We asked Victorian school students of all ages to write us a letter describing their thoughts and feelings about the past few weeks and tell us how they are managing school life in lockdown 2.0. Thank you to the hundreds of students who shared their stories with us.
Here’s a selection of what they had to say.
I like pasting
I like home schooling
I like spelling words
I like pasting
I like seeing Ms Hoffman on Zoom
I like Mummy teaching me and Daddy teaching me
Stevie Hodges, 5, Donnybrook
My dog Ruby makes me laugh
Will there ever be a vaccine? I miss my friends. I feel lonely. Being in this situation makes me think more about the pets and how they are. It is a bit of a double-edged sword for them. They certainly get more attention, but they go out less. My dog Ruby makes me laugh and keeps me cheerful in lockdown. It is stricter than last time and I hope it is helping a bit more. And no, I am not tired of it if it helps get this under control.
Max Creighton, 8, Coburg
In a word
Thomas McIntosh, 11, Carlton
Mostly I feel happy
Lockdown can make me feel like I’m in a cage at home. But I live in the Dandenongs and this week it snowed, which was brilliant. We didn’t do any learning and played. I worry about getting back to school, but I try not to think about COVID-19 too much. I enjoy spending time with my wonderful family. My brother entertains me and my dog gives me lots of licks. I feel a lot of different emotions, but mostly I feel happy. I still get to see my friends every day online and my phenomenal teachers help me.
Imogen Ilott, 10, Ferny Creek
Tired of coronavirus
School in Coronavirus 2.0 is better but worse. It’s better because everybody should know what to do. But it’s worse because we are in lockdown all over again. I am very tired of Coronavirus. We don’t get to go to into school, go to the beach, see our friends at school or see our families. My survival tips are to find a new hobby to do after your home schooling. Mine is skateboarding. You should exercise as much as you are allowed. I do it every day out the front of my house. You could also jump around, walk your dog or play on a trampoline.
Max Rollo, 10, Fitzroy North
Can’t wait to go back to school
Home-schooling 2.0 has been much better for me this term because I know what to expect and my teacher Mr Millman is awesome. Home schooling is the highlight of my day, obviously because I have nothing else to do except for going outside and doing gymnastics on the trampoline. My survival tips are making sure you go outside every day even if it’s freezing! Hugging my dogs also helps me if I’m not having the best day. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL!
Evie Aitken, 10, Mount Eliza
A few petty fights
I have to admit homeschooling is starting to feel pretty drawn-out. I have gotten into a few petty fights with my family (me deciding I should learn to handstand against the wall and marking it with my grubby socks, or me and my brother yelling over Catan). But then there’s good things. The teachers have promoted some great activities (gaining a pen pal, and a backyard winter sleep-out in support of homeless people). With a few PJ days in the mix and TRYING to make bread, I feel pretty lucky.
Lucia Frazzetto, year 9 student
I loved my COVID cake
On 31 July, I turned 7. I asked for a COVID cake. My auntie made one for me. It was green in the shape of a hill with lollies stuck on to show the spikes and germs. I loved my COVID cake!
Louise Razga, 7, Mordialloc
Are teachers bored at home?
My experience of home learning has been easier this time, because I already know how to use the computer and google classroom. But, I wonder what the point of learning is if I don’t get to see my friends. I have also been thinking about asking my teachers how they would feel if they were forced to do boring home learning, but what if they consider working at home boring too? I sometimes wish that computers and iPads weren’t invented so that I did not have to do tiring home learning!
Milo McQueen, 9, East Brunswick
It’s only Monday!
Well, it was fun and exciting around the start. I was staying at home, sleeping in, eating whenever I wanted to and going to the toilet without a bathroom pass. Now however, I am getting bored of this. When will it end? I’m finding the days long and tiring and the week seems to drag on forever. It’s only Monday! I have three subjects of homework to do. Don’t worry, the homework isn’t that bad but it’s getting boring. I sometimes wonder if we will ever get out of this and if the world will ever be the same. Most likely not though.
Leo Bonomi-Bowen, 15, Moorabbin
Don’t want Mum to get sick
I like sending my work into my teacher on my iPad and hearing her comments back. I love playing with my new puppy while doing school. But I’m bored of being on my own. My Mum’s a midwife and she works shiftwork delivering babies. I wish she could work from home too as I don’t want her to get sick. My grandmother is very strict as she was a teacher once but I’m showing her how to be kind. I wish there was no COVID-19 because if there wasn’t we wouldn’t have to do home schooling all together!
