**Of the eight years we’ve been homeschooling, our favorite math curriculum hands-down is Life of Fred. **Not being a family that particularly loves the drill-and-kill method of learning, *Life of Fred* has provided a fun alternative to the otherwise dreaded math programs we’ve used in the past.

As our homeschool has changed over the years, so has our approach to these books. What I’ve discovered through it all is that no matter which of these options you choose, your children will not only learn math as it is used in real life, but they’ll enjoy themselves while they’re doing it, too.

As an out-of-the box homeschooler, today I’m going to share with you the various ways we’ve successfully used this curriculum. My ultimate hope is to give you the confidence you need to throw out that math book that makes your kids cry (and maybe you, too), in order to bring new life to an otherwise stressful subject.

## 3 Different Ways to Use* Life of Fred* Math

### 1. Use it everyday as with any other math curriculum.

I know I started with the most obvious, but I had to include it because…well…it’s the most obvious. Not only does *Life of Fred *contain enough meat to use it as your** sole math curriculum**, but it is the only math program I know of that combines almost every single other subject in with the math, as well.

### 2. Supplement it with another math workbook.

Sometimes parents just aren’t comfortable with math lessons that don’t include a substantial amount of math drills. Additionally, some children have difficulty learning basic math facts and would benefit from some extra practice. Alternating days between *Life of Fred *and a more traditional workbook is a great way to get those basic math skills mastered while providing comical and real life scenarios in which those skills would be necessary. **It’s a win/win situation.**

### 3. Simply enjoy it as a read-aloud.

When we were unschooling, we continued to read this series together everyday. The kids enjoyed the antics of 5-year-old Fred, and I was satisfied knowing that my kids were being exposed to math on a regular basis. That’s the beauty of these books. Since they’re literature-based, they’re the perfect combination of math and reading- the two most crucial skills to teach your children. **Most kids won’t even realize they’re learning math** during these entertaining tales because they are genuine stories- not just generic word problems.

**This year I’ve got children from 3rd grade through 9th grade using this one-of-a-kind curriculum. I do want to point out that I am not in any way affiliated with the publisher of this series. I am simply so impressed with it that I wanted to share it with all of my readers. Life of Fred is a gem. Consider giving it a try. 🙂**

Ugh STOP!! LOL I so want to love Life of Fred but my kids just find him annoying and refuse to try it. Do you use the “English” of his? I kind of want to test drive it but they kids are sticks in the mud. 😛

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We do use the Language Arts series, too. My 15 yr old thinks Fred is a little annoying, but she still chooses this curriculum over any other. 🙂

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We love life of Fred too. Our son is in Edgewood now!

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Our son is starting Edgewood within the next few days!

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I’ve heard of the curriculum and since my son hates to read (even though he is exceptional at it) I put it aside. I didn’t know to consider it as a read out loud. That’s a good way to get a non-reader engaged.

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My kids also like to take turns reading it aloud with me- they read one page, I read one page. 🙂

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My kids enjoy Fred even if we do find his story a little bizarre at times. We set the books aside sometime last semester (Goldfish), but I think it may be time to add it back to our Morning Meeting time.

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My daughter is in Goldfish right now. (Are you referring to the bacteria given to Fred as a “pet,” lol?) It does get bizarre, but I think that’s part of what keeps my kids interested!

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The bacteria, the talking sheep, the fact that Fred is 5 years old and a college professor… all of it really, but like you said, that’s part of what keeps them so interested.

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So lovly I am your biggest fan….(your kid)

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Why, thank you…and you spelled “lovely” wrong. 😉

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Ok well I don’t know how to spell it…..

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Oh oops..

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My husband uses the higher-level books with his class (I’m looking at the Calculus one right now) and it looks so great, but I’ve not seen the books for the early years. Our library doesn’t have them and I wasn’t able to get them ILL. I tried looking in all my usual rock-bottom-book-prices places online, but couldn’t find any super-cheap, so I’m in that situation of not being able to see it/try it out first… How early do you start reading these to your kids? I know my Gv would love listening to the stories, but if they’re like this Calc book, then I know the math portion could be over her head, so I’m just wondering what age you start using these with.

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If she enjoys listening to comical stories, I think she’ll enjoy this series, and if the math goes over her head, that’s okay! It’s still a great foundation. 🙂

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I’ve seen so much about Life of Fred, but I’ve never used it. We homeschooled for a little while, but then my kids went back to public school. Do you think it would be a good family reading/math activity in addition to a public school system?

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Absolutely! It’s literature-based, so it would be a great supplement that wouldn’t seem like more school work!

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hmm… definitely no-nonsense ways to use it. haven’t delved into it yet.

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It’s such a great curriculum. 🙂

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My family has been homeschooling for 22 years (since I was a toddler!) and my mom just came across this series this year–she bought just the first four books to begin with, but they’ve already used them all and now she intends to buy every one! They’re a lot of fun! For us, we also use a more traditional math curriculum and worksheets as well, but these books integrate math into life and are just so fun the kids don’t want to stop after finishing a chapter!

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Oh, you are so blessed to have been in this way of life for so long! Yes, Fred’s antics are so comical that even I enjoy reading them with the kids. 🙂

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Thanks for sharing at the Pot stop, I m sure this will help many people in Home Schooling!

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I hope so!

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These are great Shelly! Thank you so much for sharing at #familyfriday. Please come back next week.

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Thank you for hosting!

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I have heard so many good comments about Life of Fred. I found Apples and Butterflies at a local homeschooling consignment store and bought them. I’m so excited to introduce LOF on Monday to my first grader. We are just 2 weeks into homeschooling and have started with LIFEPACS. I think LOF will bring some fun into our math time. Also, I enjoy reading your posts. You were inspirational in helping me calm down, chill out and relax in my homeschool planning. I’m Type A and a former public school teacher. After perusing your blog (and many other relaxed homeschool blogs), I’ve decided to be more relaxed and make our learning time fun. Thanks! 🙂

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It took me quite a bit of time to get to the point where I was comfortable with relaxed homeschooling, but it was so worth it. Not only are we happier now but the kids are learning tons!

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Hi. I’m enjoying your blogs Thankyou.

Quick question re LOF for high schoolers.

We are in Aussie & my 14yo DS has returned to home ed after 2.5 yrs in middle school(grades 6-8).

Do we start LOG from apples or one of the later books?

And,

Do your high schoolers do LOF independently?

TIA

Kanina

(TASMANIA)

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I would consider starting in the Intermediate books, which start with Kidneys. You could always start from Apples for fun so that you understand the whole storyline, but I don’t think it would be necessary. My high schoolers like to read LOF aloud with me. They will usually try to do the problems themselves, but if they have trouble, I’m right there next to them, ready to help.

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