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PeacefulChaos

Tell me about Life of Fred

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I have never used the lower level books so have no hands on experience with them but they are story form with all the math teaching occuring in the daily life of Fred. Fred is 36 inches tall and usually is 5 years old. He is a professor at KITTENS university. He has many interesting adventures. What happens generally relates to math. The stories are broken up by sections called "Your turn to Play" where a problem is lai

d out and the student then solves it. Usually there are bridges at the end of chapters. Several sets of problems think chapter test. You do each bridge until you get 9 out of 10 right then go to next unit. We do all bridges for practice.

 

I hope this helps. We have only done fractions and above but they love them!

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We started LOF Fractions this year and ds has a love/hate relationship with it. It is interesting I think also. There is teaching in the chapter tests and the "your turn to play". It spirals concepts and it has my ds in stitches. It doesn't walk the child through the process as much as just tell them...I guess?

 

My son he gets very upset when he does not automatically understand how to do it right the first time. He does not like not getting nine out of ten for instance on that first test. That said, until we get to a bridge he happily does the math.

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We are using the elementary series. We love it. I think your best bet is to go to their website and look at the preview. It gives a really good idea of what you are doing. And if you do the elementary series, start at the beginning. It's for the story. There are a lot of interesting things in the books that aren't about computational math, but that are about thinking like a math person. :)

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We just finished the Apples (first book) from Inter-Library Loan. (It had to come all the way from Washington state; we're in Iowa!)

 

Fred uses math in his everyday life. So when your kids ask, "When will I ever use this math???" Fred can answer them.

 

We have friends that use it as their sole math program, and their kids love it.

 

I think most people use it as a supplement to traditional math, or as a reward (because the stories are so silly). It is recommended (on the website? somewhere?) that your kids know all of their basic math facts before starting the series.

 

I haven't decided yet if we will purchase the series or not. I'm trying to talk the local library into purchasing the series. I emailed the library's homeschool liason and dropped off the book and a message with her coworker today.

 

There is religious content in the book, usually as a detail; not as "the moral of the story." I don't know if that bothers you or not. I am not sure how much it bothers me. There are discussions on freethinker homeschooling sites that outline how much it bothers (or doesn't bother) that population.

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My younger two LOVE the elementary series. And my older daughter used LOF Fractions. We have used it as a supplement up until now. My oldest wants to use just LOF for pre-algebra. Since she has a solid foundation, but isnt quite ready to go on to algebra yet. We're going to try using just Fred for 7th grade next year.

 

If you like using living books, this would be a good addition to your curriculum.

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My kids love it. I would suggest you buy *one* book - Apples - and decide for yourself if it works for you & your kids. There really isn't any other way to find out. The author's site (z-twist books) gives you free shipping and you can return the book if you don't like it, so there is really no risk.

 

Most use it as a supplement in the early grades. For kids who click with it, it can really, really lead them to love math. If your kid doesn't click with it/ask to do it, I wouldn't bother.

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My kids love it as well, even the 3y/o. We use it as a supplement and began with the first book Apples, even though we are working in the 4th grade level. We use it as a read aloud, 9 y/o dd does the reading. They both ask for it daily, however we usually do it 1-2 times per week. It fits nicely with our other math curriculum.

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My kids love it. They ask to do it every day. We are currently reading Butterflies, Edgewood, and

Goldfish (different ages). We are getting ready to order Kidney, Liver, and Mineshaft.

 

We take them with us on trips and on days we will be waiting in the car (music lessons, etc.). I read the chapter aloud to them, then they answer the questions at the end of the chapter.

 

I love hearing the squeals of delight when I say, "Get your Life of Fred!"

 

I like how the author introduces math concepts (and other subjects) at this age even though they won't be studying it for a long time. He familiarizes the student with a wide range of concepts. He makes statements like, "You will study this in Life of Fred: Calculus," then touches on the topic in his fun story.

 

There are quite a few typographical errors in the books, which can be frustrating, but the positives far outweigh this negative (for me). Hopefully he will make the corrections soon.

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My DD adores them. We started Apples to remediate her in math, and it clicked with her. We're about to start Honey and I just ordered Jelly Beans thru Mineshaft. I supplement it with extra practice, but you don't have to know more than counting going in to it--though regardless of how much math you have already, it's worth it to do the elementary set from the beginning. We started doing two chapters a day until the difficulty caught up to where DD was at.

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I credit LOF Fractions with turning my DD from "good in math, but it's not a favorite" to "I love math and want to do more". I don't use it as the total program simply because I want to slow DD down and make sure she has the concepts down before we move on, so she used SM 4b-5b with Fractions and Decimals, and is using Key to Algebra with pre-algebra.

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