Méabh Hennessy, 7, Camberwell
I love online learning
I personally love online learning and I find that it has a better working environment than school.
In school most students find it really hard to work as they can get distracted from sitting next to
their friends, the class is loud and mostly talking, students are going to their lockers, students
going up and down the hallways. Most students feel pressured from tests so being at home in
your own environment can help students not feel so pressured and nervous. In conclusion I
think schools should consider online learning.
Amelia Sureda, 12, Reservoir
We’ve lost motivation
I’m currently a year 12 student and I’ve been studying from home since the end of term 2. I have a pre-existing condition, so I have had to stay home from school since June. My first experience with lockdown was really good, I vastly preferred it to the classroom structure and loved that my learning was a lot more self directed. However, this time around it has been very challenging as I miss a lot of information and I have lost almost all my motivation. Many of my friends, who’ve also had to stay home, feel the same way. You just lose your will.
Angus Corr, Mont Albert North
Better this time
I think that home schooling this time is better because the teachers have learnt some lessons about what can work and what can’t work. I have worked some things out too about home learning. But I am still getting used to not seeing my friends in person. Otherwise its great! Even though I have to do it for six more weeks. I enjoy art the most because it takes the longest time to do.
Mia Gavens, 6, Ascot Vale
Getting used to working with my sister
I think that this remote learning is better than last time because my teacher remembered students are at different levels. I am still getting used to starting work early and working with my sister. I love doing my work fast so I can play.
Evan Gavens, 8, Ascot Vale
A tree-house to read in
I feel a bit sad that I can’t see my friends and I really miss the monkey bars. But I feel happy that I can read lots of books – I’ve even read a 12 chapter book in a day. I have been happy though, because I have a tree-house to read in and my cat is ‘at school’. I’m a bit tired of home learning because I’ve done it for more than 10 weeks. For a survival tip, if you feel a bit sad, talk to someone, call a friend or ask your teacher a question.
Bilijana Davis Greig, 6, Caulfield North
Home learning is definitely not easy. There are a lot of disadvantages, however believe it or not there are some perks too. I am certainly managing home learning 2.0 better than the first time I started. One very helpful survival tip I have to all students doing home learning is to stay organised. I cannot express in words how helpful it was to keep all my work organised in a folder or even using sticky notes. However, one thing is for sure home learning is not easy and that is why we all need to stick together.
Sanvi Bidhania, 8, Broadmeadows
Happy and sad
Remote learning makes me feel happy and sad at the same time. Happy for sleep ins and hot lunches but I do miss my friends. I miss leaving my home every day and I miss doing the things I love outside of my home. Remote learning can be boring and it is easy to become lazy and not really try to do my best. I feel nervous because I don’t know how long this will continue for. I can’t wait to go back to school and get back to doing the things I love doing?
Charlotte Baker, 12, Eltham
You will be swearing everyday
I’m doing home schooling because of COVID-19. I am not very happy about it but I am history. We are now up to stage 4. It is very draining. For thank heaven sake!!! I am sorry I am swearing but if you were in a pandemic, you will be swearing everyday just like ME!!! The End.
Yana Iliou Hom, 7, Fitzroy
We took 2019 for granted
Boy did we take 2019 for granted. No one could’ve predicted what kind of impact this once in a century pandemic would’ve made, overnight we went from happily attending face to face to now, that becoming an ever so sweet dream. At first it was as if I had hit a brick wall not being able to wake up for online classes as well as receiving an overload of work, but slowly but surely it is becoming the new normal. Study habits have changed, students like myself are now forced to be more independent. In hindsight, maybe this is for the better being without distractions.
Massoud Safi, 15, Glen Waverley
Red belt from my lounge room
Here we go again. Back to online school, living in our pyjamas, rewatching movies and playing with our pets more. As a year six student, this wasn’t how I imagined I would be spending my last year of primary school. I’m doing Taekwondo from home and it is weird – I just got my red belt from my lounge room. I recommend something to keep you busy, like writing, painting or learning something new, like a language. At least we can sleep in during these dark times. But most importantly please stay home – I really don’t want to graduate via zoom.
Stella Joyner, 11, Gladstone Park
A lot of stress
I don’t know whether I am learning from home or living at school. These past few weeks have blended school and home. When remote learning was introduced, I was excited as it was something new. The second round wasn’t exciting because of the sleepless nights, stacks of homework, and a lot of stress. My lessons are shorter and then there are technical problems which minimise my learning time. I am an introvert and not being able to interact with my friends has made it harder to speak out in class and made me close up even more.
