I make my kids listen to 4 podcasts a month as their cell phone "payment". It's simple, $35 or 4 podcasts? They choose podcasts every time.
Here's the trick: I get to choose which podcasts. Some are long, some are short, some are light, some are heavy.
You'll notice they often come from the same shows - I love most things from NPR, lots of Oprah Super Soul, loads of TED talks.
The rule for cell phones in our house is 8th grade / 14 Years Old. That means as I started assigning podcasts to my two teenagers that they were at least 14 years old. Some of these topics might seem to be above their "pay grade" but I'm OK with that. I'll let them reach a little on some of it.
We talk about the episodes. Sometimes I require notes (sometimes I don't).
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PARENTS: This means you should listen to these podcasts too!
My general hope is that I'll raise kids who think deeply, who are curious, who can ask questions, who can be interested in a variety of people and perspectives. I hope it will shape the way they think about the world and the people in it. I hope it will impact what they study in college, maybe even the professions they choose.
This list isn't perfect. It doesn't represent all the world has to offer - but I'm working on it. I've included as much as I could find in our text history. I usually share episodes with my kids via text right out of my Apple podcast app.
I'll keep adding podcast episodes as I find and assign new gems. I'm always looking so feel free to leave a link or suggestions in the comments.