Affiliate links are used in this post.
Have you checked out Life of Fred? This living math curriculum does a delightful job of combining a clever storyline with practical application of the math concepts it subtly-but-effectively teaches. When my kids were younger we used LOF as a fun supplement, and now I have a couple older kids using LOF as their exclusive math curriculum!
Life Of Fred is like no other math program out there. This math book series is known for weaving math concepts into exciting stories about a 5-year-old math genius. The author has tossed in valuable lessons that kids wouldn’t typically find in a math textbook.
Many of Fred’s readers will say that these books are very fun to read. But why? Here’s what one homeschooler says about the books:
“Even if the math concepts are a review, your kids will enjoy learning about the zany extras in each book. My son still enjoys saying toenail in German. That’s an additional important life skill if I say so myself. 😉” -Jamerrill, FreeHomeschoolDeals.com
It’s true that the Fred books are full of unexpected lessons beyond math concepts. Here are a few of our favorite unexpected lessons from the Life of Fred Elementary Math Series.
Unexpected Lesson #1
In the Life of Fred Butterflies book, students will learn linear measurements, time, geometry, and specific numbers!
In Chapter Nineteen of Butterflies, “Mysteries of Life,” Fred and his buddy Kingie receive a pizza delivery. Kingie proceeds to chomp down his half of the pizza (Kingie says he is so hungry because “being an artist is hard work”). But Fred takes a moment to set the table while the pizza cools off. He shows the reader how to set a table:
Place mat goes down first.
Then the plate and the napkin.
Then the fork on top of the napkin.
Knife and spoon on the right with the knife next to the plate.
The cup above the knife.
One page later, your child receives practice sheets for addition and subtraction!
Unexpected Lesson #2
In the Edgewood book, students work with concurrent lines, the commutative law of addition, touch on quadrilateral shapes, and more! The materials covered in this 128 page book are parallel lines, right angles, functions, quarter of an hour, half dozen, six examples of functions, math poems, the four kinds of sentences, firearm safety & more!
In Chapter Fourteen, “Food and Warmth,” your student reviews how to calculate half of a number, measurement of distance, counting calories in a meal, and the phases of the moon. Fred’s bus breaks down outside of town, and he was determined to run to town to get help. It was 6 p.m., and Fred did not want to run in the dark.
“Maybe there will be a full moon, Fred thought. Then there would be enough light to keep on running.”
In the next chapter of Edgewood, Fred explains the meaning of voluntary and involuntary actions. How does he fit all of these lessons together to create a funny math story? You just have to read the book and find out!!
Unexpected Lesson #3
In the Honey book, students work on fun math activities with Fred as he goes through fractions, multiplication facts, unit conversions and more! Perhaps your child hasn’t thought about starting their own business yet, but it’s never too soon to spark the idea to become an entrepreneur. In Chapter Fourteen, “Starting a Business,” Kingie puts on his businessman hat. (Fun Fact: Kingie sells his own art.) Kingie explains the risks of starting your own business. He then goes over the “Checklist for Starting a Business” with Fred.
At the end of the chapter, the reader is asked to check Fred’s business calculations. Will his business be profitable? Later in the book, Fred continues to follow his dream of becoming an apiarist. (Yes, the book explains that an apiarist is too!)
More about the Life of Fred Elementary Math Series:
Who is it for? Kindergarten to 4th grade
Concepts covered: time, types of numbers, geometry, measurement, facts about stars, morse code, geography, adjectives & verbs, patterns, functions, sheet music, seven wonders of the world, math poems, percents, numbers vs. numerals, division, slope of a line, graphing, notation, the improper use of seat belts, how to prove you are not a duck, reducing fractions, and so much more.
Titles in this series: Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, Edgewood, Farming, Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, Jelly Beans