Life of Fred: Cats

Life of Fred: Cats

# 029777

Our Price: $19.00
In Stock.

Item #: 029777
ISBN: 9780979107269
Grades: 1-4

Product Description:

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 lap...and finish the series sitting on his/her lap!" It's as simple as ABC...just 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.

I was sold even before I opened Apples by the picture of Archimedes 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.

Category Description for Life of Fred:

Life of Fred (LOF) is an unconventional series of math texts that seem accessible and friendly, especially for students who dislike traditional programs. According to Dr. Schmidt, the author, this series is designed to teach you the math you need to know without repetition, redundancy, and a multitude of problems to work. LOF follows the storyline of Fred's life while incorporating solid math concepts and skills. Motivated or independent students will appreciate this series, as well as gifted math students who might need a challenge. Written to the student and intended to be self-teaching, 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 (found in the text) 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. Math in a story context can sometimes make more sense to students than stand-alone math concepts - especially if it's an entertaining story! Students do two books per year up through pre-algebra; beginning with algebra, one book per year.


Primary Subject
Grade Start
Grade End
Hardcover Book
Brand Name
Z-twist Books
0.9688 (lbs.)
10.38" x 7.25" x 0.55"
Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 52 answers
Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
I decided to get all of the curriculum I needed in the first set
Nathan L on Sep 30, 2021
Want to see if it will help my 2nd grader understand math better.
Corie E on Jun 30, 2021
I decided to get all of the curriculum I needed in the first set
Nathan L on Sep 30, 2021
highly recommended
Emily R on Sep 9, 2021
Want to see if it will help my 2nd grader understand math better.
Corie E on Jun 30, 2021
My son has ADHD and possibly FASD but he is very attentive to stories. I have been searching for a curriculum choice that might be able to draw him in and hold his attention long enough to get the essence of the math lesson being taught. He is very intelligent so I am hoping that once the story gets his attention, he will be able to grasp the concept and complete the short "Your Turn to Play" before his attention wanes..
Brenda M on Apr 8, 2021
This is next on the list of Fred books. My daughters love them, and it's an easy way for them to do some math without tedious worksheets.
Angela A on Feb 25, 2021
We have already read the first two books in the series and my 5 and 7 year old are enjoying the stories and sneakily learning extra math in our school days. Going to continue as long as they are interested.
Becky P on Feb 18, 2021
We enjoyed reading the first two books (Life of Fred: Apples, and Butterflies) with our first grader.
Vikram A on Feb 11, 2021
I picked this book because my friends that are other homeschooling moms have it.
Marrissa B on Dec 1, 2020
My son enjoyed the Butterflies book that a friend gave us and wants to read more about Fred.
Tracy G on Nov 6, 2020
My son loves Fred!
Sarah G on Sep 28, 2020
This is a fun, engaging way for kids to learn math!
Jenny M on Aug 23, 2020
We have the first two Fred books and my kids love them!
Amy D on Jun 16, 2020
I have purchased the first two books of this series and my granddaughter likes it so much, she takes it to bed with her.
Kathleen M on May 10, 2020
Summer Math program
Nadine F on Apr 29, 2020
My daughter LOVED Apples and Butterfiles so we are excited to read Cats!!
Shaina A on Apr 2, 2019
We have finished Apples and are into Bananas. My daughter loves it so making sure we have Cats on hand before we finish Bananas.
Gena O on Jan 6, 2019
Moving through the series and got best total price with shipping with Rainbow.
Morgan F on Jan 2, 2019
Life of Fred is an "Add on" to our math program that we use either to warm up before our main lesson or to do during Morning Time, especially if I know we won't have time to get to our full math lesson that day.
Elizabeth N on Oct 26, 2018
We're working our way through the Life of Fred series and LOVE them!
Katy M on Aug 14, 2018
My Son has been doing Life of Fred apples and we want to continue the journey. It is very enjoyable and we find ourselves laughing.
User on Apr 20, 2018
We like this series.
Raquel E on Apr 10, 2018
My kids love "Life of Fred" and I'm continuing with the subsequent books.
Lisette J on Mar 8, 2018
My favorite math series has elementary books now, and I couldn't be happier!
Lourdes O on Dec 29, 2017
We just started the series and my 8 yr old has finished the first books within a couple days!
Dominique L on Dec 18, 2017
