Our family enjoys Jeopardy. We watch the TV show some nights, but it is pretty hit-and-miss. Then, we found J! Archive. J! Archive is a site that has the answers and questions for every episode of the show. Considering it’s been on the air for 35 years, it’s an amazing number of clues to read.
Seth reads answers from J! Archive at the dinner table, and we guess the question. (Yes, we do respond in the form of a question.) Often he will let everyone have a try if the correct question has not been given yet. He mainly reads the clues he thinks the kids might know. We enjoy the science, Bible, and history categories the most, but we are often surprised by the pieces of information of children know.
If you haven’t tried J! Archive, I think you might really enjoy it, but it is also humbling. Many times, our children amaze us at what they know. Between their CC memory work and all the books they read, some answers have really amazed us.
Here are two stories that stand out to us:
When playing J! Archive, Seth read a question that he was almost sure no one would know. He and I certainly didn’t know it. The answer talked about someone who formerly lived in Philadelphia and wrote Coming of Age in Somoa. Seth barely finished reading when Ruthie’s hand shot up in the air. Decisively, she answered, “Who is Margaret Mead?” We both stared at her in disbelief and asked how in the world she knew this. Her answer, “I read it in a Value Tale.” Apparently, I need to increase my reading to keep up with her.
Just recently, on the TV show, an entire category was devoted to Norman Rockwell’s magazine covers. One painting shown was entitled “Christmas Homecoming“. The clue talked about how this cover depicted Rockwell’s sons as well as “this famous American painter” with an old, frail woman circled. While none of the contestants (or any of us) knew the answer, Elijah declares, “Who is Grandma Moses?” Seth looks at him, puzzled, and Elijah says, “Well, we learned about her last time through Cycle 3, and she lived to be 101 years old.”
We really have fun with the J! Archive site and with watching Jeopardy as well.
A few notes on J! Archive:
- If the contestants did not get to an answer in a category, you can’t read it.
- We learn a lot about history from reading the older answers. Often, I’ll ask Seth how old a particular game is that we are playing. If the game is from the 1980’s, Eastern Europe looks very different from today.
- Our family at least is not any good at “pop culture” type categories. If you aren’t either, you’ll want to skip them. If you are good at “pop culture” from a 30 year old game, that’s amazing, but we really don’t have that skill set.
- For Final Jeopardy, we let the kids make a wager. For instance, one child might “wager” a punch in the arm. If they get Final Jeopardy correct, they can punch Daddy in the arm. Otherwise, Daddy does the punching. The kids get a kick out of this, and we laugh at some of the silly things they “wager”. Hugs and Kisses are really a win-win pick.
Jeopardy can be humbling when quizzing with our children, but we all enjoy the competition and learning while at the dinner table. Have you tried J! Archive?
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