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A Mother’s Rewrite of First Grader’s Sexist Homework Assignment Goes Viral

First Posted: Jun 06, 2017 01:55 PM EDT
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A viral post on social media has people cheering a mother in Queens, New York after she rewrote her daughter's sexist homework assignment that didn't send the right message to children.

After Lynne Polvino reviewed her daughter's homework assignment, which had her child read and match words that belonged in sentences, Polvino was stunned and outraged at what she was reading.

 Polvino's first-grade daughter, Hazel, had to read a story about a young girl named Lisa, who wasn't happy with her mother going back to work, her dad cook breakfast badly and having to do the dishes in the morning.

Polvino, a children's book editor at a publishing house, wasn't pleased with the narrative academia was perpetuating towards children. In an interview with TODAY she said, "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?"

The major difference in Polvino's new version, besides the almost a year of paid maternity leave and time off given by the employer, is that Lisa and everyone in the family were happy to come together and help around the house as the mother went back to work.

Sometimes working mothers put too much pressure on themselves that they need more support from their family, employers, and society because currently there's "inadequate maternity and paternity leave policies, the lack of affordable childcare, and all the subtle and not-so-subtle messages we hear - even in our children's homework! - telling us that we should be at home taking care of the kids and managing the household make it hard to not feel guilty, to not question ourselves," Polvino said.

"I love what I do and I've been doing it for a lot longer than I've been a mom," says Polvino. "So there was never really any question in my mind about whether I'd keep on doing it when we had kids. It was more a question of how."

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