Life of Fred

Life of Fred

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Life of Fred

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Life of Fred is a complete math program that relies upon the self-teaching learning style many homeschoolers love. The texts follow the life of Fred Gauss—a six-year-old math professor at Kittens University who was born on the slopes of the Siberian Mountains—who has many humorous, unlikely, and zany adventures. Informal in tone and approach, these books are designed to engage students in a fun narrative while also instilling a solid understanding of the principles of mathematics--without an abundance of repetitive drills!

The program is structured in different courses that cover multiple grades:

Elementary and intermediate books for 1st-5th grade A “Before High School Mathematics” series that features arithmetic & pre-algebra books for late elementary and middle school A four-year high school course A set of university-level textbooks

User reviews

57 reviews

 
(8)
 
(4)
 
(1)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Personal opinion 
 
4.4
Coverage of subject 
 
4.3
Ease of use 
 
4.8
Support 
 
3.6
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Personal opinion 
 
5.0
Coverage of subject 
 
4.5
Ease of use 
 
4.5
Support 
 
3.0

We switched to this from a more traditional math because it was a daily fight to get math done, complete with tears. As soon as we tried Life of Fred my son begged me to do "just one more chapter, please!" after every lesson.

We have done Apples-Mineahaft so far so I can't speak to the older levels but they are already introducing kids to advanced algebra concepts typically taught in algebra 2. It boots my son's confidence to know he knows how to do something kids several grades higher than him are learning.

The biggest negative is sometimes I have to look at an answer in order to explain how to solve a problem.

If you have a child who hates math give Fred a try, it just might surprise you.

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Pros
Fun, engaging and not overwhelming
Cons
Some problems are not fully explained in the lessons.
Do you recommend?
Definitely!
L
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Overall rating 
 
5.0
Personal opinion 
 
5.0
Coverage of subject 
 
5.0
Ease of use 
 
5.0

LOF makes math fun and silly. I will be honest that I wondered how much the kids were really learning because it is such a different approach. But, things are sticking... especially with my middle child. I think LOF helps kids to see math in every day life. The kids look forward to reading it and they even named our kitten Fred :)

Grade levels used
  • preK
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
Do you recommend?
Yes
A
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My son is 7 years old and hated math, so did I. I searched a lot and tried many different math approaches. None worked as well as LofF. My son went from detecting math to loving it! He's always thinking about math now. I will continue with LofF with all of my children!

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Pros
Makes math enjoyable
Cons
None!
Do you recommend?
Yes!
M
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My 3rd grader was having a hard time concentrating in math until we started Life of Fred! Now she wants to have math class all day long!

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 3
Do you recommend?
Yes
P
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I purchased the entire elementary set after reading the first few chapters of the first book with my DD. It was fun, light hearted, and interesting to read. But as we progressed reading them together, I found that she was not retaining the information or deeply understanding the math concepts taught in such an abstract manner. We switched to MUS and continued to use LOF once a week to supplement, but after a while realized that it was impossible to follow along with only revisiting it once a week because concepts that were weakly introduced would be quickly forgotten.

Grade levels used
  • 1
  • 2
Pros
Fun, open and go
Cons
Very abstract, not much practice
Do you recommend?
No
K
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I don't know how it works, but it not only works, my six year old loves it and begs for FRED! We have the first two books and are reading the second one now (Butterflies). After we are done with that she asked that we read Apples again.

Grade levels used
1
Pros
Literature based
Cons
none
Do you recommend?
YES!
AO
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We tried several different Math curriculums and didn't like any until we found Life of Fred! I have purchased all the books through high school because we LOVE Life off Fred so very much!

Grade levels used
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Pros
Easy to use, makes math fun, not parent intensive
Cons
Can't think of any.
Do you recommend?
Highly Recommend
T
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Great way to learn or reinforce math! Plus they learn other things at the same time.

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Do you recommend?
Yes
L
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LOF is a simple, yet fun way to tackle the subject of math. Through a comical story of a young boy named Fred, students learn not only basic math skills, advancing to more difficult topics, but students also learn mathematical terms along the way. While the story line is very simple, the books captivate its audience as they follow Fred's adventures at Kittens University.

