## Students Who Need Or Enjoy Tons Of Practice And Drill

Although comprehensive and thorough in its math instruction, Life of Fred doesnt offer quite as much practice and drill per lesson as some other programs out there.

Students who require, or prefer, lots of practice after every lesson may not appreciate or benefit from the program as much without supplementing the core books.

## Homeschools On A Budget

As entire sets of Life of Fred can be purchased for less than the cost of a single years worth of some other math curricula, Life of Fred is an affordable math program that can fit most homeschool budgets.

Given that it is nonconsumable, it can also be more easily reused, purchased secondhand or even resold, if necessary.

## Using Math In Real Life

Life of Fred does not give step-by-step directions and answers to every question. Students learn to apply the concepts previously taught to current questions. Upon completion of the Life of Fred program, students will understand how math works, why it works, and how to apply it. Students will know the formulas and how to apply them in real-life situations, not just situations created for a textbook.

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## If Youre Thinking About Using The Life Of Fred Curriculum For Your Homeschool Youll Love This In

We started using the Life of Fred math curriculum after several years of using Saxon Math exclusively.

Saxon was a great fit for most of my kids particularly for my visual and auditory learners. But after several years of following Saxon to the letter, we were all getting a little bit bored with math.

One day at our homeschool co-op, a friend of mine had her sons Life of Fred calculus book on the table, and it caught my eye.

I asked her if shed mind if I thumbed through it, and I was really impressed with what I saw.

She stressed how much her kids enjoyed the Life of Fred homeschool math curriculum, and I decided to do some more research.

## Topics Other Than Math

Finally, Life of Fred often integrates a variety of educational facts into its books aside from math.

Although not as regular and central as the intended math learning, really being somewhat periodic asides, throughout the book series Life of Fred touches on different topics in:

- History
- Economics
- And more

Interestingly, at the pre-Algebra level, things are a bit more focused, with each of the books bringing in select topics from certain areas of science, such as:

- Pre-Algebra 0 touching on Physics topics
- Pre-Algebra 1 touching on Biology topics
- Pre-Algebra 2 touching on Economics

How much a homeschool appreciates this extra information is really up to the homeschool and its philosophy, obviously, but we think it can add a little flavor and multidisciplinary learning to Life of Fred.

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## Simple Easy To Use Curriculum For Parents And Students

Life of Fred is a pretty lightweight curriculum without a lot of moving parts to keep track of or purchase.

The programs books form the bulk of the instruction and, aside from some optional practice books at the upper levels, there isnt need to purchase any additional material.

It is also a self-study program that gently guides students through math learning once they are old enough to read it on their own, potentially saving busy parents quite a bit of time.

## Final Thoughts About Life Of Fred Curriculum Review

Although weve now transitioned away from the Life of Fred as our primary homeschool math curriculum, we kept every single book because my kids couldnt bear to part with them.

To sum everything up, I feel that Life of Fred is a fantastic supplement for a traditional math curriculum, but it is just a little bit lacking when it comes to being a stand-alone homeschool math curriculum.

Every now and then Ill see my kids curled up in their favorite living room chair, giggling away at Freds hilarious adventures with math.

And anytime this happens, I smile too and am so glad weve had Life of Fred as a part of our homeschool.

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## Students Looking For A Gentler More Approachable Math Curriculum

Life of Fred eschews traditional drill and endless memorization of math facts and formulas for a narrative approach that uses humor and engaging storylines to explain math concepts and relate them to real life scenarios, making math a lot easier to understand and more approachable for kids, particularly those who have had a hard time with math in the past.

## What Is Life Of Fred Math

Covering everything from basic numeracy and addition to complex analysis, Life of Fred takes a rather unique, literature-based approach to teaching math.

The series consists of a variety of humor-filled illustrated books that use an engaging story-driven instructive approach, rather than more traditional textbook instruction.

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## Parents Looking For A Traditional Back To Basics Math Program

Life of Freds imaginative, narrative-based approach to math, while relatively unique and certainly appealing to many parents and students, may not fit with every parents idea of how math should be taught, particularly with parents who grew up with more traditional, procedural math programs.

As a result, they may not be as comfortable with the program and its style, even if the math learning itself is fairly thorough.

