Thursday, April 17, 2014

Memory Masters 2014- Dominic, Lillie, and Rose

Each year our Classical Conversations community has a year-end celebration. We finished up Cycle 2 this past Friday and celebrated the achievements of the year on Monday. It is hard to believe that we have been doing CC for three years now.  We have gone through each cycle and will start over in the fall to where we first began CC in Cycle 3.  One of the main highlights of the evening is the presentation to those students who are known as Memory Masters.  If you are involved in CC, you know how much work and practice it takes these students to accomplish this amazing feat. 
 What do Memory Masters memorize?  A brief summary can be found HERE

A student must show mastery of each subject and "proof" four times to show that the subject matter is mastered.  John and I just shook our heads listening to all that they have learned.  It is not recommended to try for memory master until the child is in at least fourth grade.  Rose was determined and rattled off the information like a pro.  She was darling. 
  • 160 events & people in a chronological timeline from Creation to Modern America.
  • 44 U.S. Presidents
  • 122 Geographical locations, including countries in Central America and Africa, as well as countries, cities, features, and bodies of water in the Euro-Asian continent
  • 24 Science facts (in complete sentences) on ecology, astronomy, and physical science, including Laws of Thermodynamics and Newton’s Laws of Motion.
  • 24 history sentences on the following: Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, The Crusades, The Magna Carta, The Hundred Years’ War, The Renaissance, The Protestant Reformation, European Exploration, Age of Absolute Monarchs, History of Russia, The French Revolution, The Battle of Waterloo, The Industrial Revolution, World Leaders and Countries of World War I, Leaders and beginning of World War II, Formation of the United Nations, Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Gulf War, Free elections in South Africa
  • 6 Latin conjugations
  • Times tables to 15×15, square, cubes, unit conversions, geometric formulas, and the algebraic laws of addition and multiplication
  • Definitions for pronoun, noun, adverb, adjective, gerund, appositive, conjunction, and interjection; double negatives; types of nouns; coordinating conjunctions; adverbs telling to what extent; and 65 pronouns

Dominic was a memory master for Cycle 1 last year.  At the beginning of this cycle, several of our children wanted to attempt to become a "Memory Master."  John and I were so proud of their hard work and daily studying.  Since I was due with Kapaun last September, we began our CC cycle work last summer.  I think it really helped that we got a jump on the year. 
Our three memory masters and amazing director, Tori.

Dominic has a photographic memory.  He sees something once and it is done and imprinted into that head of his.  My mother always use to comment on his amazing abilities at a young age and tell us that it wasn't normal.  I remember back to when he was just one.  He knew all the parts of a cell and the bones of the skull...AT ONE.  He reviewed with his sisters several times and I embarrassingly asked his help to explain things more than once.  He has his mind made up to be an Orthodontist if he isn't a priest. 
Lillie's fortitude toward memory master is something we won't forget.  After an initial evaluation with Lillie, I realized we had some serious work ahead of us.  She worked so hard and practiced so much.  She was unforgettable after her tutor proof.  We got into the car and she burst into tears out of relief.  I have a visual imprint in my head of her practicing over and over in the music room.  I cried happy tears with her.  I took her to Culver's afterward and celebrated our girl. 

AND.....then there was Rose.  Her tutor was completely floored at how she rattled off all the information to perfection.  She is a sharp one and didn't skip a beat.  To be honest, Zellie was right behind her.  I think I ran out of steam, but maybe we can shoot for that next year.

Reviewing their blackline maps together.  Dominic knew them, but was so sweet to help Lillie over and over.

Working hard.

 We celebrated the following night by going out to eat.  Each year (all two of them), we let the Memory Masters pick where we eat.  Dominic chose Chipotle last year.   They tossed around Famous Dave's this year, but landed on Valentino's Pizza Buffet as it was kid's night and balloons are offered!!!  The kids were in heaven.  I am glad Dominic still gets excited about what to choose for his balloon creation.  He asked the balloon artist if she could make something from The Lord of the Rings.  She couldn't, but offered an alien instead.
 I included these next pictures because of Damaris.  She thought she was the reason we were celebrating. 

Look at her face in this picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Way to Go, Dominic, Lily and Rose! I am 99.9% if "I" spent a whole year, there is NO way I could memorize all of that ! What an accomplishment!

    And those final pictures are definitely PRICELESS! That Damaris is a hoot! <3

  2. This is awesome! With his brilliant mind and kind spirit he should become a Jesuit Priest!

  3. Amazing! You must be so proud, mama!

  4. I so enjoy reading your blog and finally had to comment. This was our first year in CC and I tutored as well. I do not recommend this for a first timer :) but our community was in a bind. Anyway, I just wanted to give you a few kiddos too. I know the time involved on your end and I admire you for giving the extra time to help your children achieve their goal. What they did was truly amazing! Congratulations and enjoy a well deserved break!

  5. Lindsay,
    I love your pictures! I am in a big family myself and wish to take better pictures of them. What kind of modes and speeds and whatnot do you use for your photos?
    I love Kapaun- trying to get all your kids' names straight which is funny because I'm one of ten myself. :)
    13-year-old lover of all things kids and photography. (please reply so I know you got this!)

    1. Hello. It was nice to hear from you. Sadly, I do not know my camera well so I can offer no advice on modes and speeds. I like natural light best. I wish I had more to offer and if I do I will surely pass it along. God Bless You.

    2. Wow, your photos are always so fantastic, so don't worry about it! I love reading your blog (which is funny because my mom began reading it first) and seeing those beautiful smiles. Your words are heartfelt and beautiful, such a loving mom.
      the same 13-year-old who adores your blog

  6. Oh my goodness Lindsay,
    Were it not for my own wonderful mom, some days, I just want to be one of your kids.

  7. Love reading your blog! Can you write sometime about how you discipline your children and any reading material that gave you guidance in how to discipline them?

    1. Hello Amanda. We really love Dr. Ray Guarendi and Dr. James Dobson. So much of discipline really depends upon your own temperament as a mother. Simply put, I always try to see each child as an individual and a child of God. I try to always remember that I am preparing them to live a vocation when they are older, probably marriage so we hope to teach them virtues and traits that will be conducive to that. The relationship you have with your children is so very important. Like most parents, we work very hard on that relationship. Your own JOY for life with be very influential on them. God Bless You.

  8. Hi Lyndsey,

    I have six children, and I will be homeschooling three of them this upcoming school year (4th, 2nd, and 1st grades.) I just attended an informational meeting about CC last night, as they are starting up a new group in our town. After reading your posts about your family's involvement in CC, I looked into the program online before the meeting. It really seems like a great program, however, as a fellow Catholic I wanted to ask your opinion on the non-denominational aspect of CC. Have you ever run into anything within CC that runs contrary to Catholic teaching? The director at our meeting spoke a lot about teaching kids the truth, and I just couldn't help but wonder if there might arise any problems in that area. Ideally, I would love to have my kids in a Classically Catholic Memory co-op, however that is not offered here. With baby #6 due soon, I just don't feel like I could be the one in charge of starting something like that up at this point in time. I know you can use the programs at home, but I know it wouldn't get done as well as if we were part of a community that meets once a week. If you have any thoughts about this, I would be so appreciative to hear them! Thank you and God bless you!