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# Life of Fred: How do YOU use it?

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My two older boys are math lovers (my daughter is too, actually, but not ready for LOF). This winter we started LOF fractions, but the boys seemed to need a little too much hand-holding to tackle it, and so we set it aside.

We're ready to start again, so I am looking for insight into how people actually use the book. Do you read a chapter together and set them loose on the problems? Do you pre-teach or pre-explore the skills needed for the next set of problems, etc.?

FWIW, my guys know multiplication, division, and basic fractions (and operations with them) all fairly thoroughly, so I do think they are ready now.

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My nine-year-old reads a chapter and does the exercises on the first day of the week. (Actually, so far our experience has been that the kiddo is going to "accidentally" read and do up to five chapters and exercise sets before I catch it and say, "No, go do Latin!" But that is not my lesson plan.)

The kiddo and I go over the answers and exercises orally. Any concepts that come up in conversation, I look up in our LivingMath books -- Joy of Math, Math Talk, History of Mathematics, Mathematicians Are People Too, Murderous Maths, etc. I scribble down assigned readings for the rest of the week based on this. Kiddo does some every day, with strict instructions to read the math parts slowly, visualizing the amounts and try, on paper, all the math tricks and examples.

I also assign word problems from Anita Harnadek's book, and we do some multiplication drill. Whether I schedule these for every day or for just one day dependings on how many readings I pull from our Living Math books.

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Right now, dd reads a chapter and does the problems for it, one per week. That's for Fractions (which she finished this spring) and Decimals and Percents (with which she'll start off the school year).

I also have her working through the Key to... books for those skill areas, primarily because she is quite young (9 next month) to be heading towards algebra. When we get to Beginning Algebra, we'll use the Home Companion, and then probably she'll "redo" Algebra I through the AoPS course.

But, no, I don't pre-teach. If she has difficulty with a concept, I will re-teach with different numbers than the examples given. The Key to... books have in reality served as a review, but I do think having two different ways to approach a problem is a good thing. :)

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We read the story outloud together on one day. Then the next day we do the Your Turn to Play. We take two days to do the Bridges (half on one day, half the next); and we do these together as well. That's it.

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My dd9 has been doing LoF Fractions alongside Singapore, which is our main math program. She does the work in Fred independently. I do check her Bridges, but she checks her own daily assignments. We are using Fred "for fun" though, not as our spine. I'm not sure whether we'll start Decimals and Percents immediately after Fractions. I'll have to think on that awhile.