Discovery Health parenting special

19 Feb

We were selected by Discovery Health to represent the whole-life (radical) unschooling lifestyle in an alternative parenting special they are putting together.

Sadie was thrilled to be able to ride a horse at Homestead Farms and have it caught on TV.  Huge appreciation to Sarah and Mike who maintained good humor despite our intrusion.  We love your farm!

Keirda, our director, was spectacular with the kids and really did her best to capture the richness and variety that makes up our lives in the three short days they were with us.

A debt of gratitude is also owed to our friends Jenny, Julie, and Ronet who took time out to participate in this strange and surreal experience.

I have to say that it’s a good thing the kids signed their own contracts for this.  These were three of the most intense days of our lives and their conscious agreement to participate turned out to be really important and empowering for the experience.  It has been such an emotional journey as we expose our home, life, and relationships to the world- trusting that we will be represented well through the editing process and that we represent the enlightened population of radical unschoolers positively.  We understand that those who fear our choices will continue to be afraid and cast aspersions on our lifestyle.  There are those out there, though, who have an inkling that their relationships with their children could be more connected, that are seeking a different way to educate their children, and desire to foster authenticity and independent thought prior to adulthood.  We hope to reveal some of the beauty and connection that is whole-life unschooling and consensual living through this piece and extend our thanks to Mike Mathis Productions and Discovery Health for their professionalism and support throughout this process.

Radical Parenting (60 min.) will air at 8 PM on Discovery Health on March 3, 2010.  Discovery Health’s description of the show is as follows:

“This one hour special explores several different families extreme forms of parenting. From attachment parenting to raising a child gender neutral to raising child without consequences. In the diverse world we live in there are some pretty extreme ways.”
Click here to sign up for a reminder of the show’s airing.


Posted by on February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized


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15 responses to “Discovery Health parenting special

  1. Darcel

    February 19, 2010 at 11:02 am

    That is so awesome! I’m going to mark the date on my calendar.

  2. erbivrus

    February 19, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Sweet! Hopefully it is portrayed well, since I’ll probably tell all my friends/relatives to watch it. Yippee!!


  3. Heather

    February 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    That’s incredible! I can’t wait to see it. 🙂

  4. idzie

    February 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    SO COOL!

    I don’t get Discovery Health, so hopefully it’ll be online, because I really really want to see this!!

  5. positivelyorphaned

    February 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Keep us posted with a link when it comes out! Would love to watch it.

  6. michele james-parham

    February 19, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    This is awesome! I’ll be sure to watch it & suggest it to some family/friends. I hope it will be online as well — not everyone who would benefit from seeing this has extended cable/satellite.

  7. Kandace

    February 19, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Sarah that is awesomeness!

  8. Alison

    February 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm


    I’m looking forward to this!

    I went to Discovery Health to find out when on March 3 it will air and don’t see anything.

    Do you have some more info you can put out so we can be sure to see it?

  9. Sarah

    February 20, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Hi All! Thank you for your support and responses. I have updated the post with the information from the Discovery Health website with the time and a link to receive an e-mail reminder of the airing. LOVE.

  10. Paige

    March 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I’m looking forward to this! I hope they show it in a balanced way

  11. kristen

    March 1, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I can’t wait!!! I will tweet and blog this.

  12. sarah S

    March 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    thanks for doing this. i did watch last night, and among my homeshooling and unschooling friends, you’re creating quite a buzz. i LOVE it 🙂

  13. Alex N

    March 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you for doing this. We are just shy of radically unschooling our 3 yo. The show provoked what I think was some necessary discussion on our local AP board. I was just wondering if you guys have tried monkey platters and if strewing stuff is something you do. Obviously you seek out experiences. Thanks!

    • Sarah

      March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      Thank you for the comments! I have replied by e-mail to all (I hope) but figured I would start replying here so that all can participate in the conversation.

      Yes, the show has inspired some great conversation on many groups and blogs. This was a 20-minute (very edited) capture of our radically unschooled existence. I’m not sure it could have been caputured in the whole hour timeframe. 🙂 While the logistical pieces that they aired were to demonstrate specific points (the donut, bedtime, TV, etc.), I don’t think each topic had enough focus for it to be really clear how this plays out in our lives or even a day. I am happy that our joy and connection came through and hopeful that this draws attention to RU as a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy life and learning together.

      In answer to your questions, Alex- Yes, we do monkey platters occasionally. I did them a lot more when the kids were younger and had difficulty stopping what they were doing to remember to eat (then got cranky, etc.). It worked great and kept the level blood sugar as they grazed throughout the day. The kids are much more capable of getting their own food and are more particular about what they want now. The entire kitchen and pantry are their monkey platters! And they continue to graze most of the day- cheese, turkey, yogurt, TONS of fruit, crackers, cereal, cookies, hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, smoothie popsicles, etc. The donut was a crappy attempt on the part of the production co. to emphasize free choice. It’s a free choice when we go out, certainly, but not something we keep in the house.

      I do (sometimes heavily 🙂 strew activities, books, DVDs, TV shows, etc. – anything that I think they might take an interest in. It’s a wonderful way to widen the world and find new things. The key is being open to their disinterest in some of the things that are introduced. That can be hard if we get invested in thinking it’s something that they/we would love.

  14. Alex

    April 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you so much!


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