- February 15, 2022
At only 12 years old, Windermere homeschooled student Luke Ramjohn has earned his place as one of the 16 finalists heading to the National Memory Master Competition through Classical Conversations this week.
Ramjohn has been a part of Classical Conversations homeschooling for four years and said he loves it. His parents said his local CC group, Stoneybrook Classical Educators, has both supported and encouraged him.
In his time at CC, he has achieved Memory Master three times.
However, earning a Memory Master even once is a challenge.
Students ages 11 and 12 must recite all the required information from the current year for seven subjects: history, geography, English grammar, Latin, math and science. A Memory Master must deliver the entire timeline of 160 events from creation to modern times; 24 sentences about history; 24 science questions and answers; multiplication tables through the 15s plus squares and cubes, conversions, and math laws; continents, countries, states, capitals, and physical features from around the world; 24 definitions or lists from English grammar; Latin vocabulary lists, conjugations, declensions, and John 1:1-7 in Latin; and the 46 U.S. presidents.
Some of the information, such as the history timeline and math facts, is repeated every year. Other subject areas, such as history, geography, science, Latin and English, rotate on a three-year cycle.
Students who have successfully been proved as a Memory Master for at least two cycles of the curriculum may qualify for the National Memory Master Competition and have the opportunity to claim the nationally recognized title and a reward of $10,000.
Luke said he first heard about the national competition after he became a triple Memory Master.
“It was very exciting, because I realized there’s more that I can do, and I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could accomplish this with other kids who have the same knowledge and just test my skills,” he said.
When Luke took the test, it had to be perfect. Three years of knowledge had to be repeated with not a single mistake.
Luke loves the thrill of learning something new.
“I just like knowing stuff,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Whatever I’m trying to memorize, I’ll just do it over and over and just keep practicing that over and over until I get it down.”
Luke’s mom, Tanique, shared that she had many friends who had done Classical Conversations before and considered a lot of options, but this one seemed the best fit for her two boys.
“It’s very memory based and mastery based and that was something that we knew both of our kids enjoyed,” she said. “They both enjoyed school and it allowed them to explore topics in a much deeper way.”
Luke utilizes a variety of methods for his memorization including music and songs and being quizzed by friends and family members.
“It’s somewhat satisfying knowing that you just memorized another piece of information,” he said.
Although geography started off as the toughest subject for Luke, he said now it’s easy and fun. He has to be able to draw the entire world map and label the country borders, topography and countries in 30 minutes at the competition.
In addition, students will be asked a series of questions where they will have to respond in seconds, recite a timeline in history from beginning to end and end to beginning as many times as they can, write a creative story and memorize it in 20 minutes with a few unknown prompt options, and more.
Although money is the last thing on Luke’s mind, his desire to enter into the competition bloomed from wanting to take his family on a cruise.
“I was so excited for him, because I know he worked so hard to get to this point where he is in the top 16 finalists,” Tanique said. “He had been working on it for years and after talking about that initial cruise he just kept it in his mind he was going to get one Memory Master after another. That sense of determination, seeing him realize that hard work does pay off, and if you put your heart to it and keep motivated, that you do get recognized and people notice you’re not just taking the easy way out, has all just been amazing to watch.”
If he wins, Luke wants to take his family to Alaska with the prize money.
He said he watches a show called “Life Before Zero,” where people survive in the cold and he has always wanted to go. Before the pandemic, the family had a cruise booked to Alaska, which was Luke’s grandma’s dream, but it was canceled.
Outside of school, Luke loves playing basketball, soccer, Minecraft and music.
Luke will travel with his family April 28 to North Carolina to compete in the national competition. Those who wish to watch and cheer him on can do so on the National Memory Master Facebook page.
Luke is currently in the Foundations and Essentials program and is preparing to move to Challenge A in the next school year.
WEBSITE: Click here.
CHEER FOR LUKE: Click here.