Paleo Magazine Express September 2015 | Page 16

The carefully selected stock photos of happy-looking children give parents the impression that “Back to School” is good for their children and that children should be agreeable to surrendering their freedom, playtime, bodily integrity and basic needs in order to conform to the factory process of schooling. Such media bombardment has the power to sway even Paleo-minded parents into believing that schooling is a necessity. However, in aligning our lifestyles with nature’s intent, Paleo parents can make the choice to tune in to parenting instinct rather than to mainstream media conditioning! Traditional schooling is developmentally inappropriate at all ages and hurts children on so many holistic levels, including physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively, intellectually, neurologically and even sexually. Traditional schooling disrupts and injures the parent–child attachment relationship, which is meant to be intact until the adolescent child reaches adulthood on his or her own timetable. The thousands of school children diagnosed with behavioral “disorders” and learning “disabilities,” and subsequently drugged with dangerous chemicals, are evidence of these facts. Nature Has the Answer: A PALEO EDUCATION! Nature doesn’t put out monthly magazines, newspaper supplements or grocery store freebie-rack circulars with articles about children and learning. Nature doesn’t put out cheery office supply store flyers and frenzied clothing store commercials to advertise its “NOT Back to School” offerings. However, nature has the same educational advice for September 2015 that it’s had since the first child appeared on the planet: Let children play. In other words, nature has always “said,” let children at all ages live and learn naturally, in freedom and in joy, through exploring, creating, investigating, observing, collecting, inventing, musing, dreaming, running, leaping, jumping, climbing, shouting, singing, laughing and being. Nature has always intended that children of all ages spend their time primarily in the loving embrace of close parent–child connections, family bonds, mixed-age friends and involvement in a vibrant community. Nature has always intended that children’s time be balanced with the solitude to metabolize deep thoughts, insights, feelings and experiences. Nature has always made clear that the needs of the body and the psyche are to be met when those needs are first experienced. Through the phenomenon of play, nature has the only “curriculum” sophisticated and advanced enough to simultaneously meet the holistic, learning and developmental needs of all children at all ages. When children follow their own interests and passions and have intense fun in the process, they learn, excel, achieve, grow and develop to their highest potentials! Children living and learning in freedom and joy was taken for granted by our Paleo ancestors. However, in our modern world, this natural state of being for children has been “unschooling,” a relaxed form of homeschooling. Unschooling’s “curriculum” of play and child-directed learning is congruent with nature’s intent for children. Despite its growing popularity, however, unschooling isn’t a trend, a philosophy or even a “style” of education. Unschooling is simply a new name for ancient wisdom. Learning through interacting physically, emotionally and mentally with the natural environment, following interests and passions—or, playing—is how children lived for thousands of years. With the onset of agriculture, adults began to interfere with childhood by forcing children to work for them. At the dawn of civilization, adults also began to force children to train and apprentice for military and religious purposes. At the height of industrialization in the mid-1800s, the United States government began confining children to developmentally inappropriate, prisonlike schools in order to produce obedient military, factory and labor forces. In the consumeristic new millennium, most citizens are addicted to material objects, electronics, digital media and toxic “food.” The obsolete, 1800s-style obedience training system is still maintained to ensure the perpetuation of a global society of heavy consumers, workers, political soldiers (of all types) and media watchers. Despite what the trendy commercials and smiley magazine articles tell you, school isn’t about your children’s education, learning or healthy development. In fact, nearly everything about schooling runs contrary to supporting a healthy, Paleolithic return to nature’s intent. School’s purpose is to separate your children from their families, friends and communities and from themselves in order to train them to take their place in the global marketplace, as both workers and consumers. “Back to School” should be appropriately renamed “Back to the Conditioning Cell.” I encourage Paleo parents to look past the grinning stock photos, bubbly commercial actors and flimsy, child-denying articles and realize that “Back to School” isn’t a holiday, a celebration or a fun time for children. It is a marketing goldmine for those who profit from the materialistic, academic and social anxieties it triggers. After the September fashion show fades and the