In Massachusetts, we celebrate Patriots' Day, a yearly holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington & Concord on April 19, 1775.
On April 19, 2010, our family unexpectedly found itself in a different kind of battle - a battle to defend our reputation & the image of radical unschooling. We had allowed a national news organization, Good Morning America, to film us in and around our home as we explained the educational & parenting philosophies that are encompassed by Radical Unschooling. Due to some heavy editing & some staged scenarios, as requested by GMA, our family ended up looking like a bunch of lazy uninformed crazies. The word "crazy" was even used during the intro by George Stephanopoulos. Their version of our lives didn't resemble what we do at all!
Fortunately, after a huge uproar on their website, they realized that they could have done a better job & had done us a disservice. We were contacted soon after the segment aired & were invited to fly to NYC to appear on their show the next morning - they wanted to provide us with a do-over. With more than a little trepidation, we decided to go.
We are so glad we did! Everyone we met at Good Morning America treated us with respect & kindness. They had us stay at a nice hotel right next to the studios & comp'ed our meals while in the City. Juju made a point of talking to all of us before we went on air & was very kind & encouraging. Meeting George right before the segment, he was warm & self-deprecating. I have to say, I was impressed that he was willing to figuratively "take it on the chin" for the bias they displayed the previous day.
Even though we only had a few minutes to address so many issues raised by our original segment, we think we were able to get at least some key points out there. The last thing we want is to make it harder for other unschoolers to be respected & understood as they live their lives & care for their children.
We're hoping that this new media interest will lead to healthy dialogue about learning & education, respectful family relationships, & helping all children find their inner passions and abilities.
Thank you for reading - we hope you join in the discussion with an open heart & an open mind.