My 6-year-old son started Life of Fred: Apples last week. He’s been doing one chapter a day for 3-4 days a week. It’s great that he reads most of the text on his own (needed help with the word deciduous in Chapter 4), so doing Life of Fred helps him practice math AND reading at the same time 🙂
The chapters are short enough to manage within 15-20 minutes, including answering the 3-5 questions at the end (Your Turn to Play). Short enough to not be tedious. He also likes checking his own work.
The story is engaging and entertaining for my son and even for myself. My son loves role-playing and making up stories with his toys so he can appreciate Fred’s interaction with his doll Kingie.
The first 3 chapters talk about simple addition, e.g. 3 + 4 = 7. My son went through these chapters smoothly. What made me so happy though was how he really understood the concept and applied it spontaneously, outside of “doing schoolwork.” When we were out a few days ago and I said, “There’s four of this and four of that.” He quickly and excitedly commented, “That’s eight, Mama!” Talk about a proud and happy Mama 🙂
In Chapter 4, at first he couldn’t understand what counting forward by fives meant. When I drew a number line on a white board and showed him how we skip numbers to count 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc., he immediately grasped the concept and was then able to continue skip counting by fives to 100 all by himself 🙂 We both had big smiles on our faces after that!
I’m so glad I discovered Life of Fred, thanks to the many homeschooling forums and reviews all over the Internet. It’s an accessible, affordable and engaging way to learn math. Looking forward to more chapters, more books and more learning with my son!