Life of Fred: Apples

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Our Price: $16.00
Item #: 029719
ISBN: 9780979107245
Grades: 1-4

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Life of Fred: Apples | Main photo (Cover) Life of Fred: Apples | Main photo (Cover) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page) Life of Fred: Apples | Additional photo (inside page)

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Customer Reviews

from Toronto wrote the following on :
First of all, the grade range listed for this book is inaccurate. I read it with my 6- and 4-year-olds and they enjoyed it very much. The older one got just about all the math there is to get out of it. It's recommended here for a Grade 3-6 range, but kids that age would be bored to tears with it. Anyway... on to the review! These books are the hottest topic of discussion on homeschool message boards! I like Life of Fred for high school, so when I found out there was an elementary version, I had to have it. I was expecting weirdness and a bizarre storyline; that's the hallmark of Life of Fred math. This book certainly delivers. In a few places, I wondered if it was too strange for such little kids, but they seemed to enjoy the silly jokes and the light tone of the book. As with the "bigger kid" books, there are short "Your turn to play" sections at the end of each chapter to review the math (and other) material covered. Because we generally read the book while snuggled up in bed, I used this as an opportunity to practice oral math skills with my 6-year-old daughter, except in a couple of cases where she neeed to draw a quick diagram. After I bought Apples, I was warned in an online forum that Book D, Dogs, contains references to euthanasia. While no dogs die in the book, it is seriously implied that quite a few are put to sleep at the very end. The author, Stanley Schmidt, insists that these references are no more distrubing than those found in Bambi and other classic literature. Still, it's a parent's decision, and some parents have been offended or upset. Different children may respond to this differently. Also, it's been pointed out that as the author is a religious Christian, there are occasional Biblical and moral references in the books. I'm okay with these, but parents should be aware of this, since it's a pretty rare thing in a math book. I bought this book as a supplement ONLY - it may indeed constitute a full curriculum, but I found that the material was scattered willy-nilly throughout the book. I wasn't sure why some things are repeated over and over and others are not. For instance, the book promises to teach "numbers that add to 7" - boy, does it EVER. You and your kids will either be giggling or groaning at all the 5's and 2's, or 6's and 1's, that he throws into the book. Other volumes in the series cover numbers other than 7. I'm not sure why he chose 7, but my daughter loved automatically knowing the answer by the end of the book (7!). Finally, Life of Fred: Dogs is fairly short - probably only a few weeks of regular reading, though I tried to spread it out quite a bit (interspersed with LONG Little House on the Prairie chapters!). Most parents probably want the bulk of their math studies to involve a more rigorous and systematic curriculum that will last a good chunk of the year. Because it's so short, I wouldn't say this book is a terrific value. At $16 for a few week's math reading, it's a pricey curriculum supplement. But for what it offers - a fun way to show kids that it's okay to play with math and not take the whole things so seriously - we will definitely be investing in the next book sometime soon.
from Hershey, Pa wrote the following on :
We are really enjoying the Life of Fred (apples)!!! I am impressed w. how it introduces simple algebra; and my 1st grader (and pre K who also listens) enjoys the silly stories! :) I would not use it as a stand alone Math curriculum, but think it's a GREAT enhancement!
from Coos Bay, OR wrote the following on :
We are currently using this book as a supplement in our math lessons. My daughter LOVES it. She loves to draw and loves that it incorporates drawing in the math problems. For example, draw four alligators plus three alligators. She loves it and giggles at the jokes and overall enjoys reading and learning.
from United States wrote the following on :
I started my son on this series when he was 8. I was very hesitant to begin with book one because I knew it was just be too easy for him. While I was correct in that the concepts taught were below what he was learning he loved the book so much we continued on through the entire elementary level. He is excited to do math and begs to read additional chapters each day. Currently we are using this as a supplement. This series will work well for the child who loves to read. It is easy to follow for the teacher and is a terrific value! We love Life of Fred!
from Sunnyside, CA wrote the following on :
This is a great series, and the Elementary books are great. I've used Right Start Math as well as a Math Through Literature program, and my children have liked Life of Fred the best. It is also simpler to preparation is necessary, and a lot of information is passed through the fun story in each chapter. There are just a few questions to be answered at the end of each chapter which my 6 year old had very little trouble with, though they did make her think, and helped her understand what the math symbols mean, even helped with her handwriting, days of the week, etc. I like that Life of Fred helps us understand the concepts solidly without needing to pull out all of the manipulatives. I've learned that (my children at least) form some dependence on hands on manipulatives and have trouble switching to the abstract, or just knowing it...and these books have helped with that transition. The best part was that my children ASK to do math with this and will sit down and concentrate on the questions on their own...even getting upset if they are interrupted.
