Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Life of Fred: Fractions

We only have two "official" days of school left! Woohoo! (Alex is taking two online classes which will both continue for an additional two weeks.) So, today I told her what she needed to do to be finished for the year. In math, we started a new book, Life of Fred: Fractions. I just wanted her to finish the first unit, which is 5 chapters and a quiz. She finished chapter 6 tonight!

As you can probably tell, she is really enjoying Life of Fred. Tonight in bed, she created a list of important facts she's learned about Fred so far:
  • Fred is 5 1/2 years old
  • Fred is 3 feet tall
  • Fred wants a bike
  • Fred teaches college
  • Fred is at KITTEN University
  • Fred has a friend named Betty
  • Fred's last name is Gauss (rhymes with house)
(Alex's drawing of Fred)

In case you aren't famliar with the Life of Fred books, let me explain a little about them. Each book tells a story about Fred's life. We are reading the first book, "Fractions", which covers one day in his life. Each chapter tells a little more of the story and then has a "Your Turn to Play" page where you do the math. These problems are great "thinking" problems and very unlike a traditional textbook.

Here's an example of a problem from chapter 6. Fred wants to buy a bike and the store owner, Coalback, keeps doubling the price of the bike as he realizes that Fred is very interested in buying the bike. The problem states: "The price of the bike is now $1,600. If Coalback doubles it again, it will be $3,200. How many times will Coalback have to double the price before it is over a million dollars?"

We officially take the summer off from school, though we do continue to do plenty of educational activities. So, it is up to Alex if we continue with Fred or take a break. Either way, I think we'll start next year's math off with a few Fred books!


live4evermom said...

I'll have to look into those books. Looks fun.

Caseybumpinalong said...

My kids enjoy Fred, too. Congrats on being almost done with school! We have about a week left.

Paula (Belgium) said...

Thanks for explaining the Fred books. I heard more about them but had no clue what was so special.
We gradually go into summer school mode: less educational hours, more art, music and play.
Wishing you a good start of your summer holiday!

Rhonda said...

Thanks for the explanation on the "Life of Fred Books" There are a few homeschooling mom's on the homeschooling forum that I belong to that use them and they really like them.It is nice to know that even while on vacation your kids want to do school work. That is when you know that you have found the right curriculum.:0) I am sure that you and Alex are going to really enjoy your summer. Now I am off to take a look at these "Fred" books.

Unknown said...

I have heard of the Life with Fred books before, but haven't tried them yet. Thanks for the review!

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

We used "Fred" for part of Lindsey's math this year. I'm not planning to use it as our main math next year, but I was pleased, and would like to incorporate some Fred into our upcoming school years.

Dana said...

Those sound pretty fun. I'll have to look into those a little more - it's the second time I've heard a positive review on them. Glad summer break is just around the corner!

Freakmom said...

Violet is going to start Life of Fred Fractions in the fall. Glad to hear it get one more good review!

Unknown said...

We love Fred too! Just finished the fractions book a week ago. Helped us learn alot about fractions. We will continue with the series but it won't be our main math curriculum. This upcoming year I decided to make up my own year of math through worksheets available for free from the internet and the decimals and percents book from Life of Fred.

Robin said...

Cade really LOVED the Life of Fred books. I wish all math subjects were presented in just such a way. The story is hilarious, don't you think?

Malea said...

My 11 year old just finished the fractions book. We will start Decimals and Percents in the fall. We *LOVE* Fred and this unique approach to math. So refreshing! However, it has not, thus far, proven to be quite enough practice for my son so we complement Fred with Key To workbooks. The two seem to balance one another well.

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