Life of Fred: Dogs

Life of Fred: Dogs

# 029782

Our Price: $19.00
In Stock.

Item #: 029782
ISBN: 9780979107276
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"
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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
We've read the Life of Fred A-C books and really enjoyed them.
Elizabeth H on Aug 1, 2021
Want to see if it will help my 2nd grader understand math better.
Corie E on Jun 30, 2021
These books have been a hit with granddaughters. We all look forward to the stories and often random --but intriguing-- ideas beyond math. Because the information is presented in a fun way, it is retained better than I would have expected.
MELISSA M on Mar 26, 2021
Just bought Cats as well, after having finished Apples and Butterflies. My kids love these.
Becky P on Feb 18, 2021
Our family loves this series! This is the next book we'd need to continue on with the series.
Sonali B on Feb 10, 2021
My son loves this series and this is the next book he needs.
Tracy G on Jan 25, 2021
love the fred series. just finishing up cats with my 2nd grader.
Dawn F on Nov 30, 2020
gift to my grand kids
Evangeline A on Oct 24, 2020
Moving along in the series - requested by kiddo - use as bedtime reading
Alexis L on Sep 29, 2020
We have enjoyed supplementing our math lessons with this fun series. It provides great exposure to math concepts while engaging the kids with silly scenarios.
Christine B on Aug 27, 2020
Great math program! Gentle way of learning math, yet keeps children engaged and interested in math!
Tiffany R on Aug 24, 2020
We have the first two Fred books and my kids love them!
Amy D on Jun 16, 2020
Summer Math program
Nadine F on Apr 29, 2020
WE have been reading Life of Fred Apples and Butterflies and wanted to get the next few books. They are great!
Courtney C on Feb 1, 2020
My struggling math student begs for this math.
Thomas H on Jan 16, 2020
Continuing on. Working really well as review for my 10 yr old boy.
Sariah D on Sep 14, 2019
We have a struggling learner and this is the only Math he actually loves doing. He looks forward to math now since we started using these books. We pair this with Math facts review.
Julie W on Aug 27, 2019
Great Math curriculum.
Ashley G on Aug 18, 2019
My daughter loves the Life of Fred series. It engages her and she is able to have fun while doing math.
Natalie G on Mar 29, 2019
My kids LOVE these books. We use them as a companion to Math Mammoth, and they fly through them. So funny, and they are learning.
Michael P on Feb 14, 2019
Moving through the series and got best total price with shipping with Rainbow.
Morgan F on Jan 2, 2019
It's a fun supplement
Emily J on Dec 26, 2018
This is our math curriculum of choice.
Joy O on Jul 30, 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
We use Fred for math. I got this here since I was ordering the other books here.
Holly B on Feb 25, 2018
My children enjoy the life of fred series
Alyssa J on Jan 8, 2018
My favorite math series has elementary books now, and I couldn't be happier!
Lourdes O on Dec 29, 2017
I chose this book because we've finished (and thoroughly enjoyed) the first two books in the series.
Zuleika O on Dec 5, 2017
next book in the series.
Catherine L on Dec 1, 2017
My son loves these books! He always wants to read this last, best for last he says.
Patricia K on Aug 14, 2017
We have loved Life of Fred. My 7yo is loving math and begs to do it every day.
Jerry on Feb 1, 2017
My 8 year old son loves these books!
Patricia S on Nov 30, 2016
Did the first book and my son loved it
Christopher J on Oct 17, 2016
Homeschooling, something my child can work on independently.
Linda M on Oct 4, 2016
Text being used in co-op.
Heather H on Sep 17, 2016
We are using this as a math supplement for homeschool and will need this book soon
VICTORIA M on Sep 17, 2016
Life of Fred is perfect for my 9 year old. He has no tolerance for workbook but this gives him more of a story format.
Candace F on Sep 2, 2016
needed this next level for my son
Loren G on Aug 19, 2016
Just working through the series
Erin S on Jun 28, 2016
My 6 year old sped through Apples.
Tricia H on Jun 20, 2016
My little kids are enjoying Fred stories.
Melissa P on Apr 29, 2016
Our kindergarden-aged son is enjoying the Fred series, and we are using it for primary math curriculum until this summer, when I'll add the Miquon math lessons.
Kelly S on Mar 16, 2016
I have many LOF books but not this one.
Kirsten T on Mar 2, 2016
We so enjoyed the Apples LIfe of Fred, so am purchasing Cats, Dogs, and Butterflies.
Joann B on Feb 16, 2016
We love FRED!
Mereta P on Feb 16, 2016
math has been a struggle for my children and the LOF series seems to work well for them
Natalie W on Feb 4, 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
We've read the Life of Fred A-C books and really enjoyed them.
Elizabeth H on Aug 1, 2021
These books have been a hit with granddaughters. We all look forward to the stories and often random --but intriguing-- ideas beyond math. Because the information is presented in a fun way, it is retained better than I would have expected.
MELISSA M on Mar 26, 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: Dogs
Life of Fred: Dogs
Life of Fred: Butterflies
Life of Fred: Butterflies
Life of Fred: Cats
Life of Fred: Cats
Life of Fred: Apples
Life of Fred: Apples
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
5 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Life of Freid: Dogs is so fun
My kid begs to go through this book. She loves following Fred's adventures.
March 13, 2021
8 months ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Love Fred! :)
We are such big fans of Fred! My kids are 3rd and 5th, but we started back at the beginning (necessary!) and they have so much fun with these books. When we finish one chapter, they say, “one more?!”
I am impressed with the advanced concepts that are introduced in a fun way. I’m learning a lot too!
July 16, 2020
1 year ago
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
Rated 5 out of 5
The Mister Rogers of Mathematics
I love this series. My son loves it. Every lessons brings smiles and laughter. He loves Fred and Kingie's adventures. These books have whimsy, heart, wit and warmth. There is much more thought and math to the books than meets the eye. We supplement with Math Mammoth for more pencil to paper work but it really could stand on it's own if you played some various games that use math such as Racko, Yahtzee, cribbage, etc.
March 8, 2016
over 5 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Excellent Resource
I love the narrative approach of this curriculum & so does my daughter. She asks to do this kind of math work. :)
October 22, 2015
over 6 years ago

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