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Learning about Math with Life of Fred

What are Life of Fred books? Their math series is one of my favorite ways to get kids who love reading learning about math!

Learning that math is fun with Life of Fred

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Have you heard of the Life of Fred books? I invested in the first ten elementary school level Life of Fred math books after hearing about it from several blog friends and my sister.

Life of Fred books were recommended to me as a great way to introduce kids who love reading and stories to various mathematical concepts. As it turns out, I’m glad I made the investment.

Why Use Life of Fred to Teach Math?

Life of Fred sets up math problems through cleverly entertaining stories, followed by clearly explained answers. My kids LOVE these books! The above photo where they are all reading them (or “reading” in Anna’s case, but there are a few illustrations for her to enjoy) is a scene I have woken up to several times this summer.

Life of Fred books are fun to read out loud, too! We enjoy the story and then work together to solve the problems.

Can I Use Life of Fred as a Homeschool Math Curriculum?

As much as I love these books, I don’t LOVE them as a curriculum. I see them more as a way to get kids thinking about math and loving it the way mathematicians do.

That being said, your child is guaranteed to learn a lot of math if you sit with them and work through all of the problems in the book. Most children will require more practice than the books allow, but some may race through and learn what they need.

We use the books as a way to learn to love math, which I consider the true key to raising kids who enjoy math.

There are new Life of Fred beginning readers and language arts books in addition to the math books. Have any of you read them? I would love to hear what you think! If they are anywhere near as entertaining as the math books, I am sure my kids would like them.

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

16 thoughts on “Learning about Math with Life of Fred”

  1. I have a couple of the math books – but my children have never warmed to them. My oldest was willing to read the story, but wouldn’t do the problems, and D (my real math lover) would do the problems, but thought the story was strange. So far the girls won’t have anything to do with them. I think they’re great books though – just maybe not for every child. Your picture is adorable!

  2. I’ve never seen these books, but I love the concept! Makes so much more of a difference when it’s applied to a story or situation than simply memorizing numbers.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    What a wonderful photo! Have you thought about sending it to the author, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt?

    We LOVE the Life of Fred math books!!! My two oldest are currently working through Honey. I’ve noticed that sometimes Michael gets an answer correct when big sister Nikki doesn’t. His brain and the author’s seem to be wired similarly.

    I realised the other day that my kids are doing three math curricula. LOF during quiet rest time, EPGY in the mornings (I upgraded briefly to the new Redbird Mathematics but soon switched back to EPGY because I need the reporting and I have to answer a lot fewer questions), and also the Learning Wrapups workbooks. Unfortunately, I realised this after I bought Professor B Power Learning math. LOL! Fortunately it’s all broken up throughout the day and they enjoy each individual segment.

    I am very interested to try the LOF language arts books once my kids are a bit older (the site says high school). We learn about grammar from time to time in Dr Schmidt’s math books, so I can imagine the English books are excellent as well. And the site you linked to has terrific prices, however the author’s own site offers free shipping.

    1. Hmm looks like educents has changed their shipping policies since I bought our set. Yes, it’s better to buy through the author’s site at those rates!

  4. I’ve used this with my oldest who doesn’t like math. The stories are great for developing a math intuition I think. I’ve since switched to Daily Word Problems for summer math, mostly because it’s shorter so it fits our summer better but I really like Life of Fred math books too!

  5. hi! We ❤️ Fred!! My older 2 have read all elementary-working on Liver now. I am actually working on Butterflies with 2 of my younger boys. I am doing a series of posts on my blog about it. Don’t want to self-promote but let me know if u r interested:mrgreen:. I do crafts, snack, & activity for each chapter. Excited to find your review!

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