomes every person who would like to be part of this Project. The first steps taken in this way encourage us to take more.

May 2012