Life of Fred Elementary A-D Package

Life of Fred Elementary A-D Package


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Item #: LOFEAD
Grades: 1-4

Product Description:

This package includes the following items:

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.


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Why did you choose this?
Rainbow Resource Center Store
Trying a less writing-centric math curriculum for my son. We borrowed the first Life of Fred book to try from a friend and he absolutely loved it. Excited for him to use this!
Elizabeth P on Jul 16, 2022
Trying to find a differnet math curriculum for my lateral thinker.
Lynette P on Nov 7, 2021
Trying a less writing-centric math curriculum for my son. We borrowed the first Life of Fred book to try from a friend and he absolutely loved it. Excited for him to use this!
Elizabeth P on Jul 16, 2022
Got recommended
Zoujin O on Dec 18, 2021
Trying to find a differnet math curriculum for my lateral thinker.
Lynette P on Nov 7, 2021
cant wait to try this
ROOSS KATHERINE C on Oct 20, 2021
I'm hoping these are something my elementary children can read without me having to give the lesson.
Patrick M on Apr 10, 2021
Seton's 3rd Grade Math text is, well, the most dry, boring and poorly explained math text I can recall. (And I'm a "retired" engineer, so I'm used to dry, boring math.) Friend said she uses Life of Fred & her kids will even pick up LoF books just to read through them (for fun!). While we are past the sweat & tears of the year & my son is doing fantastic (so these aren't "necessary") he's a great, sweet boy and worked hard so I want to treat him to a Life of Fred 4th quarter! Smiles for sure!
Kyla P on Mar 27, 2021
better and more enjoyable math curriculum for homeschooling
Myelle B on Mar 9, 2021
wish stories can lead my 5-year old son to love math
Jiangyan Z on Feb 23, 2021
Have heard from multiple friends that their kids love it and ask for more. Done!
Becky L on Feb 21, 2021
I have a first grader who is gifted in math and likes to learn about applications in real life. He is also for more ways to "do math." This looks to be a creative, engaging way to root math concepts into every day life.
Nicole G on Jan 14, 2021
I am teaching my 5 year old math and want to make it more engaging.
Mihoko T on Dec 30, 2020
My friend recommended it to me for my daughter in the second grade.
Fan Y on Dec 7, 2020
student with dyslexia. Thought stories would help give a visual in her mind for retaining (over memorization of abstract math facts).
Tasha S on Dec 1, 2020
My kids love how silly Fred is. They often ask to do more because they enjoy it so much.
Heidi R on Dec 1, 2020
A friend recommended them, and I was looking for books that make learning math fun and relevant and this series seem to be the right ones to provide these. Thanks!
XIN L on Oct 23, 2020
Reinforce math through read aloud
Michael G on Oct 19, 2020
I've heard good things about this curriculum. I also like the story-based way it teaches math and want to add this as a math supplement for my homeschool.
Suzanne C on Oct 6, 2020
I allowed my son to complete the sample pages provided through the publisher's website. My son enjoyed the product, which encouraged me to make this purchase.
PAULA G on Oct 1, 2020
It's a fresh approach to maths
Alberto M on Sep 26, 2020
I have heard great things about it and I like how it will be continuous and organic through the story line, leading up to the next concept.
Virginia M on Sep 17, 2020
Several friends recommended it, and I was looking for a more non-traditional math education program
Janelle S on Sep 14, 2020
Because I learned from my now 10 and 12 year old that I need to focus on context first and foremost when teaching math to maintain attention and real-life mastery.
Tasha V on Sep 4, 2020
We were told this is a great item.
Valery V on Aug 30, 2020
Friend recommended this book set
Nan W on Aug 26, 2020
This looks like it will be a fun way for my child to learn math.
Megan B on Aug 26, 2020
Because it looks like such a fun math curriculum, bringing joy to the process of learning math, and seeing math everywhere!
Brielle G on Aug 16, 2020
I'm excited for my kids to learn from Fred--how to think in math terms, direct their own learning, and appreciate reading as the source of so much knowledge.
Meredith G on Aug 13, 2020
First was a suggestion from a home school parent. Then, after checking reviews, the reviews were amazingly good.
Tedi R on Aug 12, 2020
I have read/listened to reviews of this math program. My son loves math, but has very little interest in reading. I am hopeful that with the reading/humor aspect of this type of math lesson, it will also encourage him to enjoy reading a little more and then expand his math mastery skills along the way.
Suzanne N on Aug 4, 2020
I am intrigued by the possibility of teaching my 4 and 8 year old math concepts simultaneously. I am also excited at the prospect of teaching my children - who loathe math drills and worksheets - math in a fun and unique way. I also can't wait to learn more about Fred!
Kimberly H on Jul 29, 2020
Plan to use it as a math supplement for homeschooling.
Wioleta G on Jul 21, 2020
Trying a new approach to math after child's frustration with Saxon and Mathusee
KATIE B on Jul 21, 2020
I received a recommendation for the Life of Fred series. I'm considering homeschooling my child during the 2020-21 school year, so my son and I are using the first few elementary books as a series try-out before school starts.
Connie M on Jul 8, 2020
Recommended by a friend!
Winter M on Jun 30, 2020
friend recommendation
Jennifer S on Jun 23, 2020
My son loves to read but isn't so thrilled about math. I think this will connect him to the subject.
Martha A on Jun 3, 2020
to supplement the first grade My Fathers World curriculum
Francine R on May 27, 2020
Great reviews
Sarah A on May 27, 2020
I have heard good things about these.
Tarrah L on Apr 8, 2020
It was recommended to me by a friend who has used it with great success with 5 of her children. All of which have different learning styles.
