Curriculum, One Subject at a Time: Math - Life of Fred, Key To Algebra, & Math Mammoth

25 October 2011

Our Math Curriculum For this Year:

8th grade

Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra with Economics & Key To Algebra Series 1-10
*I need to order Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra & Home Companion Guide

5th grade:

Math Mammoth 4B - Gold Series & then start Life of Fred Fractions & Decimals/Percents

8th grade

My oldest has completed the Pre-Algebra with Biology last year and we both love Life of Fred, and I was torn between starting the new book Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics or just move on to Beginning Algebra, but after these last couple of years ---and how the economy is --I felt we couldn't pass it up.

He does feel the concepts are a bit more challenging this year as the chapters progress, but he usually finishes one chapter per day.

If you are not familiar with Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra with Economics,

It consist of 34 chapters and every 6-7 chapters complete he then has to pass what is called a "Bridge." There are 1-5 Bridges, but if you pass the first one you can move on to the next chapter (for me this helps me know that he is learning waht is being taught--so, I do not let the bridges pass us by --we stop and visit. ;)

He is already half-way through the book and so he has also started Key To Algebra Series (actually yesterday at the start of our 2nd Term). So far it's just review for him.

He enjoys Life of Fred and I am so thankful for coming across this series. He is my reader and worksheets are somewhat 'boring' math and it's not his style. Life of Fred is interesting and funny with elaborate stories and word problems that parallel life and it makes sense for him (just fantastic). At the of the 34th chapter you will find the Final Bridge and if you get the X amount of questions right you graduate the book and move on to the next book.

Life of Fred is supposed to be self-teaching and since he started a couple of years back, he has only asked me a question or two and the knowledge was there to find--he just had to re-read the question and with each chapter you'll have a solutions section to check his math. It's not alot of problems per chapter, but I feel it's very complete in each chapter at teaching math.


Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics (sample of the text go HERE)
Author: Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D.
ISBN: 978-0-9791072-3-8
Pages: 288 (Hardback)
Price: $29.00 USD

The Key To Series: Algebra

Student workbooks 1-10

Book 1: Operations on Integers
ISBN: 978-1-55953-001-9
Book 2: Variables, Terms, and Expressions
ISBN: 978-1-55953-002-6
Book 3: Equations
ISBN: 978-1-55953-003-3
Book 4: Polynomials
Book 5: Rational Numbers
ISBN: 978-1-55953-005-7
Book 6: Multiplying and Dividing Rational Expressions
ISBN: 978-1-55953-006-4
Book 7: Adding and Subtracting Rational Expressions
ISBN: 978-1-55953-007-1
Book 8: Graphs
ISBN: 978-1-55953-008-8
Book 9: Systems of Equations
ISBN: 978-1-55953-009-5
Book 10: Square Roots and Quadratic Equations
ISBN: 978-1-55953-010-1
*I also bought the Answers and Notes for all books 1-10.


About 37 pages each book
Price: around $36.95 USD for all 1-10 books and answer/note books
or about $3.95 per book, or $5.95 USD for the answers book.

Sample Pages are HERE.

5th grade:

Right now going into our 2nd Term he is pretty much still in review from last year by doing Math Mammoth: Gold Series 4B. I received this series when I was a TOS Homeschool Crew (product reviewer of homeschool products). I really enjoy how Maria Miller (the creator of Math Mammoth)designed the worksheets for mental math and a different way to come at the children with math. We all know that word problems and mental math are great!

From her website the Gold Series is:

The worksheets have been created especially for teachers: each problem sheet is one page, concentrating on one topic.

So there are specific on each topic and the Series 4B covers:
- Division
- Geometry
- Fractions and Decimals
- Graphs
- Data Analysis

**After he finishes this collection of worksheets I will start him on Life of Fred: Fractions and then Decimals & Percents (which are pretty much the same format as the LoF book above in detail.)

Math Mammoth Information:
69 pages
(64 worksheets)
Price: $7.00 PDF download
Answer key $2

You can buy HERE.
To receive free samples from Math Mammoth, please go HERE.
-- --

For information on

Life of Fred: Fractions
ISBN: 978-0-9709995-9-7
hardback, 192 pages
Price: $19.00 USD
Sample of Book

Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents
ISBN: 978-0-9791072-0-7
hardback, 192 pages
Price: $19.00 USD
Sample of Book

Well, there you have it. As far as my kindergarten student...we are mostly doing living math. He counts his toes & fingers, we read books about numbers and we count the animals in a story, and he is loving math.

We went to the library the other day and I laid down the books that we were getting (which totaled only 8) and he counted them in front of the librarian. She was impressed. LOL!! Oh well, small steps and little by little. I pray that all my boys learn to love math because it's everywhere in our daily lives and in everything.

I am currently reading (but very slowly) Revealing Arithmetic: Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview and it's definitely an interesting read so far. I hope to have a review sooner than later. ;)

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Curriculum, One Subject at a Time: Bible

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Heather said...

I like how detailed your thoughts are! We have been doing ALEKS for Nick for upper school Math, but he has slowed down. Not sure why. i may have to change things up...on the other hand, I got the elementary book of Life of Fred for Emma, and she loves it!

Sam said...

I just did a review of LOF this week on my site. :) I had also been looking at the Key to series, although now I am not sure we will use it. LOF seems to be great all by itself to me. Enjoy!

Jessica S. said...

@Heather - Yes, I believe next year we will start the Elementary series for my younger ones. I really do like Life of Fred math. ;) I have tried ALEKS too and I thought it was great for the trial we did...but like I said, my oldest is a reader--so he is doing well. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

Jessica S. said...

Thank you Sam! Yes, I want to start my younger ones, but like I asked you before---if the author recommends not until 1st grade--then we have to wait another year for that. :) I do enjoy LoF for the boys.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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