Life of Fred Mathematics

The funniest math books you'll ever encounter. These story-based math texts will not only make math fun and clear, your students will also gain solid preparation for SAT exams and upper-division mathematics.

Which book should you get?

If you can count, add, and subtract to 10, you are ready to start Life of Fred: Apples. All students through 4th grade should start with Apples as even these early titles introduce higher level math concepts you will need later. Learn more about starting with Life of Fred.

This is a literature-based approach to mathematics. Follow the humorous story of Fred's life as he encounters the daily need for math and the methods of solving the problems. Each short novel is loaded with humor, clear math explanations, and silly illustrations that you'll be sure to remember. You'll also learn how to think mathematically. These books ensure you'll never be tempted to ask, "But when will I ever use this?" Fred has already demonstrated, precisely, where this will come in handy.

But be warned! This is not your typical math program. Your children will learn to think! There are no step-by-step directions and answers to every question. Oh no. This program is deliciously different. Your students will learn formulas, how to apply them, and why life works that way. These books rely on reading comprehension and careful thinking. You will not find rote spoon-fed learning here. So you, as the teacher, must resist the urge to try to shoehorn in those traditional memorization methods.

Like all great literature-based programs, you can reuse each book with all your children (and even grandchildren). There are no workbooks here. And these aren't skimpy books. Each book is comprehensive, covering more ground than many college level courses. Sound intimidating? It's not. Join Fred on his adventures and discover how math can be a joy!

Which Life of Fred book is right for me?

Don't be misled by the basic titles. Fred covers much more in each text than you may expect. As you click through each title, you'll see a list of what's covered (some people call this a "Scope and Sequence." You will be best served by going through each book in order.

Kindergarten through 4th Grade - Elementary Series

  1. Apples
  2. Butterflies
  3. Cats
  4. Dogs
  5. Edgewood
  6. Farming
  7. Goldfish
  8. Honey
  9. Ice Cream
  10. Jelly Beans

4th & 5th Grade - Intermediate Series

These books cover topics for roughly grades 4-5 and prepare your child for Life of Fred: Fractions. By the time your child finishes Jelly Beans, they will have the skills to begin learning fractions. But because a student can quickly progress through the elementary books, your student might not be old enough for Fractions (author recommends 5th grade). That is where this Intermediate series comes in handy. These books allow your child more practice of arithmetic until they are old enough for Fractions (author recommends 10 years of age).

  1. Kidneys
  2. Liver
  3. Mineshaft

5th Grade and above

5th graders and some 6th graders should start with the Intermediate series before starting with Fractions. You'll even benefit from the last two books in the Elementary series as well (Ice Cream and Jelly Beans). After you know your addition and multiplication tables, you are ready for Life of Fred: Fractions. You will go far beyond elementary knowledge of fractions! Even if you already know how to divide up a pie so that you get the biggest "fraction," this is absolutely the right place to start.

NOTE: If your student has finished all of the Elementary books but is not old enough for 5th Grade, we recommend that you go through the Elementary books again. Like any good book, you learn more the second (or third) time through. You don't need to hold your student back, but your child will not be behind if you wait until they are 10 before tackling the Pre-Algebra series.

It is also recommended that you have younger students (1st or 2nd grade) go through the first few books with you before doing them again on their own. This will give them necessary review and give them time to prepare for Life of Fred: Fractions.