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 kit 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?
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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
Plan to use it as a math supplement for homeschooling.
Wioleta G on Jul 21, 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
Other home educating parents have spoken highly of Life of Fred.
Bridget P on Apr 8, 2018
has good reviews
Rachel P on Mar 19, 2018
great reviews
Bonnie B on Feb 27, 2018
Daughter loves to read but does not love math. Hope these stories will help her to enjoy math.
Kate D on Dec 2, 2017
My kids love the Life of Fred Elementary Math Series. Life Of Fred makes math fun.
Amber R W on Oct 18, 2017
A fun book for a boy who loves math but doesn't like reading.
Barbara C on Oct 18, 2017
Trying to find a math curriculum that my 8 year old will enjoy.
Lizbeth O on Sep 11, 2017
It was recommended by a fellow homeschooler and it received great reviews online.
Amina H on Aug 24, 2017
awesome program! conceptual math. Funny and engaging :) My kids love it.
Michelle M on May 30, 2017
Fun supplement to our math curriculum
Jessica P on Mar 23, 2017
I have heard great things about this math program.
Melinda on Mar 17, 2017
I also chose this for math remediation. My son's understanding and enjoyment of math are lacking, and I hope these help!
Nadeen C on Mar 11, 2017
Highly recommended
Linda A on Mar 8, 2017
love CM stye, read reviews, like non-traditional approach
Shawna H on Feb 14, 2017
I like Charlotte Mason and have a child struggling w/ math. Checking it out.
Sarah W on Dec 21, 2016
We have been struggling to find a math curriculum that speaks to my exceptionally creative son... something he can relate to. We have tried Singapore Math, Math U See and Khan Acadamy. This curriculum based on a story line will hopefully engage his imagination and keep him interested and not frustrated.
Christine D on Nov 11, 2016
My daughter loves to read and these sounded right up her alley. Turns out to have been a great choice!
Amy R on Nov 10, 2016
we have other life of fred books and the kids love them. They read them for the fun of it.
Amanda C on Nov 5, 2016
recommended by several friends to fill in the gaps mathematically that my kids may have.
Allyson N on Oct 30, 2016
Looking to change up my second grader's math a bit as she is struggling.
Bettye K on Oct 27, 2016
I chose these curriculums because I read many good reviews about this book. I also chose it because my son loves reading.
Dayana A on Sep 1, 2016
I thought these might help add a little levity into our learning day and foster confidence with math skills.
Julia K on Aug 26, 2016
I have used the LOF Junior High and High School Curricullum with great success. I am buying the elementary LOF for my grandkids.
SHERI T on Aug 15, 2016
Math supplement.
Erica H on Jul 23, 2016
Looked such a cool way to teach
User on Apr 10, 2016
Friend's recommendation
Grace F on Apr 7, 2016
Want a new math program for my math adverse 6 yr old.
Angela S on Apr 4, 2016
It looks fun.
Yu L on Mar 29, 2016
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
Trying a new approach to math after child's frustration with Saxon and Mathusee
KATIE B on Jul 21, 2020
4.9 / 5.0
9 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
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 2 years ago
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 2 years ago
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 4 years ago
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 4 years ago
Life of Fred has been great. I think it includes much more than math. My kids love the story and can't wait to dive into it everyday!
October 31, 2015
over 4 years ago
Math is fun again.
We are in our tenth year of schooling at home and math has always been the "hard" subject. I believe Stanley Schmidt, Ph.D put it best by reminding me that most math curricula take out the sugar. Just because I found math interesting and exciting did not mean that the curriculum we were using was conveying that feeling. Although I was skeptical at first and lery to try yet another math curriculum I am so glad we did.
October 17, 2015
over 4 years ago
I find Life of Fred good for reluctant math students I used the first few books to get my oldest son over his math-phobia and it worked (We started the books when he was 8) They jive with our real books style and our relaxed approach to homeschooling However I was sick of the books by the end of "F" (Farming) I don't mind the silliness and I enjoy the interdisciplinary information in the stories I also like the few problems at the end of each chapter instead of lots of drill However by the end of the 6th book the content is getting thinner Frankly I feel the author is milking it and stretching things out so he can fill up 26 books Considering how much I would pay for all the elementary books and how slowly they move I don't want to keep investing in the series It is a pretty painless way to learn a little bit of math but we are moving on to RightStart Math which is also painless (no endless drill) but a lot more efficient
April 22, 2014
Life of Fred has been a God send My youngest daughter started with Apples in the 4th grade and is progressing through the series Before starting with LOF she struggled in reading as well as math but now she is finally enjoying both with Fred My eldest who is an average math student also loves doing the original middle/high school series She told me this year as she is entering high school that she wouldn't go back to any other math! It is truly a stand alone material and you can supplement using easy and free online things It works for all students
November 12, 2013
My boys and I have fallen in love with Fred Fred eliminates the excessive review which my boys don't need You can easily suppliment if you do need the repetition and review Be sure to faithfully do every "Your Turn to Play" at the chapters' end
October 22, 2013

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