THE first few students will return to the classroom on Tuesday, as families prepare for a whole new first day of school.
Preps, grades one and two and years 11 and 12 students return to school on Tuesday.
All other year levels will return on June 9.
It ends a period of remote learning that most families have never experienced before.
Horsham's Kerrie Pietsch will send her daughters Sophie, year eight, and Nadine, year 10, back to Holy Trinity Lutheran School in June.
She said her family had enjoyed remote learning. "We've actually been really lucky. It's been great," she said.
Mrs Pietsch said the Horsham school was proactive, running four days of remote learning before the end of term one.
"After school holidays they hit the ground running," she said. "The school's been really supportive. I can't fault anything."
The girls have created their own study spaces at home. Nadine has been in the family room since the start. Sophie started in a caravan outside, but as temperature fell she ended up in the house as well.
Mrs Pietsch said her daughters benefited from being academically-minded.
"They like to study," she said.
She said her role was less significant in remote learning because her daughters were older and knew how to read.
"Those primary parents would have to be there the whole time," she said.
She said her family was also lucky neither girl was completing their Victorian Certificate of Education at this time, either.
Mrs Pietsch said her daughters were most excited for school to return so they could see their friends.
Since lockdown measures came in, Sophie and Nadine have been Facetime video-calling their friends.
Mrs Pietsch said there was even a tie-dye party for a friend's birthday, all via the internet.
"People have been very creative," she said.
Physical activity has also helped with the potential boredom of isolation.
Nadine is doing The May 50K challenge to raise money for MS research, through the Kalkee netball club.
Sophie is doing a push-up challenge to raise money for headspace Horsham.
Mrs Pietsch said she was not concerned about her daughters returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, because of the low numbers of Wimmera cases.
"If people have been adhering to everything we should be okay," she said.
For Bianca Dickinson, being a teacher did not prepare her for remote learning.
She and her four children were at the start of their seventh week of remote learning when Mr Andrews made his announcement.
They were ecstatic at the news.
"I can tell you, teaching a class of 20 kids is easier than three at home," Mrs Dickinson said
"It's been very challenging and I'm a teacher so I can only imagine how it is for other parents.
"We started off energetic and enthusiastic. That's worn off."
Mrs Dickson has four children ranging from prep to year 11. This year would have been the first time in 16 years she had no children at home during the day.
Year 11 Imogen, 16, was on exchange in the United States when the COVID-19 pandemic started.
She was meant to be away for nine months but she ended up returning after seven months, right before the international borders closed.
Because of her return, the family started remote learning before it was mandated.
Mrs Dickinson said the family had to find a way to make it work for them.
Imogen was capable of studying by herself, but that wasn't the case for everyone.
"It's been really frustrating because the youngest two need a lot of help," Mrs Dickinson said.
"My one in year seven missed out the most. I had to say to him, 'I can't spoon-feed you'.
"He's had a few meltdowns, he hasn't found it easy. He's in his first year of high school and he's not used to having that kind of responsibility.
"He was only one term in of high school, getting used to the routine, and then he was thrown into this.
"It's got easier as it's gone along."
After Mitch, 12, was moved to a different "classroom" in the house, Mrs Dickinson had a grade two student Harry, 7, and a prep Molly, 5, to contend with.
"I've had to have them doing an independent activity while I'm with the other one and vice versa," she said.
Before classes started for any of the students though, there was an hour of Mrs Dickinson's speciality as a teacher: physical education.
Mrs Dickinson said her children directed the hour of exercise every morning, which included long runs, dodgeball and dance.
She said the structure helped. "We start at 8.30am and do an hour, 10am to 11am, then recess," she said.
That was followed by 45 minutes of class, then lunch, then maths in the afternoon.
"I've tried really hard to start a routine," Mrs Dickinson said. "I'm not sure if it's a teacher thing or a mum thing.
"If I see them struggling I distract them and get them to do something else."
Mrs Dickinson said while Imogen and Mitch were trying to work on all their subjects, the youngest two's study loads had been reduced to reading, writing and maths.
She said teachers had told parents to just do as much as they could. It means subjects like Auslan have fallen to the wayside.
"I don't know how to do Auslan myself so I've just gone 'nope'," Mrs Dickinson said.
The children have learnt other skills though - like hanging the washing, driving, how to cook for themselves and how to chop and collect firewood.
There were frustrations at the start of remote learning, when various teachers provided work in different formats.
The family has also had to contend with internet troubles - one of the perils of living on a farm between Nhill and Kaniva.
Mrs Dickinson said the family had worked through these things - but that didn't stop the relief when Mr Andrews announced a return to school.
"I've enjoyed the isolation, just not the home-schooling," she said.
"I was so excited."
Her children were equally excited - except one. Mitch will stay at home for an extra two weeks when his siblings return to school on Tuesday.
"My year seven's not so happy - but now he gets me for himself," Mrs Dickinson said.
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