More Unsolicited Raves from Readers . . .


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Dear Author,
Your language arts program is the most enjoyable I have ever used! Thank you so very much for writing them. I have learned more about English in half a year than I did in my whole life with other curriculum. I love it how the reader (myself) and the author (you) have conversations within the book. Fred is such a lively character! I really wish I could meet him.

Dear Professor Stan,

I have troubles with some of the play questions but not the second time through! I like the really weird parts that surprise me like where the leak in the boat shoots him up or his nose falls off except it doesn't. I love reading about Fred because he's so silly.

My favorite time of day to read Fred is right when we get up and after breakfast and before lunch and between lunch and supper and before supper and after supper.

Dear Dr. Schmidt:
My 17yo (who has used only Life of Fred from Beginning Algebra through Trigonometry) is a National Merit Finalist. Obviously, she has done very well in language, as well, but all her math I attribute to Life of Fred. Thank you.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,
I am a homeschooled freshman, and I am doing Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra. I started using Life of Fred last year, working my way through both pre-algebra books and the beginning algebra book. For the first time in my life, I am actually enjoying math! Before I switched to Life of Fred, we were using a typical math curriculum (which shall remain nameless) that was incredibly boring and hard to understand. I was literally crying during math almost every day, because I could not understand the material. But then came Fred, and my life was changed forever. Suddenly, I realized that math could, in fact, be fun and useful! So thank you, thank you for this brilliant curriculum. You have changed math from my least favourite subject to my most favourite one (after music, that is).

Thank you again for your remarkable work. I will be using your books for all of my kids. I personally enjoy the books and find it to be an education for me. To be honest, they are my most treasured books next to the scriptures because of what they do for me and my children. Thank you again for your time. I know how important it is to be mindful of others time so I won't take anymore of it. Thank you for your brilliance and giving us so much. It is a true feast of knowledge!

Thank you again for all you have done for our family. You have given us one of the greatest gifts ever with these books. We live up in the mountains on a fire line and if this forest was burning down, besides my kids I would be trying to save our Life of Fred books. That is how much we love them. They are our amongst the best books we have. Thank you so much!

Thank you Mr. Author  :)
I would like to say one last thing: That I got better scores on my math tests that I ever did with saxon!

Good Evening Mr. Schmidt,

We are writing today to say a huge Thank you for creating and sharing your Life of Fred math series. Thank you for making the math books affordable. You have managed to take away all of the dislike, bitter taste, discouragement, frustration, tears, and have turned math time into: encouragement, excited, smiles, giggles, able to understand, and positive feedback such as "I knew I wasn't dumb--it was the way the other math books were written...I can do this!"

All three of our children love listening to the adventures of Fred, Kingie and Lambda. They also actually enjoy doing their math lessons.

In years past, we have used a large variety of different math textbooks, that either had very little theory and a lot of practical, no theory and lots of practical, or too much theory with too much practical, as well as theory that didn't correspond with the math if we had to read through the theory and then find the math problems on another page that matched.

Dear great ruler Schmidt,
(age eight). I live in Massachusetts. I used to have a really,really,really boring curriculum. I never had to solve real life problems ! That is why Life of Fred is the best curriculum ever ! My favorite part is when Fred says to the teenagers to throw him out the window so he can land on the tree! I am currently in book number eight Honey.

We love Fred. When I say love, I mean we delight in Fred. We adore Fred. We want Fred to come live with us. He can bring Kingie, of course.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,
Your books are the best math teaching books ever!! I'm 11 years old and just got credit for High School Algebra through our virtual charter school. I got 100% on their test after doing your book.

Hello Mr. Schmidt,

I wanted to just send you a little note relating something that my 10 year old said to me just recently.

I will preface his comment with the fact that when any of us need a Life of Fred book, they are in his room. He has read all of them, and re-reads them regularly.

The other evening, he came out of his room to get a drink of water and commented to me, “Mom, I think two of the greatest authors EVER are Stanley Schmidt and C.S. Lewis.”

I couldn’t help but smile.

Our Life of Fred books are way more loved-looking than I intended them to be, and seriously one of the best investments I have made in our homeschool in the seven years we have been on this journey.

Thank you for your work.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,
I'm 11 years old. By the way, math is so much better now that I am doing your program. I even drew a life-sized picture of Fred that I put on my wall.

You are saving homeschool for my very languaged-based daughter. We switched to Fred for her second year of Algebra 2, and then geometry. She pulled her ACT math score up from a 17 to a 21 (comp 27), and placed in college algebra at our local college. Thank you.

Mr. Schmidt,

I have been praying for over two years about what to do with my 9yr old son regarding our homeschool math situation. He is high-functioning on the Autism spectrum, and extremely intelligent, but he had determined at a very young age that he hated math. I was very close to giving up and putting him back in school. He wouldn't have liked math or done any better there, but it was tearing our family apart.

A few months ago a friend mentioned Life of Fred. After I borrowed one of her books, I knew that your program took a different approach that may just work since my son loves to read. We are almost finished with Apples, and he begs to do math throughout the day. I cannot thank you enough for publishing your ideas, and for keeping the prices manageable. You are a blessing!

I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to you. Life of Fred: Calculus is the main reason I passed calculus in college. It's also one of the reasons I became a high school math teacher, and I regularly recommend your books to my students.

I just want to say thank you for envisioning and creating such an extraordinary series (Life of Fred). My seven-year old daughter has read from the elementary series through Trigonometry. As you can see, she is no ordinary seven year old. I homeschool her and just recently had to hire a math tutor because I could not meet her level for the joy of math (and, quite simply, was slowing her pace down as I needed to learn/relearn concepts). She'll be finishing Algebra this May. Without the LOF books, I'm not sure she would have found this passion so early in her life. The concepts and dialog are richly written and the stories are so engaging. (She especially loved that Fred had a girlfriend, despite the fact that she herself would like to marry Fred!) There is simply no other type of math book like this on the market. I also love that non-math information is consistently infused in the lessons as well. Despite not reading most of the books myself, I have learned a lot from my daughter as she continually gives me "Fred" information. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to this project. Fred is a special member of our family.

We just wanted to take the time give a great big 'THANK YOU'!! We have recently taken our daughter out of public school. She was only in first grade and every parent/teacher conference we attended (even in kinder) we were told how behind she was in math. She has just whizzed through the first Life of Fred: Apples. It was amazing to see a her conect with math; most days asking to do another chapter!! She always asks to have Life of Fred to start off our homeschool day, we even have found her teaching her stuffed animals what she's learned. It is an awesome to see her find that love of math so quickly with your books.

Hi Dr. Schmidt,
We have been a LOF family for many years. We started with you around 2005 or 2006 and you have been so helpful over the years. Our final graduate, has decided to major in Mathematics due entirely to the LOF curriculum. Thank you for Fred and all of the wonderful math adventures. We were blessed to have found you.

Mr. Schmidt,

I have homeschooled 3 children and am on number 4 (10th grade). He is very different from the others and I needed something different to help him really learn. I love math and always have. It has been my desire all along to teach not just the "how" of math, but the "why" (something you really don't find in other math books). My son and I have gone through Beginning Algebra (he had already taken algebra 1, but we purchased your beginning algebra for review) and we are now on chapter 2 of Advanced Algebra. I cannot express how wonderful your books are. They are extremely engaging and always challenging us to think WHY. It is wonderful the way you have integrated all aspects of life and education into each one of your books. I personally have learned so much more about math (and science and history and storytelling, etc,) from these books. Where were you when I was in high school (probably in elementary school teaching the teachers!)

