Review Detail

4.3 57 0.5
Life of Fred
Curriculas 5125
We gave Fred a try. I had high hopes, and I still have a lot of respect for the series...I just couldn't get my kids interested in it, and perhaps part of that was the timing: a baby in arms or toddling underfoot makes it hard to sit down with kids and read it with enjoyment. But the other part was, it felt like something we had to do, rather than something we wanted to do. I kept staring at it on the shelf thinking, "we really ought to get it out" but rarely did.

Even though I could tell a great deal of intelligent, thoughtful consideration went into the creation of the Fred series, the humor left my daughter flat. My son appreciated some of the slapstick and absurdity, and I appreciated some of the sophisticated wry wit behind it that went over their heads.

However, in the end, at the time, we just weren't in a place where all my kids could/would sit cuddled up on the sofa and have Fred read to them, and it just didn't grab us from the start, enough to make us want to MAKE time for it in our lives. Bottom line, we didn't use it.

I noticed and appreciated how well-crafted it was, that the understanding for why and how a concept was useful, came first, and the nuts-and-bolts of how to perform the math (along with an invitation to "try it yourself") came next. I think that is a good approach.

Much as I was disappointed that it wasn't for us at the time, I don't write off trying it again in the future... but the books are not inexpensive enough to try casually, and I don't know of any "try before you buy" option except for borrowing some from a friend.

Bottom line, they are really different from all other math curricula. Truly unique. And the approach seems like a very good one, particularly for kids who need to know WHY, before HOW, which is how my kids are. I still can't put my finger on why we it didn't work out for us. It should have. Maybe it will in the future.
Grade levels used
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
storybook format, humorous, prompts genuine thinking, adds in lots of extra learning aside from math
The story and humor either interest you, or they don't. Also, this involves some "try it yourself" but if you want practice drills, you must supplement them from somewhere else. Also, pricey enough that it's not easy to just try it lightheartedly and be u
Do you recommend?
Report this review Was this review helpful? 1 0