# Life of Fred versus Jacobs Algebra

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I've got both of these books on my dining room table. And I must say that I like Life of Fred better. Here are my reasons--

Life of Fred is more fun.

Life of Fred makes math more accessible to the student.

Life of Fred has the math in context. It makes more sense.

Life of Fred actually explains concepts slighter better. (For example, why a negative times a negative = positive. Jacobs states it as a fact, tests it out, and moves on. Fred gives you a proof.)

For the past two hours, I have read over some of the material in both and I can't find anything in Jacobs that is not also in Fred. I could be wrong because I didn't read front to back in both. I picked some chapters and compared them.

If I had to choose today from the math texts that I own, I'd have my dd use Life of Fred and supplement with Jacobs--not the other way around. The supplementing would be in case she needed more problems to work.

But what we will actually do, I'm not sure. I'm waiting on used copies of Foerster and Dolciani to come in the mail.

However, if she didn't like Life of Fred, I'd drop it and find something she liked better that would hopefully be comparable.

Kimberly :)

(Also, I didn't work any of the problems. This is from reading the lessons in the texts.)

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I've got both of these books on my dining room table. And I must say that I like Life of Fred better. Here are my reasons--

Life of Fred is more fun.

Life of Fred makes math more accessible to the student.

Life of Fred has the math in context. It makes more sense.

Life of Fred actually explains concepts slighter better. (For example, why a negative times a negative = positive. Jacobs states it as a fact, tests it out, and moves on. Fred gives you a proof.)

For the past two hours, I have read over some of the material in both and I can't find anything in Jacobs that is not also in Fred. I could be wrong because I didn't read front to back in both. I picked some chapters and compared them.

If I had to choose today from the math texts that I own, I'd have my dd use Life of Fred and supplement with Jacobs--not the other way around. The supplementing would be in case she needed more problems to work.

But what we will actually do, I'm not sure. I'm waiting on used copies of Foerster and Dolciani to come in the mail.

However, if she didn't like Life of Fred, I'd drop it and find something she liked better that would hopefully be comparable.

Kimberly :)

(Also, I didn't work any of the problems. This is from reading the lessons in the texts.)

Thanks Kimber. THat's my plan too. Life of Fred as my main text and supplementing with Jacob's or Foerster in case we need extra problems. I look forward to hearing how this works out for you.

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along with a simple mixed practice workbook for 7th/8th grade. (We are using LOF Fractions; to be followed by Decimals and Percents).

We plan to send dd to a Christian school for 8th grade, and I am confident that this will prepare her for the 8th grade pre-algebra there. I also compared LOF to several other texts, and I was very impressed with the scope and sequence.

The one thing lacking, for us, was practice and review. The workbook fills that need very nicely.

If for some reason she comes back home for highschool, LOF will be my text of choice. As it is, I plan to have her work through the LOF books during the summer. I'm that impressed! I also thought that the explanations were top notch, and dd finds the book enjoyable, AND she is retaining and applying what she is learning.

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Christi, what grade level is LOF Fractions?

I'm glad you said it is lacking in practice. We want to use it as a supplement, and we already have plenty of problems to work out. Can we use LOF many as a story without it adding a lot of problems to our math load? Or is it necessary to work out every problem before you can move on?

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Christi, what grade level is LOF Fractions?

I'm glad you said it is lacking in practice. We want to use it as a supplement, and we already have plenty of problems to work out. Can we use LOF many as a story without it adding a lot of problems to our math load? Or is it necessary to work out every problem before you can move on?

Not Christy, but LoF Fractions and LoF Decimals & Percents are considered a pre-algebra course when both are completed. So, I would say 7th-8th grade level or whenever your child is ready for pre-algebra.

HTH

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Do you need to start LOF with the Fractions and Percent books or could you start with the Beginning Algebra book?

tia

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We easily started with the Beginning Algebra. Now, I'm using Fractions with another child I'm tutoring. If your child is solid on fractions & percents, less than, greater than, multi-place multiplying and dividing, s/he is probably at Algebra. LOF covers a lot of ground under "Fractions" and "Decimals", but you're ready for Algebra if you have arithmetic down solid.

I'd take a look at the samples on the website and maybe ask your child where they think they are. Or try Algebra and drop back if necessary. Fractions and Decimals are each about 30 lessons.

Danielle

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about how long would you expect each lesson to take? I took a look at the samples for Fractions and it seems that it might be done in about one lesson per day? Maybe more days on the bridge work? Is that about right?

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My experience with the Fractions books is only a few days long so YMMV. We did the first 2 chapters in about 1 hour, but the subsequent chapters have taken about 1 hour each. The child I'm working with is only about average in math, so with a more gifted kid, you might be able to get through the lessons more quickly. The author says, one chapter per day for Fractions and Decimals. However, Algebra in my experience cannot be done one chapter per day in one hour. The Homeschool companions for Algebra breaks it down into smaller bites (about a hundred or so lessons). Some of the "bites" have even been too big for my dd, who is gifted in math, but not a genius.

Both kids have experienced these books in the same way--wow, mom, first it looks easy and fun, and like there's not so many problems, but you get to the problems and really have to THINK!

Poor babies ; )

Danielle

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