Parents share their mixed emotions as remote learning returns to regional Victoria

AT HOME: Students will now return to remote learning across regional Victoria. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
AT HOME: Students will now return to remote learning across regional Victoria. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A Victorian mother of six said she experienced "an overwhelming feeling of dread" after the announcement of a return to remote learning.

Erin Brown, of Ararat in south west Victoria, has children aged from 16 to one, with three at school one at kindergarten and two at home.

The busy mother said she will take her experience from the last block of remote learning into the next six weeks starting on Wednesday.

"I found it pretty stressful last time trying to manage school and the three smaller children," she said.

"This time around I think I will be less strict and make sure the essential topics are being done but I'm also happy with the children learning life skills at home.

"There were mixed emotions between all the kids in the announcement of remote learning again."

Despite its challenges, the first block of remote learning wasn't "too bad" for Ms Brown.

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"I was pretty strict for the first two weeks and made them sit at the kitchen table and do their learning," she said.

"The hardest part was the internet. With all three kids needing to do video calls around 9am the internet couldn't cope.

OFF TO SCHOOL: Four out of six of Ms Brown's children who attended school or kindergarten will now be remote learning.

OFF TO SCHOOL: Four out of six of Ms Brown's children who attended school or kindergarten will now be remote learning.

"The kids would then be marked absent for the day so not only was I chasing around after the little ones I was sorting out the absent messages and trying to support the older kids to do their school work."

Ms Brown said her younger children thought it was "fantastic" having the older children at home.

"They wanted to be part of what they were learning at school so it certainly made it difficult in keeping everyone on track and entertained," she said.

"It's hard trying to stop the younger children interrupting the older ones.

"The older children are more independent and I think they are more self-motivated and don't need me to be involved as much as I thought I would have to be."

Ms Brown said the "unknown length of time" restrictions would be in place was probably the hardest part of running a large household.

"We were on our way to Toowoomba in Queensland during the Easter holidays when everything started to get shut down and we turned around after driving five hours," she said.

"We had planned to go these September school holidays but at the moment it's not looking like that's possible either."

This story Mixed emotions as remote learning returns to Victoria first appeared on The Ararat Advertiser.