After a week of studying A Level, my weekend is also wonderful and relaxing. I usually have IELTS lessons, climb mountains, and write articles on my website.
I go back home at 14:30 every Friday afternoon, followed by an IELTS Speaking video-call practise session in the evening. I have IELTS lessons on Saturday, and climb a mountain with my family on Sunday.
I have special arrangements in the morning and evening when I can check for emails, reply to comments, and use social media.
Today, I am going to share my study and life routine at weekends as an A Level student. Follow me!
Go Back Home by School Bus
The school ends at 14:30. We take our luggage and take the school bus to go back home at the school's main gate.
We need to scan our face to enter the school bus, like entering our school’s apartment.
The school bus departs at 15:20. It has a direct line to the traffic centre to the residential area I live in - Phoenix City, Guangzhou.
I usually watch vlogs by (I)GCSE, A Level and university students or, alternatively, listen to English audio on the school bus. This satisfies one or two of my daily goals.
My luggage has an AirTag, a type of items locator and tracker, so I can use the Precision Finding feature to find my luggage after arrival.
My parents pick me up after arriving at the traffic centre. Then, our family usually buy some hand-made mouthwatering and nutritional beverages at a workshop there.
Complete my Routine
Once I arrive at my home, I can directly see the welcome words "Welcome to Ken's Study Journey!" at the door of my bedroom.
I complete my arriving-at-home routine on my Study Planner app and initialise my bedroom.
I take out the things from my luggage and bag, putting them at the storage area beside my desk.
Then, I charge my electronic devices in the Charging Area. I charge my iPhone and Apple Watch using MagSafe, AirPods using wireless charging, and MacBook and power bank with cables aside.
I turn on my home PC (Mac mini) and my programmed smart clocks, update OS and apps on phones and computers.
The maximum download speed at my home WiFi is 37.5 MB/s (almost reaches the speed of 5G network) from the ISP's giveaway. The maximum record of my server's download speed at home is 15 MB/s.
And then, I water the flowers in the balcony and turn on the electronic fake candles on my desk and fairy lights around the bedroom.
One last thing is to arrange the tasks list in this weekend. I have also added a perfume on my desk recently, immersing myself into the studying vibe.
My home, especially my bedroom, has many high-tech applications, including the smart clock, MagSafe and wireless charging devices, automated flower watering and irrigation system, automated vacuum cleaning robot, perfumes, mosquito repellent lights, and so on.
IELTS Speaking Practise Lesson
Then there is a video-call IELTS Speaking practise lesson.
This is similar to the IELTS video-call speaking test. The practise lasts about 30 to 60 minutes. It also has a feedback after practising.
At our school, there is another way to practise English speaking which is the English Corner in the evening.
Evening Relax Time
I have a special relax time in the morning (06:45) and the evening (21:45) since I feel energetic in the middle of the day.
I can open emails, read other's blog articles, watch vlogs, and use social media in the 15 to 45 minutes after getting up and 45 to 15 minutes before sleeping.
These are my favourite channels:
In the last 15 minutes (22:15), I start my wind down process, arranging tomorrow's Tasks List, dimming the bedroom light, filling in my Daily Goals Checklist on my Study Planner, packing up my bag for tomorrow with the Items Checklist, and completing my Evening Routine.
The clock also reminds me when there are 60, 45, 30, 15, and 0 minutes left until the sleeping time.
At the sleeping time (22:30), I turn off the candles, fairy lights and desk clock screens. Since I have built a smart clock, I can use my Apple Watch to turn off its screens with its Shortcuts app using API, local WiFi network and PHP programming language.
Get Up and Morning Routine
At weekends, I get up at 06:30 and then complete my Morning Routine, turning on the clock screens, candles and fairy lights, opening curtains and windows, watering flowers, wearing clothes, brushing teeth and washing face.
The desk clock displays a welcome word at the start of the day. I always breath in the fresh air to boost my energy for the day, along with the perfume too!
Then is the 30-minute relax time and, again, I can watch vlogs, use social media, and do something else. I must complete my morning routine before I do the remaining tasks.
Then is the breakfast time. Mostly, I cook breakfast by myself, including bacon, fried eggs, and milk with the grain.
Before going to my IELTS school at 08:30, I remember English words using Quizlet and wait for my family.
IELTS Writing/Speaking Lesson
At approximately 08:30, I go to the Guangzhou downtown to have an IELTS Writing or Speaking lesson.
I go there by car with our family, in which I listen to English audio like Podcasts and TED talks.
The IELTS school is at Victory Plaza high-rise, at the opposite building of which is directly an IELTS test venue.
It is close to an underground station, Tiyu Xilu (1|14) (3|11), as well as Guangzhou BRT (Bus Rapid Transit).
Guangzhou has a well-designed and developed transportation system. It contains many underground lines and the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) as well as trams in Huangpu and Haizhu District.
Since there is a new underground Line 13 in the last few years, I can go back home much faster.
I arrive there at 09:45 to 10:00. I need the school card to enter the building and have the lesson. There is an electronic school card for the IELTS school on my phone with a QR code.
As well as the school card, we are also required to show our green health codes (Yuekang/Suikang Code) to enter the building. This is also required to enter other public places and transportations.
The lesson starts at 10:30 and ends at 12:30.
After lesson, I go to a restaurant near the building to have lunch.
Go Back Home
After lunch, I go back home by underground and bus since there is a distance where underground is not directly available near my home.
