Memory Masters | News, Sports, Jobs

Selah Haehnel, 11, left, and Charlotte Nelson, 10, both of Marquette, have achieved Memory Master status. The designation indicates that they memorized hundreds of facts and completed four speaking tests with complete accuracy. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Haehnel)

MARQUETTE — Two local girls, ages 10 and 11, earned Memory Master status this month after memorizing more than 600 facts and completing four separate speaking tests with 100% accuracy.

Classical conversation students from the Marquette CC community who have passed the Memory Master test and earned the title of Memory Master include 11-year-old Selah Haehnel, 10-year-old Charlotte Nelson, both Marquette residents.

Elementary students enrolled in the Classic Conversations homeschooling program can choose to take an end-of-year oral exam and recite each memory assignment learned during the year.

“The purpose of Memory Master is to encourage and reward demonstrations of excellence in memorizing and reciting topics, which are two skills that will serve students well throughout their educational journey, said Erica Nelson, director of Foundations and Essentials for the Marquette Classical Conversations community, in a press release. “Many of our students enjoy the challenge, but only a few are able to complete the whole process.”

The four-week process includes two recitations from memory to parents or other adults, one recitation for the student’s guardian, and a one-time review by the CC Community Director.

Each oral exam lasts between 45 and 90 minutes, depending on the child’s age and ability to recite information quickly and accurately.

The recited material includes: a timeline of 161 events and people from history, 120 geographical locations and features, 24 story phrases, 24 scientific facts, Latin noun endings, English grammar definitions, multiplication tables up to 15, common squares and cubes, basic geometry formulas, unit conversions and the 46 US presidents.

The Upper Peninsula hosts four Classical Conversation Communities, which meet once a week for 24 to 30 weeks, depending on the schedule.

In an email, Selah, who is homeschooled, opened up about her experience.

“I’m proud to have gone through all of this and to have been able to accomplish it”, Selah said. “It’s hard to describe. It’s kind of the same thing, except people keep saying, “Hey! You are a master of memory!”

Selah now knows she can become a master of memory again.

“Memory work will help me get into middle school and high school because we learn more about the subjects we have memorized,” she says. “Knowing parts of it now will help me dive deeper without having to go back and memorize definitions, dates, and events first. And I can do that with any subject.

Selah said she started training around October and practiced memory facts every day.

“I had a schedule that my mother gave me that told me what to review for that day,” she says. “For most subjects, I used the CC app to review memory work. For math, I had multiplication flashcards which I did every day, although some days I didn’t not want.

Selah said the first proof was the hardest because it was her first time going through all of this.

“The third round was the most stressful because I was so close to the finish line and I didn’t want to fail,” she says. “This process helped me become more diligent and persevere when I didn’t feel like doing the work – especially the math – and my family encouraged me along the way and believed I could do it. .”

Charlotte, who is also homeschooled, expressed her thoughts via email.

“I feel proud of myself and also relieved to have been able to accomplish it”, she says to be a master of memory. “It’s also a sense of accomplishment to know that I can take on big challenges and succeed.”

Charlotte believes that earning the title Master of Memory will help her in her future education.

“Because I have all these facts memorized, I will be able to look back and recall them and add them.” said Charlotte. “It’s like adding more layers of information and expanding my knowledge and understanding.”

As with Selah, Charlotte trained daily.

“I was persistent and used different methods of memorization such as repetition, songs, hand movements, rhythms, flash cards and other methods that I learned through CC”, she says.

According to Marquette Classical Conversations, the Foundations curriculum is for children ages 4 to 12 and focuses on the basics of history, science, English grammar, geography, Latin, and math. Students also participate in weekly science projects, fine arts, and oral presentations. Challenge programs for junior and older senior students focus on required subjects, as well as argumentation and persuasion skills. Challenge helps students develop the character traits of leadership, discipline, decision-making, freedom, ownership, and an understanding of choices and consequences.

Classical Conversations is a classic education resource used by homeschoolers in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries. CC now has over 125,000 students enrolled in its tutoring programs, which are delivered by over 2,500 CC communities.

CC provides resources, guidance, and community for a Christian homeschooling program using classical education in three stages of development: grammar, dialectics, and rhetoric.

Leigh Bortins started Classical Conversations in 1997. The family business is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina. For more information, visit

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is [email protected]

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