I bought the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? board game on ebay recently, based on a recommendation from a HS boy in a past issue of Secular Homeschooling Magazine (BTW, this is a great place for HS kids to submit art, stories, reviews and reports).
It came in today and I have to say that it was a great purchase. Jack (5) is really too young for it and got frustrated, but both girls enjoyed it and we all learned a bit. It’s for ages 8 and up. Anna and Victoria are 9 and 10, and it was just the right amount of challenge for them.
Each person takes a turn being the contestant and answers as many questions as possible to move up the prize levels. You must answer 2 questions in each grade level (in any order you like) and it’s the luck of the draw what subjects they will be. Some categories are math (lots), social studies, animal science, times and dates, reading and grammar.
The other players try to answer each question also, on a pad of paper where nobody can see. If the contestant is not sure of the answer, she can choose to use a peek, copy or save. With peek, she can look at one other player’s answer and choose whether to use it. With copy, she must use whatever contestant’s answer she chooses, even if she thinks it is wrong after she sees it. With save, if she answers wrong she can play the save with one other player and if that player has answered right she survives. Each time a player helps another player, she earns a $1,000 token.
Some questions were easy peasy, while others stumped even Mama. I didn’t remember the word for triangles that are the same size and shape (congruent), so I apparently wouldn’t do well in 2nd grade geometry. 🙂 My girls had the most trouble with geography so we’re going to work on that. I had never even heard of the Canadian Shield, which is the horseshoe-shaped area around Hudson Bay. After Victoria lost on that one, we all went and looked at the map to find it and talked about how enormous Hudson Bay is.
You keep playing until someone gets a million dollars or you can play to see who gets the highest.
Anna was today’s winner. She made it all the way to the million dollar question but didn’t know which country gave the Statue of Liberty to America. Victoria was so bummed, because she thought that was easy. We played that you can’t ask for help on the million dollar answer, though (which is how the show does it, too).
Anna did have an advantage because she could get help from Victoria, who is older and 2 grades ahead of her, whereas Victoria could only ask her little sister for help. In that way, it sort of evens the playing field for kids of different levels.
The girls and I spent a couple of hours playing today and learned a lot, talked a lot and had a lot of fun. We talked about everything from Ponce de Leon and the Fountain of Youth to Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus to penguins to The Pied Piper.
The game retails for around $20 but I got it used (with everything there) for $8 with shipping. If you can get a good deal, I highly recommend it.