Nadia Slezak, 13, Hawthorn
As a VCE student, lockdown 2.0 continues to present unique struggles, such as completing SACs over video-conferencing. Obviously, communication is a little stilted with only emails and video calls to compensate, and technology issues are still aplenty. Despite this, there’s a certain liberation
associated with completing assignments at my own leisure. Prior to the lockdown, I spent two hours
commuting every day, so lockdown 2.0 has given me time to spend with family, and of course, to
catch up on sleep. It’s definitely not how I envisioned my VCE journey, but I’m adapting, and
surprisingly, even enjoying remote learning.
Divyangana Dutta Rao, 16, Boronia
Keep your head up
These past few weeks have been difficult. I feel I am doing better with schooling at home this time. But it feels more difficult for some reason. Home-schooling wise, it is bad because we don’t get to have the one-on-one time anymore and we also don’t have our social interactions with other students and teachers. But isolation wise, it has been mostly boring. Not being able to go out as a family, play outdoors and visiting friends and relatives is the most difficult. My survival tips would be keep your head up high and try to remain positive.
Jacob Young, 13, Tarneit
Used to lockdown
Last Lockdown I was scared, anxious and tired. However now that I am used to lockdown it is a lot less intimidating. I am quite tired of it as I have a really loud twin brother and having a twin brother has a lot of cons. I have been surviving lockdown by eating healthy, going to bed at a reasonable hour “most nights” and playing with my two gorgeous bunnies, Cookies and Bingo, both boys.
Sienna Kate Lindeman, 12, Kew
Play with Lego
Remote learning 2.0 has been an atrocious disadvantage; but disadvantages have
advantages, like I get to sleep more and spend time with my family more. The disadvantages
are my laptop constantly goes flat and I get into more arguments with my family. Here are
my survival tips for remote learning: 1. I play with Lego when I have free time. 2. I get things
done quickly, so I have the rest of the day to play. 3. For my last tip, I always try to be happy.
Isaac Sharpe, 10, Point Cook
Dance practice is a nightmare
I’m in year 9 at a select-entry performing arts school. I’m in the dance program. This means that not only do I have to do academic at home, but dancing as well. In a compact space, which doesn’t have the right flooring, it is a nightmare, and because of all this I am prone to injuries. Academics hasn’t been great either. The first time round was okay, because people used to chat in the meetings. This time round everyone is disillusioned that we had to go back home, now no one talks at all.
Noah Sharpe, 14, Point Cook
Go outside to calm down
I never thought before I’d be sitting in front of a computer all day looking at a screen. Remote learning 2.0 has been a fine experience for me. It is way better than remote learning last time, but is still not the best. I sometimes have times where I just can’t think of anything and can’t do anything. I sometimes just get fully tired of this and the computer screen but I don’t give up, and do things that help me feel better. Something I do is forget everything about school work and go outside to calm down.
Sakshi Sharma, 12, Epping
Bored out of my life
My experience during the pandemic has been a rather unsuccessful challenge. It is a good time to spend time with family. The homework is not that hard. If I feel good, then I can finish early. One of my best survival tips is to have Netflix or siblings if you have any. Don’t forget about pets. They always make you smile and laugh with their cuteness. The biggest challenge has to be being BORED OUT OF MY LIFE. I’m trying to get out of the habit of being lazy, so let’s see how that works out.
Muheyra Noor, 12, Doveton
No school in some countries
I enjoyed being in school because of my friends and teachers. For some students learning online has been hard because we miss everyone. However, we have to stay at home to try to help the government and the people in our community to save lives. Remote schooling is amazing. We can see our classmates and teachers every day and most importantly we can still learn! This is good because in some countries there is no school and no online learning, so we are lucky that we are learning online in our beautiful country.
Ambreen Zahra Hamdam, 13
Friends in my street
Lock down 2.0 started nine days after I went back to physical school. After seeing my friends for only nine days I go back to seeing them online. Lucky enough I have a few friends who live on the same street as me and I talk and exercise with them every day. It makes me really sad to see that millions and millions of people have to suffer each day because of COVID-19.
Moshe Meyer, 11, St Kilda East
Mourning VCE year
I’m upset and disappointed. I’m mourning the loss of what should have been one of the best years of my life. Year 12 is traditionally full of learning, celebration, connection – a rite of passage taken away from us. There are people much worse off than I am, and I know this is for the best, yet I can’t help but feel the loss of what this year should have been. It’s hard to stay motivated and continue our studies on The Crucible and matrices as if everything is normal, when the world is far from it.
Emma Christina, 17 , Lysterfield
Anna is a breaking and general news reporter at The Age.