I’ve heard about the Life of Fred series for almost as long as we’ve been homeschooling. It’s been highly recommended by fellow homeschoolers of various styles of homeschooling – secular and religious, eclectic and structured.
Life of Fred was written by a former high school and college teacher who has helped parents answer the question, “How will I ever use this in real life?”
Life of Fred shows how Fred (the main character) uses math (and other subjects) in his daily life. It provides kids with a fun way to learn that keeps them interested. It shows them exactly how they can benefit from the information they’re learning.
If your child has ever struggled with math concepts Life of Fred is the solution you need.
The Life of Fred books feature a fictional character named Fred Gauss. He’s a math genius who shares his day-to-day adventures in which he encounters every day math situations.
Kids find these books fun to read and helpful for learning math concepts.
Here’s an overview of the complete Life of Fred Collection.
Commonly Asked Questions About Life of Fred
Is Life of Fred a complete curriculum?
Life of Fred is not a complete curriculum for all subjects. However, it could be a complete curriculum for math if you lean toward a more unstructured or eclectic approach or if you unschool.
Some homeschool families might use flash cards and supplemental workbooks alongside Life of Fred. Other families will use Life of Fred as a supplement to their main math curriculum. Still other families will find that Life of Fred provides them with all their children need to learn math.
Is Life of Fred a secular curriculum?
Sort of. While Life of Fred doesn’t teach children about religious the main character, Fred, is a Christian who attends church and says his prayers. The author of Life of Fred, Stanley Schmidt is a Christian.
As a family who values a Judeo-Christian worldview but prefers secular homeschool material we don’t find the references to Fred’s Christianity to be distracting or proselytic.
When should my child start Life of Fred?
As soon as your child can read they can begin using Life of Fred.
How many Life of Fred books are there?
There are many individual Life of Fred books. There are ten different sets of books that make up the entire Life of Fred collection. Read the information below on the individual sets to see which books are included with each set.
Is Life of Fred common core?
No. Life of Fred was not written to align with common core standards.
Will Life of Fred prepare my child for college?
Yes. Life of Fred has college-prep level and university-level sets that are a great way to prepare your child for college.
Where can I buy Life of Fred?
You can find information for purchasing Life of Fred on the Life of Fred website. However, the best prices on Life of Fred are found on sites like Amazon and Ebay.
I have included links to purchase each of the sets and individual books in my overview of the collection below. I’ve found it to be less expensive to purchase new and gentle used on Amazon and Ebay.
(The links are current as of December 2018, but the books may become sold out over time.)
What is Included in the Complete Life of Fred Collection?
The complete Life of Fred collection consists of ten set that includes the following:
If your kiddo is just starting to learn to read, add these Life of Fred readers to your at-home library. They are fun to read over and over together. Incorporate Fred in your early reading lessons! The complete set consists of 18 books. Each book contains 32 pages.
Who is it for? Beginning readers (ages 4 and up)
Concepts covered: counting, using a compass, patience, days of the week, colors, shapes, how to make mashed potatoes, how to build a house, and more.
Titles included in the set: Blue, Bus, Lake, Potato Dreams, Ducks, Rain, Mud, Night, Dawn, House, Windows, Kitchen, Electricity, Dinner, Evening, Garden, Peach, and Going Home
Life Of Fred is like no other math program out there. It’s a story that begins with book one, and continues all the way through high school. It includes every other subject, such as science, history, geography, and more. Each book contains short, 4 to 6-page chapters, and usually is less than 20 chapters per book. This makes it possible for each child to go at a pace comfortable for them.
Who is it for? Kindergarten to 4th grade
Concepts covered: time, types of numbers, geometry, measurement, facts about stars, morse code, geography, adjectives & verbs, patterns, functions, sheet music, seven wonders of the world, math poems, percents, numbers vs. numerals, division, slope of a line, graphing, notation, the improper use of seat belts, how to prove you are not a duck, reducing fractions, and so much more.
Titles in this series: Apples, Butterflies, Cats, Dogs, Edgewood, Farming, Goldfish, Honey, Ice Cream, Jelly Beans
Designed for students under age 10, but already finished the Life of Fred elementary book series. Best for students who can add, subtract, and who understand multiplication and division.
