tonight on nl nl frae range children. no tests, no books, no rules. eat what you like, stay up and watch tv. she's the supernanny in reverse. it's the radical new way to raise your kids. exotic spice. she's sexy savvy, a franchise that extends from the kitchen to the cat walk. and as a new mother, an unwitting tabloid target. "nightline" goes on the town with the star of "top chef." and criminal investigation. the justice department gets tough in the gulf. bp launches yet another attempt to stop the spill. and now a new fear are sickening fumes setting in?
good evening. reading, writing, and arithmetic. those are the core lessons that many of us remember. for the vast majority discipline in class was not an option. now, a surprising number of parents are opting out of that normal altogether. >> reporter: it's a common morning ritual. and parents work. but as the school bus doors close, the martin family is not on it. >> want to go out and see the baby bunnies? did you check on their food today? >> reporter: the four martin children simply don't go to
school. never have. >> five, six, seven, eight. >> reporter: they are not home schooled either. they're what's called unschooled. >> picture life without school. a weekend. we wake up have breakfast, pursue what we're interested in. >> reporter: mom doesn't think they need to go to school to learn their abcs. doesn't a child need to know who george washington and jfk were? >> i don't know. do you think that's necessary? >> reporter: what about math? >> not really. >> reporter: unschooling is radical enough. meals are up to the kids. >> pasta with peanut butter sauce. >> you have to try some. >> reporter: whatever they want as long as it's in the house.
dad works from home building wooden toy sets. no bedtime no alarm clocks in the morning. so 1 is-year-old devin often stays up past midnight. until 1:00 in the morn sng. >> sometimes. i'm happy that he does. that he has that time to himself. he can have a nice three or four hours with joe or me. what time do you wake up? >> around 10:00. it's same amount of sleep. >> reporter: while kids ever where are studying history -- >> in the summer of 1765 -- >> reporter: the martin kids are free to pursue curiosity. >> about eight to six cups of flour. >> i don't believe that humans learn best when they're trying to learn what someone else is
telling them to. >> reporter: if you're wondering, unschooling is legal because it false under the guide lines of home schoolers. the regulations vary from state to state. her children have learned reading and math without formal instruction. when we asked devin a basic multiplication question, he stumbled. this is about working hard, getting to the next step. >> people ask me how do your kids learn if they're having fun all day? >> reporter: how do they learn? >> i try to bring in as much as i can. >> reporter: we followed the martins on a rainy day to see how this learning works. they went on a field trip. first stop, the weather discovery center. >> 200! >> reporter: a loft fun but not always easy to make her point.
>> wind is caused -- >> reporter: what did you learn? >> i learned not stand on top of the mountain. >> reporter: at the rock shop. >> how much is it? >> reporter: the store owner quizzes them. >> do you remember what it does? >> reporter: the response? how do you see them? >> i want them to be happy. >> reporter: i'm stunned you don't think about what kind of jobs your kids will have? my son wants to be the yankee third baseman. right now, a little off. perhaps not the best long-term plan. dana has become leader in the growing radical unschooling movement through youtube videos. >> true learning is from the need of the learner. >> reporter: she's written a book.
