Listen and Learn
Podcast Highlights and Reviews
Podcasts are enjoying ever-increasing popularity, and listeners can find shows on any topics their hearts desire. As a mother, I’ve found podcasts to be a saving grace in offering some conversation and community during the mundane and menial tasks of life at home. They can be entertaining, informative, challenging, encouraging and so fun!
Last summer I was introduced to my first podcast and, since then, have become a huge fan! Before I began listening, I had no idea what a podcast even was. It sounded too techie to me for some reason, which made me feel old. But ironically, podcasts are like a new way to listen to a radio show, just as folks would gather around the family radio back in the day. In our instant gratification culture these days, podcast episodes are like Netflix for your ears.
After our third move and transition to our new life in our fourth state, podcasts are saving my life right now. I have a lot of time alone with my kids—which can make me feel lonely without ever being alone. With a traveling husband and a child that still naps (thankfully!), I find podcasts are a way for me to feel like a part of some quality conversation with some friends while I get housework and meal prep done. I find myself more productive when washing dishes and doing laundry—tasks I look forward to as long as I can listen to a podcast as well!
To start listening, either head to the podcast website on your computer or simply use an app on your smart phone. Various podcast platforms and apps are available, such as the Podcast App and Overcast, but I primarily use the purple Apple Podcast app already installed on my iPhone. Android users recently had the Google Podcast app made available to them. Next, search for a specific podcast show or a topic you're interested in; your app of choice will then list all podcasts relating to that topic. I’m seriously amazed how many topics are being covered, from marriage, parenthood and minimalism to crocheting, gardening and pets. Then click on the show and click play! If you find one or a few you love, you even can subscribe to them, which will have all-new episodes on your phone ready to go when they are available. Either listen with your device's speaker or plug in your headphones.
Due to the overabundance of podcasts from which to choose, I am just going to mention a few under a few categories and review the ones I’m most familiar with. We will start with some local podcasts, including The Kansas City Podcast; Kansas City Royals Podcast and Speak Easy: A Visit KC Podcast.
You’ll find plenty of parenthood/motherhood podcasts to choose from, including Parenting on Purpose, Parenting Beyond Discipline, Love and Logic, Respectful Parenting: Janet Lansbury Unruffled, Have a New Kid by Friday Podcast with Dr. Kevin Leman, Mom Struggling Well with Emily Thomas, Coffee and Crumbs and the Read Aloud Revival with Sarah Mackenzie.
Parenthood tends to run into many of the faith centered podcasts I’ve come across too. I have friends that rave about the God Centered Mom Podcast, and I have been a longtime fan of For the Love with Jen Hatmaker and The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. These are two of my must-listen podcasts that I anticipate every week.
If you’re interested in health and fitness, try listening to Well-Fed Women or Another Mother Runner the Podcast, although I think I prefer their books—so maybe check those out in conjunction with the podcasts. You also can use podcasts to obtain your daily news. All the major networks have a news podcast. NPR offers several podcasts to choose from, including Up First that gives you the news you need to start your day in 10 minutes while you’re getting ready in the morning.
Some other categories and shows to consider would be The Dave Ramsey Show, discussing real life and money; The Simple Show, The Minimalists and The Purpose Show that advise and discuss minimalism and simple living; Marriage More, Marriage Is Funny and Focus on the Family Marriage Podcast to focus on your marriage.
As for pure entertainment, check out The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, Sorta Awesome, Stuff You Missed in History Class, The History Chicks, By the Book and one of my other top three favorites, What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel. I am a reader and aspire to read more each year. This podcast has helped me create a long list of books on my to-be-read (TBR) list. Firstly, I find Anne's voice soothing as she chats with her guests about their reading life, their three favorite books, as well as a book they didn't like and why. Anne then gives her guests three suggestions for books they should read next.
As we shuttle kids to and fro during this school year or head off on some holiday road trips, podcasts can be a great addition to your arsenal of tricks to make the trip go by more quickly. Laura Loeffert, Overland Park mother of three, says, “Our two favorites are NPR Wow in the World and Disney Story Central. We love these because they vary in lengths so we can choose a podcast based on how far we are driving. Wow in the World is fun because I learn something new and it creates a great discussion with the girls.” An abundance of choices are available depending on ages, length of time and type. Here are a few noteworthy family podcasts to look into for your future hours in the car.
- Eleanor Amplified
- Stories Podcast
- Stories Alive
- The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd
- Stuff You Should Know
- Brains On
- The Cramazingly Incredifun Sugarcrash Kids Podcast
- The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian
- But Why?
- Dream Big Podcast
- The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
Stephanie Loux is the mother of Layla, 8, Mason, 6, and Slade, 3, and enjoys listening to her favorite podcasts each week. You can read more at LettersFromTheLouxes.com.