QUEANBEYAN father of three Shane Whiting described dropping off his youngest Jacob to his first day of school as a bit like "losing one of your best friends".
Mr Whiting, along with thousands of other local parents, farewelled their budding scholars as the school year resumed on Monday.It was particularly hard for the single dad as his brood are all now in school - Sarah, 13 at Karabar High School as well as Grace, 10 and Jacob, 5 enrolled at Queanbeyan South Public School.
Mr Whiting said it got a bit emotional on Monday morning and there were almost tears but they weren't from Jacob."I've got a lot more time of my hands now and I miss Jacob as we did everything together," Mr Whiting said.
"It's been hard, Jacob used to be here all the time ... it's like losing one of your best friends."
He said he feels a little more at ease knowing Jacob has an older sibling to guide and protect him."It's hard being a single parent but you feel a bit safe knowing there's someone, his big sister, to look out for him," he said.
"He loved it [his first day of school] but he's a little tired on his second day back, he was dozing off this afternoon."Grace said it's been great spending more time with Jacob."Jacob was very nervous, excited and happy about starting school," Grace said.
The young student has been enjoying school with plenty of fun activities to keep him occupied."I like playing soccer and basketball, colouring-in and playing with my sister," Jacob explained. Teileah Howarth, 11 has also enjoyed being at the same school as her sister Kiara, 5
"It feels weird to see her at school but it's more fun, she can play with my friends and I can play with her friends," she said.
"It's good, I can watch out for her and look after her."Her first piece of advice for her young sister is pretty simple though.
"Stay out of trouble!"