Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life of Fred; Apples, Chapter 1 Math Lesson

Today began our adventure with Life of Fred by Stanley F. Schmidt, PH.D.  It was very different then what we are accustomed to, but in a delightful way!  For starters, there is very little math "work" in the lesson itself.  In this chapter there were exactly 3 problems to be solved by the student.  Although in the text there are many mathematical ideas that are introduced with logic instead of memorization.  We enjoyed the gentle introduction into our math lesson, and of course the snuggling since we were all able to pile on the couch and READ our math lesson together.

Life of Fred is a stand alone math curriculum, but many substitute with a more traditional approach.  I will reserve my opinion on whether I feel Life of Fred is a complete curriculum or not until I have completed the Apples book.  Although I will say that we had very hearty math lesson today using only Life of Fred curriculum and doing a few activities that tied into the lesson.  We tackled a couple complex math concepts with very simple mathematical skills and activities.  I didn't feel like my children were missing out on anything or needed anything more. 

My children found this lesson curious and exciting!  All four of my children were engaged and learning.   Chapter 1 introduces the idea that if you have 7 (or a certain number) items and you split them up in groups they still together will equal 7.  Remember memorizing the rule is simple, but understanding how it works goes a little deeper.  Clocks and the concept of the passage of time was also covered in this lesson.  So, other than reading the text and doing the 3 problems at the end of the lesson, this is what we did.

We Made a Clock!

You will need 2 paper plates, brads, the arrows and numbers, glue, scissors, and colored pencils.
You can also visit Frugal Fun 4 Boys to see how they did it!

The kiddos colored and cut out their arrows and numbers.

Then they glued the numbers on and attached the arrows with a brad.  We also colored the sections different colors and labeled them O'clock, Quarter After, Half Past, and Quarter 'Til.

The kiddos cut slits between each hour and then labeled the minutes in intervals of 5 on the plate underneath.

After we completed our clocks we set our clocks to 5:00 just like in the text and calculated the elapsed time between 5:00 and 7:00.

And last but not least, we played!  We picked random times and raced to set our clocks.  We also made up story problems in Life of Fred style to practice and play with our new creations.

We Used Legos to Show Parts of 7

We started off with 7 Lego's.

Our first task was seeing how many ways we could make seven with two groups.


Then we moved on to making 7 with 3 groups, and then 4 groups.

While we were making our groups we recorded our results.

This is what we came up with.
This was only our first lesson, but we are having a blast with Life of Fred thus far!

Are there any Life of Fred folks out there that have any advice for me and other's that are interested or just beginning in Life of Fred?



  1. Thank you for this series! I've been working out of Life of Fred: Edgewood with my oldest child, but my six year old has been feeling awfully left behind, and I've been trying to figure out how to get more practice for her without it being boring or without having to abandon Life of Fred because they both love the stories and the theories in it. I don't think they'll mind adding a little bit of Apples in again for some math fun :-)

    1. What a great comment! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I hope they are enjoying it! I will be updating with new lessons again. I am sorry for any inconvenience in the time delay. My daughter spilt coffee on my computer and I just got it back recently. Thanks for your patience. :)

  2. you are beyond inspirational! I can not make this leap. I will use the ideas for fred that you have and I hope it leads me to my own <3

  3. We are just beginning! Your blog has been so helpful & I will be using your blog for all of our lessons! YAY! Thank you & God bless you.

  4. I love your lessons. I wish there was more than up to lesson 8! Math has never been my best subject. Your lessons however have inspired me to dig deeper into Fred. Perhaps even improving my own math skills!

  5. We are loving Life Of Fred too and all 4 of mine also love the stories and seeing how Fred finds maths in everyday life!

  6. I thought you may like to add my work pack to your list of resources. I created a Work pack for the Life of Fred Dogs book. There will be other LOF books packets added as I create them.
    The link is: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Life-of-Fred-Dogs-Supplemental-Worksheet-Packet-2628202