Curriculum Recommendation: Life of Fred Math

As I mentioned in my last post, we have been very happy to find some excellent textbooks. One of my favorite finds has been the Life of Fred math books.

We began sixth grade with the first book in the series Fractions, and what a treat! Dr. Schmidt has been successful at creating a fun and engaging math program. The books are based on the life of Fred Gauss (rhymes with house) a five-year old math professor at KITTENS University.  Oh yes, as you can see, it is already a fun story. We learned all about how fractions are found in everyday life. The story-line was compelling and entertaining enough for my son to keep reading ahead.

Highly recommended, but some children may need extra practice with additional worksheets found elsewhere. We were able to find some printouts when we googled “free fraction worksheets”.

I would also like to point out that this is an entirely different method than just rote problem solving equations. Dr. Schmidt has the lesson in chapter form and it reads like a story. This allows for math to be seen in everyday life, not just in a textbook never to be used again!

 At the end of each chapter is “Your Turn to Play”, a section of 4-10 problems based on the lesson just learned and like the Saxon method, a few from the prior lessons. After the problems is an explanation of how each problem was solved. This is for you to review with your child to make sure they really understand what they have learned. I prefer to have my son not look at the answers until he has at least tried them a few times on his own, then we review the answers together.

When five lessons have been completed, you must “cross the bridge” to the next section. This eliminates using the dreaded “test” word. It is amazing at how much better the work is completed when the child thinks they are just crossing over the bridge and not being tested. The best part is, they have five tries to get across. You can also use some of the problems for additional practice if your child doesn’t take the full five tries.

The book is also full of entertaining side notes touching on history, science, and English.

We really like the hilarious pictures of little Fred trying to get out of his many comical situations! (and hope you do too!)