Your concern:  My child is progressing too quickly


     There is no hurry to complete the Life of Fred series. 

     It doesn't take as long for a student to learn the mathematics using Fred.  Sitting in a government school room takes a much longer time: football rally days, discipline issues, teacher-training days, attendance taking, a slow pace so that the inattentive finally "get it"—the list is almost endless.


Physiological Speed Limits

     Brains grow, just like bodies grow.  Teaching logarithmns to three-year-olds just doesn't work.

     There is an old saying that you shouldn't start algebra until you have hair under your arms. A child's brain needs to develop physiologically before tackling the abstractions that algebra contains.

     Most children will get through the ten books in the Elementary Series and the three books in the Intermediate Series long before they are ready for Life of Fred: Fractions (which is usually begun in about the fifth grade).  That's okay. 
     Many kids will see their favorite movies several times.  This may also be true with the books in the Elementary and Intermediate Series.  There is so much packed into these books.  Revisiting them after a break of six months or so may be very profitable.


     “How can I teach them the tables?” you might ask.

     There are lots of fun ways.  Much of it occurs in daily living, if you consciously mix in a little arithmetic.  Count the socks.  Measure out three cups of flour.  Count by twos.  Count by fives. 


The Game of Questions

    When my daughters and I had a trip in the car, we would play the game I called Questions.  It was wildly popular with them.  I had questions about everything.  Question number one: What color do you get when you mix blue and yellow paint?  Question number two: Name two constellations in the sky.  Question number three: What's seven times four?  Question number five: What's the green stuff in plants called?  Question number six: If a curb is painted red, what does that mean?  Question number seven: Doubling what number will give you 14?

     The younger daughter always had first crack at each question.  If she couldn't get it, then the older daughter could try. 

     Sometimes we'd get through 30 questions before the trip was over.  They would sometimes ask to continue the game after we got out of the car, but I would refuse.  It became something they looked forward to when we were in the car. 

     I would repeat about 30% of the questions on future trips.  They learned that trees that lost their leaves in winter were deciduous and the green stuff in plants is called chlorophyll. 

     When my older daughter Jill took her college-entrance exam, she told me that she nearly laughed out loud.  One of the questions was, “Name the green stuff in plants.” 

                          my daughter Jill

           Let them have a happy childhood.




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