Thank you for sharing your imagination, knowledge and wisdom with us in such an enjoyable way.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

For the first time in my second son's 8 year homeschooling career he is gobbling up math. He loves to build anything, take apart anything, dig holes, design tree houses, bridges, vehicles, and buildings but put a math book in from of him and the spark goes dim. Math facts still befuddle him and pages of black n white problems send him into a panic.

BUT HE LOVES LIFE OF FRED!!!!!! Many thanks!!!!!

Thank you for thinking outside the box. Thank you for sharing the wisdom God has clearly given to you. Thank you for writing books that are intelligent, hilarious, unique, practical and an absolute breath of fresh air. We have honestly thanked God for you and your gift to us as a family and to our son's brilliant and oh-so-unique brain and personality.

Dear Stanley F. Schmidt,
I just wanted to let you know that I am very pleased with your Life of Fred books. Not only have they extremely increased my math abilities, but they have taught me in other subjects as well, such as writing aptitude, social skills, and more. Thank you for making me a more educated student.

Life of Fred is my favorite collection of books, ever. more than Encyclopædia Britannica. more than my mother's Home University Bookshelf collection. more than Lord Of The Rings. they are epic, engaging, and just the right amount of absurd. I tell everyone I know about them.

Dear Stan,
Thank you so much for your Life of Fred books. I'm a homeschooling father and I love them. I was a math nerd at school and I love the way you've approached teaching maths. The way you're training kids to think about numbers is beautiful and I can see how it will help so much as they get to the later grades. You've caused many arguments in our house with my boy wanting to do two chapters, or if there isn't an argument for two chapters it's because I've let him have two and the argument is over a third chapter! It's a very nice problem to have.

We live in China with our 3 children, an 8 year old girl and two 7 year old boys. We have just begun the Life of Fred series and we love it! I was desperate for a solution to the math problem because my daughter ended up in tears over every single page of her Math Mammoth workbooks. This is so perfect because it's yet another subject my children can all do together, they all love it and they write out the answers in dry erase markers on our white floor. Thank you so much for helping me to solve the worst area of our home school life. I'm so grateful for all the little things you include that would otherwise probably completely neglected by me. Like days of the week, and quotation marks.

Dear Stan,
I really would like to tell you how much Fred has helped me. Even though I was way about addition, I started the Life Of Fred series from the beginning. I wanted to know the whole story of Fred. I learned some new things that I didn’t know about before. Like I didn’t know how to cast out nines until Fred told me about it! So thank you for all the hard work you did to make a funny entertaining book to teach millions of children thirsty for facts!

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

I finished Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra recently, and I wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed it. We homeschool, and since I started Life of Fred, my favorite part of the day has been math.

Anyway, I wrote just because I wanted to tell you that you've completely changed my outlook on math. Before I started Life of Fred, I labored through drill-and-kill textbooks, wishing things like long division or fractions hadn't ever been invented, but now, as I've said so many times, I love math. I'm already sixty or seventy pages into Life of Fred: Geometry, and I can rest secure knowing that Fred continues all the way up to the "finishing-level" (not a very accurate name, because I know I'm not planning to finish with math once I reach them!) maths.
Thank you yet again for your great, life-changing (literally!) books!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

First of all, THANK YOU!!!! Okay, I will stop shouting ;-). My gifted 11 year old started Beginning Algebra this school year and is happily doing two lessons a day (she can totally handle it). Before Fred, she was sure that, not only was she bad at Math, but that Math was a horrible subject. I finally took the leap and had her tested and found she was EXTREMELY gifted in Math and that she just hated the traditional Math approach. She got both Pre-Algebra books done over the Summer. I literally had to tell her to put the books away. She’s highly visual spatial and since she is more gifted in Language Arts than Math, she appreciates the intelligent dialogue that goes on in the books, no matter how silly. She appreciates the humor more than you can imagine, too.

Thank you so much for what you do.

Hi Dr. Schmidt!
I just felt compelled to write with a big "thank you" for all of your amazing work concocting the Life of Fred series! As a life-long hater of math (and person who thought they just weren't wired for such things), I picked up these books with the hope that I could stay a few steps ahead of my brilliant third-grader (who, by the way, is a math whiz!). Boy am I glad I did!! For the past few years, I have worried with increasing frequency about how on Earth I would help her with her math homework in the years to come. Now that I am actually reading the books and learning the math, I feel like I am getting it! After thirty-some-odd years of math confusion, it is so nice to finally *finally* be able to understand the things that eluded me before!

So, from one happy mom, THANK YOU! I am so grateful that you are in the world, bringing clarity to people like me. Your work is brilliant! I can't wait to read each and every book in the series!!

Thank you so much for writing the Life of Fred books! I love math, but it was hard to pass on that love to my children with the math books that were available. By writing them you've corrected, in that area, much that is amiss in education today. You restore wholesome learning where math is presented as a part of life and not as an unrelated island. You incorporate values into the learning which helps prevent what was stated so well by Theodore Roosevelt: To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Put that together with the adventures of Fred and learning becomes sweet. On top of that you made very affordable, sturdy books that can be used by many for generations which speaks to all of us who struggle to keep a parent home to raise their children in a disposable society disconnected from the past. You have done all of that in a subject that the textbooks are so notoriously poor in that I myself have been in classes where teachers have requested us not to read the textbook as it would only serve to confuse us. Thank you again.

I would like to say thanks for making the Life of Fred math books. I don't really like math, but your books make it a lot better. They are entertaining and I love the extra stuff that you throw in, such as vocabulary words (e.g. 'crepuscular') and things like a list of all of the constellations, or all of the exceptions to the "i before e" rule. I am homeschooled and started using LOF with the beginning algebra book. I am currently in the advanced algebra book, and I am enjoying it so much, I will definitely not want to change math curriculums. My mom is also happy about that because your books are awfully affordable. (alliteration)

We love your stuff. As soon as we finish a section, I have to slam the book fast to prevent my son from reading ahead! LOL!

We switched to Fred for her second year of Algebra 2, and then geometry. She pulled her ACT math score up from a 17 to a 21 (comp 27), and placed in college algebra at our local college. Thank you.

My mom got me your Life of Fred books. I just finished your first book, "Life of Fred, Fractions" and I love it!!! It makes math so fun!!!! I hated all of my school's worksheets, because you aren't really learning anything. I also love how you explain WHY you do it that way. I also love your website!!! I love the little santa that flies across the screen. I can't wait to start the second book!!!!

I've always loved math -- and now that I'm teaching my kids, it's great to have a curriculum that shares that love! I can't tell you how many times I "caught" my kids doing math "for fun" this past summer -- nor the number of times I've seen them snickering over their textbooks.

You've managed to garner several new fans in Decatur, Georgia. Thank you so much for your time in putting together these books!

My kids love 'em. I finally started reading from cover to cover and I'm through trig and am about to make my dad give calculus back to me so I can start on that!

I've got a bachelor's in physics and a master's in M.E., and I have nonetheless learned (and refreshed myself) through Fred.

Great series. I love your enthusiasm for math, which even surpasses my own -- who would have thought that possible! And incorporating other subjects and areas of interest is a wonderful expansion of the mind.

Thank you for all the effort you put into these books.

