Life of Fred: Fractions
$19.00
Additional Details
Category Description for Life of Fred Middle / High School Series
Even before we had a description of this math program on our website or in our catalog, we had many, many inquiries about it (and a goodly number of sales). Is it the name? Is it the concept of a small, pointynosed 5year old teaching Calculus at Kittens University? Is it the outrageous storyline? Or are people desperate for another approach to math? Although I was the one who reviewed and decided to carry this program, I was initially skeptical about its scope. After all, much of the text was given over to following the Life of Fred, with all the strange humor and unlikely scenarios that go along with it. In fact, that's part of the attraction for a student who really doesn't enjoy math (yes, I have one of those). So, could the course possibly have the content that a more traditional text (like Saxon) has? Moreover, what type of person would actually use this course, as entertaining and whimsical as it is (if you can think whimsy and Calculus in one thought). Well, after using Life of Fred for Beginning Algebra and reading through most of the Fractions book, I think I can answer some of these questions.
First, Fred IS the unlikely mathematician in all of us. Despite his youth and other cards stacked against him (you'll have to read the books to understand this), Fred is amazingly successful as a math professor. Why? It's because he finds math so intriguing, entertaining, and downright USEFUL in everyday life (his life, the Life of Fred). Why, math is everywhere in the world of Fred and no matter how things are going, he can always see the math in it.
Then, there's the psychology of Fred. You want to help the little guy. I mean, he's smart, but so innocent, kind, helpful, endearing small, helpless, underweight (why, when he was erroneously inducted into the army, they had to use a little cup instead of a helmet for his uniform!). Clearly the underdog in many situations, Fred has ended up in the hospital in both books I've read even though one injury was accidental. But I digress. You do get wrapped up in the Life of Fred. And because you're rooting for him and concerned about him, you kind of get taken up in the math that pervades his thoughts. No matter how tough the Life of Fred gets, he always has time to explain the finer points of math to those needy souls around him. Don't get me wrong, Fred has plenty of fun, too. He always makes the best of things and has some great student/friends at Kittens who also seem to need math in their everyday lives.
These are, indeed, the most unconventional fullprogram math texts I've ever seen. Maybe that's why students who dislike traditional programs are so drawn to LOF. The books just seem more accessible and well, friendly. Maybe it's just the author's personality or particular gift, but students who are turned off by traditional math seem to find refreshment and even inspiration in LOF. Although you may have read some debate on whether the series is too lightweight for a basal program, my two cents is that it is not. The math is all here and then some. What is missing is repetition, redundancy, and a multitude of problems to work. These books are like my favorite college math text. When I first saw it, I thought it was too slim for a wholesemester course. Ha! Every word in that book was loaded. The text was so cunningly and concisely written that you actually had to study every word because nothing was repeated. While LOF isn't quite that concise (it does have a complete storyline along with the math), Dr. Schmidt doesn't waste words or your time. Every problem is almost like a brainteaser just a little out of your reach unless you truly grasp the concepts. It gives you a chance to figure things out for yourself. There's a whole lot of brainstretching going on. Therefore, gifted math students are also drawn to these courses as they allow them to be challenged. Another good candidate for LOF is the remedial student who has already been through the course using another text. If it just didn't click, I would try this one. Finally, a motivated or independent student would also appreciate using the course. It's purposely addressed to the student and intended to be selfteaching. In fact, the author prefers that students use these with very little help from you so they can learn to study and understand on their own. Even the solutions are addressed to the student. In fact, there's a lot of actual instruction in the solutions, which students should read after trying to solve problems on their own. In short, just about EVERY student could use this program. The only shortfall I have seen in the program is for students who really need a lot of constant repetition and reinforcement. In some sections there are just not enough problems, even using the Home Companion. I had this problem twice in Beginning Algebra as serious as it needs to be. I both made up some of my own problems and supplemented with problems from Saxon Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 (some of the material is actually more advanced than in that series). I have since run across several other supplemental products that I could have used as well.
