Friday, November 1, 2013

We Were Ready To Throw Out The Math Book! And Then We Found Life of Fred

Math was a struggle until recently. Our daughter, McKenna has struggled with learning and vision problems for years and math was a nightmare. There was no love lost between her and math. I don't think the word despise would be too strong of a definition of her feelings toward the subject. Approximately a month ago I decided something had to give. McKenna wasn't retaining what she was taught. Methods and formulas had to constantly be relearned. It was even frustrating on my part.

I made the decision after getting a hearty seal of approval from the eye doctor who oversees our daughters vision therapy. He is a homeschool parent also, and when I mentioned we were thinking of switching to Life of Fred, he said they loved Life of Fred in their house! That's all the endorsement I needed to hear. I went home and ordered several Life of Fred books.

 A few weeks after I ordered the books they arrived. The first day I brought out Life of Fred I got an unenthusiastic response. Then we tried a lesson. McKenna's first comment after a lesson was, "This is math?" She couldn't believe math could be fun. Every day since then I hear her say, "I love this math!"

We've been using this math for about three or four weeks now. I can't believe the change in our daughter. There is no longer a daily struggle trying to get her to even begin her math lesson. She is able to understand concepts and retain what she learns from one day to the next and it makes sense to her. She has told me more than a few times since we made the switch how much she loves this math! I love that the lessons aren't boring, aren't long and she no longer procrastinates about doing math. At this rate we will be flying through the books and she will be on grade level in no time. For the first time in the last few years I haven't dreaded math lessons either!

Those who may be concerned that Life of Fred isn't a complete program let me ease your fears. The fact that our daughter is understanding concepts and retaining what she learns is amazing. The relaxed lessons aren't dragged out and it frees up time for us to play educational math games or to put what she's learned into practice. We are covering the lessons and working through them fast and while I am concerned we will work through them and there will  be no more levels of Life of Fred left I am thrilled she is mastering what she is learning. I also appreciate that each lesson is sprinkled with other educational tidbits and not just math. A lesson we had the other day gave us the opportunity to use our globe to look up locations and countries that were mentioned.

Our daughter feels more responsible and in control with this math and not like she is being forced to learn something. While Life of Fred may not be for every one it has been a good fit for our daughter. Those used to a more traditional approach, who love math or don't struggle with learning may think it not meaty enough, but I disagree. As the mother of a child who is very bright, yet has had a hard time with retention and learning math  it has been just the right amount of math lessons each day. Just the fact that our daughter is grasping concepts, enjoys math now and no longer hates math is enough for me to recommend Life of Fred.


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