Math Resources: The Life of Fred – Math Books Students Will Love!

Successful kids have a strong foundation in the 3 R’s and one of the 3 R’s is R for ‘Rithmetic. Why should we be concerned about Math?

  • Math is everywhere in our lives, from paying a bill at a restaurant to the loan installments for a new home.
  • Many of the fastest growing careers require a solid background in Math.
  • Math is a great subject for developing problem solving, logical deduction, and reasoning skills which are essential in everyday life.

It is important to encourage children develop numeracy and Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt’s Life of Fred Math Series is a great way to do just that…

Are your math students tired of the drill and kill math approach? Thousands of Homeschoolers have turned to the Life of Fred Math Books for a fun way to learn math.

Instead of dry exposition and endless drill exercises, these books are filled with the fun and page-turning tales of Fred Gauss, a child prodigy math genius born on the western slopes of the Siberian mountains. During his hilarious adventures, he encounters every day math situations that call for solving mathematical problems. Children actually want to read these books!!

About Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt

A former high school teacher and college professor, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt created the character Fred Gauss to give students real-world examples of how to use what they are learning.

About The Life of Fred

The Life of Fred promises to make math come alive with lots of humour, clear explanations, and silly illustrations that stick in the mind. Never again will you hear the question that many math students have: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?” or “Math is boring!”

Written like no other textbooks, The Life of Fred follows the style of a novel with a humorous story line. Each section tells part of the life of Fred Gauss and how, in the course of his life, he encounters the need for the math and then learns the methods.

The books contain lots of solved examples and all the material covered in traditional classroom settings. The completion of this series sill prepare students for third year college math.

These books are designed to make your child THINK! and to learn on their own. It does not give step-by-step directions and answers to every question. They learn to apply to current questions the concepts previously taught. Upon completion they will understand how math works, why it works, and how to apply it. They will know the formulas and how to apply them in real-life situations, not just situations created for a textbook. This program relies heavily on reading comprehension and thinking, not rote spoon-fed learning that is quickly forgotten. Parents can learn these novel methods along with the student, but should not try to integrate the traditional rote/memorization methods.

The Life of Fred Series

The Life of Fred Series is available from Educents at discounted prices:

Elementary Math

Recommended for: kindergarten to 4th grade

  • Life of Fred: Apples (view sample text) – Join Fred and Kingie as they introduce you to the first book in the set with Life of Fred: Apples. He starts off at KITTENS University along with his doll Kingie and throughout the book, they will go through kindergarten material such as algebra, geometry, telling time, days of the week, colors of the rainbow, the “There Are Zero…” Game, & more!
  • Life of Fred: Butterflies (view sample text) – Each chapter is about six pages long and it’s best to do one chapter a day. Follow Fred and Kingie as they use examples using Orion Nebula, The Bell Tower, and more with the Life of Fred: Butterflies edition. The kindergarten materials covered in this unit are time, geometry, specific numbers, types of numbers, facts about butterflies, lie vs. lay, & more!
  • Life of Fred: Cats (view sample text) – The Life of Fred: Cats is 128 pages filled with first grade material such as quarters, numbers vs. numerals, counting by three’s, prime numbers, four basic emotions, adjectives, verbs, and more! Join Fred and Kingie as they draw examples to relate it to math. Examples such as the Mariana Trench, Ferdinand Magellan, Greek Alphabet, and ancient arithmatic like the sexagesimal system are mentioned in this book!
  • Life of Fred: Dogs (view sample text) – Graduate over to first grade with Life of Fred: Dogs and follow along with Fred as he uses Morse code, introduces adding two-digit numbers, count through consecutive even & odd numbers and more! First grade materials covered here are specific numbers, addition, patterns, fractions, ATM cards, idioms, the chemical elements & more!
  • Life of Fred: Edgewood (view sample text) – Work with parallel lines and share Fred’s silly thoughts with Life of Fred: Edgewood. Your student will work with concurrent lines, the commutative law of addition, touch on quadrilateral shapes, and many more! The second grade materials covered in this 128 page book are parellel lines, right angles, functions, quarter of an hour, half dozen, six examples of functions, math poems, the four kinds of sentences, firearm satefy & more!
  • Life of Fred: Farming (view sample text) – By now, students will start recognizing the pattern of the series; Life of Fred Farming follows the perfected structure. Life of Fred: Farming unit builds on the previous Edgewood book with introducing the cummutative law of multipilacation, denominations of money, and more! The second grade materials covered are median average, percents, borrowing one in subtraction, definintion of function, proof that every number is interesting, dollar denominations & more!
  • Life of Fred: Goldfish (view sample text) – Join Fred in his travels across the Atlantic Ocean and learn about bar graphs, multiplying by thousands, cubic measurements, volumes, and more! Third Grade material: drawing things to scale, digits in a number, similies, meters vs yards, area, volume, gallons into pounds, practicing the metric system with dental floss, bar graphs & more!
  • Life of Fred: Honey (view sample text) – Work on fun math activities with Fred as he goes through fractions, multiplication facts, unit conversions and more! Third Grade material: long division, fractions, atoms, periodic table, hexagons and octogons, what magic really means, why Fred can’t get a credit card, farther vs further, slope & more!
  • Life of Fred: Ice Cream (view sample text) – Step up your students learning with multpilication and division with two digit numbers! Follow Fred through fourth grade materials: stationary vs stationery, hyperbole, bar graphs, ordered pais, plotting points on a graph, slope, irony, area, liberty vs freedom, less than (<), greater than (>), & more!
  • Life of Fred: Jelly Beans (view sample text) –  Fourth Grade materials: finding one-third of a number, Fibonacci numbers, prime numbers, intersection of sets, fever vs femur, decimal points, epigraphs, pie charts, how to prove you are not a duck, & more!