Life of Fred is a series of 12 courses. Two of these are Fractions and Decimals & Percents. The author recommends waiting to start these until your child is old enough to work on his/her own (about 5th grade). Each of these courses should take less than a quarter of a year to complete. The new LOF PreAlgebra 1 with Biology is formatted like the previous books, with BRIDGES rather than CITIES. It would fit in a teaching sequence between Fractions and Decimals & Percents and Beginning Algebra. You can get a good idea of what is taught in the course and the proportion of biology to algebra by checking out the table of contents on our website. Literally a "dream come true", Fred is every bit as entertaining while teaching biology as he is when teaching math! While this course will not replace high school biology, it will replace much of the biology instruction in a general science course. PreAlgebra 2 with Economics completes the prealgebra instruction, this time delving into topics such as interest rates, competition, opportunity costs, supply and demand. Following the same format as the Fractions, Decimals & Percents and PreAlgebra 1 and 2, Dr. Schmidt has released PreAlgebra 0 with Physics (formerly Elementary Physics). This book fits nicely into the Life of Fred sequence between Decimals & Percents and PreAlgebra 1. Dr. Schmidt feels that too much time is lost before presenting physics in high school and this book is designed as an introduction to fill that gap. Algebra and Advanced Algebra should each take a little more than half a year. While Geometry takes place during one day in the Life of Fred (a Thursday after his sixth birthday), it is definitely a full year course. Trigonometry can be completed in half of a year and Calculus (although covering two full years of calculus) will take one year. According to Mr. Schmidt, after this progression "you will be ready to declare as a math major at a university at the upper division level and take thirdyear (juniorlevel) mathematics courses". For even more Life of Fred, there is also a Statistics course which "has much more material than is normally covered in a beginning university statistics course". It's been years since my required course as a business major at a university I may just take this one myself. Partly to test the author's assertion and partly because life is full of decisions and, as the author says, "Success in life is 90% making the right decisions in the first place" (the other 10% is carrying them out). Also new is Linear Algebra (as serious as it needs to be). Scanning through the book, it looks a lot like an upperlevel course called Finite Math that I took in college. It covers: solving systems of equations with one solution (includes GaussJordan elimination, Gaussian elimination), many solutions, and no solution (includes data fitting); matrices; vector spaces; inner product spaces (including Fourier series and GramSchmidt orthogonalization process); linear transformations; and systems of equations into the future (including eigenvalues, stochastic matrices, Markov chains, Fibonacci numbers) It is described by Dr. Schmidt as a math course required by most colleges for math majors and should be taught after Calculus As far as progression, Dr. Schmidt has placed it at the very end of his other courses, after Statistics. Like other upperlevel courses, this one has "Your Turn to Play" sections separating textual chunks. Each chapter ends with six CITIES. There is a separate answer key for answers not included in the text.
Organization and format of the books is similar; of course, they all have a captivating storyline centering on Fred Gauss, a very young university math professor. The author, Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D., is a witty guy, a good storyteller, and he also loves math. Unlike many programs, the text is not written at a 6th grade level. If anything, the text is imbued with a little "extra" knowledge in different areas especially vocabulary. Dr. Schmidt also appears to be a Christian man. Although his books aren't preachy and in places tend toward gritty realism, you will find a strong plug for goodness here, along with a main character who says his prayers every night. Fractions, Decimals and Percents, and the PreAlgebra books are structured a little differently than the upperlevel books. Chapters in these are short (as are the books), ending with a Your Turn to Play problem set, followed by complete solutions with explanation. Generally, after every five chapters, there's a BRIDGE taking you from the culmination of the preceding chapters to the new material. Actually, there are five BRIDGES your student has five tries to make it across the BRIDGE. These contain a tenquestion review of everything learned to that point. Mr. Schmidt recommends that students get at least nine out of ten right to move on. Answers to these are in the back of the book. The final BRIDGE has 15 questions (20 in Decimals) and, again, five tries to pass. This gives a student ample opportunity to go back, study the material, and try again without feeling like they've failed. It is builtin remediation, rather than just failing and still going on (isn't this also the way we train our children? If they don't get it right, they need to correct and do it again). Starting in Beginning Algebra, chapters are longer. For courses with the Home Companion available (Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry), this book breaks the chapters into bitesized lessons. Natural breaks occur when the student encounters a Your Turn to Play (series of problems with completelyworked solutions following), but the Companions also provide sets of problems for each lesson in between. There are 108 lessons as laid out in the Fred's Home Companion Beginning Algebra study guide, but many of these are short; most students would combine some of them. By comparison, Saxon has 120 lessons, but this does not include testing whereas LOF's lesson count does. At the end of each chapter there are six CITIES (which all have names so you can assign a student to do Palmetto and Radcliffe for homework). Actually, I'm not sure why they have names but, as with BRIDGEs, these determine whether to move forward. They have some review material from previous chapters, but are largely chapter recaps. They take roughly 2030 minutes to complete and, again, give your student a chance to test, review, and test again (or you might work the first two cities together, assign the next two, and use the final two as tests). The first two CITIES have all answers provided; the next two have only odd answers shown; the last two have none. All answers not in the text are in the Home Companion or Answer Key. The back of each upperlevel book (except Calculus) has an A.R.T. section (All Reorganized Together) containing definitions, formulae, theorems postulates all the stuff you'd like summarized in one handy place together for easy reference. The Life of Fred actually begins in the Calculus as serious as it needs to be book (in which Fred is born), the first written (in 2001). Unlike the other volumes, it has all the Your Turn to Play questions and answers in the back and a Further Ado section containing even more rigorous material for you to include at your discretion. Possibly because this volume was originally written for college students, the material is edgier in this first book (Fred's dad drinks, his family is somewhat dysfunctional, and there are other allusions to drugs, alcohol and "hanky panky"). You may wish to skim ahead of your student and "edit" anything unsatisfactory.
So far, I'm giving a thumbs up to this unique (and slightly eccentric) math program. It has made math more palatable (and interesting) for my daughter. It has some unusual and novel approaches to problem solving (like a simple, foolproof method for factoring trinomials where the squared term has a coefficient > 1 instead of the guess and check approach employed in other books). It incorporates critical thinking and a discovery approach to math by its very nature. It integrates the value of learning in other curricular areas. It teaches math in the context of real life okay, real life uses for math in a kind of surreal life. And, who wouldn't like a math book that begins, "Hi! This is going to be fun," then follows through on that promise? Visit www.stanleyschmidt.com for other Raves from Readers or to find out more about the content of the books or even to contact the author directly. (You can even read some of Mr. Schmidt's 8:30 prayers). I'm not sure how Dr. Schmidt can include his home phone number on his website and encourage people to email and phone him with questions, but I have read several testimonies to his responsiveness. For a full scope and sequence, visit our website and take a peek at the table of contents for each level.
