Educents is a sponsor of Free Homeschool Deals. This post is sponsored by Educents. Here’s my full disclosure policy. Originally published on January 8, 2015.

**“LIFE OF FRED! LIFE OF FRED!”**

Do you hear that sound? That’s the cheer of thousands of homeschoolers madly in love with **Life of Fred for Homeschool Math**.

So, what exactly is all this Life of Fred business?

In the math curriculum world, **Life of Fred** books are reasonably priced. The answers are included in the book so there is no need for an additional teacher’s manual. The books are not consumable, making it easy to share with other students. Most parents like how Fred makes math meaningful and applicable to the real world. If your student needs extra practice, math worksheets are easy to find for free here: Free Math Printables, Skip Counting Freebies, and even Pasta Themed Math Pages.

My 11-year-old is currently working in the Life of Fred Cats book. He really loves following the adventures of Fred. He spends about 30 minutes a day reading the story and completing “Your Turn To Play” at the end of each lesson.

The author, Dr. Schmidt, recommends all students in 4th grade and below start with Life of Fred Apples. There are advantages to staring the story line in the beginning and allowing students to become comfortable with the presentation of the material.

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. 😉

The **elementary series of Life of Fred** contains 10 books. Here is a sample of concepts covered in each of the books.

Elementary Set 1 for 1st through 4th grade:

- Life of Fred: Apples
- numbers that add to 7, skip counting by fives, zero, counting by hundreds and shapes. Not to be limited to just math concepts, Apples covers concepts like: dressing for cold weather, deciduous trees, and the colors of the rainbow.

**Life of Fred: Butterflies**- numbers that add to 9, ordinal numbers, skip counting by twos, and baker’s dozen. Other concepts like: Orion’s Belt, lie vs. lay, and how to set the table.

- Life of Fred: Cats
- numbers that add to 13, volume, prime numbers and right angles. Other concepts like: quarter and half notes, morse code and English words that do not contain vowels.

- Life of Fred: Dogs
- numbers that add to 17, doubling, bar graphs, and constant functions. Other concepts like: ATM cards, isotopes of hydrogen, and macronutrients.

If you need more ideas on using Elementary Set 1 in your homeschool check out this post on Using Life of Fred Math in Your Homeschool.

**Elementary Set 2–2nd through 4th grade**:

- Life of Fred: Edgewood
- numbers that add to 8, 10 and 12, parallel lines, median, average, and greater than. Other concepts like: importance of seat belts, gibbous moons and symptoms of hypothermia.

- Life of Fred: Farming
- adding to 14 and 16, borrowing one in subtraction, and percents. Other concepts like: oxymorons and proof that every number is interesting.

- Life of Fred: Goldfish
- weights and measures, multiplying by ten, hundred and thousand, and estimating sums. Other concepts like: similes, waning moon, and keeping your word.

- Life of Fred: Honey
- long division, commutative law of multiplication, and division by two numbers. Other concepts like: atoms, time zones, and why bees do not make honeycombs in the shape of squares.

**Elementary Set 3–2nd through 4th grade**:

- Life of Fred: Ice Cream
- multiplying two-digit numbers, ordered pairs, perimeter, and plotting points on a graph. Other concepts like: hyperbole, poetry, and liberty vs. freedom.

- Life of Fred: Jelly Beans
- adding decimals, prime numbers, and exponents. Other concepts like: why education is so important, carburetors, and epigraphs.

By no means is this an exhaustive list of concepts, but your kids will have at least heard higher math concepts used in middle and high school level math courses. They might even enjoy explaining or impressing other adults with their explanation of functions.

Now let’s take a look at some of the middle school math books and concepts. Again the titles of the books point out other topics covered in the books. Life of Fred Kidneys and Liver contain biology lessons mixed with math lessons.

**Life of Fred Intermediate Set–4th and 5th grade**:

- Life of Fred: Kidneys
- word problems, polar form of complex numbers and scores, dozens, and braces. Other concepts like: idioms, why we have two kidneys, and the economics of free things.

- Life of Fred: Liver
- Pythagorean theorem, pie charts, reducing fractions, and finding an average. Other concepts like: passing the SAT exam, treble and bass clefs, and what livers do.

- Life of Fred: Mineshaft
- rounding numbers, division by 100, inverse operations, and converting inches into feet. Other concepts like: Greek alphabet, italicizing book titles, and the 4 types of sentences.

**Life of Fred Before High School Pre-Algebra course for 5th to 9th grades**:

- Life of Fred: Fractions
- circumference, least common multiples, improper fractions, and division of fractions. Other concepts like: Boyle’s Law of Gasses and onomatopoetic words.

- Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents
- squaring a number, Pi, area of circle, and ratios. Other concepts like: when Lincoln used the vigesimal system.

- Life of Fred: Elementary Physics
- graphing points, normal forces, static vs kinetic friction, and addition of vectors. Other concepts like: you are alive because ice floats, how water fountains work, and special glass in auto windshields.

- Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology
- volume of a cube, the five kingdoms, subsets of sets, and negative numbers. Other concepts like: the correct way to deliver flowers to a hospital patient.

- Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics
- domain and codomain of a function, interest rates, demand curves, and steps to solving word problems. Other concepts like: tulip mania in Holland and what a real $100,000 looks like.

If you are just starting the series with your high school student, it is recommended to start with L**ife of Fred Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics**. This book contains important skills to understanding how to solve word problems.

**Life of Fred High School courses**:

High School Set 1:

- Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra
- laws, quadratic equations, factoring, functions and slope, and inequalities and absolute value. Other concepts like: 2000 digits of Pi and the i before e rule.

- Life of Fred: Zillions of Practice Problems for Beginning Algebra
- The title of this book says it all. Readers asked for more practice of the lessons learned in Beginning Algebra and this book was written. Every problem in the book contains detailed answers. It is even noted completing the book gives students the ability to teach Beginning Algebra anywhere.

- Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra
- matrices, polynomials, proportions, sets, exponents, functions, and more graphing. Other concepts like: a short discussion of tachyons.

- Life of Fred: Zillions of Practice Problems for Advanced Algebra
- The title of this book says it all. Readers asked for more practice of the lessons learned in Advanced Algebra and this book was written. Every problem in the book contains detailed answers. It is even noted completing the book gives students the ability to teach Advanced Algebra anywhere.

High School Set 2

- Life of Fred: Geometry
- Time to change gears with geometry. Instead of computing answers it is time to look at math like a puzzle. It covers points and lines, solid geometry, symbolic logic, triangles, angles, area, flawless geometry, and proofs. Other concepts like: the difference between iambic, trochaic, anapestic and dactylic in poetry.

- Life of Fred: Trigonometry
- sines, cosines and tangents, trig functions of any angle, inverse trig functions, and polar coordinates. Other concepts to prepare you for Calculus.

Please note that there is a Companion Guide for Trigonometry but if you purchase the expanded edition, the companion guide is included.

Often kids want to read the Calculus book, not for the math concepts but to learn about the first five years of Fred’s life.

- Life of Fred: Calculus
- limits, speed, derivatives, concavity, curvature, centroids, conics and vectors. Other concepts like: analytic geometry.

- Life of Fred: Statistics
- probability, techniques of sampling, determine whether two given samples came from the same population, and regression equations. Other concepts like: flowcharts in the emergency statistics guide.

- Life of Fred: Linear Algebra
- inner product spaces, linear transformations and functionals, dual spaces, and Markov chains.

### Life of Fred Homeschool Math Reviews

Life of Fred Math Series (middle school through high school)

Life of Fred Math Series by HomeschoolReviews.com

Life of Fred Math Reviews on The Homeschool Mom

Life of Fred real-life math

Life of Fred {Homeschool Math} on Blog, She Wrote

Life of Fred Math Review from Pyscho with 6

Life of Fred Math: Curriculum Review on The Happy Housewife

### More **Life of Fred Math** Ideas

Life of Fred Math: Ideas, Activities and FREE Notebook Pages

Life of Fred Cats, Extra Activities

Life of Fred; Apples, Chapter 5

Life of Fred; Apples, Chapter 1 Math Lesson

Teaching Money with Life of Fred

### BONUS EXCITEMENT! Life of Fred Language Arts!!

Yes, it’s true! You can also **purchase Life of Fred Language Arts books** for the middle and high school years. Actually, both my 11 and 14-year-olds are currently working through this series. Educents states, “This Fred series is geared toward teenage learners to sharpen grammar, spelling, reading & writing skills with history, science and math lessons inserted along the way.” Our son Zion loved LOF math so much that he couldn’t wait to start LOF Language Arts (High School Level), so he jumped in at age 10!

**Please share in the comments below: Have you used Life of Fred in your homeschool? What has your experience been?**

Jennifer says

Ok, so we are in our 11th year of homeschooling and we LOVE FRED! It appeals to my boys’ in so many ways…(ages 14, 11, 9). My oldest son (and most different to teach as he is mostly right brained) has been very successful with LOF and started the series in 6th grade with Fractions. He progressed through to Algebra, and is able to do Advanced Algebra half way through his freshman year. I found out they sold the elementary series a couple years ago, so I went crazy and bought all of the elementary set, which my younger boys are working through. My middle boy is on the intermediate Liver book. youngest is in Jelly Beans. I started to doubt myself about the number of math problems they were not doing each day, so I downloaded some placement tests from another very popular math program last year that is supposed to be the end-all of homeschool math, and had my then 4th grader and 3rd grader take them. My 4th grader was placed to start in that curriculum’s 7th grade book, and my 3rd grader was placed to start in their 6th grade book. So I stopped worrying and we continue to enjoy Fred’s stories, and we still do not do any extra math unless my boys want to and it is their own idea. I also want to mention that my daughters have used LOF, and while they struggled through it, I think it was too challenging for them because they didn’t start with Fred sooner. (They both used LOF in high school). My oldest daughter requested a different math program because she wanted a teacher, and Fred made her (and I quote) ‘think on my own too much”. It is my opinion that it is best to start in the elementary series, but it is also very beneficial to start anywhere in the curriculum, even high school, because we still use those books for reference when my oldest 2 are struggling with a concept in their easier curriculum… they look to Fred to explain it differently.