Brisbane mum Zoe Collins says deep down she's terrified about her two young boys learning from home for the next five weeks.
She feels ill-equipped and more pressured than before to be a "good parent" to seven-year-old Douglas and Dare, five.
But in between the feelings of quiet desperation, there's also positivity.
"There are moments of real beauty in it all," she told AAP.
Their family has already spent more quality time together than they had for a long time, especially as husband Phil Strout is working from home.
Ms Collins has put her work as a graphic designer on hold while her children are home.
She only started her business last year, but says trying to keep it going would be too hard.
"I would be even more resentful and angry and feel like I was failing at something else too," she says.
With the experience of a one-week trial before the Easter school holidays, Ms Collins hopes to help her children to learn without too much tension.
"I don't want to get to the end of the day and feel battle-weary," she says.
Parents are bracing themselves for most children to learn from home instead of returning to school for term two to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Jacquelyne Sproles is mum to a toddler, a year one student and a child with special needs.
Eight-year-old Oliver had started to make progress in the structured school environment where he practised new social skills, but will now need support to learn from home.
"It's going to be a stressful time with lots of tears along the way," she says.
Ms Sproles says she is fortunate that she doesn't have to work, but is already feeling "mother's guilt".
"We all want what's best for our children," she says. "We don't want our kids to get back to school and be behind everyone else."
University of Southern Queensland remote and online education specialist Tania Leach says it's a challenging time for parents.
Mrs Leach and her school principal husband have children in years 5 and 12, plus two at university.
She says parents should accept there's no optimum way to split time at work and supporting children.
"It's just going to be a balancing act," she told AAP.
But Mrs Leach says schools recognise parents aren't teachers.
"Your role is as a support person and facilitator," she says.
She suggests setting short blocks of time for school work, followed by a reward to help parents and kids develop a routine.
It should be flexible, but some routine is better than none at all.
Parents can negotiate the rewards - like 10 minutes to play in the yard or taking the dog for a walk - and gradually increase the learning time as children adjust.
Mrs Leach suggests writing questions on a post-it note or using a highlighter in a workbook if something doesn't make sense. These can be taken up with teachers by email or on the phone.
"That way children become owners of their own learning - it's not our role to force them to do the work," she says.
She encourages parents to talk to one another about what's working, support one another and share resources.
"Remember, the schools are there too - we are not in this alone."
Australian Associated Press