Intermediate Math

Recommended for: 3rd to 7th grade

  • Kidneys: Three Keys to Success, Charles Demuth’s “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold,” Milliliters, Teachers’ Salaries, How to Carry Money on the Street, Writing Numerals in Checks ($4000 and Not $40.00), Idioms, & more!
  • Liver: What to Pack for Camp, 1/4 + 1/4 +1/4 = 3/4, Why Blowing Your Nose and Wiping Your Eyes Is Not Commutative, I.e., E.g., Viz., Elapsed Time, the Two Rules of Survival, Passing the Sat Exam, Metaphors, & more!
  • Mineshaft: Milligrams and Pounds, Rounding Numbers; a Trillion Pounds of Rice to Cuba; the Number of Stars in a Typical Galaxy; Three-eights of 19,416; What to Do with Eleven Hours of Free Time Each Day, & more!

Pre-algebra Series

  • Pre-Algebra 0 with Physics – Numerals, Making models, Nineteen conversion factor problems, Area of a rectangle, Friction independent of speed, Constants of Proportionality, Exact speed of light, Continuous and discrete variables, Story of the meter, Pendulums, Oblate spheroids, Krypton vs. kryptonite, Square roots, and tons, TONs more!
  • Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology – Definition of Life, Sets, Fractions, Germination of Seeds, Area of a Rectangle, Volume of a Cube, Ordinal Numbers, Diameter and Circumference of a Circle, Definition of π, and so much more!
  • Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics – Domain and codomain of a function, Conversion factors, Steps in Solving Word Problems, How Not to Bore Your Horse If You Are a Jockey, One-to-one Functions, Unit Analysis, Key to a Successful Business, Five Qualities that Money Should Have, and so much more!

Algebra Series

  • Life of Fred: Fractions (view sample) – Less Than, Billion, Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers, Diameter and Radius, Savings and Expenses, Definition of a Fraction, Sectors, Comparing Fractions, Reducing Fractions, Adding and Subtracting Fractions, Common Denominators, Roman Numerals, Least Common Multiples, Improper Fractions, Lines of Symmetry, Division by Zero, Circumference, Multiplying Mixed Numbers, Commutative Law, Canceling, Definition of a Function, Area, Unit Analysis, Division of Fractions, Geometric Figures, Estimating Answers.
  • Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents (view sample) – Number Systems, Adding and Subtracting Decimals, Multiplying by Ten, Functions and Inverse Functions, Pi, Multiplying Decimals, Whole Numbers, Squaring a Number, Subtracting Mixed Units, Sets and Subsets, Union and Intersection of Sets, Rules of Divisibility, Division of Decimals, Repeating Decimals, Bar Graphs, Prime and Composite Numbers, Consecutive Numbers, the Goldbach Conjecture, Area of a Circle, Dollars vs. Cents, Pie Charts, Conversion between Percents/ Fractions/ Decimals, 40% of 15, 30% off, Distance Equals Rate Times Time, 15% more, Area of a Triangle, Square Roots, Area of a Parallelogram, 13 Is What Percent of 52, Ratio, Ordered Pairs, Graphing, Negative Numbers, Elapsed Time, Probability.

Highschool Math Series

Concepts covered in this series: algebra, geometry, trigonometry, college math, college prep

