Life of Fred Math Homeschool Review
by mom of two boys
Check out this in-depth homeschool review of The Life of Fred math books, especially if you have homeschooling kids who whine and moan about doing math...
This was the first year I used the Life of Fred math series. I was concerned at first about how the end of the year testing would go since the math is "compartmentalized". I wrote the author and quickly received reassurance that if the curriculum was followed and understood, my children would be well ahead of the public schooled children, or he would refund my money. With a guarantee like that, I went forward.
The series is based on a 5yr old boy named Fred. Fred is a math whiz and takes the student along on all his adventures. The books are in story format and the students learn the math in everyday life applications instead of having the problems presented to them.
When the first book arrived, my then 4th grader rushed me through the book and then took off. After about an hour I went looking for them and the book. They returned the book with the statement "Hurry up and give it back. I'm only on the 2nd chapter." They were actually doing the math along with Fred with out being asked.
The books are hard back and can be used with all your children. I like that the books also contain "extra" information based on the math processes being taught. Answers are written on paper instead of expensive workbooks.
The children progress through the books at their own pace. It is encouraged that the children learn on their own vs have a parent "teach" them. There are no tests in the curriculum, but instead "bridges" are used as progression markers. The student needs to pass 2 bridges per section, at 90% proficiency, in order to successfully complete the subjects presented. There is a final bridge that has to be crossed in order to complete the book. They have 5 tries to successfully complete it.
Once completed, the book returns to the shelf and the next book in the series is chosen. The higher books, starting with Beginning Algebra) also
come with "Home Companions" which contain extra practice for the student. I highly recommend the Home Companions.
The one thing I wasn't so happy about is that there was no placement test for this curriculum. My oldest was in 8th grade and I was unsure where to start them. Since this series starts at 5th grade and I had an upcoming 5th grader, I just gave the oldest the final bridges in each book. I kept giving the final bridges until we got to a place where they weren't proficient. That's the book we started in.
In a single year, the fifth grader completed the first 3 books in the series. They will start 6th grade with Pre-Algebra with Economics (this contains info needed for a complete high school economics course, which they will just read through at this point). The oldest covered the first 5 books in the series and will start 9th grade with Geometry.
All in all, I am extremely pleased with the Life of Fred curriculum. No more crying and moaning at math time. Fred and his antics have become a part of our life. This is a terrific series that we will continue to use and promote to all the parents who are having a hard time with their children and their math. The testing scores for my children have come back very elevated. Both children are well above grade level in math! I would recommend you take a look at Life of Fred math curriculum if you are looking for something different. Excellent review of The Life of Fred math books! We love Fred too! My oldest is completing her high school economics course with The Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics book. Blessings, Heather :)The Life of Fred Homeschool Savings Tip
You can order new copies of The Life of Fred math books from polkadotpublishing.com. Dr Stanley Schmidt doesn't discount his books - they are already affordable, but he does offer free shipping
! You can also look for used copies, but many homeschool families don't want to part with them. Once you own one of these books, you'll know why! :)