As a teacher, I have obviously enjoyed this course. But my daughter, Janine, has never had the innate appreciation for math that I do. Let's ask her what she thought (or thinks we still have 14 lessons to go!). Here are her comments on Life of Fred Beginning Algebra as serious as it needs to be:
"I love Life of Fred because of, well, Fred! But also because this is the most creative math course I've ever seen. When I first looked at the math course, the thing that made me excited (besides the story) was not seeing millions of problems. Just a few, thoughtprovoking and even funny ones. In the lesson book, you'll only have one small page, then you can be done. The Cities don't even have that many problems. But they are all worth your time and unrepetitive, and most inspire a challenge or are a little puzzle. Mom didn't think it would be a fullfledged math course. But the more we've worked through it, I've seen that it's quite a bit harder and requires more thinking. No wonder it's been put on some "gifted" lists. Moving along..the writing is HILARIOUS! It's almost like Stanley Schmidt and I have the same sense of humor sometimes. I've read Fractions and most of Begininng Algebra and enjoyed both immensely. It's a ridiculous, bizarre little series, which makes me love it all the more! My brother likes it so much he showed it to his college friends.and of course they all laughed. The characters are amazing, and the illustrations (especially of Fred) are priceless. Stanley even has a little fun subtly (and not so subtly) teasing movies, doctors, math books and a whole myriad of things, and he has never failed at amusing me. Math was my most hated subject. And while I can't say that I had a complete turnaround and wake up every morning saying "YAY! I get to do math today! Wheeeeee!" I can say that Life of Fred has taken all the dullness out, keeps me captivated, and injected a lot of fun. I'd call it an art piece, if a math book can be an art piece. An amazing, amazing series, even more so considering we're talking about a math course."
Well, there you have it from teacher and student. Who says math can't be entertaining?
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Description
Category Description for Life of Fred Middle / High School Series
Show MoreEven before we had a description of this math program on our website or in our catalog, we had many, many inquiries about it (and a goodly number of sales). Is it the name? Is it the concept of a small, pointynosed 5year old teaching Calculus at Kittens University? Is it the outrageous storyline? Or are people desperate for another approach to math? Although I was the one who reviewed and decided to carry this program, I was initially skeptical about its scope. After all, much of the text was given over to following the Life of Fred, with all the strange humor and unlikely scenarios that go along with it. In fact, that's part of the attraction for a student who really doesn't enjoy math (yes, I have one of those). So, could the course possibly have the content that a more traditional text (like Saxon) has? Moreover, what type of person would actually use this course, as entertaining and whimsical as it is (if you can think whimsy and Calculus in one thought). Well, after using Life of Fred for Beginning Algebra and reading through most of the Fractions book, I think I can answer some of these questions.
First, Fred IS the unlikely mathematician in all of us. Despite his youth and other cards stacked against him (you'll have to read the books to understand this), Fred is amazingly successful as a math professor. Why? It's because he finds math so intriguing, entertaining, and downright USEFUL in everyday life (his life, the Life of Fred). Why, math is everywhere in the world of Fred and no matter how things are going, he can always see the math in it.
Then, there's the psychology of Fred. You want to help the little guy. I mean, he's smart, but so innocent, kind, helpful, endearing small, helpless, underweight (why, when he was erroneously inducted into the army, they had to use a little cup instead of a helmet for his uniform!). Clearly the underdog in many situations, Fred has ended up in the hospital in both books I've read even though one injury was accidental. But I digress. You do get wrapped up in the Life of Fred. And because you're rooting for him and concerned about him, you kind of get taken up in the math that pervades his thoughts. No matter how tough the Life of Fred gets, he always has time to explain the finer points of math to those needy souls around him. Don't get me wrong, Fred has plenty of fun, too. He always makes the best of things and has some great student/friends at Kittens who also seem to need math in their everyday lives.
These are, indeed, the most unconventional fullprogram math texts I've ever seen. Maybe that's why students who dislike traditional programs are so drawn to LOF. The books just seem more accessible and well, friendly. Maybe it's just the author's personality or particular gift, but students who are turned off by traditional math seem to find refreshment and even inspiration in LOF. Although you may have read some debate on whether the series is too lightweight for a basal program, my two cents is that it is not. The math is all here and then some. What is missing is repetition, redundancy, and a multitude of problems to work. These books are like my favorite college math text. When I first saw it, I thought it was too slim for a wholesemester course. Ha! Every word in that book was loaded. The text was so cunningly and concisely written that you actually had to study every word because nothing was repeated. While LOF isn't quite that concise (it does have a complete storyline along with the math), Dr. Schmidt doesn't waste words or your time. Every problem is almost like a brainteaser just a little out of your reach unless you truly grasp the concepts. It gives you a chance to figure things out for yourself. There's a whole lot of brainstretching going on. Therefore, gifted math students are also drawn to these courses as they allow them to be challenged. Another good candidate for LOF is the remedial student who has already been through the course using another text. If it just didn't click, I would try this one. Finally, a motivated or independent student would also appreciate using the course. It's purposely addressed to the student and intended to be selfteaching. In fact, the author prefers that students use these with very little help from you so they can learn to study and understand on their own. Even the solutions are addressed to the student. In fact, there's a lot of actual instruction in the solutions, which students should read after trying to solve problems on their own. In short, just about EVERY student could use this program. The only shortfall I have seen in the program is for students who really need a lot of constant repetition and reinforcement. In some sections there are just not enough problems, even using the Home Companion. I had this problem twice in Beginning Algebra as serious as it needs to be. I both made up some of my own problems and supplemented with problems from Saxon Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 (some of the material is actually more advanced than in that series). I have since run across several other supplemental products that I could have used as well.
