While a simple school worksheet may seem innocent enough, one parent decided to rewrite the assignment, changing the narrative from a negative experience of a mother returning to work to a positive one.
Lynne Polvino was helping her 6-year-old daughter Hazel with her homework last week when she noticed something troubling with the assignment, an unfortunate and increasingly common problem thanks to outdated curriculums. So, Polvino decided to make some changes to the assignment with an updated narrative.
The worksheet is a fill-in-the-blank style assignment which follows a story of a mother returning to work. The first line reads, “Lisa was not happy. Her mother was back at work.”
Basically, the story centers on a little girl named Lisa, who has a terrible day because her mother is finally returning to work after leaving to raise her child. To top it off, the girl’s father is bad at cooking. How clich.
“It just pushed so many buttons for me, and with each sentence it managed to get worse!” Polvino told Today. “My shock and dismay quickly turned to outrage. I mean, what decade are we in, anyway? In this day and age, we’re going to tell kids that mothers working outside the home makes their children and families unhappy? That fathers don’t normally do things like cook and wash the dishes?”
According to Polvino, Hazel wasn’t too fazed by the story, and was more focused on finding the right words to fill in the blank, but it bothered Polvino. While the experience of a parent returning to work can be a big adjustment for a kid, Plovino decided to rewrite the assignment into a positive story that more accurately portrays the life she wants for her children.
In Polvino’s version, Lisa is happy that her mother is back at work. Their father is on paternity leave, and no one is in a rush because “Dad had things under control.” The father in the story makes a good breakfast and the little girl dreams of her future and career.
The story ends with, “Lisa was glad she was growing up in a society free of gender bias and misogyny.”
Polvino told Today that she reworked the story “to reflect the kind of world I want to live in, the kind of world I want my kids to live in when theyre old enough to have jobs and families.”
Although Polvino did not send the rewrite to the teacher, she did voice her concerns via email. The teacher agreed the worksheet was outdated, and said she would review them in the future.
Plovino later posted the original assignment and the updated rewrite to Facebook, where is was praised by her friends and followers.
Oh and Polvino. She works as a children’s books editor in Manhattan.
Mashable has reached out to Polvino for more information and comments.