Life of Fred: Edgewood

Life of Fred: Edgewood

# 050461

Our Price: $19.00
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Item #: 050461
ISBN: 9780979107283
Grades: 2-5

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
1.0 (lbs.)
10.38" x 7.25" x 0.56"
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WE LOVE life of FRED....
Cheryl C on Apr 28, 2022
We have the first four Fred books and they're great!
Amy D on May 17, 2021
WE LOVE life of FRED....
Cheryl C on Apr 28, 2022
Like Fred
Emily R on Mar 22, 2022
We have the first four Fred books and they're great!
Amy D on May 17, 2021
LIfe of Fred is a fun supplement to our math lessons. All of my children are entertained by his antics and enjoy following his story.
April C on Jan 27, 2021
My boys love Life of Fred and this one was missing from our collection. This one was next for them and they're so excited to get reading again!
Mara Y on Oct 6, 2020
My kids LOVE Life of Fred. They beg for me to keep reading!
Amanda T on Jul 24, 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 child loves these stories. We use this as a Math supplement to add to a subject that is harder.
Danielle B on Jan 23, 2019
We're continuing the series from Apples. My kids love it!
Rebecca R on Nov 26, 2018
So far we have enjoyed learning math using the Life of Fred books. They hold my sons interest and are easy to use.
Holly B on Oct 31, 2018
We like this series.
Raquel E on Apr 10, 2018
These are a wonderful curriculum. My children love them
Michael H on Feb 22, 2018
My son loves Life of Fred
Robert G on Feb 11, 2018
Needed to add to our library and to get free shipping. :0
Beth T on Sep 26, 2017
We read Life of Fred as a supplement to Teaching Textbooks and my boys LOVED it! They beg for more!
Stacy W on Aug 18, 2017
Heard wonderful feedback about these books! We cannot wait to try them!
Katherine K on Mar 7, 2017
We are already using this series and enjoying it. We wanted to continue with it next year.
Arturo G on Mar 6, 2017
Really liked books A-D, kid loves the narrative-style real-life math with the clear and simple explanations. Want to keep going with the same program.
Jeremy K on Jan 15, 2017
My son says he feels "Very happy." about Life of Fred.
Bernadette B on Sep 18, 2016
I have many LOF books but not this one.
Kirsten T on Mar 2, 2016
Rj K on Jan 7, 2016
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
Like Fred
Emily R on Mar 22, 2022
LIfe of Fred is a fun supplement to our math lessons. All of my children are entertained by his antics and enjoy following his story.
April C on Jan 27, 2021
5.0 / 5.0
4 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
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1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
We love Life of Fred!
My kids love the Life of Fred books. My son who is 6 asks that we do this first to start our day. I am so impressed with the way it’s written and how much my children have taken to this style of teaching. Their curiosity increases with each chapter they read. We will be ordering Life of Fred again and again!
October 18, 2018
over 4 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Awesome method for teaching math
My 2e son(8yo) loves Life of Fred. He briefly went to a school that was all math worksheets and he said " I was starting to think I didn't love math anymore!" We are back to homeschooling and we love Life of Fred! Teaches the basics while keeping the child curious about advanced math theories and ideas. A very unique approach that keeps math fresh and interesting. Wish I had learned math this way.
April 11, 2018
over 4 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Unlike any other math book in the best way!
My daughter (7) and I are about 3/4 through The Life of Fred: Edgewood. It took a few chapters for us to warm up to it. Now I look forward to what we are going to learn in a clever way that pertains to everyday life. It is mostly math but surprisingly other subjects (a fun diversion and bonus) - be it geography or spelling or grammar, etc). The big difference in learning is that it engages the student to think about it! Higher math concepts are introduced and discussed and WELL RECEIVED! For example in Edgewood one of the problems (although it's called your turn to play) is whether you can have more than two right angles in a trapezoid. I'm not sure how she grasped the concept so quickly but as I pondered it, my daughter was sure. She wrote down "NO." Also the concept of variables. My daughter found it a fun challenge and wanted me to make more problems for her! There aren't many problems per chapter nor practice. What there is instead, is time to let their minds think about the concepts throughout the story. It's a low pressure, yet highly cerebral experience. The individual books only take about a month to complete yet they are packed with nuggets of fascinating stuff. I suggest you try one for yourself.
September 24, 2017
over 5 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Life of Fred egdewood and farming
Love all of life of Fred!! These books are amazing the author is a genius!! ??
October 24, 2015
over 7 years ago

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