Grade levels used
  • 4
  • 7
Pros
Simple, fun way to learn math through story form
Do you recommend?
Yes
EL
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We switched to Life of Fred this year for both Algebra 1 & Language Arts. My 8th grader has ASD & was really struggling with algebra. He loves Fred! Suddenly he started looking forward to his lessons because he wanted to find out what would happen to Fred next. The books are very entertaining & the kids learn almost without realizing it. For a child who struggles with a more traditional textbook-style learning, LOF is truly amazing. The books have a surprising amount of depth to them (I've even learned things from them!) My only wish is that they had more practice problems for each lesson, both in LA & math. If there was a workbooks set to supplement, then this curriculum would be perfect.

Grade levels used
8
Pros
Story Format - very engaging
Cons
Needs more practice problems Would love to see workbooks to go with the books.
Do you recommend?
Absolutely
MW
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We have started using this this school year and my son (1st grade) is loving this. At first I thought I had to make my own daily review sheets but soon realized the material itself was doing a great job at reviewing the concepts taught without that need for my own review. He is doing great and remembering the concepts well. So far we love this curriculum!

Grade levels used
1
Pros
Easy to use, interesting to the child, reviews subject matter taught, introduces advanced concepts early
Cons
No worksheets provided if your child needs additional review
Do you recommend?
Yes
C
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The Fred books are fun to read, and would likely be a good way to get someone interested in math. We use them as a supplement, as one of my children requires more practice.

Grade levels used
  • preK
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros
Short lessons, engaging story
Cons
Not enough practice for retention
Do you recommend?
Yes, as a supplement
D
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My daughter struggled with math in ps. She hated math but after getting her the Life of Fred books she is starting to love math. She no longer fights with me to do math!

Grade levels used
4
Do you recommend?
yes
VF
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My children started school in the public school system. By 4th and 5th grade (homeschooling started soon after), they hated math. We started with Apples, even though it would be review for them. I'm so glad I made that decision. They had several "light bulb" moments when gaps were filled from public school. Using Fred's story to illustrate "when would I ever need to know this or use this" makes math more enjoyable. The author also weaves other subjects in the story line occasionally. I've never regretted a Life of Fred purchase.

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Do you recommend?
Yes
M
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My child hated to do math but after starting this program, their love of math grew and now they can't wait to do the next chapter. I love how it challenges them to think above their level as well as teaches English concepts at the same time as math.

Grade levels used
1
Pros
Fun and engaging story line
Cons
Some questions are hard and the answers not always easy to find
Do you recommend?
Yes
JK
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This is the only math curriculum that my kids have actually enjoyed. The stories are fun and silly, but the concepts are serious. Sometimes my daughter needs to work on a particular concept before moving on, and I just download a few worksheets and then we move on.

Grade levels used
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 9
Pros
Fun, thorough
Cons
Sometimes extra work is needed on a concept
Do you recommend?
Absolutely
M
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My daughter is Math resistant, and this series has made teaching her so much easier. She really gets engaged in the stories, and forgets it's Math!

Grade levels used
  • 4
  • 5
Pros
Makes Math interesting
Cons
None
Do you recommend?
Yes
RB
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We love LOF!! I have learned simpler ways of doing math that I so wish I had been taught. We enjoy the story, the characters, and of course, the math is made fun.

Grade levels used
  • K
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Pros
Fun, straightforward, easy to understand
Cons
Not a one!
Do you recommend?
Absolutely!
E
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Such a fun storyline with real-life applications of math!

Grade levels used
  • 1
  • 2
Pros
Fun storyline
Do you recommend?
Yes!
K
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I started Life of Fred with my daughter at the beginning of 4th grade. She's struggled with math, so we followed recommendations from other LoF families and started with Apples. We finished Apples-Edgewood during 4th grade year and Farming-Honey during 5th grade year. Life of Fred made math more enjoyable for her because she enjoys Fred's story. I think that she also benefits from the explanations. We wound up taking a break from Life of Fred after she completed Honey because she's not ready for the long division that's covered in Ice Cream. We started with a different curriculum to reinforce some of the math facts and concepts that she's still struggling with and we will eventually revisit Life of Fred, although we will probably use it as a supplement from that point on.

Grade levels used
  • 4
  • 5
Pros
Fun, easy to use
Cons
Limited practice and repetition
Do you recommend?
Yes
JF
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