Thank you for your prompt reply. I already knew what your answers would be, but I wanted to let you affirm your methodology. It has been a great struggle for me to communicate how intrinsically important it is to think! My suggestion for the co-op situation has been a math lab (similar to a study hall with a knowledgable instructor handy) where the students can get indivdual coaching (on how to think).

I showed Fred to a customer, yesterday. She began chuckling and then laughing out loud as she read. She was so engaged that I was unable to get in a word...I just left her alone with Fred. Thanks for bringing the joy back to math!

I know that you must receive emails like this everyday but I wanted to let you know how much we enjoy your books. My daughter who is 12 has just finished Fractions and is 3 chapters into Decimals. We have had trouble with her rushing through some things but she has learned to slow down and really learn the information. The story is great and the lessons are wonderful. I just thought I would drop you a line and let you know how much we enjoy your books.

After being thoroughly please with Algebra I last year, we are enjoying your Fractions and Algebra 2 books this year. Each time I contact you I must tell you how wonderful your math books are! You have taken what can be a difficult subject for some children and added entertainment to make it palatable, while not compromising on the rigors of a good math course. I love seeing my non-math children smiling and laughing as they work on math. Thank you for blessing our family.

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

In April I was a desperate mom searching for a curriculum for my daughter, who had decided after working through Saxon pre-Algebra, that she hated math. You so kindly advised me to start her on Life of Fred beginning Algebra, so we began immediately. We LOVE it! When I found my daughter doing math on Saturdays "just for fun", I knew we had a winner! Thank you, thank you! I am on a campaign to spread the word far and wide - Fred is fantastic!

Two very good friends are now using LOF based on my recommendation and they have been in touch with you. The three of us are organizing a Life of Fred Marathon at a local pizza place. All of our homeschooled friends have been invited and we have plans to read through parts of LOF Fractions so everyone can be introduced to Fred. We also have plans to make "Friends of Fred" t-shirts. I just wanted to let you know about the plans. We will send you a copy of our official invitation and pictures from our event. Never have I seen children so excited about spending an entire day learning math concepts! You are a blessing!

Hello Dr. Schmidt,

I was doing some testing for two homeschool families here and I left LOF out for the parents to peruse while they were waiting. Well, after the session, I was asked to present the Fred books at a homeschool support group meeting in April. I hope to do you justice. These two ladies went home armed with your website address, so you should be hearing from them soon.
Everyone I have told has been sold on Fred. Hopefully after the April meeting, Fred will have other loyal fans. Our family is indebted to you (and Fred) for bringing the love of learning back to our Math lessons.

Fred Fan Club in TN
Hi Dr. Schmidt,

We are continuing our love affair with Fred. G. has completed Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Fractions and Decimals just for fun. All of this just since last May. Her 11yr. old younger sister is about to enter grade six and is begging to start Fractions. She knows her basic facts for all operations. She completed Saxon 6/5 this year - we celebrated by throwing the book into the trash - she hated it!

And one last thing: If you are ever in the Nashville area or would like to plan a trip to Tennessee, there are a boatload of people - Fred's Fan Club - who would love to meet and talk with you. We have our own local pizza place we would be proud to take you to - although it does not serve such gourmet fare as Lamb with Tarragon Pizza. Seriously, our state homeschool support group has its convention in May. I would be happy to put you in touch with the organizers for next year. Everyone in TN should become aquainted with Fred.
Thank you for all you do,

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you my overwhelming satisfaction with your math series "The Life Of Fred". I have 6 children. I have home schooled for now, 10 years. I have tried Abeka, Math U See, Saxon, Horizons and Singapore Math in a quest for the "right" approach to math. I was looking for something user friendly, inexpensive, thorough, interesting, and capable of laying a firm foundation in math for my children. I have found that product in "The Life of Fred".

My oldest son who is 15, has home schooled all of his K-8 years. He always found math a little abstract and confusing. He had a desire to attend high school and so we allowed him to attend a local charter high school for 9th grade. He was placed in pre-algebra. He got a D in the class all 3 trimesters. The school recommended he try it again next year. I received from you the Beginning Algebra book and Home companion in June and we began the book in July of this summer. He home schooled the first semester of this year and then he entered an Arts focused school (his real passion is guitar) 3 weeks before the end of their first semester, and was placed in their Algebra class. He was not required to take their final, but he chose to do so to get a feel for how he would score. Here is the miracle: He scored a 109% (A+) on his Algebra final. My son has NEVER scored above a C on any math test EVER! He got all the problems correct and also the 9 additional bonus problems. One of his fellow peers jokingly called him a math nerd and he was so PROUD!!

Thank you, thank you!! Your math curriculum has revitalized the way my son feels about math. We also ordered the Fractions, and Decimals and Percents books for our 5th grade daughter. She was so intrigued by the books that she read both books, the Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra and Geometry Books because she was totally absorbed in the story line. She finished the first book in record time asking if she could please do more than one chapter in a sitting.

I have referred your books to many friends and fellow home-school moms, loaned out my copy of Beginning Algebra several times now, and know that at least 6 families we know have purchased and are enjoying your curriculum immensely. Most have the SAME experience of having children who beg to do more math.

Mr Schmidt your books have revitalized math for our family and are a God send. Thank you so much for sending me a copy of the books. I guarantee they will revitalize math for any style of learner. You are my math hero!

My sons love Life of Fred

When I first recommended to my son your series of books, he was skeptical. Although my son has had a love/hate relationship with the Saxon Math series, he was hesitant to try something new. I did get him to try the Beginning Algebra books and he was hooked! He has not opened Saxon since he started Life of Fred. He then requested the other earlier books "for his brothers" (his brothers were 6, 5, and 3 at the time). My now 7 year old son has started reading the lower series because he saw how much fun his older brother was having reading the series, and loves little Fred too.

Just today, my son asked for all of the remaining books for the Life of Fred. I just completed an order for Statistics, Trig, and Calculus. My son is 13 years old!

Thanks for making math an enjoyable experience, as it should be! My only wish was that you wrote earlier math books for the younger set. Oh well, we homeschoolers can't have it all.

I love the way you are weaving in advanced topics in the early books.


Sorry, just had to get that rant off my chest.

Although my daughter is only in kindergarten, I can already tell you where she will be getting a great deal of math education and the books I will use for it.

Best Wishes!

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

I have just purchased four of your books for my daughter. I have worked through the fractions book last week and am currently doing the decimals and percents and LOVING them. My engineer husband thinks it is hilarious that every time I have some free time, I have that book in my hands. I never liked math as a student and now I think it is great. So I wanted to tell you thank you.

Thanks for your time and giving me a new found love for math.

Our next oldest daughter (age 11) is going into 6th.

She completed the first LOF: Frations. I have to say, my wife was not sure about using these books. But we just got back the assessment for this year and she scored in the 86th percentile in math. She absolutely loved the first book and is very excited to use the next one.

Thanks for your time.

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

Today I found your math books.... well, I found the link to the web pages about your math books. I am a homeschooler and I have been teaching my children math for many years. We got BOGGED on algebra for many reasons.... not the least was the fact that we could find no REAL use for it and certainly couldn't find a book that communicated what we needed to learn in a fashion that wouldn't instantly put us to sleep. This has been a horrible problem for me because my son has always had such a great grasp on logic and is very good at math.... but he ISN'T a kid that likes to do book work. (he is an extreme sports athlete) Anyway.... I just spent the last 45 minutes (when I SHOULD be doing other things) reading over your sample pages and website.
PS.... every made up adventure that I have ever told my kids was about "Fred." This is going to be great! Thanks for writing these books. Yipee!

