What are Life of Fred books? Why are the books so popular? What concepts do the books cover? We have the answers to ALL your questions right here!
What are Life of Fred Books?
The Life of Fred books follow Fred Gauss, a child prodigy math genius, during his exciting and fun adventures, in which he encounters and solves every day math problems. Many of the books have quizzes. Some books have all the problem solutions in them, while others have separate answer keys or companions. The books were developed by a former high school teacher/college professor, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt.
Why are they so popular?
There are many reasons to like Fred:
- The Fred stories are clear, and easy to read.
- The books are fun (so your kids WANT to read them).
- The lessons are comprehensive. Fred teaches more than math. The books cover English, science, and real world situations.
- Fred books use the self-teaching method – kids can progress at their own pace.
- If your student can’t complete a lesson on his/her own, your student can contact the author – yes, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt will respond!
- Your child can start using these books when it’s time to learn how to read, and continue learning with Fred all the way to college. Continuity is always a plus!
- The books are affordable. Prices vary from $5 to $40 per hardcover, illustrated book.
Reading: Beginning Readers – Language Arts
Math: Elementary – Intermediate – Intro to Algebra – Pre-Algebra – High School – College – Finances & Entrepreneurship
Science: Biology – Physics – Chemistry
If your kids are just starting to read, we recommend adding these Life of Fred readers to your home library. They are fun to read together as a family, and your kids will enjoy them so much, you’ll probably read them over and over again. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate Fred into your early reading lessons. The complete set consists of 18 books – and 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 in the set include: Blue, Bus, Lake, Potato Dreams, Ducks, Rain, Mud, Night, Dawn, House, Windows, Kitchen, Electricity, Dinner, Evening, Garden, Peach, and Going Home
“My son, 8 years old, can’t get enough of these books! I have to take them away at night. He loves them so much that I catch him sitting up in bed reading them over and over again!” Tricia -Homeschooler
Life of Fred is a story that begins with book one, and continues all the way through high school. Each book contains short, 4 to 6-page chapters, and usually there are fewer than 20 chapters per book.
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
“My granddaughter, who truly dislikes math, always wants to start the day with Fred. I have to stop her after four chapters. She would do the entire book in a day if allowed. I never thought I could use math class as a reward! And she is learning besides.” -Bette, Homeschooler
Designed for students under age 10, who have 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-eighths of 19,416, and more
Titles in this series: Kidneys, Liver, Mineshaft
“I wasn’t so sure about these books. I had heard a lot of good reviews but after we got them, just skimming through the books, I wasn’t sure my 9 year old daughter would like them. But I was WRONG! She really likes them! They move at a pace she likes and being one continuous story about Fred’s life keeps her interested and entertained. We will be back for more soon. She just finished Kidneys and is now on Liver.” -Melisa, Homeschooler
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 titles.
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
“My boys really enjoy hearing about the story of Fred’s life. At first it sounded weird, Fred is a 5-year-old math genius, really? It didn’t take long for my boys to get hooked on the Life of Fred books – there’s humor and math woven throughout the story. They always look forward to finding out what happens next.” –Joelle, Homeschooler
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.
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
“My daughter loves these books and so do I. We’re both learning together and it’s fun. The style of writing is engaging and I wish all school books were like this!” –Jennifer, Homeschooler
In these books, Fred is preparing for college so students learn algebra, geometry, trigonometry, etc. The Practice books are keyed directly to the books/specific chapters in the books. Each problem is worked out in complete detail to offer additional help for any student who gets “stuck” and needs a little assistance.
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
“We use LOF to supplement our math curriculum. The kids (and I) love the real-world application and the easy to understand stories.” –Christina, Homeschooler
Each book contains 19 lessons on grammar, language, writing, common mistakes, and basically the entire English language. The author 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 more
Titles included in the series: Australia, Begin Teaching, Classes, Dreams
Even more about the Language Arts books:
“We have the Fred math books and love them, but I wasn’t sure how the language arts books would measure up. I wasn’t surprised, however, to find them just as useful, fun, and educational as the math! Even I enjoy reading them and refreshing knowledge I’ve forgotten and even learning new things!” –Kristin, Homeschooler
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
“It’s solid science presented in a way that’s understandable, not intimidating, and it’s fun. You learn math, you learn history and you learn science, all through the Life of Fred – through his experiences and teachings.” -Lisa, Homeschooler
“It reads like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but the chemistry is solid.” -Lisa’s husband, PhD in Analytical Chemistry
Who is it for? 9th grade to adults. This series is geared towards 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 learn calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and advanced math puzzles
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
“I bought this set for my son almost 2 years ago. He is currently going to Boise State and majoring in math. Life of Fred has made it so that all of his college level math classes are basically review. He is now taking them to earn the official credit, but says they are very easy because of Life of Fred. He would have been able to skip several math classes, but they are required for his major (Applied Math, thanks to the love of math that came from Life of Fred – Life of Fred has been his primary math program since Fractions). Thanks for another GREAT set of books!!!!!” -Janet
Life of Fred Financial Choices
Fred can help you teach your children about financial management, decisions, and choices. It’s very likely that you will pick up a tip or two as well.
Who is it for? Useful for middle school kids – 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
“I have read through this book and found it full of great information for all ages. As always, the stories are interesting, humorous and make learning fun. The book opens with Fred figuring out his expenses and then goes on to cover wants vs. needs, compounding interest, investments and many other important topics for those desiring to learn how to be a good steward of their finances and to know how investments work.” -Rosanna, Homeschooler
Life of Fred books – homeschoolers love them!