January 14, 2017
The purpose of this article is to reflect upon a project which my daughter and I have been working on for the last few months. It’s a YouTube channel called MyHappyStuff. Perhaps our YouTube project can provide some inspiration to others. For us, it has led to more learning experiences than originally anticipated.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
~ Benjamin Franklin
MyHappyStuff began with a conversation about how YouTube videos were made. This prompted my daughter and I to give it a try ourselves. We started making videos of her dolls, simple stop motion videos, and then videos of our own home education projects and material. We picked the name “MyHappyStuff” because it matched the name of a website my daughter made using Weebly website builder. The initial goal of MyHappyStuff was to test the waters and see if we could come up with a decent YouTube channel. Here we are a few months later and MyHappyStuff is still going strong.
The following are some new skills my daughter is learning and topics we’ve studied since beginning our YouTube journey:
Presentation Skills: Oral presentation skills are improving as she has to organize her thoughts before presenting. She gets immediate feedback after recording a video and can judge for herself if it’s acceptable and whether to start over.
Video Production Skills: I show her how to use video editing software, try different features, add music, and be creative with production. It’s exciting to watch her creative juices flow and experience her unique perspective.
Legal Matters: She was frustrated at not being able to use her favorite music in videos uploaded to YouTube so we looked into copyright law, creative commons licenses, and weighing the risks and possible outcomes of using copyrighted material without permission.
Business, Money & Financial Skills: We monetize the YouTube videos. We learn how Google Adsense works, how people pay for ads, and how we can earn a portion of that money if people access the advertisements Google puts in the videos we upload. It’s fun seeing her excited to check her views and the ad revenue even though it only changes by a few cents here and there.
Statistical Skills: We use Google analytics to see which videos receive the most views and what demographic is watching them. Then we try to contemplate why this might be and plan what should be created next.
Project Management and Marketing Skills: She’s learning that not much gets done unless we create goals combined with a plan of action and a specific time frame to carry them out. She’s learning to focus on creating value and finding out what people want. We’ve designed and printed business cards (below) and stickers with QR codes advertising the YouTube channel. She hands these to people or we leave them behind in restaurants and hotels.
Follow Through: It’s still a bit taxing for my daughter to sit through complete video editing sessions so we’re taking it step by step. For now, I do most of editing with her input and she learns the editing software as we progress.
Energy Mismatch: Our energy levels don’t always mix so well. We then have to put new YouTube creations on hold until we can recharge our positive energy batteries.
Dad Needs a Chill Pill: I push too hard at times and need to back off, take a breather, and chill out. I am learning to to prioritize her positive, learning journey over my desire to have things done exactly how I had envisioned them.
Time Management: It’s quite time consuming for both of us to continue creating, editing, and uploading new content especially when there are other current projects that need attention. It is helpful that these other projects often provide new content for future YouTube videos.
“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”
~ Charles R. Swindoll
~ Charles R. Swindoll
All in all, it has been quite enjoyable letting the YouTube project take on a life of its own and branch into so many different content areas with new learning possibilities. As long as our interest remains strong, we’ll keep charging ahead as there is much to be learned. I’m sure my daughter would enjoy it if you all checked out MyHappyStuff on YouTube. Either way, I’m her dad and I enjoy promoting her creations :o)
In motion to improve, achieve, and create value.