My kids LOVE Fred!!! My 8 yr. old has told everyone how much she has learned about math and that she now wants to major in math in college... she even wants Fred books for her birthday?!!

Thanks for giving her a passion for math and learning It's all fun to her.

You have saved my life and the life of my daughter by freeing us from numbers purgatory. I am a homeschooling parent and after the struggles in math during the first two homeschooling years, I thought I had doomed my child to a life of a fiery mathematics hell and had almost given up. I knew my daughter wasn't grasping fractions and decimals as she should and I knew moving on w/o a firm foothold would have her forever in a black hole of meaningless digits and what do to with them. She is a gifted child but my methods of teaching math just weren't doing it for her and hence we were in dire straits falling behind her peers as we sunk into a confusing abyss full of periods and portions. We started at the beginning with the Life of Fred series and by the end of the school year in June, we will be finished with the Pre-Algebra books. Fred is amazing! Again, thank you so sincerely.

From the 4th grade on, I had a math phobia. Even in my community college classes, I was fortunate enough to have my algebra class at the end of the day so I could cry all the way home. Fortunately, my little brother's friend suggested I read the Life of Fred. I read the entire series in less than half a year, most of which was before I took my SAT.

Not only did I score well on the math section of the SAT, but I'm transferring to a private university. On the application for the honor's college, they asked me to write an essay about a book that had strongly affected me in the past year, and I wrote about the Life of Fred series. Guess what? I'm in the honor's college now. Thanks for writing such a helpful series.

Oh, and one last thing. In one of my community college courses, the teacher wanted people to trade off bringing in "words of the day". All of my words came from the Life of Fred.

I'll continue to recommend the series to any one who complains about math. Actually, I've recommended it to friends who like math, too. Good work, Stan.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

I'm a homeschool mother of a very lively 8 year old daughter. We bought your Fractions book not long ago and I just ordered your Decimals book. My daughter is extremely bright and loves to learn. We were finishing Saxon 54 and she would cry out of boredom or distress. She has no problem with concepts, but the way math was presented and her being ages 7 and 8, she was quickly developing a dislike for higher math. I found a review of your books on the website and was willing to try anything new. I'm happy to say that I can't hold her back from your math books! She begs to do more! She has even convinced her grandfather to buy your Calculus book for himself, a lawyer about to turn 60!
I noticed on your website that you claim that your books are enough for SAT prep. I did notice after my daughter finished only half of the Fractions book, we could just pass over the very end of Saxon 54 in one day! I guess what I'm asking is if I allow my daughter to love math and do your books, she'll do just fine on her college entrance exams someday, right? Maybe I've just had it beat into my head that to get to college, you have to "endure" the process.
More than anything, thank you. Thank you for realizing that there are kids out there ready and waiting to learn and parents who don't want to damage that love of learning through books that can't even hold an adult's attention. THANK YOU FOR ENDING THE TEARS AND FEARS OF MATH!

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

I wanted to send you a personal note to thank you for your curriculum. Last week I finished Beginning Algebra. I set a goal to work through it this summer. I worked every problem in the entire book and in the home companion. It was a blast and I learned more than I thought it was possible for me to learn. We only had one "break-the- pencil" moment of frustration! Weaving a story through the lessons helped me remember the many concepts and I looked forward to reading more about Fred each day. I even named one of my fire-belly toads - Thud!

I never really enjoyed math before but now I prefer math over any other subject! Thanks for making algebra easy to understand and also fun to learn! We are starting Algebra II in a couple weeks and will let you know how it goes!

Thanks A LOT!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

We are so thankful for your math book! My daughter just started with Fractions and we are all in love with Fred (he is so cute). Thank you for helping make this subject not just painless, but very fun.

After Lauren's lesson today, she was inspired to draw Fred in costume. She hopes you like it.

May the Lord richly bless you and your family as you continue to bless so many with the gifts He has given you!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

This year my son completed both pre-algebra texts.

I've been facinated watching him work through the word problems, laying out the equations on his own. I do NOT remember being taught how to do that. I always remembered countless equations to work and no CLUE what the point was for most of it. So, for him to be able to work through these word problems was exciting. I am actually looking forward to seeing how you apply other algebraic concepts that I vaguely remember.

The only "problem" he had was the assumption that he had learned the equivalent fraction/percent list. So, we came up with the list and he learned it. :)

My now 5th grader, after brother reading the other LOF books to him for fun, has begged for the Fractions book even though we already have brother's old curriculum.
As an external validation, we just received IOWA scores back from the state mandated testing and he continues to do really well.

So, algebra & fractions in our house come July.

Hi Stan,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for you great product and fantastic service.

The parcel arrived today, only six days after I ordered it. I regularly order books from the US and the quickest delivery I have ever had is two weeks, sometimes up to eight weeks. I also ordered books from Australia and from within New Zealand that same day and none of them have arrived yet!

My son grabbed the fractions book and started giggling his way through the "note to students". Then he said "This book is cool, is it for my birthday?" (He will be eight on Monday)
He then giggled all the way through chapter 1 and pronounced that it was "a silly book, but a good silly book". I think the humor is going to go down well here.

He has just finished the questions at the end of the chapter and asked if he could please do "just one more chapter".

Thank you - we're hooked!

Hi Stan,

Thank you for all your help. I decided to just get the whole set at once.

My best friend just got home from holidays. I told her I was trying to decide whether to get the first 4 books as she did or to get the lot.
She said that while she was on holidays she worked through the whole algebra book just for fun. It took one week and she thoroughly enjoyed both the story and the maths involved. Her sister worked through another of the books and was equally impressed.
I wanted the trig book to work on for myself because I enjoyed it when I was at school... She has convinced me that I won't be wasting my money!

Hello Mr. Schmidt,

I went ahead and ordered the Fractions and Decimals/Percents books and I am so glad I did! My daughter is eager to do math everyday and calls her younger sisters to come listen. There is lots of laughter along with the learning (and not just math stuff!)

Little did I know when I bought this curriculum that I would be stuck in bed for 5 1/2 weeks with no end in sight (misaligned pelvis.) The children have been helping each other and I am so thankful that I don't have to "fight" with my daughter about doing math.

I wish to send you a big Thank You for writing the math books. My dd is working
through the Fractions book. Before she began the book she would tell me she
hated math and sometimes cry before she began the lesson for the day. Now she
can not wait to get to her next math lesson. She has done math all summer
without a complaint and I even hear her laugh out loud while she does her

I worried that I would have to spend our Home School years with math stress and
tears. But your book has changed our days.

A Big Thank You,

Hi Stan,

I received my copy of Life of Fred Fractions today. Well actually I bought it for my daughter but I am enjoying it first. I can’t wait to start using it. I really hope she responds well to this type of learning because right now I am just so impressed with you and your company. Hello? Free shipping? I wanted to buy every book now before you changed your mind.

Blessings in His name,

life of fred praise

I want to recommend the "Life of Fred" math series to everyone. We just found it this past school year, and it is wonderful! Humorous, enjoyable, and interesting! A real life saver for us concerning Algebra! Very unschooling friendly in that it is completely unorthodox and "untextbook" like!