>> hi. >> hi. >> hi, i'm dayna. >> reporter: she teaches childbirthing inging classes from home part time. >> you will go straight to your room. right now. >> what do you like to do? >> play. >> that's the most important job you have right now. >> reporter: this mom home schools. she's trying to go with unschooling. >> trying to figure out how to let go of what my idea of school is. what if nay need algebra and i don't teach them that? >> the fears you have are normal. this life is about the fact of honoring that weaver not all on the earth for the same thing. >> reporter: it's one thing to
follow your child's lead in learning. what about discipline? >> okay? please? >> reporter: 4-year-old henry wants to play in the front yard. at first, his mom forbids him. then dayna interconvenience. >> we can just as easily move over here and have everyone's needs met. let's do it. >> reporter: what was the most interesting thing you could find? >> sharing how a child feels if a parent isn't seeing that. his needs are as valid as ours. >> right. >> reporter: the kids say they need a whole pag of cookies. >> how many can we have? >> i don't know. three or four. we're all set with the cookies. >> reporter: day skrn na encourages her to let her kids try things their way. >> you're setting up a scenario
of kids sneaking thinks. >> reporter: erica is not quite sure. >> i feel like if they ate the whole bag of cookies, they're off the wall. i have to work on that and feel okay about it. >> you're doing awesome. >> reporter: back at the martin house hold devin's baking project passes the test. do you ever wonder gee, i wonder if i could go to school too? >> i could if i wanted to. >> reporter: really? >> i like being free. >> reporter: what about when learning gets more sophisticated. how do you expose them to twain, or shakespeare or james? >> i think a lot of people might value that more than others. i honestly don't remember. i know the names. i don't remember the details of what i learned in school about
the his or thetorhistorians. >> reporter: for "nightline," this is juju chang in madison, new hampshire. when we come back, from model and television star to expert in food and now a mother. so how does she do it all? you'll meet the phenomenon. ah, auto! sir? finding everything okay? i work for a differentinsurance company. my auto policy's just getting a little too expensive. with progressive, you get the "name your price" option so we build a policy to fit your budget. wow! the price gun. ♪ ah! ♪ wish we had this. we'd just tell people what to pay. yeah, we're the only ones that do. i love your insurance! bill? tom? hey! it's office party! the freedom to name your price. only from progressive. call or click today.
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y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y] y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y] she's modeled for some of the world's top designers.
she's an actress, an author and the star of one of television's most popular reality shows. you would make a mistake if you think her talents are superficial. as john berman discovered as he went out of the town with padma lakshmi. >> i have a lot of champagne and some takeout. i think that we should make fish because i'm on a diet. >> reporter: trust me, being in the kitchen with padma lakshmi -- >> take the knife. >> and go -- >> no. >> reporter: is not a bad place to be. the store is not bad either. >> some curry leaves. and time leaves. >> reporter: or the runway a spaceship -- >> are there provisions? there's something about the western bacon. >> reporter: or if you're lucky,
eating a burger, not bad at all. >> savor the sauce. anything looks sexy in slow motion. i love eating burgers. >> reporter: a lot. >> a lot. i take a lot of rel niche doing that. >> reporter: that was a lucky burger. >> good morning, chefs. >> reporter: you might know her as the host of top chef. ? would you please pack your life and go? >> reporter: your may have seen the head lines about the fact that she won't identify the father of her new child. she's very private about that and wouldn't discuss it with us. she's said publicly she's deeply in love with her current boyfriend, 70-year-old tycoon
teddy forestman. >> everybody has kids. it's great. >> reporter: and while the gossip pages condition gept enough of her love life -- >> these color stones are based on a hindu price. . >> reporter: she's a top chef host, jewelry maker turned franchise. but to padma lakshmi it all makes perfect sense. >> all of what i do is pretty similar. it's -- what i mean by that is it all has the same ethos or same flavor to it. >> reporter: what flavor is that? easy exotic? >> yeah, think so. >> reporter: that's the title of her first cookbook. it's something of an explanation of what makes heretic. >> i'm an immigrant kid who came
from india when i was young. grew up in new york city with a single mom. was influenced by all the immigrant cultures bumping up against each other. >> reporter: she moved from india at age four. a kitchen full of foreign sounds and smells. >> i was always hanging out in then the kich within my grandmother. >> reporter: her modeling career happened by accident. >> i was studying abroad. i said no. they told me what i could make. i said, yes. >> reporter: the modeling helped the bank account. it had a side effect. for padma lakshmi, the runway led back to the kitchen. >> every country i went to i would go to their markets.
if i went to morocco, i would be in the spice markets on my off time and come home with a suitcase full of stuff that i wanted to try. >> reporter: when you think of eating, you might not think of fashion models. but with lakshmi, it works. >> if you have a hard lemon or lime, roll in on the table. >> reporter: what does that do? >> it softens it and releases the juices from the pulp so you have to squeeze less hard. >> reporter: the transstoigs hit television was easy. >> i kind of did to it give my cookbook a little push. you know and never knew that it was, i don't think any of us knew it would be a huge success. that's kind of cool. >> reporter: for five seasons, the on-air guide for this show. challenging them and sending them home with their knives.
