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  1. Heard an interview with the author of this book today (Lauren Ipsum by Carlos Bueno) and thought it might be a good intro to logic / computer programming concepts for dd8. (listen to the interview on CBC radio here- click on Download the MP3 for the whole show or this link for just the clip) Does anybody have any experience with this? I thought it might be somewhat analagous to the Life of Fred books for math, at least from his description of the storyline. Am I way off-base? Is this really helpful for a kid who's never programmed before?
  2. My 7 year old has really taken to the LOF books in the past couple of weeks. He has read all of the elementary series, and parts of the Fractions, Decimals and Percents, and Physics books. I know he's just reading and not working the problems, but I figure he's got to be absorbing some of those math concepts along the way. I'd love to find more math-oriented books with an interesting story line similar to Life of Fred. What can you recommend?
  3. I need some advice on math programs. My 8th grade daughter is in the middle of LOF (Life of Fred) Beginning Algebra. She did Math Mammoth for 1st through 6th grades. Last year she went through LOF Decimals, Fractions, and the two Pre-Algebra books. She really enjoyed LOF and she was in the 99th percentile for math on the PASS test at the end of the year. This year is different. She is getting frustrated with LOF Beginning Algebra. She has to involve me much more than she did last year (she was quite independent last year). She feels that it moves too quickly and doesn't give her enough of a framework to hang the concepts on. I don't want to eliminate LOF. I like the way he goes beyond the rote memorization of formulas and really brings math to life. However, my daughter needs some additional help at this point. Can anyone suggest another program that would be good to do along with LOF, that would lay out the concepts in a slower, more structured way?
  4. I am doing physics next semester with two 8th graders. I really like LOF and was thinking of doing LOF physics with a kit of some sort. Any reviews? I already have snap circuits. Any good physic kits out there? I was looking at this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002HABZU/ref=s9_simh_gw_p21_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0QW8TGW290MQ62H3179C&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846. Thank you!
  5. If you used LoF Elementary Physics did you use it as a primary text, as a supplement to what primary? Did you use an experiment kit with it? Make your own? I need help planning for the year starting in August for 8th grade for my DS who will be 13. Thanks ahead of time.
  6. I am going to start LOF Apples with both my boys. Sure, they are beyond that (especially my older ds) but I thought it would be good review and we could move fairly quickly through it. However, my younger ds is not a strong reader so I will read aloud to him. Does it make sense to do this as a read aloud for both or should older ds just read it himself? And I can't quite see asking him to do the now it's your turn bits, unless he feels like it on his own. So, does this sound like a reasonable approach--read aloud to younger ds, do the now it's your turn stuff with him. Have older ds read himself and not require him to do the work at the end of the chapter, until we get to Fractions and beyond that.
  7. My son is struggling with math. We dropped saxon 7/6 and he is currently doing Life of Fred pre-algebra with bio and loving it! He LOVES LoF. The issue is he's not getting enough practice, I'm finding lots of holes, and his retention is dismal. He frustrates very easily which doesn't help the metter. Do you think adding MUS pre-algebra in with it will be a good solution? I've never done MUS but it's coming highly recommended by my friends here. It's what I'm planning to use with my third grader as well--who is currently loving LOF Apples after homework. Any other suggestions? I thought of just supplementing here and there as needed, but it looks like he needs a more complete curriculum.
  8. DD#1 is in SM 5B. She is very good at math - "gets it" almost immediately - is sick of SM and wants to do LoF exclusively. My original plan, however, was to complete through 6B this year - using LoF as a supplement - and then move to LoF exclusively for 7-12. To me, DD looks a bit "behind" in SM (she "should" be in 6A), but I have to remind myself that we have done two complete math programs each year: first SM & Miquon, and now SM & LoF. Maybe I have burned her out ;) WWYD? How important is it for her to finish the Primary Math series? Should we just supplement with LoF the remainder of this year (Fridays only) and then move to it full-time next year? Or go ahead and make the move now?
  9. Is there anyone who uses just Life of Fred for high school math rather than using it as a supplement? If so, do you think it's enough? If not, why not? Thanks!