I will follow your recommendation! “Fred Math,” as we call it around here, is working really well for my boys ages 11 and 15! They used to DREAD math, but now the youngest is EAGER and the older one is, at least, agreeable! My 11 year old draws Fred everywhere, even on his Confirmation homework! LOL

My son loves LOF

My son is 10 years old and today was our first day of school for this year (we've always homeschooled...) He LOVES LOVES LOVES chapter 1 of Life of Fred and he asked me to take a picture of him hugging his LOF book. I just wanted to pass the pictures along to you and say thanks for your hard work on this curriculum! :)

You are God sent! For years I struggled with basic math. I spent two (or was it three?) years working in Saxon 5/4 and another two years going in circles in book 6/5. I'd resigned Math to the dull and dry. Any hope of finishing arithmetic before college age seemed impossible. The endless problems made me prefer the dentist to a math professor. Oddly enough, when Mother called a Saxon pro for advice he told her to give me MORE problems to help bang it into my brain! (My words not his.) I was 17 and still stuck half way through 7th grade math. In Feb. 2007, my Mother found the most curious looking textbook; it was called Life of Fred. Instantly I loved it. Within one month I had gone through Fractions with flying colors-amazed at the ease with which I was now empowered in Math. This week I finished Decimals and Percents and began Beginning Algebra. I feel as though I am in a dream and for so long have I dreamed of the day in which I would be officially introduced to Mr. X(Algebra.) Thank you, thank you, a 1,000 to the infinite power thank you! :)

I would like to say first that we love your beginning algebra book! I had bought it along with Saxon algebra, and the plan was to use it as a supplment. Well, Saxon bombed big time and before I spent money on even more curriculum I remembered I had bought your book.
What sweet relief!! No more tears, and we both actually "get" it now. I plan on buying the rest of your books.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

My real reason for writing is to share our 20 year old's response to Fractions. A typical ADD kid with some extreme issues with math, but very strong in reading and comprehension. If only we had found Life of Fred when she was younger.

She was our most difficult student and we tried so many approaches to Math, and finally just eliminated math entirely until she reached age 17. She sweated through algebra and geometry in public school, but certainly didn't enjoy (or retain?) much.

When Fractions arrived, I was anxious for her response. We had found she figured out math easily in cooking, sewing, building, measuring and purchasing - things that involved her comprehension kind of thinking (literary).

She said, 'Now THIS makes sense. I can read 'about' the idea, instead of staring at a row of numbers trying to figure out a puzzle.' She decided to work through the books 'for fun.'

Thanks for affordable books - they could be priced so much higher, and still be worth every penny!

Blessings & joy

Dear Professor Schmidt,

I have to write and thank you for your Life of Fred series. We have homeschooled our daughter from kindergarten, and math has always been a struggle -- not so much for the student but for the teacher. How do you explain something you can DO but don't UNDERSTAND? Our frustration led us to abandon two of the "best" publishers this year, and try Life of Fred instead.
Well, today we placed our order for Beginning Algebra and its Home Companion. She completed both Fractions and Decimals and Percents -- on her own, with delight instead of aggravation. I think she asked a math-minded friend of mine for help once or twice. I confess that I have not been "checking up" on her math, but rather just turning her loose to do it (although she would frequently read aloud to me from her book, just because she found it so interesting!) Her yearly achievement test scores came in the mail this weekend, and she scored ridiculously high in math. In fact, the little blurb at the bottom of the test mentioned "pursue advanced placement courses".

She is so inspired, she readily agreed to go ahead and do Algebra over the summer. She will be attending a small private school this fall, for 8th grade, and we are now contemplating asking for her to be placed in the "advanced" math track. I'm afraid that now she will be bored in pre-algebra!

I can't thank you enough for these marvelous books. Math was my greatest fear in homeschooling through high school, and now (even though we are going to give the private school a try) I don't doubt that we could do this all the way through graduation. Although my daughter is excited about attending school for high school, she made me promise that she could do a new Life of Fred book each summer. Because your books are written TO THE STUDENT and in such an engaging fashion, math is now something the whole family is excited about. My younger daughter can't wait until she has mastered her basic facts so that she can join in on the adventure, and I plan to go through the whole series of books myself. My very math-minded husband is happy to finally have the rest of the family appreciate math!

About a year ago, my son, then 11 was reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He wanted to learn more about tides, I was in the middle of a project and said that I couldn't help him then and recommended that he check out Nathaniel Bowditch's American Practical Navigator and see if he could find anything in there. About an Hour later, he came downstairs and said, "Mom, I am going to have to learn Algebra and all that advanced math stuff if I am ever going to be able to understand this book. Will you teach it to me?" My hear leaped within me! My son who was afraid of math ever since he had a bad experience in the first grade finally wanted to learn math!

We have been home schooling since 2nd grade, he loves the stories of the mathemeticians (knows who the original Fred Gauss is), and learning math in everday life, but whenever we started writing numbers down, I could feel the fear and tension radiate from him, it was like he was the scared frustrated first grader all over again. We tried several ways of learning math, but all of them ended in tears. Finally, after much prayer, I was led to Rays Arithmetic, our love of history made these story problems fun and math started clicking. Just recently the Lord answered my further petitions and we stumbled upon Life of Fred. My son has asked if he can do just one more chapter on three different occasions. Today he passed the bridge after Chaper 15 in the fractions book without any mistakes. The look on his face radiated sheer joy. He dives right into the Rays Arithmetic Problems for more practice. He is finding joy in mathematics! My son giggles as we read about Fred. He is gaining confidence in mathematics! I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for fulfilling a work that God gave you in writing the Life of Fred Books. It will help my son to educate himself for the work and callings that the Lord has for him now and in the future.

I look forward to intorducing my two younger sons to Life of Fred when they too, are ready.

My son LOVES your program. He is totally cracked up at the idea of sticking a random computer chip into a pile of scrap metal and coming up with Bobbie. :) And he thinks the huge remote control is hysterical.

My son fell asleep last night reading LOF fractions in bed! LOL! I just asked him what he liked about it, so I could tell you, and he said, "It's awesomeness! And in all seriousness, it's funny."

Keep writing and we'll keep reading.

Hello, Stan!

So far, I am really loving these books! They are a great size (not overwhelming) and I love that they are hardback so they will last a long time. I am a homeschooling mom who has always loved math. I excelled in math and 'aced' the Calculus AP exam as a senior in high school. Unfortunately, my boys don't share that enthusiasm - yet! I have twin boys who are 9.5 years old. While they are not really ready for all of your books yet, I figured that we will use them a little at a time and go slow as they are ready for each new topic. We read the first chapter (and the preliminary pages) in the Fractions book today. They thought that it was fun! Exactly as I hoped for! I hope that as they mature in their math learning, that we will have many good days with these books, and that they will, in 1.5 years or so, be speeding their way along in your Beginning Algebra book.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

Thank you so much for writing the Fred series. My son has completed Fractions and is working his way through Decimals as he finishes his last year of Singapore's Primary Mathematics. The Fred books are such a great fit for him, he ASKS to do extra math each day, and that is priceless to me. And thank you for making your books affordable!

Hey, this is the mom that ordered "Fractions" on a whim in the summer for my easily distracted and highly intelligent 9 year old...I spoke to you ONCE on the phone and thought "This guy is different..." so now as I wander through your website, I find out ah HA! I am correct! You are DIFFERENT! AND....ta da! A brilliant CHRISTIAN apologist!

Crazy child who thinks a math book would be an okay Christmas gift
Dear Dr. Schmidt,

Your math books have definitely changed my 12 year-old daughter's perspective on math! She is a student of the "I live for drama and music" persuasion and has not particularly appreciated the typical math programs (giving the entire household daily histrionic displays of lack of affection for math worthy of a Shakespeare tragedy--a school subject which is to her liking, and showing all due diligence to make a parent learn every creative way to get a child to "do what the state requires").