I chose this book because we've finished (and thoroughly enjoyed) the first two books in the series and we are eager to find out what comes next... :)
Zuleika O on Dec 5, 2017
have finished Butterflies
Catherine L on Nov 1, 2017
I've read great reviews for this curriculum and wanted to try a different approach for my child's math education.
Deirdra W on Oct 20, 2017
my girls love these books
Alyssa J on Oct 12, 2017
We have loved LoF Apples and Butterflies. He can't wait to start Cats.
Jerry on Feb 1, 2017
Because Life of Fred made math come alive and a joyful experience for my children.
Meghan P on Nov 7, 2016
Homeschooling, something my child can work on independently.
Linda M on Oct 4, 2016
My daughter, who struggles with math, loves this series!
Tricia S on Sep 21, 2016
Text being used in co-op.
Heather H on Sep 17, 2016
My son has enjoyed Apples and Butterflies, so we are on to Cats! Gentle learning, usually gets us laughing every lesson.
Jana J on Sep 17, 2016
We have the previous books.
Molly S on Jul 19, 2016
My son really loved Life of Fred Apples and Butterflies!
Bernadette B on Jul 16, 2016
Just working through the series.
Erin S on Jun 28, 2016
My son, who is an absolute auditory learner, Fred is the only math curriculum that allows him to read and learn without a workbook.
Candace F on Apr 13, 2016
We so enjoyed the Apples LIfe of Fred, so am purchasing Cats, Dogs, and Butterflies.
Joann B on Feb 16, 2016
We LOVED Apples and Butterflies!
Mereta P on Feb 16, 2016
I loved Life of Fred Apples and Butterflies!
Erin D on Feb 2, 2016
Life of Fred entertains and engages kids without patronizing them. Each book develops the child's curiosity and logical problem solving while also teaching them about life and the world around them in a fun and simple way. I love that these books aren't consumable, so I can use them again and again for each child. A really fun math supplement.
Rachelle C on Jan 24, 2016
"I choose Life of Fred because it came highly recommend by a friend. I use Life of Fred and then I also use works books to go with it."
Sara P on Jan 15, 2016
for fun
Erin G on Jan 12, 2016
for my right brained son
Colette W on Dec 10, 2015
I am a combination of Robinson, Classical and Unschooling for my home school program for my three children. It made sense to use the Life of Fred math books because the rest of the home school curriculum I am using is very much literature based.
Leah W on Dec 10, 2015
My son loves to read, but doesn't love math, so these are perfect for him.
Regan B on Nov 8, 2015
My daughters love the life of fred books! They beg to do them! I use them to supplement our math curriculum
Rachel N on Oct 17, 2015
We are working through Life of Fred in addition to our regular math curriculum. We use it approx. 1 - 2 days a week. My kids love the stories and they do seem to be inspired to recognize how they use math every day. I don't really think that Life of Fred does a good enough job of teaching math, but it is a great supplemental resource.
Rita G on Oct 13, 2015
highly recommended
Emily R on Sep 9, 2021
My son has ADHD and possibly FASD but he is very attentive to stories. I have been searching for a curriculum choice that might be able to draw him in and hold his attention long enough to get the essence of the math lesson being taught. He is very intelligent so I am hoping that once the story gets his attention, he will be able to grasp the concept and complete the short "Your Turn to Play" before his attention wanes..
Brenda M on Apr 8, 2021
How does the LOF program work? Is Apples, Butterflies, Cats, and Dogs a complete 1st grade program? Or is each book for a different grade level? Or do you keep using the books up through 4th grade? The book says its complete and comprehensive but since some are recommending supplementing I want to know what topics would I need to supplement for 1st grade: a little bit everywhere or just a few key topics?
A shopper on Nov 29, 2019
Life of Fred: Cats
Life of Fred: Cats
Life of Fred: Butterflies
Life of Fred: Butterflies
Life of Fred: Apples
Life of Fred: Apples
Life of Fred: Dogs
Life of Fred: Dogs
BEST ANSWER: Each LoF book builds on itself, so Butterflies adds a few more addition facts to those previously in Apples. If you have a highly motivated learner, you could supplement with handwritten problems you think up yourself. But the point of LoF is not to purposely give them pages of work to overwhelm them. With my current 1st grader I often leave it at Your Chance to Play questions, whereas my 2nd grader loves the challenge of extra problems. He is up to Goldfish now.
5.0 / 5.0
1 Review
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
We love Life of Fred for math! Our daughter is actually excited to get the book out and read it and doesn't stress out over the questions.
April 14, 2017
over 4 years ago

help desk software