Life of Fred is a series of 12 courses. Two of these are Fractions and Decimals & Percents. The author recommends waiting to start these until your child is old enough to work on his/her own (about 5th grade). Each of these courses should take less than a quarter of a year to complete. The new LOF PreAlgebra 1 with Biology is formatted like the previous books, with BRIDGES rather than CITIES. It would fit in a teaching sequence between Fractions and Decimals & Percents and Beginning Algebra. You can get a good idea of what is taught in the course and the proportion of biology to algebra by checking out the table of contents on our website. Literally a "dream come true", Fred is every bit as entertaining while teaching biology as he is when teaching math! While this course will not replace high school biology, it will replace much of the biology instruction in a general science course. PreAlgebra 2 with Economics completes the prealgebra instruction, this time delving into topics such as interest rates, competition, opportunity costs, supply and demand. Following the same format as the Fractions, Decimals & Percents and PreAlgebra 1 and 2, Dr. Schmidt has released PreAlgebra 0 with Physics (formerly Elementary Physics). This book fits nicely into the Life of Fred sequence between Decimals & Percents and PreAlgebra 1. Dr. Schmidt feels that too much time is lost before presenting physics in high school and this book is designed as an introduction to fill that gap. Algebra and Advanced Algebra should each take a little more than half a year. While Geometry takes place during one day in the Life of Fred (a Thursday after his sixth birthday), it is definitely a full year course. Trigonometry can be completed in half of a year and Calculus (although covering two full years of calculus) will take one year. According to Mr. Schmidt, after this progression "you will be ready to declare as a math major at a university at the upper division level and take thirdyear (juniorlevel) mathematics courses". For even more Life of Fred, there is also a Statistics course which "has much more material than is normally covered in a beginning university statistics course". It's been years since my required course as a business major at a university I may just take this one myself. Partly to test the author's assertion and partly because life is full of decisions and, as the author says, "Success in life is 90% making the right decisions in the first place" (the other 10% is carrying them out). Also new is Linear Algebra (as serious as it needs to be). Scanning through the book, it looks a lot like an upperlevel course called Finite Math that I took in college. It covers: solving systems of equations with one solution (includes GaussJordan elimination, Gaussian elimination), many solutions, and no solution (includes data fitting); matrices; vector spaces; inner product spaces (including Fourier series and GramSchmidt orthogonalization process); linear transformations; and systems of equations into the future (including eigenvalues, stochastic matrices, Markov chains, Fibonacci numbers) It is described by Dr. Schmidt as a math course required by most colleges for math majors and should be taught after Calculus As far as progression, Dr. Schmidt has placed it at the very end of his other courses, after Statistics. Like other upperlevel courses, this one has "Your Turn to Play" sections separating textual chunks. Each chapter ends with six CITIES. There is a separate answer key for answers not included in the text.
Organization and format of the books is similar; of course, they all have a captivating storyline centering on Fred Gauss, a very young university math professor. The author, Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D., is a witty guy, a good storyteller, and he also loves math. Unlike many programs, the text is not written at a 6th grade level. If anything, the text is imbued with a little "extra" knowledge in different areas especially vocabulary. Dr. Schmidt also appears to be a Christian man. Although his books aren't preachy and in places tend toward gritty realism, you will find a strong plug for goodness here, along with a main character who says his prayers every night. Fractions, Decimals and Percents, and the PreAlgebra books are structured a little differently than the upperlevel books. Chapters in these are short (as are the books), ending with a Your Turn to Play problem set, followed by complete solutions with explanation. Generally, after every five chapters, there's a BRIDGE taking you from the culmination of the preceding chapters to the new material. Actually, there are five BRIDGES your student has five tries to make it across the BRIDGE. These contain a tenquestion review of everything learned to that point. Mr. Schmidt recommends that students get at least nine out of ten right to move on. Answers to these are in the back of the book. The final BRIDGE has 15 questions (20 in Decimals) and, again, five tries to pass. This gives a student ample opportunity to go back, study the material, and try again without feeling like they've failed. It is builtin remediation, rather than just failing and still going on (isn't this also the way we train our children? If they don't get it right, they need to correct and do it again). Starting in Beginning Algebra, chapters are longer. For courses with the Home Companion available (Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry), this book breaks the chapters into bitesized lessons. Natural breaks occur when the student encounters a Your Turn to Play (series of problems with completelyworked solutions following), but the Companions also provide sets of problems for each lesson in between. There are 108 lessons as laid out in the Fred's Home Companion Beginning Algebra study guide, but many of these are short; most students would combine some of them. By comparison, Saxon has 120 lessons, but this does not include testing whereas LOF's lesson count does. At the end of each chapter there are six CITIES (which all have names so you can assign a student to do Palmetto and Radcliffe for homework). Actually, I'm not sure why they have names but, as with BRIDGEs, these determine whether to move forward. They have some review material from previous chapters, but are largely chapter recaps. They take roughly 2030 minutes to complete and, again, give your student a chance to test, review, and test again (or you might work the first two cities together, assign the next two, and use the final two as tests). The first two CITIES have all answers provided; the next two have only odd answers shown; the last two have none. All answers not in the text are in the Home Companion or Answer Key. The back of each upperlevel book (except Calculus) has an A.R.T. section (All Reorganized Together) containing definitions, formulae, theorems postulates all the stuff you'd like summarized in one handy place together for easy reference. The Life of Fred actually begins in the Calculus as serious as it needs to be book (in which Fred is born), the first written (in 2001). Unlike the other volumes, it has all the Your Turn to Play questions and answers in the back and a Further Ado section containing even more rigorous material for you to include at your discretion. Possibly because this volume was originally written for college students, the material is edgier in this first book (Fred's dad drinks, his family is somewhat dysfunctional, and there are other allusions to drugs, alcohol and "hanky panky"). You may wish to skim ahead of your student and "edit" anything unsatisfactory.