After hearing her brother regularly laughing while doing LOF Beginning Algebra, she begged me to order LOF books for her--which I did. She raced through Fractions and is now enjoying Decimals. When a friend recently asked her what her favorite subject was, she replied, "Math, I guess. I really like my books." Recently she asked which LOF book comes after Decimals and was excited to learn about the new pre-algebra book...going so far as to ask if it could be under the Christmas tree this year! Now, I may have been crazy enough to want math books for Christmas as a 12 year-old (I LOVE math & as a kid begged my mom for extra workbooks and went for after-school "help" to get 2-3 years beyond the regular class), but this was totally unexpected from my daughter who used to take hours to do one or two simple math problems (complete with heavily doodled workbook pages expressing her opinion of the assignment).

So, thank you for igniting this enjoyment of math in my daughter. ...and yes, she will have a LOF pre-algebra math book under the Christmas tree year.

I debated on whether to write this as a book review or to include it here with school. I decided to write it here because it has dramatically changed the attitudes of my oldest 4 children regarding math.

The Life of Fred is a math series that I begin in about the 5th grade. It covers every necessary math subject through graduation and some that would be totally optional. It is totally self-directed and non-consumable. This means that the kids do it themselves and when they are done, I can pass the book down to the next child - a big bonus for our family. I do look over their work and we talk about it each day at their one-on-one. This is like no other math program I have ever seen and my kids love it.

The book of fractions has 32 chapters. I thought this would be good for about a year, but I didn't realize that my kids would love math sooooo much that they would do a chapter a day instead of a chapter a week. They really do enjoy it that much. And they are learning, too - applying mathematical concepts to their own lives as they have seen Fred do in the book. My oldest daughter is a junior in high school and she enjoys the stories as much as my 6th grade son.

I had the algebra 1 book evaluated by a math curriculum specialist for a very large school district in our area. She found it very entertaining and lacking in nothing - mathematically speaking. She even purchased the book for some high school students that were having difficulties in math because she felt the stories would teach better than traditional methods. I cannot say enough positive about this series. If you are wondering whether your children will ever like math, you might consider The Life of Fred as an alternative.

I am a homeschool mom of 10 children. We began using your curriculum in September after months of looking for some kind of math program that would not be a source of discord in our home. It has been nothing short of miraculous. I recently wrote a review of The Life of Fred on a very new website/blog not realizing that other people were having the same issues. The response has been overwhelming - considering that I have only about 100 readers per day at this time. I believe that 4 people have already purchased your books and there are 2-3 more that are looking at them. Some of these are public school teachers that are ordering this for their classrooms.

We appreciate the work that you have invested in these books. We are personally reaping the rewards of your labor and I will continue to point people in your direction. Thank you so much for giving us an alternative in math. I will close with 3 quotes by my oldest children - ages 17, 15, and 14.

Mary : “I am going to marry Fred. The age difference means nothing to me. J. Seriously, I started with advanced algebra after hating algebra 1. Everything that I was supposed to learn in Algebra 1 made sense when I started math with Fred.”

Rebecca: “I can’t stop getting A+’s and I used to barely get B’s and a few A’s. I understand it better, too. I am in Pre-algebra. It is so funny that I love doing math. Fred is funny, too. I do way more lessons than I am supposed to. Mom doesn’t mind.”

Brad: “Fred is awesome.” (A man of few words J)

Thank You again! We may have discord in our home occasionally, but it is no longer due to math :-)!!

Hi! I just want to say, before I start, that I love (!) your Life of Fred series! They are just so cool! My older sister and I both got them for our school year, (she got Life of Fred:Geometry, and I got Beginning Algebra) and we love the pictures, story, and everything!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

My daughter disliked math tremendously (you could even say hated!) until we tried Life of Fred. Now it's her favorite subject! LoF has been such a blessing. She can do math on her own now, she is good at it and she enjoys it. . . . Thank you for an outstanding and enjoyable math program! My two little boys can't wait to begin and my husband plans to order the trigonometry book this month.

I bought fractions for my 9yo and I can not stop reading! I know she will love it in a couple of years.

Thank you and may God Bless your heart (which comes out in every page!)

I am also very well pleased with the quality of the book(binding and paper). My son is looking forward to starting it.

Hi Stan,

I want to tell you how much I like your books. I only discovered them in the fall, but I intend to use them for my kids through high school. In addition, I tutor math and have recommended the fractions book for one of my students - she has good math sense, but has a terrible math base with lots of gaps. She has a great sense of humor, and your style is perfect for her - she's much more motivated to do her work now than when she was using Math-U-See. I also test homeschoolers and advise parents on curriculum based on the test scores and my observations. I mainly test in and around Columbus, Ohio, but also have a small market in the Chicago area. I'll be recommending your books to many parents this testing season, I am sure.

Hey, I'm an 8th grade student and am really loving your life of fred books!!! Right now he is locked up and chained by the neck in an army van!!!

We are really enjoying your books. Thank you for the advice to progress through Algebra before Geometry. Once I got a look at what you cover in Advanced Algebra, I realized how little my daughter had actually absorbed from ALEKS, so we went back to your Beginning Algebra. Dd decided to work through the whole Beginning book, but this time, she's really got it. She has been so interested in doing it that she ought to be finished by the first of the year and will embark on Advanced at that point.

Thanks for your advice. Most of all, thanks for the wonderful books.

FOF (Friend of Fred, as we say in this house)

Just an update -- Your math has been an answer to my prayers! I purchased the Fractions book, and my daughter decided on her own to get started on it right away. I know she enjoys the story, and I think she’s even enjoying the math (although she has not admitted to it!) She is remembering the terms such as denominator, and is doing very well on her “your turn” and “bridges.” I know a lot of this is review for her at this point, but she has done better with this than with any other math program. I had planned to do the book with her, but she is so far ahead (she even took it on vacation!) that I have a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, it is wonderful that she is not complaining about doing math and pulling her hair out trying to get it done. I have ordered Decimals and Percents, Pre-Algebra with Biology, and Algebra and am looking forward to doing these also! Thanks for a great product that is fun and also teaches effectively.

I was laughing as I read the snippet about the "gray-marshmallowed kitty" when he inquired as to what was so funny. I read him an excerpt and his spin was quite entertaining so I'm certain we will be off to a great summer adventure as we take on fractions.

I am hopeful that he will eventually be able to work independently as he has shown great promise and mastered so many skills. As he presses forward I am anticipating a wonderful reprieve from what I had anticipated would be the structure for taking on tasks beyond adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Moving beyond the "experts" prognosis for a kiddo with autism it's been a wild ride. Seeing daylight and the incredible grace and mercy of loving heavenly Father is an incredible gift and I thank you for blazing a trail for us in the academic scheme of things.

Dear Stan,
My son has a passion for writing and filmmaking. He has always obediently, but unenthusiastically, done his math. I wish I had found the Life of Fred series earlier. He just completed Advanced Algebra (where I was going to let him off the math hook) and he asked me to order Trig. GO FRED!!

May I also add how much I liked the Home Companion. They were clear and clean lesson plans.

Blessings from Kansas (real people live here too),

Dear Stan,

Thanks for your speedy reply. I am so grateful to you for your fine
algebra series. I would be in sad shape without it.