  10. Question: DD has done very well in LoF Fractions. Most of the time she passes the Bridge in 1-3 tries. However, the Final Bridge has been very difficult for her. She has not passed any of the Final Bridges, and it looks like she might not pass this last one (she is working on it now). She is not consistent in they type of problems that she is missing. What says the Hive?
  11. We are currently using LoF with SM, and plan to use LoF only after SM-6B. What LoF books would you all say we should complete by the end of 6B? I was thinking through Elementary Physics, but that's just a guess. TIA for your help!
  12. I've debated about it ever since the first books came out. There have been such mixed reviews. Finally I decided I'd just have to give it a try for myself. I ordered A, B, C, and D. We just started Apples. We read 3 chapters before bed on Sunday and 3 chapters last night. So what do I think?? Well, it's still early....but my take on it is this: :001_huh: . It's ok. I don't think there's overly too much math in it. But, again...we are only 1/3 of the way through Apples. I definitely think they are too much money per book. At the rate we are reading we could finish a book in 1 week. What does my dd think? This: :w00t::thumbup::hurray::001_tt1::drool5::001_wub:. Seriously. She loves, loves, loves it! She can't wait to go to bed at night so we can read Fred. She thinks about it during the day. She literally BEGS me to read more than 3 chapters. She wants me to call her Kingie. She says the books are so interesting and she loves how there is math in the story. I haven't seen her this excited about something in a really long time. She thanks me all day and gives me hugs and kisses. She definitely wants me to get her all the books. I guess I'm not really sure why these books (or should I say book) are so exciting to her....but they sure are. It's been really great to see her so head over heels for these.....and I almost didn't give them a try. Just wanted to share in case anyone is on the fence about getting them. Of course...every kid is different.
  13. Hi all, I'm still new here, but I have benefitted from your reviews and recommendations for a long time so I thought I'd return the favor. I haven't seen any comments about Life of Fred - Dogs yet. We were really enjoying the Life of Fred books. I saw them as a supplement and hoped they would spark a love of math in my language arts girl. We zoomed through Apples, Butterflies, and Cats. It was wonderful. They were easy and sparking a love of math. She begged to read them together all the time. Life of Fred = Life was good. Until we got to Dogs. Conceptually, the material shot up rapidly. That was fine, just surprising because there seemed to be no transition. (I know some people have guessed that A,B,C = 1st grade and D, E, F = 2nd grade.. my girl is right in this target zone, and books A-C were easy for her. He spent the entire book A just adding numbers to 7, entire book B on 9, and now in D, it felt like he had a bunch of things he meant to include in the first set of 4 books and now was trying to cram them all in. The flow was just completely off and different from the first three, in my opinion.) But, there were also some very tragic events in the story line. As the mom of an extremely sensitive child, I feel obligated to disclose these plot points. There was a very detailed incident involving Fred being cheated and robbed (and for those who don't know… Fred is a 5 year old child who happens to be a math professor), but the worst was several chapters about dogs at an animal shelter who were going to be euthanized. It was horrible. Luckily I scanned it somewhat on the fly, but we had to skip the last several chapters of the book. I don't know..perhaps I am the only one with a 7 year old (a week from today!) who would be sensitive about these things--strangers, death, etc. But, somehow I doubt she is the only one... I was so angry that I wrote the author a note explaining why I was so disappointed. But, basically, these books had sparked a love for math, and now I feel like they set us back even further with these scary, inappropriate, and completely unnecessary story plots! Honestly, if I had known this, I would have skipped Dogs. I do not think these story lines added any value to the material, and it really soiled my whole perspective about this series. We had been excited for the next set of Elementary books, but now I'm just looking around for something else. I'm interested to hear what others thought of this book.
  14. Is it too much?? I can't make up my mind between TT and SM. I'm doing LoF no matter what... anyone doing all 3? ...3 math programs does seem like too much. In that case my question should be; TT + LoF or SM + LoF
  15. My daughter is quickly moving through LoF Pre-Algebra and is about ready to move to Algebra. There are 3 books listed on the Life of Fred website, Lof Beginning Algebra, Fred's Home Companion Beginning Algebra, and Zillions of Practice Problems Beginning Algebra. It appears that Stan recommends getting the first two. Have you found a need for Zillions of Practic Problems? She has done well with Pre-Algebra thus far with the exception that sets tend to trip her up. TIA Sarah
  16. Does anyone have experience with Life of Fred Edgewood, Farming or Goldfish levels? What age/grades did you use these? Did you use them as a daily supplement or once a week....? I have read really great reviews; did your students like them?