So far, I'm giving a thumbs up to this unique (and slightly eccentric) math program. It has made math more palatable (and interesting) for my daughter. It has some unusual and novel approaches to problem solving (like a simple, foolproof method for factoring trinomials where the squared term has a coefficient > 1 instead of the guess and check approach employed in other books). It incorporates critical thinking and a discovery approach to math by its very nature. It integrates the value of learning in other curricular areas. It teaches math in the context of real life okay, real life uses for math in a kind of surreal life. And, who wouldn't like a math book that begins, "Hi! This is going to be fun," then follows through on that promise? Visit www.stanleyschmidt.com for other Raves from Readers or to find out more about the content of the books or even to contact the author directly. (You can even read some of Mr. Schmidt's 8:30 prayers). I'm not sure how Dr. Schmidt can include his home phone number on his website and encourage people to email and phone him with questions, but I have read several testimonies to his responsiveness. For a full scope and sequence, visit our website and take a peek at the table of contents for each level.
As a teacher, I have obviously enjoyed this course. But my daughter, Janine, has never had the innate appreciation for math that I do. Let's ask her what she thought (or thinks we still have 14 lessons to go!). Here are her comments on Life of Fred Beginning Algebra as serious as it needs to be:
"I love Life of Fred because of, well, Fred! But also because this is the most creative math course I've ever seen. When I first looked at the math course, the thing that made me excited (besides the story) was not seeing millions of problems. Just a few, thoughtprovoking and even funny ones. In the lesson book, you'll only have one small page, then you can be done. The Cities don't even have that many problems. But they are all worth your time and unrepetitive, and most inspire a challenge or are a little puzzle. Mom didn't think it would be a fullfledged math course. But the more we've worked through it, I've seen that it's quite a bit harder and requires more thinking. No wonder it's been put on some "gifted" lists. Moving along..the writing is HILARIOUS! It's almost like Stanley Schmidt and I have the same sense of humor sometimes. I've read Fractions and most of Begininng Algebra and enjoyed both immensely. It's a ridiculous, bizarre little series, which makes me love it all the more! My brother likes it so much he showed it to his college friends.and of course they all laughed. The characters are amazing, and the illustrations (especially of Fred) are priceless. Stanley even has a little fun subtly (and not so subtly) teasing movies, doctors, math books and a whole myriad of things, and he has never failed at amusing me. Math was my most hated subject. And while I can't say that I had a complete turnaround and wake up every morning saying "YAY! I get to do math today! Wheeeeee!" I can say that Life of Fred has taken all the dullness out, keeps me captivated, and injected a lot of fun. I'd call it an art piece, if a math book can be an art piece. An amazing, amazing series, even more so considering we're talking about a math course."
Well, there you have it from teacher and student. Who says math can't be entertaining?

