Life of Fred Elementary Package
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This has worked really well as a part of our homeschool curriculum. It introduces a variety of topics that can be expounded on to enhance the educational experience.
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Category Description for Life of Fred Elementary Series
Great news for Life of Fred aficionados; Life of Fred has gone elementary! In author Professor Schmidt's own words, "Now you will be able to start the Life of Fred series with your child sitting on your lapand finish the series sitting on his/her lap!" It's as simple as ABCjust follow the books in alphabetical order by title. Children can start the series as soon as they know their addition and subtraction facts up to 10. While the entire series can be completed in just 12-18 months, Apples through Dogs was designed for grades 1-4, Edgewood through Jelly Beans for grades 2-4. Regardless of starting grade level, you will want to begin in Apples. So far, there are ten books to the series. Will there be Kittens through Zebras? Only time will tell.
I was sold even before I opened Apples by the picture of Archimedes (daughter Melissa's inner guide for matters of logic) on the cover. I could already tell that Prof. Schmidt was going to carry his tendency to instruct and inform on interesting tidbits (and people) into the series. Another pleasant discovery: no calculators allowed here. Until a child has cut his teeth on the building blocks of the addition and multiplication tables, just leave 'em in the box. Structured similarly to the upper levels, lessons are taught in a few pages of text, then it's "Your Turn to Play". Children write out their answers (emphasis by the author), read the solutions, and then move on to the next delightful adventure. The first book, Apples, contains 18 short chapters (lessons). Unlike the upper level books, there are no cities.
So, since Calculus actually begins as Fred does (at three days old), where in the life of Fred does this series fit in? As we begin the series, Fred is five, meaning he has been a professor at Kittens for as long. The closeness in age between Fred and the target audience should be a plus. In the course of ten books, we experience about a week in the Life of Fred. The series begins with simple addition facts and, in the very first story and short written exercise, students will learn:
1. Fred still sleeps with his Kingie doll (introduced in Calculus)
2. Fred sleeps in a sleeping bag in his office at Kittens
3. Beginning concepts of time
4. Dawn is variable; it gets light at different times depending on the season
5. 5 + 2 = 7
6. The relationship between numbers and quantities; a set of objects has the same number of objects regardless of position or arrangement
7. What an equals sign means
8. The answer to an addition problem won't change depending on the object(s) counted. Whether you are adding hours, pencils, or trees, 5 + 2 will still equal 7.
9. The commutative property of addition. It doesn't matter whether you add 5 + 2 or 2 + 5, you will still get 7.
10. x and y can stand in place of numbers (pre-algebra!)
Not bad for a start! In the next lesson, children learn: that Fred is neat (he puts his stuff away); what an ellipse is (and how to make one with a flashlight); more about the passage of time and addition; and that Fred's doll, Kingie, can draw better than Fred (he in fact becomes an accomplished oil painting artist). The YTTP in this section teaches more addition facts (in the context of adding Fred and Kingie's drawings), then the chapter ends by presenting the days of the week, both by name and addition fact (5 weekdays + 2 weekend days = 7 days of the week). As the book progresses, students learn more about months, seasons, days, time, addition, ellipses and other geometric shapes, the composition of the earth, Kansas, fish vs. whales, counting by 5's, temperature, negative numbers, deciduous trees, how to spell Wednesday and February, Archimedes (yay!), not to be rude, zero (and its properties), sets, that birds don't eat candy, chess moves, fractions, the Titanic, ducks can't add, the ≠ sign, circumscribed triangles, inscribed triangles, counting by hundreds (why not?), telling time by increments of 5 minutes, a dime = 10, and even get to see a real picture of Prof. Schmidt taking a nap! You get the picture. The books progress with a spiral approach, each one going deeper into math and other engaging facts and knowledge. Throughout them, Fred also exhibits normal childlike behaviors (playing at the table, mistaking a statue for a real lion, needing to sit on phone books to use his desk, along with positive character qualities (responsibility, love of God, cleanliness, desire to stay fit, a love for reading, a distaste for television, making wise choices, valuing truth and honesty, saying prayers at night, being thankful and content even in times of adversity, etc.) And each book will leave your students wanting to hear more about the life of Fred. As with the upper levels of this unusual curriculum, math principles and concepts are taught along with direct application. They are naturally integrated into the life of Fred. Can you see how the Professor cannily whets the student's appetite for future math discoveries? He gives them a small taste and, by doing so, makes the unknown familiar and waiting to be explored
I would be surprised if this doesn't become the math curriculum of choice for teachers using the Charlotte Mason approach. It comes closer to embodying her principles than any other math course I've seen. Other parents will enjoy its fresh approach to teaching with storytelling rather than starting a child off with pages of circling the groups of 7 or pages of addition problems to work. It emphasizes concept and understanding over rote problem solving. Even if you feel more secure using a more traditional math curriculum, I would strongly encourage you to also purchase the Life of Fred elementary series and read (and work it) with your child. It would be a painless complement that would not only reinforce and practice skills learned in your "regular" math course, but also prepare your child for higher level math concepts.