  17. I am torn between Math Lessons for a Living Education and Life of Fred for my 1st grader. Actually, I keep wondering if LOF is enough at that crucial beginner level, or if you need more. Anyone used Life of Fred that young? The Math lessons for a Living Education by Queen Homeschool Supplies is neat because it reads like a story but has great manipulatives that come with it. Has anyone used this? Thanks! :001_smile:
  18. Disclaimer I am not related to Fred :), Dr. Schmidt the author, or anybody in Dr. Schmidt’s family. I don’t sell LOF or get kickbacks, etc. etc. etc. :) A Basic Description Life of Fred “Apples†is the first book in a series for elementary arithmetic. Apples has 18 chapters or lessons. Each chapter is a short story about an hour or so in Fred’s life; Fred, being, of course, a five year old university math professor. We read a short narrative about the crazy things that happen in Fred’s life and at the end we get to answer a few questions--usually about 5. The author asks that your student get out a piece of paper and write out her answers, not just skip over to the answer key. Each lesson takes about 5-7 minutes to read and about 5-15 minutes to work through the problems. We do a lesson a day. What’s covered “Apples†dives right in there with math sentences (6 + 1 = 7), solving for the unknown, commutative property, ordinal numbers, knowing the days of the week, sets, months of the year, geometry, counting by fives, and some algebra (3x +4x = 7x), telling time by hours and minutes. He also covers deciduous and evergreen trees, ante meridiem, the life of Archimedes, chess, and the Titanic. I don’t think that’s the exhaustive list, though. Who is this curriculum for? From here on out, what you are reading is just my opinion and experience with the book. First of all, my 13 year old grabbed this book as soon as it came in the door and devoured it. Next, my 10 year old grabbed all four of the elementary books so far and read all of them. Delighted, that’s what her smile kept telling me. I am very happy that my dc are reading books about math. So, this book is for them. I actually purchased this book for my 6 year old son in first grade. We sit on the couch and read it together and then he takes out a piece of paper and he writes down the answers. When he comes to a word that he cannot spell, I just write out the word and have him copy it. I find using this book to be very similar to using “First Language Lessons.†Very often, my 4 year old son joins us because he also wants to hear about Fred. Ds4 does not always know every answer, but with just a bit of time, he can figure them out. Obviously, this kiddo is not writing out the answers, but he is definitely following along and holding his own. I am also reading this book with my 8yo dd. She knows the answers, but the book is not boring for her by any stretch. Also, she is learning science, literature, geometry, and the names of math concepts. She is also benefitting from this book. I am also learning a few things. Apparently, this book is also for me. When can a person start this curriclum? Opinion follows. Well, if your child can count to 10, recognize numbers to 10, count discreet objects, and is not easily upset if they don’t easily know the answer to a problem, then I think you should be fine. If you or your kid gets really upset if she doesn’t know answers, then I can see how this book might get pretty frustrating. For instance, right off the bat, Fred talks about days of the week. If a child doesn’t have a clue about days of the week, it will be a big learning curve to be able to answer the question, “What is the second day of the week?†One of my dc is a perfectionist. Trying to answer this question if she was unprepared would bring about weeping. First her, then me. It doesn’t seem to bother ds6, however. We just practice saying the days of the week and months of year. I know that he’ll get it before the end of first grade. And, anyway, isn’t that what first grade is for? Learning the months, years, your address, etc? I think the book is meant to be a gentle, enjoyable, read-aloud math discovery for children ages 6 to 99. 10-15 minutes a day. Is this a stand alone curriculum? Hmmm. Well, we’re using MUS to teach the concepts, but as I get better at teaching math (because MUS has taught me!) then I depend a little less on MUS workbook pages and more and more on LOF. If you are a really mathy person who is also a good teacher, I don’t see why you couldn’t just use LOF. I can’t wait to start “Butterflies.â€
  19. I see that it shows WHEN you use math in real life, and that math is very useful. What I'm not seeing from samples is teaching the HOW and WHY of concepts??? Does he show all these fantastic uses, but not deliver on the teaching? I'm not using anything above Apples right now, and it's just so simple for my kids right now that they just know how to do it. But, when things get tougher, does he really teach how to do the work, why it works, and the usefulness in real life? Does he do it well? Examples?
