What’s In My Schoolbag 2020 | How I Stay Organised

Hello!

Welcome back to the blog. I don’t think I have shared on here (but if I have you may have forgotten) the new upload schedule: Tuesday and Friday! That’s two posts a week over here on the blog and two posts every week on Instagram too (also Tuesday and Friday).

Anyway, you probably just want me to hop straight into the post: What’s In My Schoolbag 2020. Typically these posts come out in early September, but I was on my mini hiatus. I still wanted to spill the ins and outs of my bag, and how I stay organised with my school work. I hope you enjoy!

Le Sac

Most importantly, we have the bag itself. This one was on sale from Cath Kidston a couple of years ago and I have used it ever since. It has a handy laptop compartment and, although I don’t take a laptop to school, it is useful for keeping papers and books straight, neat and not crumpled!

In the main compartment we have:

My Academic Planner

I bought this planner from Ink Outside The Box a few weeks ago – admittedly not at the start of the academic year. They were on sale for much cheaper than the original price, with profits going to charity, because during production some of them went kinda wrong! The main planner is still completely functional however the monthly dividers weren’t in the correct order (I quickly rearranged them though). So yes, ta-daa!!!

A Book

You never see me without a book, and I take one to school with me every day. Currently I’m reading The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. I’ll report back once I’ve finished and post my full review to Goodreads! (my username is @cathjaneblog so please don’t hesitate to add me as a friend 😉

My Pencil Case

This one is bigger than last year’s, however it fits my calculator which is really handy. Having the extra space means I can put sticky notes in there too (a student’s dream) and, of course, some snazzy highlighters. I have got into the habit of emptying it out every weekend, sharpening all of the pencils, throwing away the random loose bits of paper – we all collect them – and making it fresh for the following week. It’s a lovely little ritual and motivates me to spend more time studying. Definitely the best part of my school bag!

Bag of Random Things

I also have little drawstring bag that is home to the loose articles I take to school ‘just in case’. That’s a tin of Vaseline, spare mask, extra hand sanitiser, and a little packet of tissues!

Other Stuff…

The front pocket of my bag is home to a pair of socks with non-slip soles for drama. On cold occasions (aka Autumn-Spring) I put my gloves in there too. I don’t keep anything else in the front pocket despite there being space.

A blazer is one of God’s gifts. In there I can put my purse, hand sanitiser, face mask, the planner school provided, phone, bus pass… It’s a fantastic organisation method XD

Sorry if this post is generic and boring, but I’m very happy you stuck until the end!

If you were a school teacher, what subject would you like to specialise in?

Leave your answers to this question below, I can’t wait to read and respond to them! I’m almost certain I’d teach English. Although Geography is by far my favourite subject ❤ 

Thank you for reading,

Catherine x

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

5 Ways To Stay On Top Of Homework + Revision | Collab With Emma Blether

Hello everybody! Welcome again to my back to school series. I am very excited today to bring a collab with one of my most admired bloggers: Rachel. Rachel is a creator based in Scotland, who produces YouTube, blog and Instagram content under her alias ‘Emma Blether’. We have previously worked to each other on a few posts, which I will link here. More recently I became the first official customer of her new online business: Emma Blether Prints. I’ll link all of her social medias at the end of the post (so keep reading!)

Today’s collaboration is on a study based topic! I absolutely love sharing tips on how to be more productive. I’ll be sharing how I stay on top of homework, studying and revision. Rachel, on the other hand, will be sharing How To Stay On Top Of Revision. I will link that post here to you can head over and read it!

School is approaching, and may have resumed for you. After 6 long months of online school, it’s definitely a shock to the system to have face to face teaching and… homework. The devil’s word. But homework is a necessary tool to help you improve with your subjects! This post applies to revision too, although revision is definitely organised by the pupil more so than the teacher. Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we? 

Start As Soon As It Is Set

As soon as someone sets you a task, get started on it. No, I don’t mean get it all done in one night. If it’s a smaller task, of course go for it. However with bigger tasks and projects the largest obstacle is getting started! As soon as you can, get started. I usually do this by…

Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning! Rather than ‘go with the flow’ I like to outline the key points of discussion before heading into a task (I do this for blog posts too). You might be asked to carry out research on… Piet Mondrian – he was the first person that came to my head. Write out the questions you would like to answer in your research, then get started! But DON’T just simplify a Wikipedia document. Write down a few key points or mini to-do lists you would like to complete in your homework.

I have a sense that last paragraph made no sense. Sorry for confusing you! 

Sticky Notes

I might have rugby club directly after school, which interferes with my ability to get started right away. So in my planner, next to where I’ve written down the homework criteria, I will place a sticky note with my initial ideas. This is especially useful for creative subjects that require brainstorming! Or even with sciences, jot down what textbook you think might be useful to complete the homework.

A Planner/Schedule

Writing down your commitments (clubs, lessons, homework etc) in a timetable is a severely overlooked way to manage time! If you had five tasks set on Wednesday, but your Wednesday evening was packed full of work, write down (on your schedule) an allotted time to complete the homework/revision. Is Thursday night free? Do it on Thursday!

