Thursday, June 28, 2012
Life of Fred - Elementary Series
This past school year my first and third graders and I worked our way through the first four books of the new elementary series from Life of Fred. We would read through a chapter a day a couple days a week and were able to cover the four books in less than the school year. Each book in the series has 19 chapters and there are currently 10 books available.
I can say that my kids loved the stories contained in each of the books. Each book covers a day in the life of Fred, a five year old math genius who teaches math at KITTENS University in Kansas. While a little off the wall at times, the stories are engaging and teach math by using every day circumstances.
These books were the most recent ones written and, if I understand it correctly, will fill the gap from beginning math until the fractions book that begins sometime around fourth or fifth grade.
Like the older books in the series, Life of Fred not only covers math facts but many other interesting facts as well. My children learned what a deciduous tree is, about the life cycle of a butterfly, which letters are vowels and which are consonants and why it isn't a good idea to give someone your PIN number.
Of course they learned math, too. Things like addition facts, adding one and two digit numbers, subtraction facts and how to tell time. As I mentioned before, there are six new books out that we haven't even gone through yet, which include more subtraction, multiplication, division and an introduction to fractions.
While I enjoyed working through the books with the kids, we did not use them as our primary math books because I just didn't know enough about them. I need to see the big picture (as in the whole series) to see just how he manages to teach four years of math in so much less text. Four books wasn't enough to give me a good feel for them yet, but if your kids enjoy math (or you want to start them off on the right foot) this might be a good series for you.
I do appreciate the author's "unit study" approach to math that he takes in this series. He always throws in a lot of interesting material and enough fun stuff to keep the kids coming back for more.
Another great part about this series is that each book is durable, non-consumable and very affordable! Each book in the elementary series is only $16. Click here to go to the information and ordering page of my website!
This is a great addition to an already great math series, so if you're looking for a fresh approach to start your kids off with, I would encourage you to give a book or two a try and see if it fits with your family's teaching/learning style.