I’m tossing around using Life of Fred, in addition to our BJU math. How do you use Life of Fred? My son is doing grade 1 math, where should I start in LOF? What are the pros and cons?
Start with Apples and go from there.
Fred is different from any other math book I have ever found! My family absolutely loves them but they are not for everyone.
I would start by looking at the samples online. Read though the “note to parents” at the beginning of each book. If after reading those you think, “wow he seems great!” Then you will probably like Fred. If you think, “we do not see eye to eye!” Then it’s probably not for you.
Also I let my kids move through the books as quickly as they want but I also have them go back and review the previous books if the information is getting too much. Like last year when my second grader hit multiplication (book Honey) we went back to Apple and reviewed.
We love Life of Fred! It’s so unconventional, it took me a couple years of looking at it off and on before deciding to take the jump. My girls are 6th and 4th, and Fred is our main math curriculum.
Pros: they both have gone from not liking math at all to it being their favorite subject. No drill and kill. Being introduced to more complex concepts early on, and in a gentle way, so that when they hit it in upper levels, it will be a concept they’re familiar with and recognize.
Cons: if they’re not a strong reader, you should read it to them. That’s not really a con for us, but it is for some people. My 4th grader is dyslexic, so I sit and read the lesson with her (my 6th grader does it independently and just asks me if she gets stuck, which isn’t very often).
So far, so good, for us! We’ve been using it a full year now, and I love it. I have high hopes the upper grades will go just as well.
And yes - start at Apples. It starts slow but builds on itself really well. My older daughter went through it (quickly) starting at apples in 5th grade and still really enjoyed it.
It is a fun supplement for us. I use it in addition to Abeka. And we don’t read it everyday. More like 1-2 a week.
We love LOF but I’m not sold on the elementary series. We’ve done Apples to Ice Cream and still consider it a supplement. I loved Fractions on up more, but after having gone through Geometry, I will use it as a supplement the next time around. My kids have needed more practice and drill than LOF offers. It was perfect for my oldest though and he used it all the way through and tested into the college math he needed for his program of study. My other two teen boys struggled through Algebra 1 and I wished I had used TT with them.
Like Caytw said, LOF is not for everyone, but Fred is funny and my boys loved him! I’ve never had a kid read through a math book before just for fun. My oldest would get upset when his new math book went missing and it was under the bed of his younger brother. hehe!