Review Detail

4.3 57 0.5
Life of Fred
Curriculas 5411
Overall rating
 
5.0
Personal opinion
 
5.0
Coverage of subject
 
5.0
Ease of use
 
5.0
A five year old college math teacher may sound like a crazy premise for a math book, and it is. It is also inventive, fun, and full of imagination. However, don't think these books lack a solid math foundation. The math is solid, as are the science, art, and other subjects your student will encounter throughout Fred's story.

My 8 year old daughter has enjoyed getting to know Fred and his doll Kingie through Apples and Butterflies. The chapters are interesting and hold her attention. She is not yet ready to read the books independently, and we do the exercises orally. A more advanced reader could work on his own.

Each chapter has a few problems to work, and I do mean a few. There is no drill; there are not sections of practice, practice, practice. I have not used Fred long enough to know if that is a "con" or not, but it certainly is not the norm in a math book. Life of Fred works well in conjunction with other more "typical" math programs if you aren't quite ready to use it as a stand alone.

If there is one group of students who might struggle with the Fred series, it would be very concrete thinkers. I have one, and he has a difficult time focusing on the math principles in the story because he is distracted by Fred's improbable story. He is very interested in the new ideas introduced once he looks past the fact that Fred is only 5. It is almost as much an exercise in imagination as math for him.

The books themselves are well-made and hold their value. If your child is struggling with traditional math programs or if you are looking for something a bit different, Fred is definitely worth a try.
Grade levels used
  • 1
  • 5
Pros
Inventive, fun, challenging
Cons
For very concrete thinkers, Fred's story may distract from the math; may not be enough practice
Do you recommend?
yes
JS
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