Customer Reviews5.0 / 5.020 ReviewsLife of Fred for almost five year old.We just started apples and my son wakes up every morning wanting to know what Fred is up to. He and I absolutely love the story. The only reason I give four instead of five stars is that is that I don’t know how much he is actually learning. He doesn’t seem to be understanding how to add, he just always guesses “7” because that is more often than not the answer. I think I will start supplementing with it.January 28, 2018Purchased
3 months agoGreat for my different learnerMy 8yo son has dyslexia, ADHD and is gifted. LOF somehow combines simplicity, practicality and big concepts in a fun book. It feeds my sons need to learn about big, complex mathematical concepts while teaching the basics gradually. He loves math. Works great for us and we are starting Cats next week. Will also try LOF logic in a few years!November 6, 2017Life of FredBoth my 8 and 6 year olds LOVE these books they are excited and want to do math everyday just to see what Fred and Kingie are up to next. Such a great purchase!!!October 13, 2017Purchased
7 months agoLove it!Reading life of fred is so enjoyable for me & my son both. He is in 2nd grade. We often don't want to stop reading.
This has worked really well as a part of our homeschool curriculum. It introduces a variety of topics that can be expounded on to enhance the educational experience.September 24, 2017Purchased
8 months agoSo in looooove!I have 2 kids on the spectrum (11 and 14), and a 6 yo that I am reading the Elementary set to at the moment. The 14yo is so bad at maths, going completely back to the basics with Fred and Kingie, with some humour thrown in is great! The books provoke discussion and laughter and thinking. It is fantastic and I am so glad I bought them. We will be buying the secondary set once we get through these!May 25, 2017Purchased
12 months agoGreat Fun LearningI bought this to supplement with another math program that I felt my kids were getting a little bored with. They love it. They are 5 and 7 and ask to do more chapters just because it is fun, but they really are learning a lot. I like it too and would highly recommend it.February 23, 2017Purchased
1 year agoFantastically StrangeHilarious way to learn maths that draws the family together. Love it.February 22, 2017Purchased
1 year agoMy daughter loves it.My daughter loves science and history and reading, but math...forget it. I've had three other math curriculums before trying Fred. Now, she listens, laughs, and learns at the same time. I love how the books combine different math disciplines (math facts, geometry, algebra) along side history and science. The books are a pure delight.December 22, 2016Purchased
1 year agoI can't believe this is mathMy son hates math. Hates repetition of problems, flash cards are a 'no way', colors & pictures to make a worksheet pretty don't fool him. Math was nearly the end of homeschool for us, not to mention making our relationship difficult. .. he looks forward to Life of Fred & laughs most of the way thru the chapter. We'Re just finishing Apples, & it's so different to any math I have ever studied or taught, the outcome for me remains to be seen. But at age 7 he's learning concepts of algebra, addition, subtraction, telling time & memorizing math facts without realizing it. We are loving this so far - long may it continue. Thank you for saving homeschool for my family!November 12, 2016Purchased
1 year ago
Q & A
Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 55 answersWhy did you choose this?Rainbow Resource Center StoreI have a special-needs daughter who enjoys learning within the context of a narrative, so I'm hoping these books will help her grasp some of the concepts with which she struggles.I'M FAMILIAR WITH THE SERIES AND CHECKED OUT A COUPLE FROM THE LIBRARY. MY KIDS LOVED THEM. WE HOMESCHOOL AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A NICE ADDITION TO OUR LEARNINGMaria F on Apr 1, 2018I have a special-needs daughter who enjoys learning within the context of a narrative, so I'm hoping these books will help her grasp some of the concepts with which she struggles.We checked out the Life of Fred books from the Library and my oldest LOVED the first 5. The books were in high demand and so with two more to go through the series eventually I decided it was worth buying them. Best math books ever! I recommend them to EVERYONE!We checked out the Life of Fred books from the Library and my oldest LOVED the first 5. The books were in high demand and so with two more to go through the series eventually I decided it was worth buying them. Best math books ever! I recommend them to EVERYONE!My oldest kiddo LOVES these books. We first tried them when he was 6 or 7 and he didn't like them. But we tried again a year or two later... and now he just speeds through each book, because he finds the stories so much fun. I imagine my other kiddos will enjoy them as they get older, too.User on Mar 29, 2018Is this a supplement to math or a complete curriculum?BEST ANSWER: That is a matter of opinion. I know some people use these books as their only math curriculum. The stories are very engaging and in a kind of Charlotte Mason style, they cover a wide range of topics and interest, all while practicing math concepts. At the end of each chapter, there are between 3-10 practice problems that the student is to work out on a separate sheet of paper or a notebook, and answers are included on the following page. There are 18-19 chapters per book. I prefer to supplement with other workbooks for a more rounded out and progressive knowledge, but this does an excellent job of keeping the students interested and engaged in Math. The books go in alphabetical order, with Apples being about a Grade 1 level, and Butterflies Grade 1-2, Cats and Dogs Grade 2-3, etc.
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