I stumbled across a copy of Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra at the
library. My mission, which I began in September, is to relearn math
through intermediate algebra by Jan.9th when I hope to begin a series
of 'math for teachers' classes as a prerequisite for a masters in
elementary education. My last math class was intermediate algebra in
1979, so I have a lot of ground to cover in a short time. I am on the
last few pages of your Beginning Algebra, which to my complete surprise
has made algebra enjoyable. I borrowed an intermediate algebra text
from my community college and it just makes my eyes swim and then I get
really mad and fume at the small-minded 'math-o-crats' in the
institutions of higher learning. And then I can't think. And then I
break down crying with frustration that my life is being held hostage by
those idiots. When I run into fellow students at the community college
we swap math crying jag stories. I tell you all of this in an effort to
convey my gratitude to you. I am confident that your advanced algebra
book will be just as sturdy a life raft as the first one has been in the
choppy seas of algebra subterfuge. Thank you.

We got the books in the mail today. Thanks for mailing them out so quickly! I threw the mail in the car on our way out to dinner and we started reading Fractions in the car on the way home. We read chapter 1 and we love it! My kids were running to get paper for their "turn to play" when we got home. :) We are looking forward to more.

I purchased the first three books in your "Life of Fred" series of books for my 11 year old son. I discovered your books by visiting friends in our homeschool co-op. I only purchased the first 3 in April because I didn't know if my son would "take to them." Well - HE LOVES THEM ! ! ! He has (as of today) completed all 3 books (including solving all of the problems.) He is begging me to purchase the entire set of books as soon as possible.


Dear Stan,

Two boxes were waiting for us this morning at our closest post office.
Good news: Angus grabbed the Fractions book and dug in, completing the first two lessons without pausing. That never happened with Singapore!
You have a kindred spirit in my son: he loves cats, he hates to write, he loves your humour. I foresee him willingly following Fred.

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

I was lead to purchase the whole series of the Life of Fred. If you remember us, we are the homeschooling family in Canada with eight daughters and I had contacted you about a year ago. We were excited to receive our beautiful books.

I was going to go through the books myself before I gave them to the girls to start. But alas! Time is so full (I remind you, 8 kids!) that I didn't get to it yet. Come time for my oldest daughter (12) to start her new math book and I asked her if she wanted to start the red book (3rd book in professor B math) or the Life of Fred. She chose Fred.

Now she's always "doing her math". She asked me to photocopy pages so that she could take them in the van and "do her math". She is right now "doing math".

Hence, I am writing you to give her testimonial. I am sure that I have made the right choice with Life of Fred. She had a good base with addition, subtraction, multiplication and long division and is eating up Life of Fred.

Here is her testimony:

I used to almost dread math. I never looked forward to it. It wasn't an interesting subject. I found it boring. Now math is one of my favourite subjects. It's easy to understand and fun to do. It is fun to do when there is a story with it. Mom doesn't even need to ask me to go do my math now, I just go do it! I can even correct my own mistakes!

Age 12

Thank you Dr. Schmidt for this math course. We really appreciate your efforts.

By the way, your website looks great and is easy to use. All the girls (did I mention 8!) loved the picture of your daughter! And thank you for the reminder to let them have fun. That's one of the great reasons to homeschool!

With the love of Christ,

Hi! This is our families second year homeschooling. I happened to find your website quite by accident, but feel it is just what we need. My son is in the 7th grade, 11 years old, and hates doing math. He used Saxon at the school he used to attend, so we used it last year. It was a nightmare. This year we have started using Teaching Textbooks PreAlgebra. Though he likes it some better than Saxon, he just doesn't seem to be learning/understanding the new concepts. He feels he will never understand math and gets very discouraged. He doesn't watch the video's, he says they are boring and complains about the amount of repetition in the problem sets. I was beginning to think nothing would work for us, but now I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel. He loves humor and is constantly asking why he needs to learn math and what will he ever use it for. It sounds like your books were made for him.

Thanks for your time and for creating such a unique math program.

Well, I've had a few "kid" testers working on your book, and they LOVE it! I'm excited, because they are both "math haters" and they are willingly, excitedly doing math now on their own!

Thanks for the great tool!

After doing Saxon since kindergarten, my 11 yo daughter expressed a desire to make a change in our home math curriculum. By chance (well, after many prayers and I believe being lead...) I found your books raved about on a classical education board. My husband and I reviewed quite a bit of your site and I was thrilled to see him get sooo excited over a product and actually stating, "You MUST get this for the kids!"

I just read a few of your LoF sample pages with my daughter and loved seeing her giggle her way through Fred's adventures. She is excited to begin your Algebra text, and I am looking forward to sharing your Fractions and Percents/Decimal books with our younger son.

I am grateful that you made the decision to share your talents in such a unique way with others! I want you to know that I love the little interdisciplinary "asides" scattered throughout the books. Your grasp of the world and how to effectively interconnect the disciplines (math and literature, Latin and math, literature and history, science and art...) is evident in your writing, and greatly appreciated! I also enjoyed your prayer page.

So I must ask...
can you (and Fred) write a fun grammar and/or Latin text next :) ???

Our son is 12 and he is just finishing up the Pre-Algebra with Biology. He has also completed Decimals & Percents. We have just one problem with this math curriculum...we can't get him to stop doing math to eat lunch! Really!

This math is amazing. Our son has always loved reading and math, but so many math curriculums end up boring him and the wind goes out of his sails. We're so glad that we took a chance this year and tried Life of Fred...the wind is back, big time! He absolutely loves math now. He even told us he wants to major in math when he gets to college:)

My name is Elise and I'm 14 years old. I started 8th grade this year with very low self-esteem in my math skills, and I felt like I didn't understand anything and I would fail the whole semester. My mom ordered the Life Of Fred books at the start of the school year and I started reading the first chapter, and I absolutely LOVED it. I finished about twelve chapters that night and I just fell in love with the characters. I started understanding math (finally!) and my grades got better. I'm on the Pre Algebra / Biology book now, and even now I continue to enjoy math, which is an incredible feat for me. I just wanted to let you know that from your books I've excelled tremendously in mathematics, and I just got my Standford Achievement test results back, and I was thrilled to see that my scores were incredible!

Thank you so much for writing these books. They're fun, VERY easy to follow, and most importantly, I've learned to love math.

Hi Mr. Schmidt,
I work in a homeschool bookstore that sells your wonderful books. My creative-type daughter is finally enjoying math again with your Life of Fred books, after crying over the drudgery of Saxon earlier this year. The staff recommends your series to everyone who asks about a good math program, especially when they don't enjoy math. Recently we had one family purchase the entire series at once, from Fractions to Linear Algebra!

Fred arrived today - just opened at the lunch table, greeted with excitement by DD13.

Thanks so much for making algebra weird.

Dear Stanley,

Complaint #1. We took the dogs to the beach to "do algebra" there. With my daughter and myself leaning up against a drift log in the afternoon sunshine, the dogs wouldn't stop running around having fun. Eventually one came back and spit up on the FHC. Now it is covered with sand and dog spit. Do you give refunds under circumstances such as this?

Complaint #2. My Darling Daughter is now sitting curled up on the couch after a late breakfast of coffee and seedcake, "Doing Fred", listening to her ipod, the collie asleep in her lap. What is wrong with this picture? Surely it ought to be harder than this.

