Hug Time and T.T.T. and Homeschooling

In the blog Watch Out for Gifted People  the author describes the whiteboard she uses to organize the daily chores for herself and her two homeschooled boys.  When one asks to use the computer, she points to the whiteboard and asks if he has completed his assignments. The whiteboard list reduces push-backs.  Recently, the author added “Together - Hug Time.” What a great idea. We spend too much time together on our own devices,  but  we are really alone. We need to spend time just being together.


Homeschool teachers, Hug Time recognizes, supports, encourages and authenticates your homeschool student. As a 39 year teacher (31 in a public high school) having taught over 5,000 students, I could not give hugs that way, but I could recognize, support, encourage and authenticate my students. I used the poem T.T.T. and a piece of candy when I sensed a discouraged student who needed a “hug.” I had the poem on a small sheet of paper and would discreetly place the poem and candy on the student’s desk even as I taught the class. Here is the poem:


T. T. T.

Put up in a place

where it's easy to see

the cryptic admonishment

T. T. T.

When you feel how depressingly

slowly you climb,

it's well to remember that

Things Take Time!


I also wrote back a kind of discussion on weekly themes sometimes even several paragraphs.  By the way any theme grade C or lower could be rewritten for a B. I also encouraged and supported class discussion.  To get thoughts from shy students into the discussion, I had students write a response with no names on a piece of paper, collected them, and read them into the class discussion.  Some of my best classes were when I stood in the back of the room and the students talked. When students made remarkable and insightful comments, I immediately wrote them down with their name, the date, the time and the class.  I transferred that information to a large sheet of paper and posted it on the classroom wall.  That “Hug” gave that student and the class a boast. Homeschool teachers, think of your own ways you can give your student “Hugs.” How do adults do it in companies?  Certificates, plaques, trophies, prizes, privileges, responsibilities, rewards, better working conditions, catch success, random acts of kindness, applause, time off, social gatherings, pizza/popcorn/cookie days, gags and gimmicks and even cash motivate employees.

Henry Hill
Marketplace Mission Learning Center



What does the “Marketplace” mean in our school name Marketplace Mission Learning Center?

What does the “Marketplace” mean in our school name Marketplace Mission Learning Center?

The following list from a July 22, 2014 article titled 15 Signs You’re an Entrepreneur presents the skill set needed to move forward in our fast changing world as an entrepreneur.

French economist Jean-Baptiste Say coined the word entrepreneur, and the work entrepreneur appeared in a French dictionary in 1723 defined as a person who makes decisions about obtaining and using resources while admitting the risk of enterprise. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, in his 1776 The Wealth of Nations defined an entrepreneur as the person who puts together land, labor and capital to create an enterprise. Political economist Robert Reich considers leadership, management ability and team-building essential qualities of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs engage in the gale of creative destruction to replace in whole or part inferior offerings across markets and industries by creating new products and business models. According to Frank H. Knight and Peter Drucker entrepreneurs willingly risk their careers and financial and social security to pursue a new idea.  Entrepreneurs don’t just take measurable risks.  Entrepreneurs take ambiguous risks - only partially measurable, and they take true uncertainty impossible to estimate or predict risks. Entrepreneurs experience what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow.  Flow occurs when the individual forgets about the outside world and becomes emerged in a powerful insight.  Maria Montessori called this flow state normalization and described it as the child’s capacity for joyful and lengthy periods of intense concentration. Maria Montessori use prepared environments that offered children opportunities to achieve flow.

Aren’t we all entrepreneurs in our own lives with our own life being the enterprise we strive to create?  Each one of us must launch ourselves into the marketplace.  Each one of us must decide where to live and work, decide what labor to perform, and decide how to use our own capital.  We are the entrepreneur of our own enterprise, our own lives. Days, weeks, months and years go by.  Our limited resource of time determines so much of our future.  How can we take charge of our own time and use it to further the enterprise of our own life?

Self-paced online learning in a teacher/tutor/coach classroom at Marketplace Mission Learning Center is where you, the student, learn to control and direct your day-to-day behavior which makes you an entrepreneur using your own resources to further your own enterprise, namely your life.

1. You take action.  

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you take over your own learning both the how to learn and the what to learn.

2. You’re insecure.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you face your fear of failing in a real way because you have taken over your own learning which means you can’t blame a teacher or other students or the school.  You must face yourself and take ownership of your own performance.

3. You’re crafty.  

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you must become crafty like the television character  MacGyver and apply your own creativity, optimism and street smarts to collect and use the  resources you have to solve the problems you face.

4. You’re obsessed with cash flow.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center time and efficiency become your obsession. Your creation of your own enterprise begins to take shape before your eyes. Your own creation of yourself becomes your obsession.

5. You get into hot water.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you try new things, forge ahead to seize opportunities and tackle issues all to explore uncharted worlds.

6. You’re fearless.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you don’t see problems; you see opportunities in work clothes.  Your optimism carries you forward.

7. You can’t sit still.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you don’t have to sit still.  Try something new. We did in starting our school, and together we will continue to innovate and build it anew.

8. You’re malleable.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you can change direction right now. You build yourself, your enterprise, day-by-day. Where do you want to go?

9. You enjoy navel gazing.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you evaluate your own performance. Lessons have quizzes and tests and projects, but you need to gather feedback from other sources, process the feedback, develop a plan to improve and implement the improvement plan.

