Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homeschool Math Curriculum Review ~ Life of Fred ~

All right, time for another Blurt Blogger moment!! Shall I give yet another stale excuse for my lack of blurtiness? NAAHHH ~ All yah all who homeschool know that time is precious ~ all yah all who have kids know it too, and all the rest ya all well..... ( does ANYONE even READ this blog who doesn't have at least ONE of those things goin' on?) yah all have lives, eh?

ok ~ So this year we were on the verge of craziness about Math in our homeschool, because even though we liked our Creative Thinking, well, we just weren't being Creative enough. Believe it or not ~ there is an even MORE creative way of thinking about Math ~ May I give you


Can I just say WOW!! I want you to know something ~ We LOOOVVEE Life of Fred! A bit of background ~ My kids are 17, 16, 14, 12, & 11. They are bright, beautiful, intelligent children. They love to read & reason, they excell at strategy, music, & the arts, & they have a firm foundation of faith in God.

BUT.....(And this is a tremendously LARRGGEE BUT...) Math peeps we ain't. Well.... Until now, anyway. Hold onto your seat, because this is a stunner... my kids actually wake up, run downstairs & , get this, ( & I am not lying, or even stretching the truth a teeny bit) actually EXCITEDLY TEAR OPEN the Life of Fred books!!! (without any actual harm to the books, it might be noted.)

Even I enjoy these books and Fred's adventures!!! And more importantly, even I UNDERSTAND them. (And I am a 38 yr old confirmed non-mathmatic, excessively right-brained, creative, crafty, musical and, may I stress it once again ~ VERY non-mathmatic mama.)
I must seriously congratulate Mr. Schmidt on the very best bit of crazy wild, unconventional & yet HIGHLY AWESOME & EFFECTIVE bit of comprehensive tutorial math texts EVER written!!! Because if he can bring MY brain, and my kids' brains to not only understand ( & I mean TRULY GRASP COMPLETELY) but ENJOY math..... well, my friend, he has accomplished a literal miracle.

My Dear Readers, you should know that I have been struggling with what to do with our math for years now. We had been using the Creative Thinking books, & while those are better than the average text book, ( in fact, I think they were the best thing going till we found LOF) they pale so far in comparison to LOF that the difference becomes black & white. May I even say ~STARKLY~ black & white.

So, I was praying to know what to do, because I was so stressed about the math & where the kids were with it, & my own lack of ability ( my husband can't be there to teach it everyday, he was my fallback). I got down that ginormous Rainbow Resource Center book, hoping to be inspired, & quite literally opened it to a long & very humourous description of LOF. I knew it was the answer I had been praying for.

And seeing my kids, with their actual DELIGHT in math now has been yet another blessing as well. Do you know, just today, ( & actually every day since we started the series, which has been about 3 months now) my son was laughing & comparing something in his daily shedule to LOF. I mean actual math concepts, which he now understands to such a degree that he is able to apply the concepts AWAY from the math books. In real, everyday life. They were so thrilled about it, that they wanted to read ahead in LOF, just to find out more of the story & read the humour. But I said "No Fred unless you are doing the math as well." So they sat down, and zipped through 5 lessons in one day. My kids. Who are the biggest math deny-ers ever. And me. WANTING to do math. Honestly, that IS a miracle!

Again, this is an inspired series, it is the right-brained, non-logical person's answer to truly understanding math concepts.

Here is a link to Stanley Schmidt's website ~

Here is a link to some sample pages from Life of Fred ~

I guarantee you guys will LOVE this one!!!!!


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Sorry for offtopic

Hall family said...

I have heard about this curriculum from other homeschoolers and have been very interested in it for my son.But here's what I soooo need to know. Do you think that it teaches Algebra concepts well? My son isn't strong in math, but he held his own-until Algebra. I had him in a pre-Algebra class to prepare him, but it was like a foreign language to him. So this year we are repeating pre-Algebra and working through the old tried and true Saxon. But he still struggles and still asks, "when will I ever use this?" I've thought about buying LOF but always cringe at doing this before I've really looked at it. What do you think?

redhead83402 said...

You know, I think it teaches algebra concepts ESPECIALLY well. Because it leads up to algebra in the most fun and unobtrusive way.
really, the kids don't even realize they've been hit with major algebra concepts until it's too late, and they are having fun, grasping the concepts and moving on. I guarantee you won't be dissapointed! Also, LOF doesn't cost much. You can try out a book ( say, beginning Algebra) for about $29. That's an extremely inexpensive textbook. I'd say, definitely give it a try. I have my 6th grader, 7th grader, and 9 grader on LOF, in various texts, and they do literally suck it up. And these are NOT Math -Whiz kids. Well, at least, they didn't USED to be!

Lawanda said...

Ok, I am sold. I am buying it asap. THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME!!