Life of Fred Elementary E-J Package

Life of Fred Elementary E-J Package


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Item #: LOFEEJ
Grades: 2-5

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
My son loves Life of Fred! He's excited about math and actually wants to continue reading these books at night before going to bed.
Cherrye M on Oct 30, 2020
Because we finished A-D and don't want to stop!
Kimberly H on Sep 27, 2020
My son loves Life of Fred! He's excited about math and actually wants to continue reading these books at night before going to bed.
Cherrye M on Oct 30, 2020
My son is extremely fond of this series and it has really inspired by this series to do more math. He is motivated to complete each book on his own, especially since, it is in a story format.
PAULA G on Oct 19, 2020
Because we finished A-D and don't want to stop!
Kimberly H on Sep 27, 2020
older son loves to read
Kate B on Sep 17, 2020
not common core- Also, another reviewer left a review that suggested the materials has more to offer than standard math.
Markasia H on Sep 8, 2020
My kids don't like math or understand all the reasons they need to learn it, so I am trying this since I've heard great things about it from other homeschool moms.
DeAnne H on Aug 27, 2020
Recommended by other home school mom
Sonya C on Aug 26, 2020
Great math program! Gentle way of learning math, yet keeps children engaged and interested in math.
Tiffany R on Aug 24, 2020
I needed them to finish the elementary package and I saved just a couple of bucks and free shipping!
Elizabeth S on Sep 2, 2019
Life of Fred is the perfect Math for my son. He loves stories and loves to read. It's great to make math a story! He has finished the whole elementary and intermediate series in 3 years. He can't get enough.
Amanda S on Aug 2, 2019
We use these as a supplement to another math curriculum. My son loves to just sit on the couch and read them like he is reading a great novel!
Lori C on Feb 17, 2019
We have used Life of Fred A-D and want to continue with the series. The kids love these books and are learning so much from them!
Heather L on Dec 26, 2018
Kids (ages 9 and 11)are really ready for the intermediate set, if not the fractions, but they enjoy these stories/books so much that we figure we will just stay the course. We will likely fly through them anyway.
Leah S on Oct 30, 2018
Our son loved the first 4 books of this series.
Jared N on Oct 30, 2018
Fun way to learn math and see how math is applicable in every day life.
Michelle C on Oct 22, 2018
Life of Fred Elementary A-D Package was awesome! My son loved it!
amy g on Sep 4, 2018
My son did a traditional math for kindergarten and got quickly frustrated with the repetition and endless math problems. We tried Life of Fred A-D for 1st grade and it was a game changer. He loved the narrative but still understood the math. I've compared what he knows with his friend who's in the same grade and he was able to explain things to his friend who was struggling. he can do the addition in his head and even understands the simplest form of algebra and thinks that's awesome! Love it!
Colleen H on May 26, 2018
We enjoyed the first package of 4 books!
Kelly S on May 23, 2018
My child has finished the first 4 and enjoyed them. My children attend public school and we supplement with LOF at home.
Lee L on Feb 28, 2018
Life of Fred is a fun and exciting way to learn the history and application of math. If you have a student who enjoys reading more than computing math problems this series is for you.
Krista M on Nov 30, 2017
My daughter does not like math, and has literally been in tears with other math curriculum! She is loving this series, and is learning math!! They are not only teaching her math, but she is really interested in the story. She jumps right into her math lesson without being asked.
Heather E on Oct 18, 2017
The students I am teaching found Fred interesting, making learning Math easier.
Lori N on Oct 11, 2017
The character of Fred is a magnificent way to teach math to the child who loves stories and prefers reading.
Beverly R on Sep 10, 2017
We love Fred! It makes math more fun to have a story-time as part of the day. The concepts are introduced in a way that makes sense in real life. Or at least, in Fred's real life!
Toni R on Aug 14, 2017
We love Life of Fred at our house. It is the perfect bridge to keep my kiddos thinking during our breaks from school. Fred is very funny. It's not just math either; Fred teaches history, science, grammar, and other topics in such a sneaky, fun way.
Lindsay D on May 11, 2017
My son loved the Fred stories!
Jean C on Mar 15, 2017
We have had great success with the beginning elementary set and chose to continue.
Courtney P on Mar 8, 2017
My 8 year son loves these books!
Patricia S on Nov 30, 2016
We just finished A-D, and my daughter really enjoys Life of Fred, so it's on to the next batch!
Melanie L F on Nov 26, 2016
My daughter loved to A-D books.
Tricia H on Nov 25, 2016
it's next in our curriculum
KELLY O on Oct 28, 2016
The best way to introduce math to children and make them love it! Because it's not just about math, it shows how math is linked to all aspects of life, and this is wonderful!
Laura V on Oct 22, 2016
