Preparing for Memory Masters: Simple Methods for Memorizing

Preparing for Memory Master:Simple Methods for Memorization


We’re on the final stretch of our Classical Conversations year. One of my guys is aiming for memory master status, but still needs to fine-tune some of the memory work. We’re relying on what’s tried and true by practicing using these simple methods for memorizing:


1. Making flash cards. He handmade flashcards today for John 1 in Latin. The lined side of the flashcard contains one week’s worth of John 1 in Latin; the unlined side has the scripture reference and a number representing its order. Simply writing the memory work onto the flashcards was his first form of practice. Then he reviewed by trying to lay the cards out in order. Because he wrote the reference on the unlined side, he could easily check if he was right on his own. Next he divided the passage into manageable chunks to memorize together. He’s making quick progress.


2. Writing and erasing the memory work. I’ve copied two weeks of science memory work onto the easel in our school room. I like that it’s visible for everyone to see throughout the day, but I’m also using it for focused review time with my going-for-memory-master guy. We read it together three times then I began erasing words and we continued to read it together, filling in the missing words from memory, until all the words were gone. Ta-dah, memorized! After we did this, he added his own idea of him re-writing the memory work (from memory) and erasing to quiz me. Of course, I agreed! He was having fun and getting in even more review!


3. Adding visuals. Today we used these periodic table elements cards I printed (,colored a little,) and laminated the first time we hit this cycle. I like that the cards have a simple drawing of something that contains the element. He laid these cards in order of their appearance on the periodic table, studied them for a few minutes, flipped them upside down, and turned them back over as he recited their names. I think the act of having a picture for each element name and giving each element a physical place (cards lined up on his desk) helped him visualize their names and remember them more easily. Do you ever try to remember something by picturing it? I’ll sometimes do that when trying to remember a book title by picturing the cover. Same idea here. 🙂


We’re having fun with these ideas and they’re working. As you hit this final stretch of preparing for memory masters, what’s working for you? I’d love to hear!







  1. Chris says

    Any suggestions for timeline? We try for MM this Thursday and are still struggling with the timeline. We have listened to it a million times!’m

    • Beth Watson says

      Chris, I’m not sure if this is helpful at this point, but here’s how we normally do timeline review —

      At this point in the year, I’m usually quizzing them to see how far they can go without me. Anywhere they struggle, I mark it with a sticky tab, then focus only on those areas. Usually it’s the same rough spots each time. Then we just try to bang out one rough area at a time. Each of my littles has something different that helps them remember that I’ll use to help them cement it. My oldest is more visual so seeing the cards help him, my second is auditory so the songs help him, and my third is more physical so the motions help him.

      After working through one rough spot, I’d make it a goal to go from the beginning to the next rough spot without help. Then on to tackling the next spot. Does that help? I hope so! Fingers crossed for you guys this Thursday. And congrats to y’all for getting so far!!

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