  • Beginning Algebra Expanded Edition – Finite/Infinite Numbers, Natural numbers, Whole numbers, Integers, Adding signed numbers, Ratios, Multiplying signed numbers, Proportions, Inequalities in the integers, Continued Ratios, Adding like terms, Rectangles, Trapezoids, Sectors, Symmetric Law of Equality, Order of operations, Solving Equations, and more!
  • Zillions of Practice Problems Beginning Algebra – Need a lot of practice or stuck on a particular kind of problem? This book has been requested by many readers. Keyed directly to the chapters and topics of Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra. Each problem worked out in complete detail. Eleven mixture word problems are each worked out step by step, often using a whole page of explanation for each problem. Thirteen quadratic equations solved by completing the square. Thirteen examples of two equations with two unknowns solved by the elimination method. This book is mandatory for those who need it. The Zillions of Practice Problems Slogan: If your cat can work through all the problems in this book, your cat can teach Beginning Algebra at any school in the nation.
  • Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra Expanded Edition – Ratios, Median averages, Proportions, Dividing by zero, Cross-multiplying, Constants of proportionality, Inverse variation, Direct variation, Joint variation, Weight varies directly as the cube of the height, Area varies directly as the square of the height, Volume varies directly as the cube of the height, Laws of exponents, and more!
  • Zillions of Practice Problems: Advanced Algebra – 
    • Ten exponential equations worked out step by step.
    • Over 40 problems dealing with functions.
    • Sixteen imaginary number problems solved in detail.
    • Eleven linear programming problems—each taking about a page to solve.
    • A bonus six-page introduction to Turing Machines.
  • Life of Fred: Geometry Expanded Edition – Points and Lines, Angles, Triangles, Parallel Lines, Perpendicular Lines, Quadrilaterals, Area, Similar Triangles, Symbolic Logic, Right Triangles, Circles, Constructions, Non-Euclidean Geometry, Solid Geometry, Geometry in Four Dimensions, Coordinate Geometry, Flawless (Modern) Geometry. 
  • Life of Fred: Trigonometry Expanded Edition – Sines, Cosines and Tangents, Graphing, Significant Digits, Trig Functions of Any Angle, Trig Identities, Graphing a sin(bx + c), Radian Measurement, Conditional Trig Equations, Functions of Two Angles, Oblique Triangles, Inverse Trig Functions, Polar Coordinates, Polar Form of Complex Numbers, Preview of all of Calculus.

College Math Series

Recommended for: pre-college or college students

  • Calculus – Functions, Limits, Speed, Slope, Derivatives, Concavity, Trig, Related Rates, Curvature, Integrals, Area, Work, Centroids, Logs, Conics, Infinite Series, Solids of Revolution, Polar Coordinates, Hyperbolic Trig, Vectors, Partial Derivatives, Double Integrals, Vector Calculus, Differential Equations.
  • Statistics – Descriptive Statistics (averages, measures of dispersion, types of distributions), Probability, Bayes’ Theorem, From a Given a Population Determine What Samples Will Look Like (7 tests), Techniques of Sampling, From a Given Sample Determine What the Population Was (14 tests), Determine Whether Two Given Samples Came From the Same Population (15 tests), Working With Three or More Samples (10 tests), Emergency Statistics Guide, Regression Equations, Field Guide, 16 Tables.
  • Linear Algebra – Solving systems of equations with one, many, and no solutions. Gauss-Jordan elimination. Gaussian elimination. Matrices. LU-decomposition. Vector spaces. Inner product spaces. Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process. Fourier series. Data fitting. Linear Transformations. Linear functionals. Dual spaces. Eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Markov chains.

Life of Fred: Five Days of Upper Division Math: Set Theory, Modern Algebra, Abstract Arithmetic, Topology:

  • sampler of advanced math for students who love math and Fred and want to preview courses they may take later.
  • Upper division (college junior/senior) pure math is much different than calculus. No “word problems,” no formulas to memorize, no concrete applications—just puzzles to solve. Instead of learning procedures, students create definitions, theorems, and proofs.
  • These are the first five days of Fred’s teaching set theory, modern algebra, abstract arithmetic, and topology. Each of the 139 assignments/puzzles/questions that he gives his students calls for creativity rather than doing drill work. Some of these can be done in a minute. Some will take several hours to complete. They are all meant to be enjoyed.
    • The first day of set theory: cardinality of a set, set builder notation, naive set theory, modus ponens, seven possible reasons to give in a math proof, the high school geometry postulates are inconsistent, the proof that every triangle is isosceles, normal sets.
    • The first day of modern algebra: definition of a math theory, six properties of equality, formal definition of a binary operation, formal definition of a function, definition of a group, right cancellation law, left inverses, commutative law.
    • The first day of abstract arithmetic: circular definitions, unary operations, the successor function, natural numbers, the five Peano postulates, mathematical induction.
    • The first day of topology: topology is all about friendship, listed and counting subsets, open sets, the discrete topology, the three axioms of a topology, models for a topology, open intervals.
  • By the fifth day Fred will have covered the Schröder-Bernstein theorem (set theory), proved Lagrange’s theorem for subgroups of any group (modern algebra), defined the real numbers based only on the concept of “adding one” (abstract arithmetic), and explored continuous images of compact sets (topology).

Financial Choices

Recommended for: age 15 years to adult

  • Three reasons to use a credit card
  • The ultimate use of money
  • The five places to invest
  • How to retire in 24 years (Nothing financial is 100% certain—but this comes close.)
  • Five suggestions for choosing a good spouse
  • Insurance—what to buy and what not to buy
  • Taxes—the seven categories
  • Personal habits that will help make you successful
  • Real estate—what to buy and when to buy
  • Stocks, bonds, mortgages, REITS, certificates of deposit, mutual funds
  • How Kingie made his fortune.

See More Life of Fred Series