## Life Of Fred Intermediate Series

Next, the Life of Fred Intermediate series books are titled:

- Zillions of Practice Problems for Advanced Algebra
- Geometry Expanded Edition
- Trigonometry Expanded Edition

Its definitely easiest to find these in a bundle because by this time youll want the extra practice books for sure!

The High School Set 1 has both algebra books as well as the accompanying practice books.

High School Set 2 includes both geometry and trigonometry in their expanded editions.

There are additional books in the Life of Fred College series, and the ones most typically used for high school would be Calculus and the Statistics Expanded Editions. Both of these come with a helpful answer booklet too.

Pin the image to come back to this article in the future!

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## Overview Of Life Of Fred Math

Life of Fred is a great math curriculum for kids because it tells the story of a 5-year-old math genius, Fred, who lives and works at KITTENS University.

The author, Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D., writes this in the introduction of the very first book:

When I taught at the high school and college levels, the most frequent question that I got was, Why are we studying this stuff? Few students have the courage to ask, And why are we learning how to simplify fractions? They just bow their heads and suffer through it.

In contrast, in the Life of Fred series, every piece of mathematics first happens in Freds everyday life he needs it, and then we do it.

The first ten books of the Life of Fred curriculum are part of the Elementary Series.

They all have fun titles, such as:

- Apples
- Jellybeans

Each book contains 18-19 chapters. Every chapter is about 4-6 pages of story and illustration about Freds experiences with a short Your Turn to Play section at the end. Answers to the Your Turn to Play questions are on the following page.

While purchasing 10 separate books may seem daunting, you can often find bundle deals on Amazon, like this **complete Life of Fred elementary series 10-book bundle **for a very affordable price!

## Is Life Of Fred A Secular Math Program

In our opinion, Life of Fred is more of a faith-neutral curriculum rather than a purely secular program per se.

This is due to the fact that, while there is no real religious content to the books, there can be occasional mentions of God or Fred going to church or praying here and there, which may bother those looking for a 100% faith-free curriculum.

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## Not Quite As Much Built

With only a few questions at the end of each chapter and a periodic spiral review component every few chapters, there isnt quite as much practice available in each book as there might be with other math programs.

Some students can benefit from extra practice and may need to purchase the supplementary books or supplement the program with outside practice material.

## Narrative Approach To Math

Life of Fred doesnt really follow a traditional, textbook method of teaching math.

Rather unusually, it uses a narrative, storytelling approach that weaves explanations and demonstrations of math concepts into an engaging, character-driven storyline.

Life of Fred centers around a 5 year old math genius known as Fred Gauss who is a professor of mathematics at KITTENS University.

The books broadly follow his life as he grows up, has different little adventures and learns to use mathematics in everyday life.

Rather than being a straight math textbook, Life of Fred is really more of a living math book, i.e. a book written by an expert on the material deliberately written to engage the audience and draw them into the subject.

Consequently it should be familiar to, and easily work with, Charlotte Mason homeschools and those familiar with literature-based teaching.

Interestingly, this style continues all the way through the book series, well into the college-level courses, providing a sense of continuity that can be helpful and familiar for those growing up with the program.

It is also an approach that isnt seen everyday in courses like Linear Algebra or Real and Complex Analysis.

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## How Intensive Is Life Of Fred For Parents

Overall, Life of Fred isnt very intensive for parents or difficult to teach.

The books are short, written clearly and plainly and speak to the child and so, even with young children, there isnt much in the way of preparation or pre-requisite knowledge required to teach from the program.

At the older levels, are designed to be used as more of a self-study course, so parents can step back into more of an oversight role.

Consequently, Life of Fred is more or less open and go as far as math curricula are concerned, and can be a good choice for parents who are new to homeschooling, who have a busy homeschool or for those who are uncertain about their own math skills.

## Is Life Of Fred A Complete Curriculum

Despite its unusual approach to teaching math, i.e. through a story, Life of Fred is a complete math curriculum.

Its series covers all the math topics and concepts that can be expected from a grades 1-12 curriculum , and explores the concepts in a thorough, in-depth and approachable way.

Life of Fred is also known to periodically introduce certain ideas and concepts at earlier levels than some other programs, particularly when it wants to illustrate a point or demonstrate the usefulness of an idea, such as , for example, by sneaking in some calculus symbols or algebraic concepts as an aside.

As a whole, Life of Fred teaches the same level and quality of math as many other homeschool math programs, just in a simple, easy and fun way so that students can appreciate and understand math better.

