'Did you know that?': Sask. 7-year-old's curiosity leads to educational YouTube channel
Jack Larson recently finished Season 1 of his YouTube series and has plans for more
This is a feature in the Good News Saskatchewan series. You can see all the stories at cbc.ca/lovesk.
Jack Larson had mixed feelings about being locked in quarantine. He couldn't see his friends, but he could spend more time with his family.
His parents say "Did you know that…" became a common phrase from Jack as he started distance learning from school and looking up facts on his own.
The seven-year-old and his dad, Sheldon Larson, decided to share some of those facts with others. Jack created Facts with Jack, a YouTube series that has now finished Season 1.
Jack said he wanted to "help other people learn."
He makes videos about different topics he's interested in. Topics include the pandemic, stress, mindfulness and meditation.
"I don't get stressed a lot usually," he said. "But I think it's good for other people who can use it."
Jack said that before recording a video, he gathers up all the facts he wants to share and rephrases them simply, focusing on the key elements.
Then he records and his dad helps with the post-production.
"He cuts some things out and moves some things around. He might add some special effects," Jack said.
"We work together and sometimes Jack will pick out what music he wants to go with it or sound effects," Sheldon added.
The family then uploads the videos to YouTube. Comments are turned off so strangers can't send him messages or post on his videos, Jack said, but he sees comments when it's shared on Facebook.
"People have positive comments," Larson said. "I feel happy and sometimes they even tell me 'I learned something new,' which makes me feel even more happy."
Sheldon said Jack continually comes up with ideas and stories and is very self-motivated when it comes to the series.
"He'd come to us and said, 'Mom or dad, did you know that?' And he'll tell us some random fact that I've never heard before in my life, and I'm constantly learning from him," Sheldon said.
Jack's mother, Sarah Larson. said one that stays with her is that white chocolate isn't real chocolate.
The YouTube channel helps the eight-year-old build self-confidence, Sarah said.
"It's just been a bonus that other people are really enjoying it and learning something, adults even telling them that they've learned something," Sarah said. "It's awesome seeing him so proud of himself and enjoying it so much."
The viewership is small but spread out, with views coming from Saskatchewan, Ontario and even France.
Jack said he has two episodes planned out for Season 2 and may start doing more recordings next month.
"Coelacanths and sharks. They're kind of related because they're both from prehistoric times."
Jack has advice for any other kids wanting to do their own videos.
"Just pretend that it doesn't matter who you're talking to," Larson said. "Pretend that you're talking to your mom or dad."