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Life of Fred: Apples (Life of Fred Elementary Series #1)

4.5  ·  Rating Details ·  285 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Numbers that Add to 7, Circles, Ellipses, Reading 6:00 on a Clock, 5 + ? = 7, Days of the Week, Leap Years, Spelling February, Dressing for Cold Weather, 15 Degrees Below Zero (–15º), Deciduous Trees, Deciduous Teeth, Counting by Fives, 3x + 4x = 7x, Archimedes 287 B.C. Wrote The Sand Reckoner and Got Killed Being Rude, ante meridiem (a.m.), Donner and Blitz in German, One ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published 2011 by Polka Dot Publishing
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Mar 26, 2012 Larrullo rated it it was amazing
Math is fun this way...each chapter continues the story of Fred...which is cute and funny for child and adult...and also teaches concepts...math and more. My six year old can read each chapter alone and answer the questions at the end of each mostly on her own. It is fun, and seems too easy to really be educational...but by the end of the book I could see a true progression. Without pain, my daughter learned to add and subtract (this needs some attention outside of the book honestly, but the boo ...more
Since there were no reviews, I read the first book via ILL. It has what I would call a primitive design, but the math content seems solid. It presents math concepts and other concepts in a story format, with exercises to be done on the reader’s own paper. The main character makes a couple mentions of God in his musings, but the overall content does not seem religious in tone.
May 05, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
We love Fred! My daughter and I really enjoyed reading about Fred, Kingie, and all their adventures. I was amazed at how much learning is packed into this book. It's learning that is also such fun to read. We can't wait to see what book two brings!
Oct 18, 2016 Lekeshua rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
This book wasn't out cup of tea. Not sure if it's because we were also reading Childcraft Mathemagic and Lilac Mohr's Math and Magic Wonderland. But compared to those two books, the story line wasn't strong and very "twaddle-y". Now to decide to continue in the Elementary Series or jump up to the next level?
Sep 30, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing
I can certainly see why my kids are really liking these books. They're funny and show that math can be a part of life. I'm amazed what my kids remember from just reading once!
Sarah Bringhurst
Apr 02, 2013 Sarah Bringhurst rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math
This is a real educational winner. The funny, sometimes bizarre story-line has my kids laughing out loud almost every day. We're actually already on Book 3 of the series, and I've made it the primary math curriculum for my children (ages 5 and 8). I find that they both understand and retain the material. And because it is presented in a real-life setting, they also can see how math is meaningful and useful in life. I will re-start my 5-year-old on the first book in a year or two, but in the mean ...more
Heather Tenney
Apr 16, 2014 Heather Tenney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschool
Excellent math book. I was very skeptical, didn't understand how this could possibly work like math textbooks do. But it won't be like any math book you've ever seen! It uses storytelling, silliness and practical examples to not only teach basic math skills, but to teach thinking skills as well. Will they learn 5+2=7? Sure. Again and again. But they'll also learn sequencing, reasoning and deduction. A lot of people wonder is it a full math curriculum? Yes, it is. I say this with a critical eye. ...more
Sep 27, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
I don't know what it is about this character or the stories about him, but children just seem to love him. My son loves Fred and wants to always do "just one more chapter" to see where the story goes. This alone is amazing, because the stories aren't that action packed. Not a lot happens over a given chapter, but Fred is funny and child-like (perhaps because he is a child), but also smart and sometimes silly. Just enough of each and enough real information (mathematical and otherwise) to keep ki ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Janice rated it really liked it
I really didn't know what to expect with this book, but I kept hearing about it so I thought we would read it and see what we thought. Life of Fred is cute. The story is simple and easy to understand with some silly (sometimes truly bizarre) things that make it funny and entertaining for my children. I am not convinced that this is any thing close to a stand alone type of curriculum for math, but I do know that my older children (7 & 9) enjoyed reading about the life of Fred and his doll Kin ...more
My kids really loved the story, they would give it 5 stars. As a stand alone, teaching book... I'm not yet convinced. The author does set up the *need* for the math. Which I think is important since my children are constantly asking *why* they have to learn this. But, the child will need more teacher lead practice, which is not provided, between the lessons. Perhaps at the higher levels there is more practice provided since the student is expected to work independently at that level.

My children
Mar 19, 2015 Chase rated it really liked it
I did this book with my 8 year old and we read between 1 and 3 chapters a day, usually about two. She really enjoyed the story line and how badly Fred draws compared to his doll Kingie.