In fact, because kids tend to like the books and the way they are written so much, they may choose to read them on their own, which can help them be more receptive to and willing to absorb the information presented, which can make Life of Fred far more effective in the long run at inspiring a love of math than some other, top-down programs.

One issue some parents may have is that, with only a few questions per chapter and a short, spiral quiz every few lessons, there doesnt seem to be a huge amount of practice included in the elementary series.

Given the clear and thorough math teaching of Life of Fred, these can be from a formal curriculum or just math games and exercises.

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## Life Of Fred: Zillions Of Practice Problems: Pre

**Consumable**. Written by Dr. Stanley Schmidt with the intent to make math come alive with lots of humor, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. The student will learn to think mathematically. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods.

**Consumable**. Written by Dr. Stanley Schmidt with the intent to make math come alive with lots of humor, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. The student will learn to think mathematically. Each text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods.

- Description

Need a lot of practice or stuck on a particular kind of problem? This is the book for you! Chapters correspond to the content of Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics. The answer to every problem is worked out in complete detail.

In this book you will find:

- Hundreds of new problems organized according to the chapters of Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics
- Problems contain stories about you and your three-year-old sister and her pet alligator
- Complete solutions and answers

## Cons About Using Life Of Fred Math Curriculum For Homeschool

While Life of Fred is a very delightful and refreshing homeschool math curriculum, it does have its flaws.

First, the most common complaint about Life of Fred is that there are very few practice problems following each chapter, usually only 4-6.

While my kids had no problem with this at all, I was left wondering how much their math skills were really sinking in.

For the middle school and high school years, the lack of practice material has been satisfied with the addition of practice problem books.

Another minor flaw about the Life of Fred homeschool math curriculum is that it presents high school math out of sync with most other math curriculums.

Instead of following the more typical pre-algebra, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus track, Life of Fred combines both algebra years together.

This isnt a huge deal if your child can get through geometry before he or she takes the PSAT. But your child has only finished both algebras, he or she will miss covering necessary skills for these big tests.

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## Additional Books That Make Homeschool Math More Fun

If youre looking for a few other ideas to make math as fun as Life of Fred makes it, check out these books, all available on Amazon:

The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang. An incredibly fun picture book that kids love! He has several other great math picture books, but this one is our favorite.

The Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander. With clever titles such as Sir Cumference and the Fraction Faire or Sir Cumference and All the Kings Tens, kids and adults can really enjoy this great series!

The Math Inspectors series by Daniel Kenney. A fun chapter book series for third grade and up!

## Pros About Using Life Of Fred Math Curriculum

The biggest pro about Life of Fred is that it IS incredibly enjoyable for kids! My kids spent hours reading through each of the books, laughing and giggling the whole way through.

It felt really awesome to tell my son he had to stop reading his math book and come to dinner.

Presenting math as an engaging story definitely did two things in our homeschool:

I never had to remind my kids to do their math for the day or hear any complaining about how bored they were.

In fact, more often than not, Id be the one telling them they had to stop doing math for the day and move on to a different subject!

Finally, the Life of Fred series is one of the most affordable homeschool math curriculums on the market!

With most books available on Amazon and other homeschool retailers, there are no exorbitant prices for any of the books from elementary through high school level.

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## Students Looking For A To

With its storybook approach and frequent asides, Life of Fred isnt exactly to the point in the way it teaches math.

It is not a textbook that will simply introduce a concept and then provide practice questions for skill development.

Students who prefer a more concise and straightforward math program may become frustrated with Life of Freds style of teaching.

## Great Ways To Supplement Life Of Fred Math

Because Life of Fred is so much fun, it is a great addition to many traditional homeschool math curriculums. It can really bring some enjoyment back to math if your child is struggling or seems disengaged.

Both Saxon Math and Khan Academy are great homeschool math curriculums that would be complimented well by Life of Fred.

For example, you could have your kid complete their regular math curriculum assignments on Monday-Thursday, and allow him or her to do Life of Fred math on Fridays.

Or when your child finishes a math unit, he or she could enjoy reading a few chapters in Life of Fred as a great review for what theyve just learned in Khan or Saxon.

Finally, if you choose to use the Life of Fred homeschool math curriculum exclusively, its a good idea to have math facts flashcards or an app such as Math Facts Master for basic math facts memorization.

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