As many of you already know, we are a part of a local Classical Conversations campus. We concluded our year in April and this past week was memory master proofing. For the 99% of you reading this, you are probably wondering “what is a Memory Master?” Here is a brief description: “Memory Master” is an honor bestowed on Foundations students who have mastered all of the memory work during the twenty-four weeks of Foundations class. This year we were on Cycle 1 (CC follows a 3 year cycle), so the facts memorized included topics from these 7 subjects:
-161 events and people in a chronological timeline, recited in order
-44 U.S. presidents
-24 history sentences, to add depth to our timeline
-120 geographic locations and features and the ability to locate each one – this year found in Africa, Europe, South America, and the Old World
-24 science facts (such as the classification of living things, each continents highest mountain, parts of the earth, parts of the atmosphere, etc.)
-5 Latin noun endings and their singular and plural declensions
-24 English grammar facts (including 53 prepositions, 23 helping verbs, and 12 linking verbs, plus the definitions of those parts of speech)
-Math multiplication tables up to 15×15, common squares and cubes, basic geometry formulas and unit conversions
This was no small feat! Hailey was incredibly diligent throughout the year to memorize the new memory work each week and also spent much time over the last 2 weeks preparing for the big day when she would need to recite (by memory, without prompts or help) all of the memory work. Hailey first recited the information for me and then another adult (my mom) at home, then for a tutor on the day of testing, and then finally she had a “spot check” with the director of our campus before receiving the distinguished honor of becoming a Memory Master! Put together that is over 400 pieces of information! I’m pretty sure that I was more nervous for her than she was for herself, but we were both incredibly happy when she was finished.
Particularly for those unfamiliar with a classical education, some of you might be wondering, “what’s the point of this?” Yes, it teaches diligence, confidence, commitment, and hard work … but really, “what is the point?” Leigh Bortins, founder of CC, answers this:
“Modern education scoffs at the first tool of learning – memorization. Why learn to memorize if you can just look it up? Isn’t critical thinking more important than rote facts? My response is, ‘What can I think critically about if I know no facts?’ I can offer only my opinion, my point of view. Yet shouldn’t truth play a factor? For the Christian, absolute truth exists. His story is unfolding. I want to know who did what, where, when, and why for Him. I want to see His creation revealed through science. I want His word to be a lamp unto my feet. That means I must acquire, nurture, and expand my ability to store information, words, and abstract ideas. I want to be able to repeat truth and think about how truth affects my life. This requires hard academic work – brain training – habits of character.”
We are incredibly proud of our girlie for working so hard!
Hailey with her proof sheets completely filled in!