Reading articles is also a way of using my free time in the transportations, which is described in my last year's article.
Sometimes, when the pandemic is escalated, I go back home by car too.
I also use my Active Recall methodology to recall the knowledge I have just learned in the IELTS lesson as I walk on the street after class.
Take Exercise at Home Gym
After arriving at my home at approximately 14:30, I usually take exercise at my home gym in the basement. This can fill the Move and Exercise rings on my Apple Watch (some of my daily goals).
Here is the reminder card sticked in my bedroom's pinboard.
As similar as at school where I take exercise after lunch, I also ride bicycle for about 5 km and/or play table tennis for 1 to 2 rounds with the automated ball pitching machine at home.
My home's gym also has some advanced technology applications, including screens on the bicycle in which I can look at the roads and scenery in reality, a Bluetooth speaker, and an automated table tennis ball pitching machine.
Finish my Homework and Write Articles
After taking exercise at home, I finish part of my weekend homework at school with the timer under the PC monitor.
As well as the weekend homework, I also write a new article on my website if I still have extra free time.
While self-studying at home, I turn on Self-study Focus mode on my devices as well as hang a reminder card on the door.
In most situations, we have dinner at home.
Unlike my school where I have meals at certain time ranges, my home life is irregular. The bell in the living room rings once the dinner is ready.
But sometimes, we go outside to have dinner. We usually have dinner in a restaurant at a square near the place where we live (Phoenix City), Phoenix Ancient Station.
While waiting for food in the restaurant, I usually connect to the public WiFi and continue to do the homework or write the article.
I can search "IP" on Baidu or go to IP address lookup websites to get the public IP address as well as the ISP used and the city I am in. This is usually done in my website EPQ project.
Recently, some Chinese Internet platforms are showing the locations of IP addresses of content publishers to crack down Internet rumours and ensure the safety on the Internet. Learn More
After dinner, I turn on my bedroom's candles and fairy lights continue my work in the evening.
In order to save electricity, I only turn on the fairy lights in the following situations:
- in the morning/evening (from 17:30 to 08:30, except for sleeping time)
- the environment is dark during cloudy or rainy weather
- there is an activity at home (usually organised by my parents)
- I got A* or outstanding results in exams/competitions
- electricity failure (as backup lights)
I have tried to turn on the lights all day using trial-and-error strategy and I have discovered that the batteries for the lights have run out after several days.
I always use trial-and-error strategy when trying new things, including bedroom decoration fairy lights, research about computer networking, and new programming languages.
You can gain experiences and tips by taking your own risks when doing something new.
I have also found another meaning of turning on the fairy lights. It can encourage me to achieve outstanding results like A* in the exams and competitions.
From my imagination, The star (*) of A* (A Star) on the certificate can be converted into a star in reality, emitting lights in the sky, leading students to a successful way, and encouraging students to study hard/smart.
There are many grades in A Level exams, from A*, A, B, C, D to E, in which A* is the highest one.
That's why I usually say "A* Flies to the Sky, Making your Future Bright" along with my hand-made desktop background.
Then, I take a shower and enter the relax time again at 21:45.
Similarly, I prepare for tomorrow, complete my Evening Routine and go to bed at 22:30.
Breakfast and Climb Mountain
On Sunday morning at 06:30, I get up, complete my morning routine and have breakfast.
Just before leaving my home at 07:30, I publish and share my website article as well as send subscription email newsletter to the subscribers on my email system.
There is a mountain at the edge of the Phoenix City residential area. Climbing the mountain is not a difficult task since it does not have very high altitudes.
So, I usually climb the mountain with my family after breakfast at about 07:45 on a weekly basis except for rainy weather.
At the top of the mountain, there is a convenient store where I can buy some extra food like ice cream and sausages. So, persistence is used while doing this climbing task.
After the whole journey up and down the mountain, I almost closed the rings on my Apple Watch. This is an alternative way of taking exercise at my home gym.
During the rainy weather when we cannot climb the mountain, I carry out activities at my home gym.
Self-study and Lunch
After climbing the mountain and heading home, I continue to do my homework or other study tasks.
I also pack up my luggage with the Items Checklist for going to school in the afternoon.
Again, the bell rings when the lunch is ready.
After lunch, I do my personal tasks including cleaning and tidying my bedroom, organising my physical and computer files and folders, improving bedroom decorations, and so on.
Going Back to School
At 15:00, I pack my bag and wear my school uniform to get ready for school.
I also close my bedroom by closing the window, shutting down the Mac mini, putting the keyboard and mouse under the PC monitor, and turning off candles and lights.
At 15:20, my parents send me to the traffic centre where I then take the school bus.
The school bus departs at 16:00 and it arrives at school at about 17:10.
Similarly, I watch vlogs and/or listen to English audio on the school bus, especially some study/exam tips.
Prepare for the Week
After arriving at school, I complete my arriving-at-school routine including making a plan for the fresh week. I also log in to Weixin/WeChat on my laptop since we need to hand in our phones at 19:05.
At 19:05, since I am an inspector of disciplines in my class (and in the Student Union too), I collect my classmate's phones as well as hand in my own. The evening lesson begins at 19:10 and we start studying.
This is the end of the weekend. I hope you can enjoy my weekend routine and study diligently in your free time.
Ken's Study Journey strives to provide high-quality articles about my tips and tutorials to study productively, together with some knowledge explanations. If you need help, I am here for you.
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