Tagged: elementary math, Life of Fred, math
This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by 4myboys 3 years, 5 months ago.

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Anyone used these? If so, did you use them alone or with something else? I just ordered the set and am really intrigued, but was looking for reviews.
What about using LOF as spine and supplementing with math mammoth blue series?
Thanks,
Christie
We’ve read Apples and my boys love Fred. Judging by this one I would not say that it could be a stand alone curriculum, but a fun way to introduce concepts and why they work. They are also full of snatches of other interesting info that may or may not be related to math. My boys are well beyond Apples, but are very interested in reading the rest of the series, and I am sure they would eventually find their level if we did. I wish I could afford the whole set. We are wondering if the original series is more complete in its instruction as I think my older son would especially like them. He’s not a strong Math student at this point. We have just swtiched to math mammoth, so I hope that will change. We were using MM light blue series. Good program – worked very well — for my younger especially, but I think my older son will benifit much more from the multisensory approach.
Actually my LOF order just arrived this afternoon. I only ordered 2 days ago!
I ordered the elementary set, the Fractions book and the Decimals and Percents book. In my very quick glance, I’d agree it would be hard to be a stand alone, but I think if I added the dark blue Math Mammoth to it, that might work.
DS8 has been using Math Mammoth light blue for 2 years now. He likes it fine and does well. I could just add LOF to his daily reading and have him work the problems for each chapter as a bonus to help with the why. Hmmm, I’ll have to noodle on that one.
For DD11, she will be using Systmatic Math, module 6 for next year, but i’m going to have her work through the LOF Fractions and the LOF Decimals and Percents books, too. She is highly visual and the story will appeal to her. I’m not sure how to put the two programs together the best way just yet. More to think on.
Christie
Life of Fred has been an answer to prayer for our family. We currently have the complete Elementary set, Fractions, Decimals and Percents, Beginning Algebra and Advanced Algebra in our personal library. My 10 year old son is begging me to skip ahead and purchase Calculus so that he can read the beginning of Fred’s story. :0) Three of my children are using it as a stand alone Math, while my mathematically challenged 13 year old son is reading thru the elementary series as he completes MUS Delta. My 16 yo son is completing the Algebra books and I am AMAZED at his understanding. For my younger students, we do make flash cards to correspond with the math facts presented in the elementary books. We also use a Judy clock with moveable hands during the “telling time” lessons, and actual coins during lessons involving money. My just turned 6 year old daughter is finishing Math U See Primer, and I plan to start her in Apples. If I sense any difficulties in understanding, I plan to have her work MUS: Alpha alongside LOF. I guess it can be said we use it both as a stand alone AND with something else. :0) I know that when I first researched the books I planned to use them alongside MUS, but for us it has morphed into LOF being our primary math curriculum. Life of Fred really does teach the “why”!
Alana
Alana, we use Math U See and like it fine, but I like the idea/reviews of LOF, but am not sure about the topics and when they cover them? I looked at the LOF website and the table of contents for each book seems so overwhelming. Are they full of challenging concepts, or just use harder names to describe what they are doing? I also couldn’t tell which book had which topics because of the funny names: for example: Whole Numbers, Cardinal Numbers, Trillion, Quadrillion and Quintillion, Sexagesimal and Decimal Systems, Square Feet. Those were in the pretty early elementary books, so maybe I don’t know what age you start them in these books? Thanks so much!
Alana, thanks for your perspective. I really think LOF will be a good fit for us, too. My ds8 is very mathminded and it may be enough for him on its own. DD11 struggles in math a bit and will likely need a bit more, but LOF will really engage her.
Right now, because of life situations, I have my 10 year old and 7 year old, doing LOF – stand alone. I can’t say it’s really enough but they are learning and enjoying math. (This has never happened.) In fact, my 10 yr old son fell asleep with his LOF book last night. He loves it. Eventually, we will add other math back in. But for now it’s giving them a good attitude about math.
Hi, we have worked through Apples and are almost done with Butterflies. I plan to continue the whole series. My 5 year old is doing them along with Miquon Math. These work really well together. The Miquon gives her the handson, concrete demonstration of the math and the LOF gives her the verbal explanations to go along with it. Looking back, I wish I had been able to do this combo with my other kids. I think it is ideal for early elementary. My other kids, aged 7, 10, and 11 use StrayerUpton math and are all at different spots in the first book. I am having them go through LOF even though they are beyond most of the concepts, simply because they enjoy the books and I think he gets the kids to think mathematically. The StrayerUpton books are very inexpensive and you could definitely pull from them to supplement the Fred lessons. For example, if they need more work on their 2’s times tables, you would teach that section from the Strayer Upton and have them do some of the problems. We have also thrown in the Simply Charlotte Mason pet store math for good measure, and because my kids think it’s really fun.
The elementary series is meant to be read by the parent to the child. I don’t think you would get nearly the effect that you should if you have the child read them alone. Discussing the question and answers at the end of the chapter and possing other similar questions would help you to evaluate understanding and ability is important.
amama5,
The books are impressive and filled with a LOT more information that just math facts. However, the online descriptions DO, at times, use harder names to describe what the child is learning in the books. :0) I have even learned things while reading the elementary books. :0) As far as the age of the child, I feel confident that my 6 year old will have no problem with them, but I will add hands on manipulatives. I read the books to my dyslexic 9 year old son who is still learning to read. Although he still writes some of the numerals the wrong way, he has no problem enjoying or understanding the books. I am having my 10 year old son work quickly thru the elementary books up to Fractions. He is reading the books and writing the answers on paper, as is my 13 year old. My 16 year old will read any Fred book that comes in the door…oh, and so do I. :0) The author did not intend for the books to need a supplement, but that’s the joy of homeschooling… customizing books to fit the needs of your family. Is all that as clear as mud? :0)
We have just started in to these this past week and {heart} them! DS7 is doing Apples, DD10 is doing Edgewood. I can see these being a brilliant addition to out Teaching Textbooks. It is too early to say if they would become a spine. I agree with reading them aloud and doing it together though. A fun learning time together.
pslively,
We are also using Miquon and Fred. I haven’t figured out the best way to combine them though. Suggestions? Right now I am waiting til my daughter completes one workbook then we’ll work through one Fred book. I tried some other combinations before using Miquon and just couldn’t come up with a good plan. Using Fred only once per week seems to interfere a little with the story line, but I like a little more practice between each chapter. Would love to hear your “schedule.”
Jennifer
Thank you Alana:) So it sounds like these usually need a little supplementing, so I’m wishing I hadn’t even looked at them since we already use MUS and the budget is fine the way it is:) It sounds like what everyone is saying though is that kids should read all of them, even if they are too easy, just to get used to the style before jumping into fractions. Thanks ladies
Jennifer,
I would love to tell you that I have a great plan integrating the two curricula, but the truth is that I don’t. We do one chapter of Fred per day, along with one or two pages of Miquon. We were about halfway through the Miquon Orange book when we started Apples. Right now we are almost done with Orange and we are on chapter 11 of Butterflies. So far it has worked out well. I realize I may have to tweak in the future, but for now, my daughter is connecting all of the concepts in her mind.
You do not need to read the elementary series to be able to jump into fractions, unless that is the only elementary math you are doing. However, they are interesting reads and do teach the concepts. We’ve enjoyed Apples and would love to read all the rest, but financially I can’t justify the cost. The older LoF series (fractions and so forth) are the original series and have been available for several years. I am thinking of using them in the future for my oldest who is a Fred Fan, but we’ve only just started MUS for the first time (he’s fast tracking through the first half of Gamma until we find where the challenge is going to start for him) so we’re going to see how MUS works for him first.
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