Life of Fred Elementary Package

Life of Fred Elementary Package


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Item #: LOFELM
Grades: 1-5

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
Can't wait to start LOF. Heard nothing but great things
Megan C on Sep 19, 2022
I watched the video on these and want to give them a try. My kids currently are finishing up their horizons books and I plan on using these for reinforcement of skills.
Angela S on May 12, 2022
Can't wait to start LOF. Heard nothing but great things
Megan C on Sep 19, 2022
I was searching for a different math curriculum, and I had heard good things about this one. I hope it's as good as people say. We're excited!
Hannah H on Aug 2, 2022
I watched the video on these and want to give them a try. My kids currently are finishing up their horizons books and I plan on using these for reinforcement of skills.
Angela S on May 12, 2022
love this series
Sadia N on May 5, 2022
As a supplement to our main Math curriculum, have heard excellent results and engagement from other families,
Jenifer A on Feb 3, 2022
Recommended by a friend to add on to our Math U See Curriculum.
Constance A on Dec 10, 2021
looking for a math curriculum
Janelle R on Dec 5, 2021
Highly recommended by friends.
Kara B on Dec 4, 2021
I did a lot of research for a fun, engaging math curriculum. I love that this takes you beyond worksheets and answers the in depth "whys" of math. My daughter loves to read, and she loves silly. Perfect combination and I can't wait to see her grow through this series!
ESTHER R on Jul 22, 2021
I'm excited to spend some time learning with Fred to help some of my kids regain a love for math.
Abigail S on Jun 16, 2021
I want to start my kids with the Life of Fred Curriculum.
Hedwig B on Jun 5, 2021
Have heard nothing but good things about these from the homeschooling community. We have had the first book for years and my 7-year old daughter reads it for fun!
Jessica S on May 10, 2021
I heard about these from a homeschool blog I was reading. I am hoping that they are a great addition to our homeschool teaching.
Amanda A on May 9, 2021
Fun way to learn math!
Kristel A on Apr 21, 2021
My kindergartner responded to math in a much more positive way when we started Apples. The no-pressure, fun story approach seemed to be just right. I'm investing because I think my older kids may like them, too.
Kylie H on Apr 8, 2021
As an adult now home educating my children, I personally have learned more from Fred than any other run of the mill curriculum I have used, never mind my children! Fred helps you to remember, Fred makes things applicable, Fred makes things interesting. If you're looking for your children to learn outside of the box and enjoy doing so, if you'd like your children to think and not just do, if you desire for them to know why they are doing the things they are doing, maybe give Fred a try.
Sarah P on Mar 8, 2021
Recommended by a friend. Looking for a "contextual" way to understand math as a whole, not a repetitive workbook.
Caitlin D on Mar 4, 2021
To expose my children to real life application of math
Linda N on Feb 25, 2021
recommended by bible road trip and to use as a supplement
Amanda r on Feb 16, 2021
Recommended to me by other homeschooling mothers.
Alicia V on Feb 16, 2021
My 11 & 9 year olds have been loving the Life of Fred Elementary Math series from the library. They're in such high demand, though, that we always have to wait for a book when we finish one, and sometimes, we can't renew a book to finish it because someone else requested it. I decided to go ahead and buy the series so we can continue our studies at will. And when my toddler is ready, she can use them, too!
Joan C on Feb 5, 2021
To supplement math in my homeschool!
Jennifer L on Jan 14, 2021
It was in the top 100 Cathy Duffy reviews, and the reviews on this webpage in description are favorable.
Ramsey R on Jan 2, 2021
Math that is story-based which is fun and entertaining, but to the point without teaching an overwhelming variety of strategies for solving problems which lengthens lesson time unnecessarily and frustratingly. Love straight forward, fun, and effective approach to math.
Kelly W on Dec 31, 2020
My daughter asked for it for her children
Virginia W on Dec 17, 2020
Math supplement to offer a different perspective on the subject
Cynthia B on Nov 27, 2020
My friends recommend this set to me.
Shu Y on Nov 15, 2020
Another option for math. Maybe my son will like it.
Alex R on Oct 24, 2020
I chose Life of Fred for my daughter who loves Shell Silversein. I thought she might love these books as well.
KRISTEN B on Oct 21, 2020
Recommended by many homeschool moms that have used Life of Fred and have had major success with it.
VaLois on Oct 17, 2020
It looked like something my son would be interested in.
Nicole L on Oct 7, 2020
Highly recommended curriculum in my homeschool group Gather 'Round.
Jessica T on Oct 2, 2020
I've tried other math curriculums (Prodigy, Math-U-See, RightStart) and none so far have been the right fit for my kids. So I'm trying something new and hoping this works for us.
Valerie W on Sep 29, 2020
borrowed the books from our neighbor and now are getting our own copies!
Jamie D on Sep 16, 2020
I have heard very good things about these books. We are homeschooling for the first time this year. My youngest will get the full benefit from the Life of Fred Elementary series, however, I think it would be a good review for my 10 and 12-year-old before they start into the more advanced books.
Elizabeth S on Sep 9, 2020
We LOVE Life of Fred!
Roxanne T on Aug 31, 2020
Recommended by a friend. Also, my sons like to read so I thought that this series would be a great way for them to learn math!
Mike M on Aug 29, 2020
story form is amazing
Julie G on Aug 21, 2020
I'm homeschooling and want my girls to have a logical foundation in math. I also want them to see the value and application while having fun.
Heather B on Aug 12, 2020
I wanted to find a fun way to teach my daughter math.
Roelisa D on Aug 7, 2020
I've heard rave reviews from several friends and I believe the creative story lines and fun illustrations will appeal to my boys.
Alyssa W on Aug 4, 2020
Recommended by a friend. Our kids are older, but it was recommended that they read through the whole story and work through the remedial math to get a feel for the learning style.
Kimberly L on Aug 3, 2020
Recommended by a friend
Jessica H on Aug 1, 2020
My children respond well to stories wanted to try math involving stories to keep them engaged.
Kristen T on Aug 1, 2020
I choose this because it looked colorful and like it would make learning math fun. It also had good reviews on it.
