Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beginning Life of Fred

I love to research.  Even though Elliott is only in the middle of a Pre-K type year (based on his birthday) I already purchased items for this fall's "Kindergarten" year, when we start more formal lessons.

When I stumbled upon the living math website, I was very intrigued.  I immediately joined the yahoo support group, and I started seeing rave reviews for the Life of Fred series.  Not long after, the elementary series was released, so I purchased Apples, the first book from Life of Fred, and I assumed we would start with it this fall, using it as a supplement.

However, you might remember I had a slightly disappointing start with Singapore's Kindergarten math when I realized that Level A was extremely too easy for my 5 year old, who has been asking for school work.  I decided that we could at least do some of the hands-on activities in Level B and go ahead and give Life of Fred a try.  (In retrospect, I should not be worried about "grade" level; I should be working on whatever skills he is interested in learning)

We started with Life of Fred's Chapter 1 and he said I picked the best chapter ever to read!  It's February in the story, Fred is 5 years old, and he gets to sleep in a sleeping bag!

By the end of the 1st chapter we had discussed several ways to = 7.  I set some counting blocks in front of Elliott, and before I even uttered a word, he started making sets.

While flipping through Essential Math Level B, I decided we would skip ahead to the unit on Number Bonds and try some of the introductory activities as a hands-on component to correspond with Life of Fred.

After we read chapter 2, we used linking cubes to answer the Your Turn to Play questions, which again were problems that equaled 7.

For example, the problem might say 5 +       = 7, so I would ask him to start with 5 blocks in one color, and find out how many more he would need, and add them on in another color.  This allowed him to see that different combinations can still equal the same number.

He seems very interested in Life of Fred so far, and I am hoping it holds his interest, since I know he is interested in math, just not in worksheets.  Has anyone used Life of Fred?  Recommendations?

Linked Up:  Math Monday, Afterschool Blog Hop


  1. Nope, but based on this I'm going to look into it. :)

  2. We've used two of the older LOF books (fractions and pre-algebra with biology)so far. I'm giving serious thought to adding in the younger ones as well with my little guy.

  3. Thanks for linking up to the Afterschool Blog Hop! My daugther is starting to word on number families. I'll have to check into the Life of Fred.

  4. I heard about this before, but haven't tried it. I completely understand your difficulties finding the right level for your son though. My daughter is in K but can easily do 2nd grade mathwork. It's tough to decide whether to encourage her to move forward even further or just let her other interests rule for the time being.

  5. We are using Life of Fred. I love it.

  6. No input, but I'm interested in checking this out now!