Don’t Pile It All On At Once

Procrastination is not ideal. Neither is expecting yourself to complete millions of tasks at a million miles an hour. Use the schedule, as mentioned above, to spread out your work. A spot of revision every day is better than one huge day packed full at the end of the week. Small, but often! That’s my approach with homework. Always make time for family, friends and pursuing your passions. School is really important, but your whole world shouldn’t centre around it. Take breaks.

These pens are completely plastic free, and the ink is soy based (non toxic) so perfect if you’re wanting to make an extra effort this school year for the planet

Many thanks to Rachel for allowing me the chance to collaborate once again! Writing study centred content is actually so enjoyable for me. On top of that, I have a few ideas planned out! Stay tuned for more study content in my back to school series. If you do really like it, I might do it beyond September! Let me know what you think.

I’ll link Rachel’s part of the collab here, along with her Instagram, YouTube and business. 

What is your advice for staying on top of homework? Which one of these tips did you find most useful?

Have a great weekend,

catherine x

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10 Ways To Prepare For Back To School 2020 | Refresh, Revive and Rethink

The new school year. A fresh start. The final few months of the last academic year fell to pieces, so having this new chance is very exciting! Although it will be scary, re-entering school after 6 months away from it, I am remaining positive. These are 10 simple things you should do before heading into the new school year to help you feel refreshed and ready. Some are more simple than others! Even if you’re not going into education this September/Autumn time, it’s always worth detoxing before a new month begins. Hope you enjoy!

1. Clear out your camera roll

I would like to say I stay on top of this, but I honestly don’t. There is so much random stuff that builds up in my camera roll, both on my iPad and phone. Sorting through this and filing it into albums takes a lot of time but seeing it cluttered stresses me out even more. Put on some tunes and set to it. You’ll feel much better afterwards.

2. Set up your bullet journal/planner for September

Setting up a new month in your planner is such a theraputic process. Translating all the random sticky notes into one place lifts a weight off your shoulders. When it’s just a month I am planning, I can go into detail which is very helpful. I highly recommend this, especially if you are starting back in September!

3. Write in all the events and tasks in your annual calendar 

I don’t know about you, but there are some things going on in months to come that I need to jot down (because by the time that month has arrived, I will have forgotten). I have a calendar up on my wall that I like to add all of my events too. It’s similar to what you might do at the start of January! An academic year is a new year too – remember?

4. Plan meal ideas

Quite a lot of us take packed lunches or some sort of transportable meal to work. To avoid last minute ‘unhealthy’ choices, write down a few ideas of things to put in your lunch box. Eg. hummus and salad wrap, vegetarian chilli, leftover pie from the previous night. This saves time and energy when it comes to making your lunch in the morning/night before!

5. Get in touch with friends

I hope you’ve been doing this already! Text your friends, maybe go deeper and ask them how they feel about the new academic year. Most of my friends are anxious, so I do my best to reassure them that everything will be okay. Just check in with them, and maybe help each other out with revision.

6. Make sure your schoolbag is ready

I love doing this! Sharpening pencils, washing out last years pencil case, cleaning my bag. Maybe putting in new organisation systems for the new year! For example, last year I bundled all subjects into one big folder, but this year I will separate them. Find out what works for you.

7. Revise last year’s material

This doesn’t have to be an intimidating thing to complete. I didn’t take my books home this year, because we had to leave because of coronavirus (unannounced!!!). However, I’m going to a new school so I doubt my old things will be that useful. Still, I’ve been revising French and a bit of maths. If you have your books, read through them. To take it a step further, answer questions related to the subjects your struggle with (for me that’s index notation).

8. Sort out your damn sleep schedule

You admit your sleep schedule has been a bit haywire in lockdown! So get it sorted. Two weeks before starting back is ideal, but I’ve not done that. A week before school begins is slightly more reasonable! Wake up at the time you would need to for work.

9. Make your workspace an ideal place to study

Some of you have online school, meaning this is crucial. I would highly recommend watching Ruby Granger’s video on how to make the perfect workspace (linked here). I will be making a variation of this video in a blog format soon, I hope! I’m returning to school full time in September, but I’ll still have masses of homework to complete on my desk at home. That’s why I set mine up with a cute vision board beside it – full of my goals and aspirations. That helps me stay on track with my studying, so then I have in mind what I’m working for.

This desk drawer needs some attention!

10. Do nothing 

It sounds counter-productive, but doing nothing is the best way to refresh and recharge. After a few days of doing nothing (whatever nothing means to you) you’ll become so bored that you can’t wait to hurtle into tasks again. I also find my best creative ideas come while I am on a break!

I hope, through completing this mini checklist, you feel ready to conquer the next academic year! Let’s try our hardest, fall on our backsides, then pick each other up again and keep going. This year is so different to anything I’ve experienced before. But different doesn’t mean bad. Through lockdown I feel that I have changed a lot, for the better (I hope). And no doubt this coming year will see a lot of personal growth too. I am so excited for you, and us!

What are your goals for September/the coming school year?

Sending you all the best,

catherine x

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