# Life of Fred

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Frequently, there is a mention that Life of Fred is not robust enough to use alone. I wanted to share that our experience has for the most part been otherwise. My oldest DD is currently enrolled in College Algebra as an 11th grader. She went completely through Singapore Primary Math and did LoF Fractions in the summer after 5B and Decimals and Percents after 6B.

Following that she continued on with LoF Pre-Algebra, Beginning Algebra, Geometry, and Advanced Algebra. I supplemented Beginning Algebra with Real World Algebra and through the entire sequence she worked through Challenging Word Problems 5 and 6. Beginning Algebra was tough for her and I had her repeat chapters as needed and work every problem in Zillions of Practice Problems for Beginning Algebra and the Home Companion. Once she mastered Beginning Algebra, she relatively breezed through proof-heavy LoF Geometry and Advanced Algebra using Zillions of Practice Problems for Advance Algebra only when more repetition was needed.

Now in College Algebra, she is finding math to be easier because LoF lead her through figuring out how to solve a problem while her College Algebra spoon feeds her how to do it. She is definitely finding that LoF sufficiently prepared her for this next phase.

Sarah

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What a great report!  Thanks for sharing your daughter's experiences; I wish her success in her College Algebra class and beyond.

Regards,

Kareni

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Thanks for sharing.  Great job, Sarah and dd!  :thumbup:

We used LoF Beginning Algebra, and though it did not fit ds's learning style (and it was pre-Zillions supplement), I always thought it was a challenging text.

LoF Calculus is listed as a textbook under CLEP study resources.

LoF Claculus is listed as a textbook under AP Calculus teacher's resource.

This indicates to me that it is robust enough.

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LoF Calculus is listed as a textbook under CLEP study resources.

LoF Claculus is listed as a textbook under AP Calculus teacher's resource.

This indicates to me that it is robust enough.

It's listed but the reviewer wrote this:

There are two questions that still nag at me.

1. Will students read this text any more than they would a typical calculus text?
2. Is this an appropriate text for an AP Calculus course?

My answer to the first question is, probably yes. I found myself being intrigued by the twists and turns in Fred's life. One should note, however, that the text contains very few of the pedagogical features of current standard textbooks - such as highlighting with color (terms are identified with bold print) and slickly produced graphs and charts.

My answer to the second question is even less certain than the first. I believe this text could be used in an AP Calculus course, but that an instructor for the course would need to provide much supplemental material. It is clear that the text is not aimed for an AP course. Not only would there be a need to supplement content, but also problems. There are types of problems on the AP exam that one just doesn't encounter in this text.

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It's listed but the reviewer wrote this:

There are two questions that still nag at me.

• Will students read this text any more than they would a typical calculus text?
• Is this an appropriate text for an AP Calculus course?

My answer to the first question is, probably yes. I found myself being intrigued by the twists and turns in Fred's life. One should note, however, that the text contains very few of the pedagogical features of current standard textbooks - such as highlighting with color (terms are identified with bold print) and slickly produced graphs and charts.

My answer to the second question is even less certain than the first. I believe this text could be used in an AP Calculus course, but that an instructor for the course would need to provide much supplemental material. It is clear that the text is not aimed for an AP course. Not only would there be a need to supplement content, but also problems. There are types of problems on the AP exam that one just doesn't encounter in this text.

My daughter actually followed a similar math progression to the op's through trigonometry. She did the Singapore NEM series and some ABeka along the way also. She did LoF Calculus as an introduction a couple of years ago and has since done a couple of University Calculus classes and an AP (for admission requirements last spring). Her take on it is she never could have passed the AP with just Fred and math is dd's topic. It is a great introduction and made the subsequent harder classes easy because she was pretty fearless after Fred but terms popped up without sufficient explanation frequently in the Calculus book. She had other texts as references and additional problems. Calculus is the first book that was written in the series I believe which might be why it wasn't quite as complete.

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Glad that EKS and mumto2 chimed in.  Obviously, I'm no expert. ;)

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Interesting. We do not plan on going further with Fred because DD is now dual enrolled. LoF definitely does not follow the pedagogical norms but that is no surprise, how many math series are taught using a story line to tie the concepts together. I believe that careful reading is required to succeed with LoF and over the years we have had to go digging to find explanations for concepts missed. For example, it is important to read thoroughly the answers because concepts are often introduced in a problem set with the explanation in the answers. I also find that occasionally a concept is taught and then not repeated until much later in the book or even in another book. I see this actually good as I want my children to develop the skill of reading carefully and digging if the answer is not initially obvious.

It does not surprise me that it would be necessary to supplement at least to provide another point of reference. That is why I have my DD do test prep to determine where any program has their holes.

Stanley Schmidt has been reworking some of the earlier books. I wonder if LoF Calculus is on the list to be reworked?

Sarah

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My youngest is using teaching textbooks and enjoys it. I thought that LOF may help her where TT is obviously lacking: conceptual thinking. She is 11 and working on the fractions book. I was surprised as to the difficulty of the text. While it is clearly at her level, she really has to put a lot more thought into it than TT. We're now doing 5 lessons of TT followed by 5 of LOF. We skip the TT quizzes. We should be able to finish both books by the end of the year at this pace. Next year, we may do just the percents and pre-algebra books with LOF. If that is a successful year, we will stick with it through hs as long as it goes well. It would definitely save me some money! TT is so expensive!

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I don't think Life of Fred presents itself as an AP text. That does not mean it is not robust.

We have used Life of Fred for pre-algebra and Beginning Algebra. It does not provide a ton of practice if your kid needs that. However, it is challenging and presents the concepts quite well.

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I don't think Life of Fred presents itself as an AP text. That does not mean it is not robust.

We have used Life of Fred for pre-algebra and Beginning Algebra. It does not provide a ton of practice if your kid needs that. However, it is challenging and presents the concepts quite well.

I don't think the Calculus book is presented as AP level, but that question does cross most parents minds while their child is working through it. I actually came to WTM forums to figure this question out. At the time several experienced people told me kindly most likely no but that they had no real experience with Fred. Now I have experience. I would hate to have someone start LoF Calculus now planning to take the AP this coming spring. Dd's face when I handed her the review book after just Fred and a bit of supplements said very clearly not ready. As an introduction great but as the finished course with an AP, no. Fine as long as you mean for it to be an introduction or an end of math.

We loved the Algebra, Geometry, and Trig books. Those courses are complete. imo

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