Who is it for? 3rd to 7th grade
Concepts covered: Milliliters, writing numerals in checks ($4000 and not $40.00), idioms, 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4 = 3/4, elapsed time, metaphors, milligrams and pounds, rounding numbers, three-eights of 19,416, and more!
Titles in this series: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft
If your student can solve these equations: 5 + 8, 8 – 5, 7 times 8, 6231 divided by 93, then he or she is ready for the Fractions title. It also might be time for you to begin using a very basic calculator to complete these lessons.
Who is it for? 6th to 12th grade
Concepts covered: less than, cardinal and ordinal numbers, adding and subtraction fractions, lines of symmetry, geometric figures, circumference, reducing fractions, sets and subsets, probability, consecutive numbers, repeating decimals, area of a triangle, square roots, ordered pairs, and more!
Titles in this series: Fractions, Decimals and Percents
Fred does physics before algebra. What’s the difference between math and physics? In this series, students use math and science to solve quirky, real world scenarios – all while having fun with Fred of course!
Who is it for? 3rd to 7th graders
Concepts covered: numerals, area of a rectangle, the speed of light, nine forms of energy, Hooke’s law, static versus kinetic friction, photosynthesis, metric system, Gregorian calendar, conversion factors, unit analysis, freedom versus liberty, steps in solving word problems, venn diagrams, germination of seeds, digestion, negative numbers, whole numbers, chromosomes, DNA, circumference of a circle, and more!
Titles in this series: Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics, Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology, and Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics
Life of Fred is preparing for college! In this series, students learn algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and a few other lessons from Fred. The Zillions of Practice books are keyed directly to the chapters and topics in the associated book. Each problem is worked out in complete detail to offer additional help for a student who may have gotten stuck along Fred’s mathematical journey.
Who is it for? 8th to 12th grade
Concepts covered: infinite numbers, ratios, graphs, plotting points, averages, multiplying polynomials, solving fractional equations, Pythagorean theorem, milkshake marketing, absolute value, surface area of a cone, imaginary numbers, slopes of perpendicular lines, complex fractions, linear equations, Cramer’s rule, ellipses, graphing in three dimensions, geometric sequences, Pascal’s Triangle, right triangles, quadrilaterals, entrepreneurship, geography of Kansas, piano music, sines, cosines, functions of two angles, a preview of calculus, and more!!
Titles included in the series: Beginning Algebra, Zillions of Practice Problems for Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, Zillions of Practice Problems for Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry
Each book contains 19 cohesive lessons on grammar, language, writing, common mistakes, and basically the entire English language. The creator suggests doing these four books once every year during your students’ high school years.
Who is it for? 5th to 12th graders
Concepts covered: the seven parts of speech, punctuation, spelling, similes, silent letters, rules for making outlines, the difference between a metaphor and metonymy, and so much more.
Titles included in the series: Australia, Begin Teaching, Classes, Dreams
In a single lecture hour, Fred completes a whole year of high school chemistry.
Who is it for? 8th grade to college
Concepts covered: exponents, atoms, conversion factors, mass vs. weight, Avogadro’s number, Kelvin scale, atomic number, isotopes, compounds, noble gasses, finding the atomic mass, early chemistry, oxidation numbers, balancing equation, and more!
This series is geared toward advanced high school math students, students preparing for college, or any adult who wants to brush up on their math skills while reading fun stories. Students will learn calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and advanced math puzzles (equations, not word problems).
Who is it for? 9th grade to adults
Concepts covered: functions, speed, slope, curvature, polar coordinates, Bayes’ Theorem, probability, descriptive statistics, field guides, solving systems of equations, vector spaces, linear functionals, math theory, abstract arithmetic, and more!
Titles included in the series: Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Five Days of Upper Division Math
Let Fred help you teach your children about financial management, decisions, and choices. It’s very likely that you, the adult, will pick up a tip or two while teaching.
Who is it for? Useful for middle school kids all the way to adults
Concepts covered: entrepreneurship, spending, investing, retirement, debt, calculating interest, how to start a business, insurance, taxes, real estate, successful spending habits, stocks, mortgages, REITS, mutual funds, and more!