Who is Fred? one answer
In one of the Life of Fred books, Fred Gauss was born on the western slopes of the Siberian mountains. By the end of the twenty-five books, he is six years old.
In his everyday life he first encounters the need for each new part of mathematics, and then comes the mathematics.
Never again will students have to ask their perennial question: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?”
This summer, I started reading the elementary series Life of Fred books with Rose, who is going into 5th grade. This was easy light hearted reading and I expected her to be able to tackle all of the math found in the books. What I really wanted to see was if the Life of Fred series would capture her imagination and coax her into liking math.
You see, Rose is good at math. Very good at it. BUT she does not like math. She hates doing things over and over and always wants to know WHY she has to do something. So Life of Fred, seems like the perfect text for her. And to my surprise she loved the books and asked to read more and more of them. We started with Apples and she made her way through Butterflies, Cats, Dogs and Edgewood. ***spoiler alert*** Fred wants to travel to a city named Edgewood. A small city. Fred picks Edgewood, Kentucky, which coincidentally is the very same small city that I grew up in. So needless to say, the Edgewood book struck a personal note with me. ;)
So, this year Rose will continue on with the Elementary series and hopefully start Fractions for 5th Grade. She will read the Elementary books at her own fast pace, then start Fractions which she will be scheduled to study once a week. One thing that I LOVE about Life of Fred is that Stanley Schmidt recommends the course as an independent study. He even offers his own email to students to use if they have questions. It is not that I do not want to teach math, because I am good at math too, but my teaching methods with math have often ended up with both parties being frustrated and not understanding the other. So I love that these books are designed to be used independently.
I however will be reviewing the work and the books in my own time, because honestly I just love math and am looking forward to learning it all again!
Daisy (4th) and Magnolia (K) will be starting the elementary series once a week with Apples and we will just keep going until the year ends.
In reviewing the books, I thought they seemed like a perfect opportunity to do some notebooking in their portfolios of the concepts covered so I started creating some generic Life of Fred Notebooking Pages. These pages go along with each of the first four elementary books and include a space to draw a picture (or copy Fred's drawings) and write out the work from Your Turn to Play. I am sharing the sheets here on my blog.
More to come as they are completed.