I don't use Life of Fred exclusively for math, but it is easy to add in and approaches it in such a different way. I think it is especially useful in helping kids to think mathematically, if that makes sense. I must admit at first I was a little annoyed with how silly it is, but it hooks the kids and it's stopped bothering me.
sarah jean j on Sep 17, 2016
I am very pleased with LOF a-d
Dayna M on Sep 14, 2016
decided to complete our Life of Fred Elementary collection
Loren G on Aug 19, 2016
My 7 year old son loves to read stories and gets a kick out of Fred and his adventures.
Sarah S on Aug 15, 2016
My daughter likes life of Fred. I plan to also use it with her younger brother.
Sarah R on Jul 17, 2016
Use series 1/week on co-op days. Student loves it!
Laurie R on Jul 5, 2016
my kids love fred a-d
Kim B on Mar 17, 2016
It's an excellent series and we love your website.
Jelena C on Mar 8, 2016
Our kids love to do their math because they really like to find out what happens next in Fred's stories!
Leslie I on Feb 25, 2016
My 2nd grade son has completed Life of Fred A-D and really enjoys them. We use these books as supplements to Saxon and Math U See. He loves math. You really don't need to supplement Saxon/Math U See, but he LOVES reading/working through LOF. It works well to give a little variety from Math U See which he enjoys too, but he was used to all the work in Saxon and when we switched to Math U See to help me juggle schooling 4 little ones, he wanted more math.
User on Feb 24, 2016
This series has been great to supplement my math. It shows you how math is used all the times. We do it daily, and my kids always want me to do more!
User on Jan 18, 2016
We have enjoyed the first four books of Life of Fred. My daughter does not like Math in the slightest, but does enjoy my reading these books out loud to her. The narrative keeps her engaged.
Genevieve M on Nov 18, 2015
We love the life of fred books and plan to use them all the way through our math education.
Virlyn D on Nov 1, 2015
My son loves Fred; looks forward to each chapter. Was sad when we finished the books on hand.
Carla B on Oct 23, 2015
My daughter loved the first four books in the elementary series, so we bought the second set! She now enjoys math like never before! This is a great curriculum for kids who excel in reading and love narratives. I've noticed that some concepts (like fractions) are not introduced until middle school. We have used other curriculum to practice fractions, money, etc.
Darcy O on Oct 14, 2015
We like LoF A-D and want more now that we're getting through them.
Barrie C on Oct 6, 2015
My son is extremely fond of this series and it has really inspired by this series to do more math. He is motivated to complete each book on his own, especially since, it is in a story format.
PAULA G on Oct 19, 2020
older son loves to read
Kate B on Sep 17, 2020
5.0 / 5.0
4 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
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 3 years ago
Life of Fred is awesome!
We got A-D to try it out and came back for the rest! We love how simple it is to understand, I can do it one-on-one or with all my kids... we are really enjoying it!!
February 10, 2017
over 4 years ago
Love this series!!
We love Life of Fred! I'm so glad we bought this package to finish out the elementary section. My daughter loves the story line and I love it that she is learning so much more than just math. We would definitely recommend it to others looking for a fun, relaxed way to reinforce math.
September 4, 2016
over 4 years ago
Life of Fred to the Rescue!
My ten-year-old son loves to read. I can get him to learn anything as long as he can read about it. If it involves sheets addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems to solve, we can make it through about 10 problems, on a good day, before his eyes glaze over and the struggle begins. This was true BEFORE I took the plunge and purchased the first few books in the Life of Fred series. I was desperate to find something, anything, that would make math less painful and stressful for both of us. I bought the first four books just to try them out. I figured that, if they didn't work out, I could give them a try with the five-year-old when he was ready. I didn't tell my son that they were math books when I gave them to him. I simply announced that I found a new book series that he might like, and laid Apples in front of him. He picked it up, and started reading. The next thing I heard out of him was, "Mom, this is all about math! And I understand it!" Huge sigh of relief. He blazed through the first four books, without a arguing, cajoling, badgering, bribing, and that trend continues. He is about to start Goldfish. I do supplement Life of Fred with Ray's Primary Math and First Book of Arithmetic (I only ask him to do 5-10 problems a day). Now math is a breeze, and I feel that he is not only getting a firm foundation in math, but he is also being introduced, in a very entertaining, non-threatening way, to higher math concepts. Thank you Life of Fred. You helped my math reluctant son learn to enjoy and appreciate math.
November 5, 2015
over 5 years ago

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