Home School Math Curriculum
Life of Fred Math Series

home school math curriculum life of fred


by Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt
(Reno NV)

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Looking for a different home school math curriculum? Read the description below written by the author, Stanley F.Schmidt.

Home school Math Curriculum - Life of Fred Series

There are five things that distinguish the Life of Fred series from other home schooling math curricula:

  1. Life of Fred is fun.
  2. Life of Fred explains the need for math.
  3. Life of Fred is inexpensive.
  4. Life of Fred is clear.
  5. Life of Fred is complete.

Let's look at each of these five points.

First, it's fun. A mom wrote emailed me August 25th: "I just discovered my son working on his 8th math lesson of the day--at 9:15 p.m.!!!" Another mom wrote (August 27th): "I received my copy of Life of Fred: Fractions today. Well actually I bought it for my daughter but I am enjoying it first. . . . Hello? Free shipping? I wanted to buy every book now before you changed your mind." On August 4th: "I have just finished Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents. Mum is always telling me I can't do more maths, because I always want to keep reading Fred's story instead of my other school work."

When is the last time you wrote to an author of a math book saying how much you liked it? If you visit our Web site PolkaDotPublishing.com and click on the Raves from Readers, you can learn what others think about the Life of Fred. No other series has gotten this kind of response.

Second, every math teacher gets the same question: "When are we ever gonna use this stuff?" Fred answers that question. He is born in one of the books and grows up through the books to the ripe old age of six. In his everyday life he first encounters the need for some piece of math, and then we do. Every part of math--from factoring in beginning algebra up through hyperbolic cosines in fourth semester calculus--every piece of math is needed.

Third, just before I wrote this, I went to Amazon.com and typed in the search box "beginning algebra." The first hardback book listed was $107.73. The second was $120.76. The third was $121.20. Then $107.73, $130.67, $138.47, $108.60, $123.12, $108.97, $123.12, $130.67. . . . Yikes! Where does Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra and its hardback study guide, Fred’s Home Companion: Beginning Algebra fit in? The pair of them together are $43 and I ship them by first-class Priority mail, and I pay all the postage.

The whole Life of Fred series (now includes 18 books!- including 4 answer keys), which takes the student from learning about fractions up through two years of college calculus and a year of college statistics, is $415. And the books are Smyth-sewn hardbacks----not workbooks----printed on acid-free paper that can be used by all the kids and grandkids.

The latest Life of Fred Books are: Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology! and Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics! I am so looking forward to doing these two this year with my boys!

You can buy Life of Fred Books here.

Fourth, the Life of Fred books are clear. They don't require a teacher or a tutor or a classroom setting. They are self-teaching. In fact, I encourage parents not to help, tutor, or teach! Why? After your kids graduate from the university, almost everything of importance that they learn for the next forty years will be by reading--not from hearing lectures or playing with manipulatives. Learning to learn-by-reading is one of the most important parts of a child's education. When they are in kindergarten, virtually everything they learn is from the teacher's talking. As they go through the grades and up into graduate school, reading becomes the increasingly dominant mode of learning. I want to point them toward adulthood. That's why I don't toss in DVDs, teacher's manuals, manipulatives, and other junk. (Creating videos for this series would be a snap. For five years in the 1990s, I produced, edited, wrote, and acted in a weekly television series with the theme of what it means to be well-educated. I don't make videos, because it would be a disservice to the children.)

Fifth, because Life of Fred is so much fun, some readers might wonder if it is lightweight. The opposite is true. The Life of Fred is truly complete.

***The Life of Fred series has more mathematics in it than any other home schooling series that I know of.***

I taught for years at the high school and the college level. The Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra book, for example, has more math in it than is normally taught at the college level.

Compare Life of Fred: Geometry with Jacob's geometry. He has about a dozen ruler-and-compass constructions. Fred has 46.

Compare Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra with Saxon's (Algebra 2). Saxon leaves out (and Fred includes) (1) permutations; (2) matrices; (3) linear programming; (4) series; (5) sigma notation; (6) sequences; (7) combinations; (8) Pascal's triangle; (9) math induction; (10) partial fractions, which are needed in calculus; (11) graphing in three dimensions; and (12) change-of-base rule for logarithms.

Life of Fred: fun, motivating, cheap, clear, and complete.

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Homeschoolers Curriculum Reviews

Click below to see curriculum reviews written by home educators on this page...

Life of Fred Pre-Algebra II with Economics 
I think this curriculum is kind of fun and quirky, and we liked the algebra course for my older son, and so far my daughter thinks Pre-Algebra part I is …

Life of Fred 
We've tried them all! We started homeschooling in 2005 with a 4th grader, 5th grader and a 6th grader! We switched to Life of Fred Maths this year …

Life of Fred is Hilarious! 
Wow! Life of Fred is SO SO SO funny! In one day my daughter went through five lessons and a bridge! I love the way Dr. Stanley teaches!!!

Life of Fred: Too good not to continue! 
Our experience with Life of Fred. After finishing a computer textbook math program, my son did very well in figuring out how to do a problem; however, …

Life of Fred Mathematics 
What a great maths curriculum! We have recently switched to Life of Fred and it has made such a difference to my dd's learning and retention. She …

Life of Fred works for us Not rated yet
My daughter used to hate math. Now she is loving Life of Fred. She is working on the first book Appless. Since she started reading the Life of Fred …

Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra  Not rated yet
My daughter "LOVES" Life of Fred! I've even found myself giggling as I read the math lessons. When she finished this book last year, she wanted to read …

Life of Fred - Joyful Mom! Not rated yet
My 4th grade daughter finished Teaching Textbooks 5 early last school year so we borrowed Life of Fred Fractions to keep her going through the end of the …

Life of Fred: My Daughter Now Loves Math! Not rated yet
My 6th grade daughter struggled with math. She is great at memorizing things. However, if we had vacation time or there wasn't enough reinforcement of …

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