10. You’re motivated by challenges.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center challenges feed your drive. Adversity makes the game fun.

11. You consider yourself an outsider.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you learn that all the students consider themselves  outsiders who have begun to recognize the reality of no inside and no insiders and no outside and no outsiders. Each student learns to take command of their own boat at sea charting their own course. This realization makes for a stimulating exciting environment.

12. You recover quickly.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you learn that what many call failure our students call experience. An experience called failure simple didn’t work that way at that time. Students learn not to wallow or mope or feel sorry for themselves; students learn to move on to the next big thing.

13. You fulfill needs.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center you learn to look for the problems and the holes and to think of ways to fix them. Students learn to apply this problem solving to themselves, to their fellow students, to their school, to their families, to their community and to their society.

14. You surround yourself with advisors.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center students learn that their advisors are their lessons, their teachers, their students, their parents, and the wealth of information on the internet. Students learn to strive to make informed decisions.

15. You work and play hard.

At Marketplace Mission Learning Center students learn that when they fall down, they must keep picking themselves up until they get it right. Students learn to stay focused on their enterprise building, namely themselves. This means learning the basics.


Top 10 Questions on Leaving Public School

Top 10 Questions on Leaving Public School

Assembled from emails of parents considering homeschooling, Guilt-Free Homeschool creator Carolyn Morrison presents the top ten questions parents have on leaving the public school.

1.  How soon can I pull out my child?  Today and right now.

2.  What curricula do I need? You and your child pick a curriculum and a program to deliver it.

3.  Can I remove just one of my children from public school? Yes.

4.  How do I teach several children at the same time? An online curriculum that allows you to be the teacher can serve children in different grades. Projects can be shared such as cooking and gardening at different grade levels.  Field trips allow for different grade level experiences that can be documented in a portfolio.

5. How do I keep up with household chores?  Your children are there. Remember, the school day consisted of passing classes, attendance in every class, lunch and a free period. With a seven hour school day almost two hours were absorbed in the mechanics of the school.  Your children are not traveling to school.  So instead of spending eight or even nine hours traveling to school and at school, they are spending five hours or less on school work at home. Remind them that they have no “busy work” home work that is required at school.  Put them to work helping you. Require them to document their learning experiences for their portfolios.

6.  Is it too soon or too late in the school year to pull out my children.  No.  There is no set school year for homeschooling.

7.  Is my reason for homeschooling a good reason?  You and your caregiving partner(s) and your child must make this decision.

8.  Can I teach my ADD/ADHD/ODD/Etc student without special training? Yes.  You have been teaching them since they were born.  If you have been and can continue to provide a loving and caring and accepting environment, adding a formal education component to that environment will work.  Is your child MISE (more interested in something else)? Use that interest by redirecting it to the subjects of science, math, language arts and social studies. Is your child TETL (too eager to learn)?  Let the eagerness flow and jump ahead levels and grades in certain subjects. You and your child have formed a partnership for this enterprise. Grow this enterprise and enjoy the ride.

9.  What about friends? Friends come from many relationships.  Homeschool groups offer new opportunities for friendship. Neighbors, churches, clubs are sources for friendship.  

10.  What about sports, music and other extra-curricular activities? Some states require public schools to provide opportunities to participate in sports and music and other extra-curricular activities if a student is homeschooled.  Church-based and community sponsored activities may also offer opportunities.


Why I Pulled My Son Out of Public School

Why I Pulled My Son Out of Public School


Ronda Bowen has been homeschooling from 2007. Here is her story.


Have you heard this comment from a school administrator?  “Your son makes himself a target for bullies.”  Way to blame the victim. If the teachers and administrators are not behind my son, why is he going to this school?  


Why do schools act so eager to place a label on a child?  Somehow my son became a target. For some reason my son became a “high risk” student. Administrators pulled my son out of class for disagreeing with the teacher about politics and about religion.  Administrators pulled my son out of class because he could do the math at a high level that other students. The administrators and his teacher became convinced that something was wrong with him.  Administrators continued to single out my son for testing and for conferences. My otherwise outgoing and happy child began to seem despondent, depressed and withdrawn.  He even said the words, “I hate myself.” Something needed to change. Homeschooling was the answer.


The decision to homeschool in this situation makes sense. Self-esteem and self-confidence come from competence.  Students must take charge of their own learning. Homeschooling offers that opportunity.



Two Quotes For Parents About School 

H. L. Mencken in The American Mercury in 1924 wrote that “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality.”


In “Against School,” Gatto in 2003 tells his readers what he sees as the cure for the situation of today’s schools. He would like to see parents counteract the effect of the schools by teaching their children 1) to be leaders and adventurers, 2) to think critically and independently, 3) to have a well-developed inner thought life, 4) to spend time alone learning to enjoy their own company, and 5) to interact with adult-level books and materials in a wide range of subjects covering the Liberal Arts and Sciences."


Mencken, H. L. (1924). The goslings: A study of the American schools. In RALPH: The review of arts, literature, philosophy and the humanities (par. 7) [Book Review]. Retrieved from

Gatto, J. T. (2003, September). Against school: How public education cripples our kids, and why [Article from Harper’s]. Retrieved from website:

Both quotes are cited in "Are All Homeschooling Methods Created Equal?"