When mother Lynne Polvino sat down with her daughter Hazel to help with her homework, she realized that something about the assignment wasn’t quite right.
The six-year-old was given a couple of paragraphs to fill in the gaps. The negative passage detailed a mother going back to work, with the first line reading, “Lisa was not happy. Her mother was back at work.”
In short, the fictional daughter is unhappy because her mother is returning to work after previously taking time off work to raise her. To make matters ever worse, Lisa’s father can not cook.
As a children’s book editor, Polvino couldn’t believe what she was reading. So the New York mom decided to take matters into her own hands, using her editorial skills and making some alterations.
“It just pushed so many buttons for me, and with each sentence, it managed to get worse!” Polvino said. “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?”
Polvino, who works as an editor in Manhattan, elaborated about her reasoning for making such changes to the story. It was “to reflect the kind of world I want to live in, the kind of world I want my kids to live in when they’re old enough to have jobs and families.”
Lynne and Hazel aren’t the only parent and child dealing with these outdated ideas that are still creeping into the national curriculum. Ultimately, Polvino did not send the edited version to Hazel’s teacher.
However, she did send an e-mail expressing her concerns about the matter. Thankfully, the teacher agreed about the nature of the homework and informed Polvino that the situation would be addressed by the school.
Polvino also took to social media to show her family and friends the homework. The post ended up going viral, with Polvino receiving positive comments such as “Thank you, Lynne! Seriously, what year is this?!”