Jan 16, 2012
My son has always had a knack for math. He enjoys patterns and geometry. When he began learning math, everything was new and exciting and then we hit a wall. All of a sudden the textbooks wanted him to do pages of the same problems, just using different formulas to arrive at the same answer. He didn't get it, didn't even want to understand it. He knew how to solve the problem, so why did they want him to waste time doing it ten different ways? I know how he felt. I was the same way in school. If I arrived at the correct answer, why did it matter how I got there?
Then one day while I was reading posts in a gifted forum, I noticed many references to "The Life of Fred" math books. I purchased the first one in the series at the time "Fractions". I read the 1st chapter and was intrigued. The best way I can describe them is as an interactive literary math journey.
My son who was six at the time, read it in bed over three days. He loved it! He read it again and again.
I have since ordered three more books including two from the new elementary series that was just completed. Now, I must tell you, these are not ordinary math books and what they have become in my son's world are so much more. They are a continuing story that points out the use of math in daily living and asks the reader to participate along the way. At the end of chapters, are problems for the reader to solve.
Included in the story are also many other facts relating to literature, history and science. Reading these books have sparked my son's interest in so many other areas! Most recently in writing. Currently he has begun writing his own book (adapting Fred's style) typing on the computer. He now has five pages complete. This from a boy who until now, would spend an hour or more writing three sentences!
Needless to say, I'm thrilled.
The best part, is that the series will carrying him through college level math. I'm sure we will do other things along the way, but I know that these books will always be good for when boredom and burnout sets in. The author does have biblical references occasionally but as a secular home educator, I did not find them to be an issue. So if you have a child who is bored with pages of problems and who likes to read, I highly recommend "Life of Fred"!
*This is not a paid review. I purchased the books myself. Just sharing great ideas!