When my 11 year old asked if she could launch a YouTube channel a few years ago, my immediate response, was absolutely not. She, along with her siblings had replaced their TV time with YouTube time. My son was into video game reviews and, and the girls into baking and DIY videos.
However, the idea of my kids on YouTube was terrifying.
After doing a little research, I became more open to it a few months down the line, and a year later, YouTube became a big part of our homeschool.
YouTube Best Practices
Keeping kids safe online has to be everyone’s top priority. Not just parents. I’ve seen kids as young as two, handle their own devices. YouTube can be a great learning tool, but parent involvement is key.
Here are some things we should remember as we allow our kids to spend time on YouTube, whether it be as creators or consumers.
- The parent or guardian should have full access to account (username/password).
- Child should NOT have access to the password.
- Ensure privacy settings are set on the ‘history and privacy tab’. Hide liked videos, playlists and subscriptions from other users.
- If your child is a content creator, decide if you will allow comments, and take the time to monitor and aproove comments yourself. This can be done from the Dashboard Tab. Dashboard –> Community –> Community Settings. You can also review chat requests here.
- Block incoming links on comments, from the community settings tab (see above).
- Whether your child is a content creator or simply a consumer, discuss proper rules of internet safety. Beth at Techie Homeschool Mom has some great suggestions here.
- Create approved playlists.
- Whenever possible, make sure your child uses his/her device only when an adult is present.
2 Ways We Use YouTube, and You Can Too
Though my kids started off as consumers, they all eventually became creators. Creating content became a part of their lives, taught them responsibility and skills I hadn’t considered at some of their young ages.
Advantages of YouTube for Video Creators
Once we agreed of YouTube best practices, and I developed a lesson plan, and my then 12 year old set up a channel where she posted videos regularly. Here are some of the things she, and her siblings learned:
- brainstorming video ideas
- developing a storyboard & scripwriting
- proper lighting techniques
- video & audio editing
- voice overs
- how to create a green sceen
- camera techniques
- ways to monetize their channels
- what to share and what not to share
- online safety & etiquette
Most importantly, they learned the importance of content creation vs consumption.
Advantages of YouTube for Video Consumers
YouTube is a consumer paradise. There are countless videos, on just about everything.
Last year, my husband changed our water heater after watching a few tutorials. A friend’s daughter quickly learned how to change a tire on the side of the freeway after watching a couple of videos on her phone. We’ve learned the basics of piano, guitar and drums on YouTube.
The possibilities are endless.
My best tip to successfully use YouTube in your homeschool, is to use playlists. I create playlists as I plan my year, and simply add a link to the my Trello board.
Playlists are totally customizable and limitless, so you can create one per week, per term, per semester, subject or period in history. You get the idea.