Life of Fred Mathematics

What People Like :)

  • Introduction of higher level math skills
  • Great for reluctant learners or gifted kids who learn quickly
  • Fun and entertaining stories
  • Real life math application
  • Kids love it
  • Inexpensive- no extra workbooks, manipulatives or manuals needed

What People Don't Like :(

  • Too fun.
  • Very little repetition or practice problems required 
  • Random story-telling style
  • Very non-traditional

User Tips: 

Some say this is not a stand alone math curriculum, but with some fun math games (see Fred on Pinterest) to practice the facts it can totally stand alone. Start Elementary Kids at "Apples" to get the whole story. "Fractions" is also a natural starting point for upper elementary.

What LDS-NHA Friends have said about Life of Fred Mathematics: 

Bethany says, 
There came I time while home schooling that math was a crying fit...that is, it made me cry. After talking to my husband, I admitted that Life of Fred was the only math that didn't make me cry. He suggested just doing Fred. It worked! We made it through math time and were able to add games to it once I was more confident. We all have our 'game changers' moments and this was one for us. PS it's funny! It's also affordable for me $16 per book and we usually go through 2 per year, though I can see people going through more. I love that I don't need to buy anything extra with it, too.

We love Fred! Using a very silly story about a five-year-old math professor, the author teaches math concepts. Along the way we learn things about science, language, and history. This curriculum is a great example of living math. Although few of us will encounter a carnivorous bird while sailing on a sinking yacht, the story still helps kids see that math can and will be used in everyday life. There are only a few problems at the end of each chapter, however they are more challenging than what you would find in most math books. -Jolynn

We use life of Fred as a stand alone and LOVE it. It really is enough on its own, but to accept that, you have to be willing to get your mind off the "conveyor belt" mentality. -Dannika

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOF. You can start any time- I would start at the beginning just to get the story- and because It is a good foundation and you learn so much more than just math...good reading material anyways- fun to read- i enjoy them too! My oldest started when he was 'almost' reading independently but my 4 yo LOVES the stories to be read to him and although he isnt 'doing ' math yet, he is getting introduced to the concepts which will make it easier to learn and remember later...We will do a chapter or 2 a day, sometimes more- if we do more usually we aren't doing any other subject- Gabby

For my hyper son, they work better as review. Singapore or Khan work best initially. For my son who really struggles, Teaching Textbooks has been a lifesaver, but he loves to still work on LOF for his free time. He needed more detailed step by step instructions and practice. With TT, he can watch the lecture 6 times and it doesn't get frustrated with him. I would be ready to bang my head against the wall trying to teach him math. LOF was/is perfect for my math loving kids who grasp it quickly. LOF gives you thy WHY behind math and makes it fun, but it doesn't do great at the drill. It's missing the "scales" practice and only focused on the music. I feel you need both, so I supplement with different things. Even, which feels like computer games can fill in the missing drill for younger elementary. -Janet

We LOoooVE life of fred math. There isn't alot of "drills" or "workbook pages" which some people prefer...I do not- For us, I find that it's enough information and presented in an easy to remember fashion...I occasionally print off free worksheets online for whatever practice. You aren't supposed to start book 1 unless your child has basic addition and subtraction DOWN...and then in one of the books you MUST have your times tables memorized before going on. I love the life lessons it teaches as my 6 yr old is contsantly reading them for fun, and my 4 yr old wants to do 'fred math' all the time about fun math! who knew!? -G

I personally LOVE LOF. I love his philosophy that comes through. Having said that, I needed to go back to a more traditional type math for my HS boys because they weren't really retaining the math. They were just enjoying the story. I think it would be a great family read aloud supplement. - Steph

Author/Publisher: Dr. Stanley Schmidt, Polka Dot Publishing
Target Ages: All/Any, Preschool-Third Year College
Affiliation: None, but a Conservative theme throughout
Subjects Covered: Mathematics (with a whole learning smattering of other subjects throughout.)
Summary From Company:  "Never again hear the question which many math students have: "When are we ever gonna use this stuff?" or "Math is boring!"  No other textbooks are like these. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods. Tons of solved examples. Each hardcover textbook contains ALL of the material – more than most instructors cover in traditional classroom settings."

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