Thursday, December 15, 2011

For Kids and People Who Hate Math: Life of Fred

Actually, this book rec is for kids who LOVE math, who HATE math, who TEACH math, and even for ADULTS who loved or hated math. This rec is also for parents who are struggling through math homework with their kids or who need a fun math supplement.*

I have found the most awesome book for teaching math to kids. I know, I know, you are saying, "Kerrie, put this crap on your homeschooling mommybot blog, girl. I don't give a flying fig about how you teach math to your little hellion children."

WAIT! Listen up! Because this series is so funny that my kids BEG their dad and I to read it to them at bedtime. My husband thinks this will never work because they aren't doing "drill and kill" math (you remember, the endless worksheets doing stuff you either hadn't a clue how to do or else knew after the first 2 problems!!!). It's now up to me to prove to Aron that the kids CAN learn math this way, and MORE! Oh, and just because you don't have worksheets, you still have "problems" (he calls is "Your Turn to Play" at the end of each short chapter and the answers are on the other side of the page), and they range from simple to logical to things to draw to funny.

This set of books is called "Life of Fred" and starts with the elementary series. The first book is called Apples, then there's Butterflies and they go in alphabetical order. The books go all the way up to teaching CALCULUS, for gosh sake! They are so great because they tell the goofy story of a "kid" named Fred, who is 5 years old and a university teacher. Sometimes there is an Intermission for adult readers only, like:

"I am going to put this in tiny type so that kids won't read it [Kerrie says, so of COURSE they are going to think it is forbidden and will read it!!!!!! Genius!]. Some kids will be dying to know how to draw a circle inside of any old triangle. Since I'm not telling them how to do it, they may ask you. I'll pass the secret on to you, so that you can appear really smart."

*They are hilarious
*They are set in Kansas
*They sneak in learning (geometry for 1st graders? who knew?). What other 6-year-old on the block knows who Archimedes is?????
*They sneak in God (sets of 10 include toes, fingers, Commandments)
*They teach logic because sometimes the stories are so messed up and silly ... how is a 5-year-old a college teacher? How come his doll can draw like an artist? Where did Fred's common sense go?
*They make me excited to learn math. I HATED math in school. My teachers blew through stuff and I was lost. ONE year I had a great teacher for Geometry in high school and the entire class got As because she waited until everybody understood.

*I'm not getting any money or books in exchange for writing this post. I just stumbled upon something great thanks to my awesome Facebook homeschool group, and wanted to share because I like to laugh and I like to see my kids learn without crying or their eyes glazing over! I bought the first book online for $16 and am borrowing the rest from friends until I can buy the whole series.

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