IT's been more than 10 weeks since James Fileman and Eddie Todd have met for their daily trek to school, but on Monday it seemed like no time had passed.
James' mum Mia Fileman said any nerves the boys were feeling on Sunday melted away when they reunited for their routine of walking, cycling or scooting together to Adamstown Public School, where they are in year one.
"We did that before all of this, so I think that really kicked out any of the nerves, [remembering] 'Oh that's right, we walk to school with Eddie and then you're going to walk into the classroom with Eddie'."
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Kindergarten, year one and year 12 students returned to classrooms on Monday, ahead of remaining grades next week. Mrs Fileman said while James, seven, had enjoyed more flexibility and freedom at home, they were both "very happy" for him to return.
"He was excited to see his friends, he was a little bit apprehensive about what it would be like going back to learning from school, but as soon as we got there he ran off - I don't even think I got a cuddle in the end!" she said.
"For me, I'm very, very ready for James to go back to school, it has been a struggle.
"Our nerves are frayed and it's about time and we're really happy that we're here."
Mrs Fileman is a start up-founder who teaches small businesses how to create marketing campaigns and has been "busier than ever" during the pandemic.
As well as helping James with school she was working - often at night and on weekends - and caring for her daughter, four. Her husband is in the defence force and working in Queensland for six weeks.
"The mentality I've taken is that lockdown is not a competitive sport and there are no winners, there are no medals," she said.
"It's about deliberately dropping some balls as opposed to trying to keep them all up in the air... we've just made it work."
Mrs Fileman said she and her husband helped James as much as they could around work commitments.
"It has not been perfect, however the time we have spent together has been one-on-one and so that is very beneficial, so we've kind of looked at it from that perspective," she said.
"He's definitely going to be learning a lot more at school, but even if we managed two or three hours a day at home as opposed to a full day at school it is that one-on-one tailored to him and his needs, so it's about compromise."
Eddie's mum Liz Todd - who has two young daughters at home - said her son, six, started school in Queensland before moving this year.
"He's had a bit of getting used to change and is quite resilient and handed it pretty well," she said, adding ice cream was a helpful motivator in afternoons.
"I'm glad I emptied the school bag before we went into lockdown, we didn't have any surprises!"
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