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5.0 / 5.08 Reviews5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Stars80000This book holds my son's attention and breaks fractions down into simpler steps. Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0)
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I have seven children ages 22 down to 3 and NO other curriculum has been as helpful or enjoyable as Life of Fred Math We've used all the books from Apples (1st grade) to Calculus with the various ages of children My kids who were older when we started using the books learned more math to mastery in one year than they had in all the years before put together My three oldest (In 11th 9th and 7th grade at the time) had pretty much given up hope of ever understanding math but after using Life of Fred: Fractions (the book they all started with) they not only "get" math they LIKE math! Plus they learn it all on their own just like they should Was this review helpful? Yes (4) No (0)
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LOF Fractions is the book that turned Math around for my son I read about Life of Fred(LOF) on a homeschooling board and knew that I had to at least try it The story of Fred is engaging(I even enjoy reading the stories!) and at the same time weaves mathematical concepts into the lesson The problems in the book are presented in a fun and easy setting but are still challenging enough that students learn Math and the whys and wherefores behind the concepts The book is beneficial to those students whose strengths lie in verbal and language abilities It puts Math in 'their language' The LOF series has given my son a confidence in Math that I had not seen before and has taught him to work independently Another plus for this series is cost LOF is one of the least expensive Math programs available for homeschoolers My son is now in highschool and we will continue to use the LOF series for his Math credits Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0)
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August 9, 2012 Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0)
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Our daughter has dyscalculia and other math curricula caused volcanic eruptions of tears If you hadn't reviewed LIFE of FRED in such detail I wouldn't have contacted the books' author and my daughter probably wouldn't be smiling and laughing her way through her math today! Thanks again! Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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September 30, 2010 Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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My 12 year old son tired of the same old math drills year after year and I knew he needed something more to spice up his enthusiasm He loves math and we typically use two curriculums for it but it got dull Fred is amazing! It is selftaught which my son thought was fabulous and it is so engaging! My son was hooked once he opened the book We ordered fractions to review but really just so we could start at the beginning of Fred's journey it's that good It's the first subject that my son does everyday This curriculum is very easy to use and you need only the text It is a very worthwhile investment I have to say that this is a one of a kind type of math program and I have no negative thoughts about it We have used A Beka Singapore and MathUSee for elementary math For secondary math I have to say Life of Fred is my top choice Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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August 16, 2010 Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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Wow!!! I cannot begin to express how excited I am about this math program I ordered Life of Fred Fractions as an experiment I received the book on Friday and gave it to my daughter just to look over She started to READ and after a few minutes she came to me and asked for a piece of paper I watched in awe! By Sunday morning I had to pry the book out of her hands and demand that she put her math book away for a while She had completed half the book on her own My daughter had previously finished the first half of Singapore 4 which covered fractions; however she just as easily mastered new concepts as well as math concepts she had been taught previously When I would pass her room I could hear her laughing out loud at the stories!!! I have since recommended it to everyone I know It is a unique book that tests whether the student truly understands math concepts My daughter self checks all the problems until she reaches a "bridge" and she brings the problems to me to check (answers are in back) If anything is missed I can tell immediately which concept needs to be reviewed "Chapters" are short (as little as one page) but teach an incredible amount of information I believe this would be an excellent series to prepare a student for the SAT Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0)
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March 3, 2010 Was this review helpful? Yes (1) No (0)
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Everybody loves Fred!! Yep even the 3 year old! We purchased Fred after a very frustrating search for upper grade math From experience some of the more "popular" math courses are just not the best for everyone Too much reading instruction repetition just too much of everything We have a child who struggles with reading he tires easily and frustrates quickly Math however was his strength Of the two math courses we tried one was heavy on reading and the other had NO instruction Where to find the balance? The computer math courses were a little too pricey for us When my new Rainbow catalog arrived I happened to flip open tho the page presenting The Life of Fred HmmmInteresting After some internet research we plunged in buying the whole set My son is happily plugging through the first book Challenging yet not overwhelming My oldest daughter used the Fractions and Percents & Decimals for review and said they were fantastic She also noted they were a great follow up to Saxon 7/6 She is currently in Basic Algebra and really enjoys it Sometimes at night I find her reading to her little brothers out of Fred They giggle at the pictures and repeat the stories to people in conversation As far as difficulty or depth or adequate coverage of topics? We shall see Right now it's nice to have a child excited about math relaxed in his learning and enjoying a good challenge Fred forces you to think The questions stretch you There aren't that many questions in each chapter however they are LOADED! One more note on the depth of coverage Our uncle was visiting and he is literally a rocket scientist He was looking over Fred smiling at the kids' excitement He nodded and said "This is nice very nice Challenging and thorough yet very engaging" He wrote down the title so he could pass it on to a friend who home schools There you go approval from a rocket scientist Good enough for me Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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October 22, 2009 Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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My son has struggled and struggled with math the last several years and absolutely hated anything to do with math Everyday was a fight to get him to do his math He would sit for hours and hours just staring at his math book and cry when I tried to sit down with him to work on it I've tried several different curriculums with him and nothing worked I decided that this year something needed to change with his math After searching for a math curriculum that he would enjoy and understand I consulted a curriculum specialist here at Rainbow Resource I explained my dilemma and the specialist asked "Does your son like to read?" I told her he does and then she recommended The Life of Fred math books This has been the best math book I have ever seen or tried to do with my son! It has a great story line (Yes! It teaches in story form!) that captivates my son and he doesn't want to stop doing his math now! He does several chapters everyday and his math is the first thing he pulls off the book shelf every morning He is grasping the fraction skills so easily (because they are explained so simply) which is something that he's never been able to do before I am also finding my other children reading the books just for the story! If you have a child who is struggling in math or if your child could just do with a different twist to math these are the books for your child! I highly recommend them to anyone! Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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September 23, 2008 Was this review helpful? Yes (2) No (0)
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Q & A
Do not include HTML, links, references to other stores, pricing or contact info.My question is about:If your question is about more than one item, click + to add them.Browse 1 question Browse 1 question and 49 answersWhy did you choose this?Rainbow Resource Center StoreI have a smart kid who's great with words, but struggles with number anxiety. Based on reviewing this curriculum and many reviews, we think it will be a good fit for our kid.Helen H on May 7, 2018Well, everyone needs fractions in their math toolbox.M L on Apr 12, 2018My daughter enjoyed the elementary series of Fred.Seirah C on Jan 10, 2018Looking for a new ways to help my children with math.Sondra M on Nov 8, 2017My boys who have learning disabilities really struggle to understand fractions. "Life of Fred" books are different in how they teach a concept.Bonnie J on Aug 13, 2017I love the living books type approach this curriculum has. I also enjoy the out of the box style. My kids love the story and learn a lot just from reading through them.Shelly G on May 16, 2017It's the first math program my son actually understandsErin S on May 1, 2017My younger kids are enjoying Life of Fred elementary series and now my older kids are begging for Life of Fred to go along with their higher level math courses.Christopher W on Apr 7, 2017Our kids ages 10 and 15 love LOF!Sally B on Feb 23, 2017Love Life of Fred. This book will function as a supplement as my daughter is using Saxon for her primary math.Jennifer H on Jan 24, 2017Life of Fred has worked amazingly well as a math curriculum to help my son enjoy and understand mathChaun M on Nov 30, 2016I heard about this series from a friend. I thought I would try the fractions book for my son so that he can get a more solid understanding of fractions in a new format.Bonni S on Oct 15, 2016I love teaching my children math through stories. Life of Fred is a great classical math book.Tiffany E on Sep 30, 2016My girls love Fred. Dr. Stanley helps them understand how math is part of everyday life, while making it fun. His books even got two thumbs up from my nephew who is a Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University.Najwa W on Sep 23, 2016Hoping LoF helps with nonmath student.Robin H on Aug 19, 2016My kids enjoy Life of Fred.Jodi G on Aug 16, 2016I have heard good things about this curriculum.Barbara T on Jul 29, 2016highly recommended by fellow homeschool familyMelanie T on Jul 11, 2016Love me some LOFKristen C on Jun 1, 2016Fred is great because we can easily springboard into other areas of study.Melissa P on Apr 29, 2016Creative approachChristine D on Apr 10, 2016Fun, love all Life of Fred books!Rachel C on Feb 25, 2016We thoroughly enjoyed using the previous 5 Life of Fred books and want to continue on. Life of Fred: Fractions is the book after Life of Fred: Mineshaft. We hope to use Life of Fred all of the way through high school or until we complete all of the books.Trisha G on Nov 24, 2015looking for different style of teaching for this topic.Aaron L on Nov 1, 2015My daughter doesn't like math but likes to read.Laura Beth R on Oct 5, 2015I have a smart kid who's great with words, but struggles with number anxiety. Based on reviewing this curriculum and many reviews, we think it will be a good fit for our kid.Helen H on May 7, 2018I got this mostly as a refresher but also for the concepts that are taught in the book that were never taught in public school.Tina C on Apr 20, 2018Well, everyone needs fractions in their math toolbox.M L on Apr 12, 2018Needed a new, fresh curriculum for my teen, who struggles with math.Leslie N on Jan 18, 2018My daughter enjoyed the elementary series of Fred.Seirah C on Jan 10, 2018Have been very pleased with prior math books.Very happy to have a curriculum that makes math make sense.Vicki M on Jan 2, 2018Looking for a new ways to help my children with math.Sondra M on Nov 8, 2017Have used all previous levels of LOF.Megan F on Sep 21, 2017My boys who have learning disabilities really struggle to understand fractions. "Life of Fred" books are different in how they teach a concept.Bonnie J on Aug 13, 2017Life of Fred provides a great alternative to traditional math curriculum. The story line is engaging and helps solidify concepts for people who don't "get" math.J M on Aug 3, 2017I love the living books type approach this curriculum has. I also enjoy the out of the box style. My kids love the story and learn a lot just from reading through them.Shelly G on May 16, 2017Hoping this story based math will be interesting to my daughter and help her retain the information better.Jennifer D on May 2, 2017It's the first math program my son actually understandsErin S on May 1, 2017Was suggested by someone who homeschooled both daughtersIndira S on Apr 20, 2017My younger kids are enjoying Life of Fred elementary series and now my older kids are begging for Life of Fred to go along with their higher level math courses.Christopher W on Apr 7, 2017Looks like a fun way to do Math over the summer. My kids read the samples and were all laughing and excited to get Life of Fred.Amy T on Mar 5, 2017Our kids ages 10 and 15 love LOF!Sally B on Feb 23, 2017My son LOVES Life of Fred. He reads these alongside doing Teaching Textbooks.. actually wants to do these as MORE math! (He use to cry