>> jill, please pack your knives and go. >> reporter: how do you feel about judging these people? >> i'm not judging them. i'm judging their food. >> reporter: in just about everything she does, she emanates an extraordinary sense of ease. an attitude of, this is me take it or leave it. example, a deep, long scar on her arm, the result of a car accident as a teen. she didn't hide it or cover it up. >> i have a scar. it is part of me. hopefully it makes me who i am. hopefully, that experience makes me more human. >> reporter: nor is a condition she has made something of a crew said. >> i'm a sufferer of endometriosis. it's a painful reproductive
disease. i didn't want other young women to go through what i went through. >> reporter: now she has a krad until her office. >> i conducted meetings from bed. i figured if people didn't understand, i didn't want to be in business with them. >> reporter: everybody understands. everything fits. >> cheers. >> reporter: the food, the modeling, the jewelry. when someone asks you, what do you do? is there a short answer to that question? i dare you to answer it in ten seconds or less. what do you do? >> i make things that bring people pleasure, hopefully. hopefully. >> reporter: i'm john berman for "nightline" in new york. >> a sent multitask ever there was one. we'll return to the gulf coast as the federal government announces a criminal investigation. are the fumes from the gulf
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y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y]y] the devastation spreads and the waiting game continues in the gulf, where bp has launched yet another attempt to stop the spill. meanwhile, for the first time, the government today publicly acknowledged a criminal investigation. now there's mounting concern that the chemicals used in the cheenup operation may be having a detrimental effect. chris cuomo has our report on day 43.
>> reporter: the oil slick continues its slow assault on the coast. estimates vary wildly about how much oil is corroding the gulf. over 40 million gallons. today, b sprks trying a new approach to stop the pipe if leaking. this time robot sub ma treens try to saw through the leaking pipe and put a cap on the spill. >> we'll continue to push bp to do whatever we feel is necessary to respond to the leak and adequately respond to the spread of the oil. >> reporter: meanwhile, the administration is frustrated by criticisms. vowing to do more. >> if our laws were broken leading to this death and destruction, my pledge is that we will bring those responsible to justice on behalf of the people of the gulf region. >> we think we have enough to
begin a criminal investigation. >> reporter: today, we spoke to fishermen and their families, they say all this talk is like more oil in the water. >> i don't see bp doing anything new. to try to repair anything. i don't see them protecting our fishermen. i don't see them protecting our homes. >> reporter: reports of flu-like simple troms popping up all along the coast. >> it feels like the flu. the body aches. the coughing. my sinuses got so bad i ended up with ear infections. >> reporter: did you just catch a bug? >> i don't think so. >> do we have to see kids running around without their daddies before this is taken seriously. >> these men go out on these 3 to 20-day trips.
boats are iced up. they're well aware of how to keep their food from spoiling. their time temperature control. if they're not getting sick all the rest of the time and now all of a sudden the illnesses are happening, it's not a coincidence. >> it said we needed suits, the gloves. do not let it on your skin. do not breathe it if you don't have to. and it would be sup plid to. this is something they wanted us to watch. where is our equipment? >> reporter: he said he and others risked their lives to make a living. >> all of a sudden out of nowhere, she was perfectly fine. mommy, my stomach hurts. i brought her inside. within five minutes, my head is pounding. i feel like i'm going throw up. >> reporter: she says her child also had a rash and it went away
when they went away for the weekend. >> these are our men. do we have to put one in the ground? >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm chris cuomo. the company that makes the dispersant says that it is safe. in their opinion, it's unlikely that people along the coast have come into contact with it. our thanks to chris cuomo. we'll be back with more on the story of the flotilla in gaza some people say i'm obsessed with my chickens. but i like to think i'm just going beyond the call of duty. cock-a-doodle-dooooo! i do 22 more inspections than the government requires. and my fresh all-natural chickens are never given any hormones or steroids. ♪ ♪ they're fed a nutritious diet including corn, soybeans and marigolds. and no candy, gladys.