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amyc78

Life of Fred questions

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I have a few questions re LOF...

1. My 10 yr old is halfway thru CLE 400. He's getting a little burned out so I'd like to some fun math for the summer. Looking at LOF and wondering which book I should start with?

2. Would it be possible for maths little sister to join in?

3. Could this prepare him for 500 math or would we ultimately need to finish 400?

 

Any other thoughts in LOF much appreciated!

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My answers...
I would start with Apples.  The long term story is very cute, and LOF introduces concepts in their own order.  A child will be working on sets, types of lines, and addition/subtraction all at the same time.  Mine does math above where he is in LoF, but still learns quite a bit at the same time.

 

Yes, it would be possible for little sister to join, and when she maxes out he can continue (I think Farming or Edgewood introduces multiple digit addition/subtraction).

 

I do not think it would prepare him for 500 math, although it might give him exposure.  LoF doesn't teach the why behind math, only the procedures as it introduces concepts.  It's why we use it behind where he is; having Fred as a main source or introduction to the concept wouldn't sit well here, but it is fun to travel along after he has mastered them.

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We took a break midway through CLE as well for LoF. We then returned to CLE (we needed to finish the CLE books they had been working on before leveling up) and continued supplementing with Fred (we started at the second or third book and are midway through "Fractions" now). 

 

 

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I am thinking about starting with fractions bc I already own it and that's what we've been working on the last few weeks. Do you think that would work?

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I am thinking about starting with fractions bc I already own it and that's what we've been working on the last few weeks. Do you think that would work?

 

 

The author says:

 

If you have completed the Life of Fred Elementary and Intermediate Series and/or thoroughly know with a high degree of competence and accuracy:

 i) the addition tables (What's 5 + 8?)

ii) the subtraction tables (What's 8 - 5?)

iii) the multiplication tables (What's 7 times 8?)

iv) long division (What's 6231 divided by 93?)

 

and are 10 years of age or older...

...you are ready to start Life of Fred Fractions.

 

http://www.lifeoffred.uniquemath.com/lof2.php

 

I would give you my personal opinion, but I have no idea about what CLE covers in what year etc. 

Edited by luuknam

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And I'd personally ignore the age if your DC is ready. LOF can be a really good first pass through a higher topic for a younger kid because the problem sets are short, and Schmidt's recommendations are annoying at best (my DD still doesn't pass his "are you ready for Algebra" test-but would be reasonably expected to be doing algebra at our local PS in the fall-and it doesn't have a terribly aggressive math sequence)

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And I'd personally ignore the age if your DC is ready. LOF can be a really good first pass through a higher topic for a younger kid because the problem sets are short, and Schmidt's recommendations are annoying at best (my DD still doesn't pass his "are you ready for Algebra" test-but would be reasonably expected to be doing algebra at our local PS in the fall-and it doesn't have a terribly aggressive math sequence)

 

 

Right... my oldest won't turn 10 until August and did Fractions in one month in Dec/Jan. I just didn't think it was worth commenting on since the OP's kid actually is 10yo.

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Btw, Stan does say that there are exceptions to his age/hair cut-offs - and I have nowhere near enough experience teaching math to know what percentage of kids is or is not ready for Fractions/Algebra before 10/hair... and I suspect Stan would agree that your daughter is exceptional:

 

While most students are not mentally mature enough to handle the Life of Fred Fractions book until they are old enough for 5th grade, there are exceptions to every rule. If your child is ready, do not feel you must hold them back. 

 

There is an old saying that you shouldn't start algebra until you have hair under your arms. A child's brain needs to develop physiologically before tackling the abstractions that algebra contains. With this in mind, a student should not probably start Beginning Algebra until around 7th or 8th Grade. Since the five books in the Pre-Algebra series are designed to take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 school years to complete, a 5th or 6th grader could go through the five books a second time to make sure the concepts are thoroughly understood. (If you are really good with math and ready to move on, don't hold back!)

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Those were added in later editions (we mostly have the ones before the "expanded editions"). I'm guessing he got more than a few complaints!

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Btw, Stan does say that there are exceptions to his age/hair cut-offs - and I have nowhere near enough experience teaching math to know what percentage of kids is or is not ready for Fractions/Algebra before 10/hair... and I suspect Stan would agree that your daughter is exceptional:

 

While most students are not mentally mature enough to handle the Life of Fred Fractions book until they are old enough for 5th grade, there are exceptions to every rule. If your child is ready, do not feel you must hold them back.

 

There is an old saying that you shouldn't start algebra until you have hair under your arms. A child's brain needs to develop physiologically before tackling the abstractions that algebra contains. With this in mind, a student should not probably start Beginning Algebra until around 7th or 8th Grade. Since the five books in the Pre-Algebra series are designed to take approximately 1 to 1 1/2 school years to complete, a 5th or 6th grader could go through the five books a second time to make sure the concepts are thoroughly understood. (If you are really good with math and ready to move on, don't hold back!)

I read this somewhere: "Old sayings are things old people say to make sure that only old people get to say those things."

 

While I'm sure the author means well, his addendum sounds like a cop-out; but maybe my brain needs to develop physiologically before I can understand his line of seasoned reasoning.

 

After many years of watching my kid conceptually understand math he shouldn't be old enough to comprehend, I have a very low tolerance for this stuff.

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