  20. Do you have particular favorite to recommend (preferably with a complete answer key)? :)
  21. My ds is using LoF Advanced Algebra. He is good at math, but not "genius," and he's done well with the LoF series. I was and am good at math. It wasn't what I studied in college, but so far, I've been able to help him on the few topics where he needed help. Today he was doing Proofs by Math Induction. I've never seen this stuff in my life, and although after working through some of the problems with him, I have a basic grasp of what's going on, but I don't fully understand why we are doing the steps. These problems are HARD. I started looking at what was coming up next, and there are other things I have never heard of in my life. I pulled up on the web the TOC for Lial's Intermediate Algebra, which dd14 will do when she gets to Alg 2, and it has all the stuff I remember from alg 2, but not some of the topics in LoF Advanced Algebra. I'm thinking that if some of these topics aren't normally covered in Algebra 2, I'll give ds credit for attempting to understand them and struggling with them, but if he doesn't master them, that will be okay. Here are the topics of concern: Proofs by Math Induction Linear Programming Arithmetic Progressions Geometric Sequences Sum of a Geometric Progression Permutation of n Things Taken r at a Time Combination of n Things Taken r at a Time We hit one of these "questionable" topics earlier: determinants. I went to Kahn Academy for help with that, and we managed to get a decent grasp of what was going on. But I just don't have hours and hours to spend on these higher math topics, even though I'd love to. I do have other kids to teach, and ds has other subjects that need his attention. Thanks for your help.
  22. Ds is doing Saxon 7/6 this year, and will be finishing these Key To series books: - Fractions - Percents - Decimals He also has completed Life of Fred Fractions. So I'm trying to figure out what to do for pre-algebra next year. Of course he could do the standard pre-algebra course (Saxon or other), but he loves Life of Fred and I already have the 10 book set of Key To Algebra books (he's on book 2 right now), and it'd be nice to save the money and use something I know he likes. So I'm wondering if this would work for next year for pre-algebra (I know it seems crazy to plan a year in advance, but I have my reasons that I won't bore you with!): - Life of Fred Percents & Decimals (or skip, since he's done Key To...?) - Life of Fred Pre-Algebra (Biology and Economics) - Key To Algebra Series He loves Life of Fred, and I know it's popular, but I didn't really think he learned all that much from Fractions. But he actually wants me to buy the other books - so how can I say no to more math?! Anyway, to me it didn't seem very thorough for teaching the subject, definitely supplemental. He is good at math and I want him well-prepared for high school math (and 8th grade Algebra). Thank you!
  23. HS math program? Has anyone's child taken the ACT? Or did you find it lacking? Math loves math and is a mathy kid.
  24. I was talking to an engineering friend of mine today who has looked over the LoF Alg. She thinks it's just fine as a stand alone math text. What do you think?
  25. I'm considering using LOF w/ my rising 8th grade dd who needs pre-algebra. So, will go back to LOF Fractions and review and then onto percents/decimals and pre-alg w/ biology & pre-alg w/ economics. (Think I have those titles right.) Wondering for those who use LOF, particularly at this level, do you use it exclusively or find you need to supplement? I know the algebra LOF has a companion book w/ more exercises in it, as a result of consumer requests for more practice. And, wonder if the pre-algebra selections need more supplementation, as well? (I have the Key To series for math, which we've been using and wondered if I needed to add some of that in to LOF. Happy to "not" if not needed.... Dd read the samples of LOF and is VERY excited about it! She asked if we were doing it and when I said, "I think so," she replied, "I love you!" :001_smile:) Just wondering what others have experienced before we dive in. Would like to find something that works! I know this is probably a bit subjective and depends on the child. But, would still like to hear your experiences... Thanks! :bigear: Dana
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