Adding Math U See to Life of Fred

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  • I am using Life of Fred right now for my DS8. It is our first year homeschooling and I researched for a while to pick a math program I thought he would enjoy. I was homeschooled and grew up doing Saxon, which was thorough, but I never liked it. I got a degree in music and avoided math classes as much as I could and still graduate! I chose Life of Fred, because it was so different and everyone said their kids loved it. DS8 does like it a lot and never complains about doing it. I am supplementing it with addition and subtraction table drills for a few minutes each day. I am curious how many people use Life of Fred as a stand alone? I am very interested in Math U See and possibly supplementing Life of Fred with it. I know some people do this. How does it work for you? How often do you do each one. Everyone keeps saying Life of Fred is great because the child can do it independently, but since my DS8 isn’t a strong reader I do it with him (which doesn’t bother me… gives him extra practice reading aloud to me). It just makes me wonder if I chose the right one. So I am waffling between adding MUS or just sticking to what I have chosen. Thoughts?


    We use MUS and Fred though we started with MUS and have been adding more Fred. I think they go well together. Over time we are doing less MUS. We don’t do every page or every problem. Here is a blog post I did on LOF and how we use it:




    I don’t use Life of Fred but just to give you an idea, my (almost) 7YO does MUS and his schedule looks like this:

    Day 1 – watch the video with mom and then do page A in the workbook

    Day 2 – do pages B and C in the workbook

    Day 3 – do page D and E in the workbook

    Day 4 – do page F in the workbook

    Each page (which is front and back) takes him about 5 minutes to complete.


    We use MEP with LoF, but in truth, LoF can stand alone beautifully. I use MEP because I like the thinking aspect to it, while I love the very different approach of LoF, too. I don’t have experience with MUS (not a video fan) but you can rest assured that LoF is meant to stand alone … working on math facts and games from something like Family Math or just the RightStart Math Games set would be excellent, and fun, without adding a whole second program.


    We are using LOF as our ‘spine’ and supplementing with RightStart Math games and Living math books.  We do LOF 2 days a week, usually 2 chapters each time (so 4 chapters a week).  DD7 is in Dogs and DS5 is in Cats (he’s a math geek already!).  Then we do RS games 2 days a week.  On Fridays we play a board game that uses math.  Then, I just take a pile of living math books out from the library and the kids read them whenever they want, or we use them for bedtime stories.

    My kids could both read LOF independently, but we do it as a read aloud anyway.  Then we can discuss the ideas introduced, and I can be sure that the kids are understanding.  That way I will know if there is anything that needs extra review. 

    I’m expecting that we will slow down soon on moving through LOF.  So far much of what we have done has been review.  I’m still waiting to see what happens.  I know that the publisher recommends not starting the Fractions/Decimals book until grade 5, but I expect we will be done the elementary set far before that.  So I think we might do something else for a while, then return to Fred.  We’ll see.  So, instead of trying to do two separate curricula at the same time, I think we’ll do Fred, and then maybe something else.  Or, if Fred gets too challenging too fast (particularly for my 5yo), we might take several months off and do something else for a while, then move back to Fred.  So many options!


    I like the idea of just supplementing it with games and fun activities. My boys have several math game websites that they enjoy and we also have a couple of math type board games. Maybe we will just do that. Thanks everyone for your input.


    Sort of piggybacking off of Joanne’s reply … the author of Fred suggests that once you’ve finished the elementary books you re-read/study them before starting Fractions in 5th grade. Similarly to reading an old favorite book … the child will glean new ideas and concepts the second time around and the chance to dig deeper will present itself naturally. 

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