Kori L on Jul 30, 2020
I've heard very good reviews about this unique math curriculum.
Cindy S on Jul 25, 2020
Math for those that learn best through story.
Bronwyn S on Jul 21, 2020
good reviews
maureen a on Jul 20, 2020
Many positive responses about this curriculum for my kids' age range, and free shipping makes this set the same price an any other listings I could find.
Stacey K on Jul 15, 2020
These were suggested by other homeschool moms & they looked like a fun way to teach math!
Bethany O on Jul 7, 2020
I was searching for a different math curriculum, and I had heard good things about this one. I hope it's as good as people say. We're excited!
Hannah H on Aug 2, 2022
love this series
Sadia N on May 5, 2022
Are the Life of Fred elementary books hardback or soft cover?
A shopper on Mar 20, 2021
BEST ANSWER: They are hardback. Very nice, well made books.
Is this a supplement to math or a complete curriculum?
User on Mar 29, 2017
BEST ANSWER: That is a matter of opinion. I know some people use these books as their only math curriculum. The stories are very engaging and in a kind of Charlotte Mason style, they cover a wide range of topics and interest, all while practicing math concepts. At the end of each chapter, there are between 3-10 practice problems that the student is to work out on a separate sheet of paper or a notebook, and answers are included on the following page. There are 18-19 chapters per book. I prefer to supplement with other workbooks for a more rounded out and progressive knowledge, but this does an excellent job of keeping the students interested and engaged in Math. The books go in alphabetical order, with Apples being about a Grade 1 level, and Butterflies Grade 1-2, Cats and Dogs Grade 2-3, etc.
4.9 / 5.0
36 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Learning in a fun way
It's a very fun way to learn. My daughter is enjoying the books and learning in a relaxing way. Math is tough for her, so, I bought the series to help her see it through a different lens.
August 16, 2021
1 year ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Life of Fred Elementary pack
My grandson is really enjoying doing math this way. He loves working independently.
November 17, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Highly recommended!!
We are still at book A and so far both my kids love Fred and his story. The book is funny and each chapter is implemented with many math components. My older kid (2nd grader) was able to understand some advanced concepts that is introduced briefly in the book and my younger one (K) merely enjoyed the story and funny drawings. We can always find some funny plots/drawings/concepts to laugh about and discuss and meanwhile missed some points the chapter covers. I plan to take my time to read each book, probably also repeat a couple of times before move on to the next one.
October 13, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
My 10&12yo boys live these.
My kids love these. Math that makes sense. Math that makes you laugh and makes you feel smarter when you’re done. Math that makes you look forward to the next lesson. Makes you feel curious and interested. My boys (10 & 12) each read the first book in a day. They put down their novels to read this by choice. It’s definitely not Saxon math. Thank God. This set is for kids who don’t need the redundancy of other programs.
September 25, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Great Math Program!
We ordered this for my 9yo (5th grade) daughter as our homeschooling (unschooling) math curriculum. She is really enjoying it. She is an extremely gifted child who was always frustrated by the way math was taught. We discovered Life of Fred and decided to give it a try. We initially just bought Apples (as it was recommended to start at the beginning even if the math is simple). She & my 13yo loved it and were begging for more. We ordered the elementary package about a month ago and she is already in the F book. Math is the one subject that she wants to do every day. There are a number of (Christian) religious references which I think it could do without, but nothing that makes it unusable.
September 24, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Amazed at how excited my kids are to read Life of Fred!
August 31, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
I'm glad we purchased this.
My 7- and 5-year-olds are really enjoying "Life of Fred". We started with "Apples" and finished it in a week because they wanted me to read more than one chapter a day. Now, we're enjoying "Butterflies". I appreciate that advanced concepts are presented; not for mastery, but to whet the appetite for higher math.
May 17, 2020
over 2 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Excellent supplement to math curriculum
My children have devoured the Life of Fred books. They love the story format of the books, but are still learning math in the process. I use these to supplement my regular math curriculum. I have a 10 year old who struggles with math and these books have been a tremendous help in getting her excited about math. I am amazed at how much she enjoys reading them and doing the math problems after each section. The terminology and concepts of math seem easier for her to grasp and retain due to the story format.
January 28, 2020
over 3 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
A purchase you won't regret! Can be read again & again!
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME! What a treat this Life of Fred is! I have 3 boys ( grades 2/4 & 6) and they absolutely LOVE it! So much so that they read the books on their own. My 4th grader is on Farming & we've had them for a month?

The black & white pages did not deter them from being interested. The combination of silly sketches & (even sillier) stories is a win -win! I'm learning some new things as well!

The simple application questions referred to as " your turn to play" are short & to the point. No kill & drill here!

Can't say enough good about these UNIQUE "out of the box" books!
November 18, 2019
over 3 years ago
Rated 5 out of 5
Great series
Started with Apples (got the whole 10 book set) for my 5th grader. I figured he wouldn't learn anything in the earlier books, but I was wrong. From book one, he was already learning things. I recommend these for kids who learn by storytelling or like to read fun stuff. My son loves them, he's ADHD and doesnt enjoy reading much.
I also recommend starting in the beginning and working your way up.
October 24, 2019
over 3 years ago

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