Life of Fred Elementary E-H Package

Life of Fred Elementary E-H Package


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Item #: LOFEEH
Grades: 2-4

Product Description:

This package includes the following items:

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?
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My children were struggling with math and our friend let us borrow a few Life of Fred books and both my children loved them.
Laura E on Feb 28, 2022
Used LoF for years with older child
Elizabeth S on Jul 19, 2021
My children were struggling with math and our friend let us borrow a few Life of Fred books and both my children loved them.
Laura E on Feb 28, 2022
We like to do a Fred book a few times a year when we take breaks from Math-U-See. We've already done LOF Apples - Dogs, so when we finish MUS Alpha in a couple of weeks, we'll do LOF Edgewood.
Jennifer B on Feb 19, 2022
Used LoF for years with older child
Elizabeth S on Jul 19, 2021
We love Fred!
Kathleen M on Jul 18, 2021
ive heard good things about this in the Charlotte Mason Community
Lilian R on Mar 19, 2021
My 7-yr-old son LOVES these books! We flew through the first 4 in 3 months because he always wants to do another chapter.
Amy W on Nov 19, 2020
This math program has suited my family well!
Veronica K on Sep 30, 2020
The books are so engaging and keep my boys motivated!
Liz D on Jul 9, 2020
Life of Fred is the lifeline that our family needed for math. It is excellent! And, it's very thorough. I have complete confidence in this program-and my kids can see WHY they learn what they are learning and how it applies to their REAL lives!
Laura F on Oct 1, 2019
Continuing on. Working really well as review for my 10 yr old boy.
Sariah D on Sep 14, 2019
My 8 year old loves Life of Fred!
Sarah F on Aug 2, 2019
my son loves the Fred books. They combine math with reading, science and history in such fun stories!
erin s on Jun 13, 2019
My daughter (2nd grade) has enjoyed the first set of books during our first semester of homeschooling. She's only been going for 2 months and is ready for the next 4 books! She's an advanced reader, so the story of Fred appeals to her quite a lot more than math worksheets!
Kathryn G on Feb 26, 2019
This is the math my youngest will complete consistently, after many different books and plans I've tried.
Joy O on Oct 9, 2018
My 6 year old LOVES Fred. She is always asking me to read a chapter, then another chapter, then another, and another. The chapters are short but the content is solid, full of great little nuggets of information.
Claudia S on Mar 24, 2018
Life of Fred Math has saved us from tears at math time! My boys LOVE the silly stories in each lesson and can't wait to find out what situations Fred gets himself into next. Their mental math has improved tremendously. As hard as it is for me to let go of the type of math I grew up on & get used to a completely new approach, I see the benefits & joy Life of Fred brings.
Megan P on Jan 24, 2018
My son learns best through story. Fred is math through story..
sony m on Aug 17, 2017
My oldest loves these books. We use them on top of another math program and she often asks me if she can do an extra lesson in life of Fred. Also, the man we test with recommends them.
Lindsey D on Jun 5, 2017
wanted a non-traditional method of teaching my daughter math, who takes a non-traditional approach to learning. :)
Sara on Nov 25, 2016
My kids love Fred! They actually look forward to doing math!
Jennifer J on Jul 18, 2016
You know you've got a winner when you have to nag your children to STOP DOING MATH! The Life of Fred series has been awesome in getting my kids off the conveyor belt of math drudgery (although we still do a little of that) and excited about real-world application. It's silly, interesting & fun, while still giving them a solid foundation of math concepts. Wish I'd ordered the whole series at once!!!
Kathrine H on Jul 1, 2016
My boy may need to repeat the books and do some building & manipulative reinforcement - he's younger than his sister and we're pushing through as fast as she can take it - but they're both enjoying the books.
maria m on Apr 6, 2016
My son tolerates his other math curriculum but he begs for Fred. My plan was to do it once a week but he insists that we do it every day after he has completed his math assignment!
Jennifer S on Mar 22, 2016
I've heard great things from my friend that it's a good tool for young kids.
Carl D on Feb 26, 2016
Continuing to enjoy our life with Fred.....with Life of Fred!
Anne L on Jan 29, 2016
We borrowed a few of these books - and they are amazing! They apply/adapt learning about math to everyday situations in "Fred's World". I wish I had these when I was learning math.
Lori S on Jan 26, 2016
Homeschooling parents (and their children) seem to love these books.
Deanna W on Dec 1, 2015
We like to do a Fred book a few times a year when we take breaks from Math-U-See. We've already done LOF Apples - Dogs, so when we finish MUS Alpha in a couple of weeks, we'll do LOF Edgewood.
Jennifer B on Feb 19, 2022
We love Fred!
Kathleen M on Jul 18, 2021
5.0 / 5.0
1 Review
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Rated 5 out of 5
Three cheers for Fred
My son loves doing Fred every day. I use it as an incentive to complete his other math curriculum. While I don't believe in drill and kill, I don't feel confident that Fred offers quite enough practice to be the primary curriculum but it is great to demonstrate how we apply math in every day life. They now have Fred and Kingie dolls to boot! If you haven't checked out Fred you need to! I don't think you will be disappointed.
April 22, 2016
over 6 years ago

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