over math a few years ago! These helped him understand it more)Tara K on Feb 5, 2017Love Life of Fred. This book will function as a supplement as my daughter is using Saxon for her primary math.Jennifer H on Jan 24, 2017Younger kid loves LoF, hoping older kid will find it fun and useful too.Jeremy K on Jan 15, 2017Life of Fred has worked amazingly well as a math curriculum to help my son enjoy and understand mathChaun M on Nov 30, 2016My son is Dyslexic and ADHD. We've struggled with all kinds of math curriculum. This Life of Fred is one he enjoys reading and doing. He is making huge progress with his fractions. I also back this up with Teaching Textbooks Grade 6.Laura L on Nov 25, 2016I heard about this series from a friend. I thought I would try the fractions book for my son so that he can get a more solid understanding of fractions in a new format.Bonni S on Oct 15, 2016I think this will be perfect for my fifth grade daughter. Life of Fred has been great for all six of my children.Katharine G on Oct 3, 2016I love teaching my children math through stories. Life of Fred is a great classical math book.Tiffany E on Sep 30, 2016Recommended by a friend and great reviewsJackie J on Sep 26, 2016My girls love Fred. Dr. Stanley helps them understand how math is part of everyday life, while making it fun. His books even got two thumbs up from my nephew who is a Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University.Najwa W on Sep 23, 2016My kids love Life of Fred! We started with the first bookApples, and have continued reading the series. My kids love the fact that it is funny, engaging, and interesting. When I teach them something new in math, they are already familiar with it because of Life of Fred. We use Life of Fred as a Math as a supplement.Gina E on Sep 6, 2016Hoping LoF helps with nonmath student.Robin H on Aug 19, 2016I have a bright 12 YO who thinks she doesn't like math. It's time to try something different.Andrea S on Aug 16, 2016My kids enjoy Life of Fred.Jodi G on Aug 16, 2016Good reviewsTequitia A on Aug 8, 2016I have heard good things about this curriculum.Barbara T on Jul 29, 2016I have a struggling to learn child & have heard great things about LoF!!Michaela L on Jul 18, 2016highly recommended by fellow homeschool familyMelanie T on Jul 11, 2016I needed something new and fresh for my 6th grader and this math program seems to be just that! we are excited to try it out!Camilla C on Jun 30, 2016Love me some LOFKristen C on Jun 1, 2016Tried the elementary Life of Fred books and loved them! I expect to enjoy these as well.Beth M on May 22, 2016Fred is great because we can easily springboard into other areas of study.Melissa P on Apr 29, 2016My fifth grader is having difficulty grasping the addition of several fractions.Cheryl R on Apr 17, 2016Creative approachChristine D on Apr 10, 2016My kiddos love the Life of Fred series so continuing with Fractions and Decimals & Percents was a nobrainer:)Erica W on Mar 31, 2016Fun, love all Life of Fred books!Rachel C on Feb 25, 2016Fractions are difficult for most people, kiddos and adults both. This book makes them easy for most anyone to understand!!!!Anita B on Dec 3, 2015We thoroughly enjoyed using the previous 5 Life of Fred books and want to continue on. Life of Fred: Fractions is the book after Life of Fred: Mineshaft. We hope to use Life of Fred all of the way through high school or until we complete all of the books.Trisha G on Nov 24, 2015This product was recommended by other homeschooling moms that have tried several different curricula.User on Nov 15, 2015looking for different style of teaching for this topic.Aaron L on Nov 1, 2015We have loved LOF from Apples through Mineshaft. It makes sense for us to continue with a program we adore.Elizabet Y on Oct 6, 2015My daughter doesn't like math but likes to read.Laura Beth R on Oct 5, 2015I got this mostly as a refresher but also for the concepts that are taught in the book that were never taught in public school.Tina C on Apr 20, 2018Needed a new, fresh curriculum for my teen, who struggles with math.Leslie N on Jan 18, 2018Have been very pleased with prior math books.Very happy to have a curriculum that makes math make sense.Vicki M on Jan 2, 2018Have used all previous levels of LOF.Megan F on Sep 21, 2017Life of Fred provides a great alternative to traditional math curriculum. The story line is engaging and helps solidify concepts for people who don't "get" math.J M on Aug 3, 2017Hoping this story based math will be interesting to my daughter and help her retain the information better.Jennifer D on May 2, 2017Was suggested by someone who homeschooled both daughtersIndira S on Apr 20, 2017Looks like a fun way to do Math over the summer. My kids read the samples and were all laughing and excited to get Life of Fred.Amy T on Mar 5, 2017My son LOVES Life of Fred. He reads these alongside doing Teaching Textbooks.. actually wants to do these as MORE math! (He use to cry over math a few years ago! These helped him understand it more)Tara K on Feb 5, 2017Younger kid loves LoF, hoping older kid will find it fun and useful too.Jeremy K on Jan 15, 2017My son is Dyslexic and ADHD. We've struggled with all kinds of math curriculum. This Life of Fred is one he enjoys reading and doing. He is making huge progress with his fractions. I also back this up with Teaching Textbooks Grade 6.Laura L on Nov 25, 2016I think this will be perfect for my fifth grade daughter. Life of Fred has been great for all six of my children.Katharine G on Oct 3, 2016Recommended by a friend and great reviewsJackie J on Sep 26, 2016My kids love Life of Fred! We started with the first bookApples, and have continued reading the series. My kids love the fact that it is funny, engaging, and interesting. When I teach them something new in math, they are already familiar with it because of Life of Fred. We use Life of Fred as a Math as a supplement.Gina E on Sep 6, 2016I have a bright 12 YO who thinks she doesn't like math. It's time to try something different.Andrea S on Aug 16, 2016Good reviewsTequitia A on Aug 8, 2016I have a struggling to learn child & have heard great things about LoF!!Michaela L on Jul 18, 2016I needed something new and fresh for my 6th grader and this math program seems to be just that! we are excited to try it out!Camilla C on Jun 30, 2016Tried the elementary Life of Fred books and loved them! I expect to enjoy these as well.Beth M on May 22, 2016My fifth grader is having difficulty grasping the addition of several fractions.Cheryl R on Apr 17, 2016My kiddos love the Life of Fred series so continuing with Fractions and Decimals & Percents was a nobrainer:)Erica W on Mar 31, 2016Fractions are difficult for most people, kiddos and adults both. This book makes them easy for most anyone to understand!!!!Anita B on Dec 3, 2015This product was recommended by other homeschooling moms that have tried several different curricula.User on Nov 15, 2015We have loved LOF from Apples through Mineshaft. It makes sense for us to continue with a program we adore.Elizabet Y on Oct 6, 2015

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