Joining the Life of Fred fan club

As a fun math supplement for the summer, I decided to give Life of Fred a try. I’m always concerned about bringing in the practical, conceptual, critical-thinking part of math—especially since math isn’t necessarily my strength. And Life of Fred seemed like an engaging way to get that done.

Boy, was I ever right!

We read one chapter a day, roughly five minutes of “math” storyline, and the kids are never happy with just one chapter. I’m always asked for “just one more.”

Fred is a five year old who started teaching math at the university when he was nine months old, and the antics pick up from there. My kids get so tickled with these stories. I mean, the kind of belly-busting hysterics that are the picture of childhood joy. Science, critical thinking, history, and advanced math like algebra are all woven into the most unbelievable story. It’s silly, and so much fun.

Like a sketch of what Fred would look like if his nose were deciduous. Or Fred’s idea of how to turn a circle into an ellipse (put an elephant on top to squish the circle).

Each chapter ends with around 5 math questions from topics within that chapter. It’s light and original, asking about familiar math concepts in unfamiliar ways.

Though I wouldn’t use this as my primary math curriculum, it certainly has been a fun summer study. Oldest gets some reading practice by helping read some of the chapters; he gets a review of the math concepts he learned earlier this year, plus Life of Fred expands on those concepts and provides practical applications; Middlest gets an introduction to the concepts she will be learning; and they both are having so much fun with Fred that they ask for him everyday.

“As serious as it needs to be” is Life of Fred‘s slogan—I love learning like that, especially in the summer!

Check out the Life of Fred website and pick up your own fun summer math program.

No disclaimer needed for this post. I purchased these myself and just wanted to share with you what we thought about them.