Learning at Home: How to be a YouTuber

My son is 8, and he wants to be a famous YouTuber like DanTDM. Although I realize this aspiration may be short-lived, I’m open to the possibility. I also know that he probably won’t find this learning in the Ontario Curriculum.

So I decided I’d better figure out how this stuff works so that I can help him understand (and possibly realize) his dream.

I have a YouTube channel already. I post math and computer science videos, mostly, and a few more personal things. I don’t monetize the teaching videos since I direct my students to view them and that would be inappropriate. It was time to start a new channel.

I wanted a channel with a focus, but that was broad enough to allow for lots of content. The kids and I enjoy watching videos of booster box openings (Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon), and I watch more MTG videos. This is something I know a fair bit about, and I can produce content easily (if not always cheaply).

So Grasley Games was born. These aren’t games I’ve designed (that’s coming, though). Instead, “games” is a verb here.

Logo bold

I started by opening a box of Aether Revolt, the newest set of Magic: The Gathering available at the time. I practised for a while first, figuring out camera setup, microphone, lighting, and how to hold the cards effectively. I’ve done some video production work before, but I was still surprised at how challenging this initial planning was.

I also wanted to try some “actual plays”, recordings of playing games. I’ve recorded about 10 games, but only a few have been worth posting. Lots of camera problems with this stuff.

The channel is monetized, which means that some ad revenue accumulates over time. So far there’s $1.86 waiting for me. Another couple of lifetimes and I’ll pay for that box…

Now for the kids

This wasn’t just for me, remember? Both my kids want to participate too. Now that I’ve learned the basics of setting everything up, they’re starting to make videos for me to post. There are three so far on the channel:

What’s next

They keep asking to make more videos (I got enough stuff for them to make 6 videos each on these topics without any additional investment), so that’s pretty cool. I do want them to see how difficult it is to get eyes on your content when you’re in a fairly niche area, and that consistency is really important (they’re counting on me for this).

I’ve also made other spaces on the web for Grasley Games – we’ll see how these platforms pan out:

Grasley Games on WordPress

Grasley Games on Facebook

Grasley Games on Patreon

Grasley Games on Twitter

6 thoughts on “Learning at Home: How to be a YouTuber

  1. So glad that you blogged about this. I saw a tweet from Grasley Games the other day. I wondered about this, and now I understand. What a great way to also show the value of learning at home and how passions can be persued anywhere. I wonder what interests other parents have focused on with their children at home.


  2. When I first heard this story, I thought about how dedicated you are to supporting your kids’ interests. I imagine a world where every child has an adult who takes time to support them in their interests and passions by helping them see their ideas and dreams move forward.

    Recently I read that every child in our school system needs a digital coach to help them learn the 8 categories of digital life skills they need now in this world today. I also heard Dean Shareski in August 2016 talk about how we are going back to the idea of personal tutors for some of the things we need to do with kids.

    You have sparked an interest in thinking about how we can best use this kind of model in schools. I’m not sure where this thinking is going, but it’s “going” because of your post.

    Thanks for playing and sharing!

    • There are a couple of kids in my school who I know have channels, so now they have someone they know they can talk to about it. It’s been more valuable than I thought!

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