Mom Gives Daughter's Effed Up Assignment a Necessary Update

viral homework assignment
Lynne Polvino/Facebook

When you're helping your child with a homework assignment, you may find yourself stumped by math equations or scientific theories, but you don't usually expect to be rendered speechless by a language arts ditto. One mom's spot-on rewrite of her daughter's outdated "Back to Work" homework assignment has gone viral -- and with good reason. The original is an insult to mothers, fathers, and their kids.


Lynn Polvino, a children's books editor at a Manhattan-based publishing house, was rightfully shocked by what she read when her daughter asked for help filling out a vocabulary worksheet about a mom returning to work. Polvino deftly put her editing skills to good use, righting multiple wrongs in one assignment.

Here's the original -- all gloom and doom:

girl's outdated homework
Lynn Polvino/Facebook
More from CafeMom: 8 Reasons Being a Working Mom Is Good for Your Kid

You can see why this mom was outraged, as the assignment clearly implies moms should feel guilty for working, kids are at a complete disadvantage without mom anchored to the home, and dads are utterly useless. 

Polvino shared her thoughts with Today

"It just pushed so many buttons for me, and with each sentence it managed to get worse! 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?"


Here's Lynn's much-needed update to the same assignment:

daughter's homework reimagined
Lynn Polvino/Facebook

More from CafeMom: Children of Working Mothers Speak Out: Let's Listen

It seems safe to say that moms everywhere -- including many who left messages on Polvino's Facebook wall -- would prefer this version. 

daughter's homework reimagined
Daughter's homework reimagined

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Polvino didn't send her update in to class, but she did email her daughter's teacher to voice her concerns. Luckily, the teacher agreed. Polvino explained in a comment she left for her friends and readers:

Daughter's homework reimagined

She's so right. Moms shouldn't ever feel guilty for providing for their families, while, at the same time, modeling for their kids that having a family and a career aren't mutually exclusive. Is it easy? No. Is it incredibly important? Yes.

Of course, there are many parts of Polvino's assignment that are still works of fiction in plenty of areas: paid paternity leave, small student-to-teacher ratios in state-of-the-art public classrooms, teachers who are well-paid. But planting those ideas in the minds of eager, ambitious, and impressionable young people could be the best way to bring them to fruition for future generations. 

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