Remote learning with eight children would be difficult for anyone but coupled with limited access to computers and poor Wi-Fi, it verges on impossible.
This was the daily reality for Jacka mum Sosefina over lockdown.
The dedicated mother juggled eight children, ranging from ages one to 18, all with different schedules over this period.
Sosefina has shared her experience to highlight the significant obstacles disadvantaged families faced with at-home learning.
Face-to-face learning returned on November 1 after 11 weeks of remote education.
For Sosefina, establishing a new routine was the biggest challenge. The second biggest was keeping her children engaged with school when the internet lagged and there were not enough laptops for everyone.
"This significantly affected their motivations to be fully engaged in their schoolwork," she said.
"It was hard to get [the children] going at the same time."
Kids would oversleep and miss meetings and the Wi-Fi was always congested.
Luckily, Sosefina managed to hire extra laptops from the local high school for her children.
However, the self-professed "not a computer person" had to rely on her older children to help the younger ones with technology.
In addition, household chores continued to pile up and the younger children required hands-on care.
"Looking after my one-year-old and three-year-old, at the time it was a struggle to help [the older children] with their online learning," she said.
"I feel the kids wouldn't ask for help when they needed it because they knew I was so busy."
Fortunately, as part of the Smith Family's Learning for Life program the family was able to access extra help.
Students in the program receive financial assistance for education essentials such as uniforms, school supplies and digital learning devices. They also have access to out-of-school learning and mentoring.
A survey conducted by the charity found 87 per cent of support workers said digital issues impacted students and families, from a lack of access to devices and reliable internet, to a lack of digital skills or capability.
ACT regional programs manager Olga Srbovski said this digital inequity was a significant problem for families across the region.
"Children we work with from disadvantaged families are actually behind in learning and disengaged from school, they've fallen behind," she said.
"Teachers are working really frantically to try and support them.
"We assume that our our young people have good digital literacy but what we found is that families, our parents and our carers don't."
The survey highlighted poor mental health for both parents and children as a result of lockdown.
Ms Srbovski said children were "stuck at home" and not socialising with friends, which escalated the pressure on parents and caregivers, "especially those who have lost income through job losses".
"There's been a huge impact on a year 11 and 12 students this year. They've been very disconnected from school and that has impacted on their stress levels going into the HSC," she said.
While the longer-term impacts were yet to be seen, Ms Srbovski said as disadvantaged young people returned to school "they continue to be completely disengaged with their learning".
"What we do know is that the young people we work with, were significantly challenged with learning at home and now going back into the classroom," she said.
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