Growing up I looked forward to the beginning of the school year for two reasons: a new backpack and a new planner. Today, I create my own planners that are specific to my lifestyle, but I enjoy picking up others to get ideas from. For that reasons, I was excited to receive a new school planner, the Teen to Teen Academic Planner 2019-2020 (with the charcoal graph hardcover), from a Christian publisher (B&H) with the expectations of something unique in a generally secular market.
The layout is pretty straightforward beginning with a series of tools in the front matter that include the following:
- Basic Information: A place to record personal details such as address, phone, medical information, etc. and a limited address book to maintain friends’ information.
- Dates to Remember: Two pages marked off by month to record important dates.
- This Year’s Goals: Two pages also laid out by month to record monthly goals for each month.
- Weekly Schedule: One page to record class/activity times, teachers, locations, and times
- Semester Planner: One page divided into two parts (fall and spring) to record the student’s semester schedule.
The rest of the planner is reserved for monthly and weekly to-do’s. Each section begins with the month laid out across two pagers by date to insert appointments and important dates. Included in each month is a small section for notes and a Bible verse. The following pages are where the student maintains their weekly to-do list. The week is spread across two pages with check boxes to layout assignments each day. Additionally, editors have included a section for notes, a place to record things to be thankful for, and a small checkbox to layout one’s top three goals/tasks for the week. A unique aspect here is that students are presented with a quote from another student that is meant to motivate, encourage, and inspire.
The planner is typical of most planners made for students and therefore is adequate for the task at hand. It’s simplistic style makes it easy for students to organize and use. The quotes from fellow students across the country is something different that a studious person would likely appreciate.
Personally, there are several aspects that I find disappointing. In terms of layout, it seems they could have done more with the amount of space being taken up by this planner. Planners could have taken the dates to remember pages and gotten rid of them since students could simply record those on the given month. Furthermore, the semester schedule is limiting for students whose school system may be unique (such as in trimesters). This particular notebook comes in a B5 size, which is OK, but a better choice that is more functional would have been the A5 size (portability alone makes this more functional).
My biggest issue is that the creators missed an opportunity to create something distinctly Christian. While verses are included on the months (for a total of 12 verses total), they could have used this as an opportunity to spur Christian growth they could have done this with any of the following ways:
- Including a Bible reading plan and/ideas or recommended devotions.
- Notes of Christian growth specifically applicable to a student and teen.
- A section for prayer requests (and ways to mark them answered).
- A challenge towards evangelism or a list to record people the student wants to see commit their life to Christ within the school year.
These are basic ideas and certainly more could considered. The point is this: the planner is an opportunity to incline youth towards successful student behavior for God’s glory and stimulate Christian growth. Unfortunately, the creators and publisher missed that opportunity.
As a result, the planner is similar to many others that are on the market. Therefore, my recommendation would be for parents and students to look for a planner that best fits their needs. If there was something to make this distinctly Christian, perhaps in future editions, then it would differentiate itself from all other planners and be worthwhile for Christian students.
To learn more about this book or purchase a copy, click here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with this book and is the result of my own reading of it.