As a parent I was concerned that it would not be enough repetition to really get the arithmetic down. Apples focuses on the number 7 both addition and some subtraction and introduces the algebraic concept of solving for x. Reading an analog clock is also introduced and by the end of the book not only can my daught
Jan 01, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
A friend recommended this series that my boys (8 and 5) are both loving so far: Life of Fred. Designed for homeschoolers, it’s a fun way to teach math concepts in story form. The boys think the books are hilarious (and yes, it’s pretty quirky — a five-year-old math professor??). I love that it celebrates learning (and it teaches about LOTS of things, not just math: the Titanic, for instance!). There are questions in the back of each chapter to reemphasize the concepts learned, so you could use t ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing
My grandchildren are home schooled and use these as their math curriculum. I was an elementary math teacher in the days of the "new math" of the late 60's and was interested in reviewing this approach. I actually read at least 6 of these books. I can't wait until the children get to the higher levels of algebra and trig. I never did take calculus and hope that I can read the books all the way up to that.
It is amazing how much information is in each book. Subjects that are going to arise far in
Emma B
Feb 16, 2016 Emma B rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 24, 2015 SchoolinginPajamas rated it really liked it
Shelves: elementary-math
The premise seems silly but it really captures the attention. It reads like a story book which makes the introduction of math concepts easy. The concepts are introduced in "real life" scenarios. My son found the story funny and knew it wasn't real. I was surprised at some of the advanced concepts introduced. Its just that- early introduction. I gave four stars because we enjoyed it and are continuing with the series. Just remember it is not a worksheet based program or timed drills or like any t ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
Excellent math book for beginners to reinforce and enjoy math skills and information! All 3 of my kids LOVE Fred!! This is finally a math book that is interesting, funny, and still educational. My kids always get excited to read Fred, and it doesn't take very long to go through a chapter and the exercises at the end. It keeps their attention and gets them laughing. These books are genius in their simplicity! I use this as a supplement to our other math program to help the kids see the teachings ...more
Oct 14, 2011 Amber rated it really liked it
Shelves: school, math, sy11-12
Although some of the math concepts are basic in this first book from the new Elementary Series, my kids really loved it. Fred is about much more than math and they couldn't put it down. I too, really enjoyed the book and the format of the information presented. This is a perfect addition to our more relaxed approach to math this year. I think we will happily read all of the Elementary series until we are ready for long division and Life of Fred Fractions.
Mandie Mc
Sep 21, 2011 Mandie Mc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I was so excited to find out that my 6-year-old son could learn math with Fred before he reached pre-algebra! These books are engaging, funny, and make math a joy. We blasted through this book in under a week, with my son really grasping all of the concepts (including telling time, which he's never done before). Highly recommended living book for mathematics instruction of early elementary students!
Julia Forrester
Sep 11, 2012 Julia Forrester rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, homeschooling
Just finished this math book with my daughter and she absolutely loved doing math! She learned to tell simple time, count by 5's and much more. I'd highly recommend for a child that isn't keen on doing endless worksheets. Fred teaches the kids to solve for x and introduces them to other higher level math concepts in a way that makes sense and is easy for kids to understand and make part of their regular math vocabulary.
Dec 09, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Never thought I'd review an elementary school math book on here, but my kids and I love these books! It's amazing what you can learn just from reading about 5 year old Fred (who happens to teach at Kittens University, rarely eats, and hangs with his best doll Kingie) as he goes about his daily adventures. These books have sparked conversations about constellations, the Orion nebula, The Wizard of Oz, etc. We've learned quite a bit of mathematics along the way too. Highly recommend!
Sep 25, 2014 Sue rated it it was amazing
What a fun book that teaches concepts plus math facts! The book is first one of a series by the author that certainly makes math fun in an outlandish sort of way. Fred and his doll-friend Kingie have adventures that include humorous art and funny situations which include vocabulary and math words. The books steadily increase in math complexity. If only I had this book and way of learning when I was young! Math would have been a delight instead of a drudge.
Feb 06, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Quirky, funny, and mathematically oriented, the Life of Fred books are now on my A-List. My son reads this to me a chapter at a time, and we both get a kick out of The Kittens University's five year old math professor Fred and his artistically gifted doll Kingie. We have not yet gotten to math levels that challenge either of us, but just maybe I'll keep reading and finally learn trig.
Oct 01, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
This is a fun math curriculum that presents math as we encounter it: in real-life situations. The storyline is goofy but easily followed, and even though the math in Apples is appropriate for first graders on up, it introduces concepts from algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and more, in a natural and reassuring way. We're looking forward to going through the full Life of Fred curriculum.
Jan 11, 2013 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This is a fun book (first in the series) that even my older kids enjoyed browsing through. I liked the point the author made in one of the books when he said that if music or sports were taught like math is, they would be boring.
This was amusing and included lots of math as well as other interesting topics. My kids (ages 6 and 9 at the time)didn't take to it like I thought they would. I may try a higher level in the series to see if that resonates more.
Elaine Curry
Nov 07, 2011 Elaine Curry rated it really liked it
My kids loved this book. It's a funny read about a 5 year old kid named Fred who teaches math at Kittens University. It's a completely different approach to math than I had. I hope it helps my children love math again after a very bad public school experience.
Nov 24, 2011 Juliamcollings rated it it was amazing
I actually found this maths book very entertaining. I set myself a goal to teach myself maths this year and as I have chosen Fred as the method for Jared I thought i would work through it my self and I'm really enjoying them. It's a very clever way of presenting maths.
Oct 19, 2014 Brigette rated it it was amazing
Now this is an innovative way to learn math! Clever, creative, engaging. I had heard good things about this series from a number of people. We are on to the next book!
Feb 12, 2016 Kendra rated it really liked it
My 6 year old loved it! Fun to read and incredibly silly. I wouldn't call it a math "curriculum" though.
Mar 28, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it
It's an interesting approach to math but it could never be a stand alone curriculum for my children.
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