from Rhinelander, WI wrote the following on :
This series gets my HIGHEST praise! Buy the whole elementary set at once. Math does not have to be boring or repetitive! It is my younger kids (7 and 9 year old boys)FAVORITE schoolwork. It is the first thing they ask to do every morning, and they always ask to read another chapter. The chapters are short, entertaining, and simple. The stories are silly and get them to think outside the box which makes it a lot of fun. We have finished 3 books in 6 weeks. Only twice did I feel like I should take a short break to focus on a concept I felt they needed to understand better before we moved on. My 7 year old read the first book 2 additional times on his OWN after we had finished it, just for fun! I'm sure we will slow down soon as each book introduces new concepts which are slightly harder, but for now we are just enjoying it! For the frugal homeschooler (which includes me): I'm serious - buy the series! If it's too pricy, find a friend or two and split the cost and share the books. They are hardcover and will LAST and have fantastic re-sale value.
from Hershey, Pa wrote the following on :
We are really enjoying the Life of Fred (apples)!!! I am impressed w. how it introduces simple algebra; and my 1st grader (and pre K who also listens) enjoys the silly stories! :) I would not use it as a stand alone Math curriculum, but think it's a GREAT enhancement!
from south carolina wrote the following on :
I purchased "Apples" and "Butterflies" on a whim for my third grader this year. My reluctant mathematician begs to do a chapter of "Fred" often. The books go by quickly, so I spread them out. Fred seems to have taken the fear and dread out of math and made it quite fun. She has picked up some algebra and geometry along with the basics! I like the use of other subjects within the stories, such as grammar and history, as well...leans a bit classical. Does what it sets out to do: makes us think. And I do not have to prep, just join in the silliness. 4.75 stars for us! Will be purchasing "Cats" and "Dogs" this year.
from United States wrote the following on :
My dd daughter just struggled understanding math concepts. We used Saxon and after two years and she still couldn't add or subtract, we moved to Math U See. Last year, we were introduced to Life of Fred. This series has been such a breath of fresh air. It has raised her reading ability, gave her interest in learning, allowed her math and her critical thinking skills to grow as well. The author is very easy to contact, if you have any concerns, questions, etc. Mr. Schmidt even paid someone to compare his books to the common core, which by no surprise matches up very well (if that is a concern for your family). Love it and hopefully will use it all the way through High School.
from Quakertown, Pa wrote the following on :
Life of Fred math has helped my kids (& their parents) understand abstract concepts in a literature ((hehe)) way! We love it! My children have learned more from this series than I thought they would. I found Life of Fred very easy to use, no planning, no manipulatives (life has enough for us to learn from), only a few problems to solve. I use this with both of my children 7 & 9, the story helps the younger one learn beyond his normal potential. I will review with him again as he grows, if needed. The price is well worth it, there is no need to write in the book so it remains in useable condition.
