The news that schools will return to full-time face-to-face teaching has been accompanied by "a big sigh of relief" from mum-of-six Karly Pilon.
With four children in crucial years at primary and high school - including one son doing the HSC - as well as a toddler at home and a husband who works away from home, it seems an understatement when the Mount Ousley mother describes the past couple of months as challenging.
"It's been very full on," she said.
"I've been getting them up as I do on a school morning and keeping the routine the same. We've all been sitting at the table and logging on.
"Some days were harder than others and some days they didn't want to do the work. Some subjects proved harder than the others and some some children proved harder than others - it's been challenging and draining for all of us."
Like many other parents, she is wary of the continuing risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, but says on balance, she believes there would be a greater risk to her children if they continued to miss out on the educational, social and mental benefits of attending school.
Of course there's always some worry, but the worry of them not going to school was far more enormous.Karly Pilon
"I do trust that the government wouldn't send them back if it wasn't safe, and I'm very pleased with the hygiene measures which are in place," she said.
"Kody [in Year 12] is on his second week full time, which was good because with the workload I couldn't help him at home as much. Year 12 is such an important year, and he was stripped of his friends and social connections quite suddenly.
"I also felt sorry for Jagger and all other kids in Year 7, because they only had seven weeks to get used to this whole new life and now he will almost have to start all over again."
"They've missed their friends, they've missed socialising, because we've been isolating for a couple of months, and I worry about their mental state being at home, and also about their education. It was such a big change and so sudden for everyone, so it's nice to be getting back to some kind of normal."
"Of course there's always some worry, but the worry of them not going to school was far more enormous."
For other Illawarra parents, especially those who have children or family members deemed to be at greater risk from the coronavirus, the government's announcement that school attendance will be compulsory has triggered panic.
For instance, Ali Jane Smith wrote on Facebook: "Like many parents, I'm shocked that going back full time is happening sooner than expected, and before it is really possible to tell whether the staged return has impacted on case numbers."
Commenter Hayley Maree said her children would not be going back full time.
"I know the socialisation would be great for for them, but I'm still going to tread with caution," she said.
"It's too soon for a full-time return for me."
Nemer Hussein Hussein said she was "confused and worried" but also "slightly relieved they will get some normality back into their lives".
"As much as i try to teach them at home, it is nothing like what they learn at school. This has made me appreciate their teachers so much more," she said.