Susan P on Feb 13, 2020
To try and spark fun in my sons math, he excels in math but public school ruined learning for him.
Brittany M. on Oct 6, 2019
The way it teaches math concepts in story format is unique and very understandable for children.
Tracey S on Aug 19, 2019
I've heard good things about LOF. This is our first time to try it!
Alicia D on Aug 1, 2019
Looking to help my kids enjoy math again.
Jenna D on Jul 6, 2019
I have a child struggling to like math. This seems like a fun way to get her interested in math. I'm hoping I can incorporate it into morning basket.
Allison V on Feb 21, 2019
I am looking for something that will make math more fun and interesting to my anti-math 9 year old. And maybe the 7 year old will like it too.
Penny A on Feb 13, 2019
Because they are awwwwwsoome books!!!
Blanca R on Dec 20, 2018
Pamela M on Dec 18, 2018
Interesting, Interesting, Interesting! My daughter gets bored easily with math drills, so I think the extra enrichment in LOF will be extremely helpful in keeping her interest!
Julie G on Sep 11, 2018
Recommended by Thomas Jefferson Education to inspire a love of numbers
Michelle C on Aug 9, 2018
Got recommended
Zoujin O on Dec 18, 2021
cant wait to try this
ROOSS KATHERINE C on Oct 20, 2021
4.9 / 5.0
15 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Fun and Educational!
We purchased this set for our grandchildren. They love the humor and are having fun while learning math!
November 11, 2021
10 months ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Out of the box math!
Huge hit with our right-brain child. He can follow math, but forgets as soon as he learns because it’s not as interesting as other subjects. This is bringing in loads of fun and is a great way to review concepts that might have been left along the wayside.
June 11, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
My kids love it.
April 12, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
2nd grader loves it
My son, who's in second grade, loves LoF. He actually asks if we can "do Fred" whereas he normally doesn't like math. This is a complete curriculum and you technically don't need anything else, but I have found good success (so far) by combining this with Ray's Arithmetic (which provides plenty of extra practice problems). Since we get through one Fred lesson within 15 minutes, combining the Ray's isn't too much work at all. I find they work well together. You could probably combine with any other simple math curriculum for extra practice and be just fine. But again, this is labeled as a complete curriculum, so you can always try it by itself, and if you need extra practice, print out free math worksheets from online or get Ray's (or another curriculum).
October 28, 2020
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Surprised how much my son loves this!
This is so fun, it doesn't feel like work at all, and my son is enjoying it and traditionally doesn't like to read aloud. He will insist he is reading each chapter himself when we do Life of Fred though!
October 18, 2020
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
We love it!
We bought this series for my 3rd grade son as we decided to homeschool this year. He loves math and excels in it, but reading is a different story. 1 month into homeschool and we're already finished with the first two books and ready to purchase the rest of the elementary LOF series. While it is below his grade level at this point so the math is "too easy", he enjoys the story line and we spend a lot of time laughing together and enjoying the other random bits of knowledge. We will use these books for our younger children as well and my husband now has an interest in learning calculus. I'm sure the entire LOF series will be on our bookshelves soon enough.
September 19, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
I quickly skimmed these and thought my 8 year old would find them silly. He loves them and reads them for pleasure. He got through all four in about 3 weeks because he would not put them down. We had to make him stop each evening so we could eat dinner, then stop at night so he would go to bed. He read them again out loud to his little brothers and he’d guide them through answering the questions. I love math and I was thrilled to see my kids enjoying math so much. I bought these as supplemental and will buy the next set too!
July 12, 2018
over 4 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Fred is fun
Life of Fred doesn’t feel like Math. It is a Fun story which teaches concepts by repeating them over in a different way in the context of a story. I’m reading it with my seven year old son. My 9 year old son can’t help himself, he listens too. It makes math, quick and simple and part of life. My son notices the math he encounters in his daily life and makes addition problems with food and Pokémon cards. I’ve been reluctant to buy Fred because I didn’t think it was a stand alone Math curriculum. It’s very different from the Math taught at public school. We are halfway through Apples and I feel like Fred’s approach to Math is a good fit for our family!
November 5, 2017
over 4 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Amazing and silly
We have loved this program. It is very logic based. Almost seems more like a logic based program than just math. Your child won't be spending hours on hundreds of problems. They will be reading a silly story and gaining quite a bit of logic then answering a few questions.
May 15, 2016
over 6 years ago
Rated 4 out of 5
My son keeps begging to read this
The stories are very silly, in a nonsensical way. If your child enjoys that, they will enjoy this. We also mix in Singapore and Saxon for our "complete" math class, but this is the one my son always wants, because it's several pages of the story and then just a few questions to answer. There isn't much drill, so I can't see this working as a complete math program, but the way the concepts are presented lay a good foundation for really understanding how math works.
April 26, 2016
over 6 years ago

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