Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

I have long held onto the belief that in order to homeschool my children, I need only stay one day smarter than they are. I am living up to my own expectations. My oldest child is in the 2nd grade.

So far, so good.

Friday night, after the kids had gone off to bed, Fiddledaddy and I cuddled up in his tiny office to watch a little TV on his computer monitor. We can visit whatever major station dot com and enjoy a program of our choosing, with limited commercial interruption. It was almost like a movie date. From what I can remember. Since the last movie we saw in the theatre was, I believe, “Titanic.”

Don’t cry for me Argentina.

Since we voluntarily gave up cable, and our favorite shows such as 24, Lost, and Jericho don’t begin until January, our television watching is greatly curtailed. So, for fun, we tuned into “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” Because frankly, we were curious.

The show was actually better than I expected. And I’m a huge Jeff Foxworthy fan. I have actually peed while watching the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. And I was nowhere near a bathroom.

The first contestant was a college student who was very enthusiastic. The host boasted that he had exceptionally good SAT scores. I had high hopes for him. Those hopes were dashed, however, when he could not answer “What was the name of the first lady to the first President of the United States. The 5th Graders on the show hurriedly scribbled down their answer. I yelled at the screen, “MARTHA!” But, he remained silent. Shaking his head. Thinking hard.

Oh, for the love of all that is good and noble please say “MARTHA.” He could not. He opted for “help” from the 5th Graders. Miraculously, he left the show with $175,000. A nice haul for a college student. Who didn’t know the name of George Washington’s wife. I hope he found his way home all right.

The second contestant skipped up on stage. She was a bouncy little thing whose claim to fame was that her grandfather invented the mood ring. Which I of course proudly wore in the 70’s. Although, mine was always black.

It was either broken, or I was extremely moody.

My parents would go with door #2.

I wanted Miss Mood Ring to win the million bucks. I believed she had a fighting chance because I thought I heard Jeff Foxworthy say that she was an elementary school teacher.

Oh, she’s got it in the bag, I surmised.

The first question: “How many consonants are in the word V•O•W•E•L?” Smugly, I said to Fiddledaddy, “That is so easy, it’s 3. Give her a harder question, for crying out loud.”

Then, she did something amazing. Thinking out loud, she spelled vowel, “V•O•U•L”, and locked in her answer with confidence. “I’m going to go with 2.”

I thought Jeff Foxworthy was going to choke and drop like Marie last Monday night.

Well, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was afraid I would start throwing things at the computer screen. “This show is dead to me.” And with that I walked off in a huff. Confident in the fact that I was at least smarter than that last contestant.

And this is completely off the subject, but Fiddledaddy had an interesting observation regarding “Lost.” It seems that yet another cast member was recently arrested for driving under the influence. This is time it was one of my personal favorites, Daniel Dae Kim. “He’s gonna get killed off,” Fiddledaddy remarked. I gasped, “That’s right, every time someone gets arrested for drunk driving, they get the ax.” While thoughtfully twiddling his thumbs, Fiddledaddy conjectured, “I think they start drinking AFTER they get the bad news.”

Interesting. I hope he’s wrong. But, very interesting indeed.

I can’t wait until January.

I may as well stamp “LOSER” on my forehead. Just above the eyebrow pimple.

25 Responses to Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

  • Best post I’ve read all week! So funny, especially about the mood ring.

  • I am more relieved that some fifth graders know something than that the adults do not.

  • I saw that exact episode and I wanted to throw something at that guy. Who doesn’t know “Martha”? Geez!

    The best part?

    There is a home game version and I am purchasing it to play with my husband and all my kids (20 & her new husband, 19, 17 &2) on Christmas eve while we pig out on finger foods. Should be a blast.

  • I didn’t realize you had given up cable. 🙂

    I am not surprised to find that adults would make such mistakes (I suspect the stress of the moment would make a big difference–I know that the facts stored in my brain would not be able to get to my tongue in such an instance.

    The real question is whether the 5th graders will retain any of this information when they reach high school and beyond. 🙂

    Enough seriousness, great post!

  • Is LOST back on in Jan.? I thought it was Feb.?
    I can’t blame those poor loosers, a 4th grade education is all I came out of the public school system with too! (-:
    But I’m hoping to graduate from high school with my kids with a 12th grade edu-ma-cation this time. (maybe even more!)

  • Ah Lost. I miss you so hard.

    And I am not surprised at the spelling issue with that gal. I get to peek at people’s grocery lists while I’m checking out their junk, and spelling errors abound.

    Moms! Get to the spelling!!

  • I bet the parents who have students in that teacher’s class were oh so proud of the education their children are receiving.

  • Move over on the loser bench as I’m right there with ya. I saw a preview of 24 omg! I now have yet another reason to want the holidays to fly by!!

  • I laughed through this whole thing – never saw the show, but I saw enough tonight as I read your post.

  • You are a kindred spirit… I also am entertained by Mr. Foxworthy. (Just blogged about him last week!) AND I blogged about Marie Osmond–before she sank to the ground. AND I cannot wait for LOST; I’ve also been following the DUI arrests/axed off pattern. AND I was moody to go with my moody ring. AND I am smarter than a 5th grader. Or at least smarter than the people who compete against them.

  • I can’t wait for Lost either! The shows that are on now just don’t compare. We’re like you and don’t have cable so it’s slim pickings.

  • I’m just so excited to see there are other people who don’t have cable!! I thought we were the last family on earth without it!! My 15 year old son is SURE of it!

  • I have watch that show before also and my favorite shows are the same as yours and I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to come back.

  • I also homeschool and when I watch that show, some of the questions stump me, but others like the ones you said, I can’t believe the contestants can’t answer them. I yell at the tv and my husband has to tell me to calm down. Of course I don’t know if I’d do any better if I were up there.

  • I can so relate friend. I’m just ready for LOST to come back on. Then life will feel right again (halfway kidding!)

  • No, no, no…you mustn’t give up on “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” yet! You need to watch one more time — this Thursday’s special two hour episode when my pretend boyfriend Clay Aiken will be playing. And I guarantee he knows how to spell “vowel.” 😉

  • That show scares me. I would hate to prove my ignorance on national tv.
    Yeah…she’s a homeschool mom..waddya expect?

  • I LITERALLY gasped out loud when I read the vowel thing. Sadly, she probably was an elementary school teacher.

    You should never consider yourself a loser for looking forward to Lost. It is like a TV drug. I will start a countdown pretty soon.

    Ok, so maybe I am a loser too.

  • My husband and I like watching Smarter than… every now and then for a good laugh…it is amazing how few adults gets very far. Of course I’m not saying I’d do better…but I do know Martha is was our first first lady and I can spell vowel! 🙂

    Great post!

  • after posting my last comment and then reading it… I had to laugh at my OWN typos! WHAT A LOSER I AM!! 😀

  • It is going to take a homeschooling mom to win the $million$. I didn’t see this episode, but I cm channeling Jeff Foxworthy’s reaction now. How they don’t snort right on stage is beyond me.

  • I had to quit listening to the radio when the station started playing this game for concert tickets in the morning, and every morning (EVERY. MORNING!) the hosts would go through at least 3-5 callers to get five questions correct.

    I thought when I was yelling obsenities at the callers that I should just turn it off and know that I’m smarter than the average adult.

    But I’m not opposed to getting the board game!

  • You are hilarious!! Thank you for the laugh. I think my mood ring was broken too…

  • LOL! Thanks for that hilarious narrative of the show! I needed that laugh. 🙂

  • If you are interested, Samantha Who? on ABC is our “movie date night” show of choice. It is the beginning of the series, and I think that the writing is great.