Thirteen year old Josiah Washington won his round on TV game show “Jeopardy:”Kids Week” and took home a little more than $22,000. Because the show was pretaped, he could not announce his win until last week, because he said, “If you tell anybody, you lose the money pretty much.”
Now that he is able to celebrate and share his experience, he joined us for our “5 Questions” weekly feature.
Ashley Byrd: “How did you and your mom prepare for Jeopardy, Josiah?
Josiah Washington: “Well, I just read a lot of fact books. She made me study the presidents, the countries of the world. A lot of current events, like things I should know to be on Jeopardy.”
Ashley: “How does a parent prepare a child for Jeopardy?” I heard you are a regular at the library.
Josiah: “You can’t really prepare for Jeopardy.” (laughs)
Renee Washington: “It is kind of hard. It was a small window I guess you could say. He took the test October 30. We got the email about two weeks later saying congratulations. You get five cities, so we selected Cincinnati and Ohio because it was either that or New York and Ohio was closest for us. You go there for a live audition and then after you go there and you make it then to California in February. Let’s just say from November 1 through February, that’s your window of everything happening. So it’s almost you have to really know, but he was able to study more of his pop culture and current events. But at the Richland Library, he and I would go there at least twice a week and we had so many fact books, almanacs, encyclopedias. Anything you could think of we were using to study. Going online, readying and watching news every morning, all the morning shows because you don’t know what they’re going to throw at you. So he and I would just walk around the block with note cards naming current events. You just don’t know so we did a little bit of everything.”
Josiah: “Well my mom took me to the library when I was just about born pretty much, and she took me for story time all the time. When I turned 10 I started volunteering, and I love volunteering. It’s really fun. I put books back on the shelves. Organize the carts with books that can be put back on the shelves. Tidy up the children’s room nice and neat.”
Ashley: Renee, why did you choose to homeschool Josiah?
Renee: In the beginning, he attended a church preschool and did so well in kindergarten that we didn’t know what we were going to do for first grade. People were telling us that maybe he should skip first grade, but we wanted him to be with his peers. Though he was advanced, we wanted him to be with his peers, enjoy learning and being a kid. There are a lot of Montessori schools in Columbia and my husband Phillip did a lot of research. We were told about the Montessori School of Columbia … and he loved it there and went there from first to sixth grade.
Then we were worried about what to do for middle school. There are a lot of good public middle schools and private middle schools in Columbia but there aren’t any Montessori middle schools. After a lot of praying, my husband and I talked about it and I was scared, he was scared and we were all nervous, but I like the Montessori method of learning. Seventh grade was our first year and we are going to do it again this year. High school, we’ll see what happens.
He has the freedom to dwell on a subject, we can do more research. We can move on at his pace, and in two or three hours we are really done. Then there are field trips: the BMW plant, historical walks, anything we are studying, we can just go. We download items, get DVD’s, meet with kids with similar interests, so it is always a learning environment for him, with lots of options.
Ashley: Josiah, on Jeopardy, was there a segment where you were unsure of your answer?
Josiah: It felt like I was nervous and I wagered a lot of money and I was like ,”I hope I don’t lose all this money.” My mom told me not to do a Cliff Claven move; I was so nervous.
I was worrying how much I had to wager because she (his opponent) had more money than me…the only way I could have won is if she got it wrong or didn’t wager enough. So I put a random number down, one that sounded good to me. I don’t know why.
Ashley:You want to own a roller coaster company, so what feature would you design that does not exist, for your roller coasters?