from Washingtion wrote the following on :
Math was my favorite subject in school. In the small public and private schools that I attended, I was always at the top of my class. For two years I tutored math at the local community college. So far, it has not been my son's favorite subject. It may never be his favorite and that's okay, but I don't want math to be something he hates all through school. He's almost 8 now. We loved Essential Math for Kindergarten. Next, he started Singapore 1st grade and stopped, he did some Miquon math, and we looked into Saxon and Horizons. Nothing seemed to really click and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Last spring I bought the first 2 Life of Fred books because I'd heard so many interesting reviews and I was curious. I read a couple of chapters aloud to him when he wasn't quite 7 years old. It didn't suit us. Some of the humor was over his head. The pictures were an important part of the sequence and so I'd have to point and he'd have to stare at the page, plus he wasn't cooperative about writing the answers down on a piece of paper. I decided it wasn't for us. He completed Math Mammoth 1 this last school year. Math Mammoth seemed to get the job done, but there was no joy in it. Last month I pulled out the LOF books to try to sell them. It occurred to me that now that my son was reading independently and he could read them to himself. I assigned the first chapter in Apples and taught him how to label and write his answers on a separate piece of paper. He LOVED it! He took ownership in doing it all by himself. The next day he did the second chapter. He is now a few chapters into Butterflies and asking me to order Cats. As I listened to my son tell me all about Fred and his life, I realized that one thing that was missing for him in math was humor and relationship. I would sit with him and teach him but I'm pretty serious myself and I didn't make him laugh. I recalled that all through my own school experience, I adored my math teachers. They made jokes while they taught. My elementary teacher did a little dance for 6 times 8 is 48 because it rhymed, and she always talked about how much she loved the number 0. My high school teacher bought us pizza if we could catch 10 mistakes he made in class. He would gave us little brain teasers right before a vacation. Hearing my son talk about Fred and remembering the relational aspect of math in my own life made me realize that I loved the atmosphere surrounding math, not just math itself. I think that my son needs more than just numbers staring up at him, but something memorable that makes him smile. That's a huge motivator and help in learning and more importantly, remembering! For now we're going to continue LOF through the summer as an overall reading/writing/math/thinking program that's fun and simple. Once we start school again in the fall, I think I'll do a combination of LOF and Math Mammoth 2. It makes me so happy to see my son smiling instead of crying during math. I'm thankful for the gift that Professor Schmidt has in conveying relationship, humor, and math through text and pictures. Life of Fred is a unique gem among home school math options.
from Ballwin, MO wrote the following on :
My boys and I have fallen in love with Fred. Fred eliminates the excessive review which my boys don't need. You can easily suppliment if you do need the repetition and review. Be sure to faithfully do every "Your Turn to Play" at the chapters' end.
from United States wrote the following on :
After over 16 years of frustration with teaching math in our home education, these books are a breath of fresh air (not to mention huge sighs of relief!)to our learning math!!! The stories are fun and hold my daughter's attention, leaving her desiring more as well as simply teaching mathmatics!!!
from New Mexico wrote the following on :
I am so thankful a friend recommended these books! We were looking for a new curriculum for math mid-year, as our old one was a disaster. On the first day out of the box, my second grader read and completed all of Apples. I think she did Butterflies in two days. Cats took a bit longer, about a week. She has been on Dogs for a few days now. My first grader took just over a week to complete Apples, and we're on track to complete Butterflies in a similar amount of time. I love that these books are factually solid, and the scope in each chapter is pretty broad. I also love that, in addition to math, my children are learning science facts, grammatical structure, historical facts, and anything else the author crams into the story. My daughters love that Fred is fun. The story line pulls them in, and teaches them without their really realizing what is happening. I also love that these books and some scratch paper are all you need -- ever. I bought the whole elementary series for about as much I paid for one year's worth of math curriculum using the old one. And I won't have to buy any more through all of my children. My second grader loves math again, because math is intuitive for her. She thinks mathematically, and Fred LIVES mathematically. My first grader is not intuitive in math, and Fred is non-threatening. He teaches math as he tells a story. My first grader is ALWAYS telling stories, so this appeals to her more creative bent. I would like a bit more drill so that the math facts become ingrained in their brains, so I couple this with a FlashMaster for 10 minutes a day. Between the two, my girls are getting an amazing complete math education. Overall, I would highly recommend this elementary curriculum. It has totally changed the whole tone of our home school day.
from United States wrote the following on :
I can not say enough good things about these books. How many kids rip open the box that just arrived because they know it contains their new math books? We have four children, ages 7, 11, 14,and 16. We have tried so many different approaches to this subject but LoF has taken so much stress out of math for the whole family. My 7 year old has used Life of Fred almost exclusively since we started schooling him. He is by far my best math student. He is doing long division, functions, understands sets, graphs, the metric system and so much more. They all love reading about Fred and what is going on in his life. Math is the one subject I never have to tell them to do.
from Fairfax, VA wrote the following on :
What do I love most about the Life of Fred Elementary series? The story! While the math is solid, and I do like all of the extra learning tidbits the author throws in, it is the story that has me singing its praises. Life of Fred is truly the first thing that my fourth grader who struggles with reading due to learning disabilities has WANTED to read and will WILLINGLY read when asked. This is HUGE! Every day, HE reminds ME that we have to "do Life of Fred." He doesn't complain when I say, "Alright, start reading here," and he has on more than one occasion asked if we could "just read one more chapter." Thank you, Fred! You are a welcome addition to our regular math curriculum and a bright spot in our homeschool day!