Having recieved Fred April 22nd, she's on lesson 12 which is still review work - she's getting to know Fred, and making sure she doesn't miss anything along the way. She says she hopes there will be new material soon, but refuses to skip anything. Stubborn Child, says it will give her confidence to do every step. And she was ECSTATIC to read ahead and discover an entire page of Pi.

Your True Fan

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

My 11-year-old son has been doing Life of Fred math for a few months now. We gave up on the inanities of an "advanced learning" program at his public school last November. [Evan added the scare quotes there.]

We are so very grateful that you have written Life of Fred Math! We think it's absolutely the best math course around. When he was in public school, he was in an "advanced" math class, but the tedious, endless workbook pages left him bored to distraction. Life of Fred Math is just the right approach for him! He looks forward to doing math with Fred and quite often reads and rereads the books just for fun.

Fred has become a welcome addition to our home learning experience. Thanks so much for writing Life of Fred Math!

p.s., He would like to suggest this: "There should be a Life of Fred movie, a mathematics movie. Or at least a computer game with things like "Get Fred to the hospital in time". It would be awesome!" What do you think?

Dear Stan

I have two sons working through that same book which is
quite fun to watch as they are racing each other!

And I have to say that Fred has sparked a mathematics craze in our
house! My sons are doing things like calculating the volume of water in
our tanks just for fun, and pouncing on anything that is remotely
mathematical! I hope it lasts. I never thought this was possible, but
I guess the Lord can do great things we never imagined possible and He
brings things into our lives just as we need them.

I read through LOF Fractions myself since my daughter is not ready for
that yet, and was amazed at how easy fractions could be. I never
understood them at school. I can't wait to work through Beginning
Algebra, but right now the book is in constant use! Every day except
the Sabbath!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

Thanks for your prompt reply to my question. We did indeed order your fractions and decimals books for our daughter, and they arrived 3 days ago. I told her she could do as many lessons as she wanted to as long as she did all the math, corrected it, and understood what she was doing. She was very curious about the books from what I had told her, so when they came, she immediately sat down and finished off 5 lessons. The next day, I had to prepare a couple of things before starting school with her, so she came up to me literally jumping up and down saying, "Can I do my math while I wait? Please, PLEASE?" I just stood there dumbfounded for a minute before I said, "Sure!" Today she finished off another 7 lessons and whined at me when I told her we had to get going with some other school. She is loving it!

I've been reading as much of the fractions book as I can before bed at night, and I just lay there and chuckle. I keep telling my husband, "Let me just read you this one part", and then I proceed to read almost the whole lesson to him because it's all so entertaining AND educational!

Thanks so much for making math fun and interesting! I never thought I'd see my daughter be excited about math!

Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication to young math students. The Life of Fred is making math enjoyable and meaningful in our home. Your work has been a godsend for us.

In His grip

In the words of my dear children--YOU ROCK!! Thanks so much and blessings to you!!!

The lights were low. Textbooks littered the floor like empty bottles. I hadn't shaved in weeks and the algebraic formulae I couldn't understand nested in my beard and empty coffee cup. Somewhere a coyote howled, high and sweet and melancholy. This was going to be one fight I couldn't win.

For years I'd been confident in my math skills. I strode from concept to concept with ease and self-possession, expecting to find no principle, no problem I couldn't solve. And I didn't. . . until I tried to tackle algebra.

Algebra stood thirty-seven feet tall and had narrow eyes that flashed with a maniac gleam. Numbers and letters fell from his skin like 1000-year-old dirt. I was small and weak and armed only with a bland textbook and a pencil; I was no match for Algebra.

For years he haunted me, taunting me with my insufficient knowledge, my poor grasp of arithmetic principles. He brought me to a wasteland of unnavigable numbers, and I drowned. Until Fred came along.

Fred was a young line drawing whose mathematical skill rivalled that of his namesake, Friedrich Gauss. He reached out a poorly sketched hand and pulled me out of the mire of algebra and into the golden daylight of arithmetic, even trigonometry and calculus. I will never forget him; I can thank him only by telling this story.

Common scene: mom or dad dragging struggling kids to the table to do math. Uncommon scene: kids leaping over each other to be the first to the math textbook so they can read the lesson. I know it sounds like nonsense or even a vicious lie, but there's a good chance the second scene is what you'll witness day after day if you let a copy of any of the Life of Fred books into your children's hands.

Stan...I just got this e-mail from you and I have to say this is the first time I have been thrilled by a back order...Thrilled because I am one of Fred's biggest fan...and I have been touting him all over the WTM boards and to ever homeschooler I know. I have been showing Fred to college students who need to brush up their math skills and sharing Fred with adults me...who never "got" math until reading Fred.

I am so happy you are having success...You are the best. can't wait to get my Algebra book (it's for me, so I can wait a bit :-) )

Thanks for the heads up and many, many blessings in the future!

The Life of Fred home school math books have been a tremendous blessing for my family this year. They are very affordable ($19 to $29 per hardback book) but more importantly, they are so engaging for kids! They are geared for middle school aged kids and up.

My 12 year old used to hate math so much. We used Saxon and, although he has always tested well in math, he was so overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work that it led him to HATE math. Now, with the new Life of Fred books, he goes to that subject first!

We are thrilled to have found Fred! He is a 5 1/2 year old little boy that you get to read all about in the books. Fred gets himself in all sorts of jams that you have to use math to get him out of. It's similar to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but kids learn math while they work. I give it 5 stars!

Thanks for sharing this fun homeschooling math program! Some of my homeschooling friends have talked about The Life of Fred but your review made me find out more! I need an economics course for my teen and took some time to look at a sample pdf of The Life of Fred Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics - what a fun way to learn! Blessings, Heather :)

Dear Stan,

I began Fractions with my 9 year old daughter this morning. She has not been faring well in math. But after Chapter One, she admitted, "This is fun." I also want to tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you have gone to, to make the math book detailed in explanation and comprehensive in subject matter! Very exciting!



I just ordered (and completed the order this time) LOF:Beginning Algebra, Calculus, and Trigonometry, and then went to your Web site and read your four essays on education. I can identify with what you say about the university. I started at Michigan State University as a chemistry major. My sophomore year it was the Organic Chemistry experience that convinced me to change my major. I could not visualize "cis" and "trans" atoms/ions/molecules, and I didn't care to continue memorizing all that stuff. I had a very wise and understanding academic advisor in the Chem department, and he helped me "shop around" that year in other curricula. I took a religion course, a psychology course, and a couple of geology courses. I considered geology, but settled on psychology as my new major, and I enjoyed it.

I did not pursue psych any further, but it helped me understand myself and other people. I agree with you that education is not all about memorizing facts, but being well-rounded and grounded. It also means getting the mindset that learning never stops. Here I am now, age 63 (in 5 more days), and I am still learning new things! I am into amateur astronomy, and in my tutoring, I want to learn more math so I can better help those students taking higher math courses.

I hope a lot of people hit your Web site and buy your books.

My son wanted you to know that Fred went to the Georgia State Championship Swim Meet last weekend. Sorry the picture is blurry....

Like a true 'math kid,' Jared kept a talley of how many people asked him about Fred. We even gave out your web site to some other homeschooling parents!

Fred had a great time at the meet!

Thanks! This is one of the most useful set of books I’ve come across relating to math and statistics.
Research Associate
Analytical Chemistry

How can I join the Fred Fan Club?????


Thank you. I think your book is just what I have been looking for. I already have another biology book, but my daughter's learning style and interests are more literary. And because we have the freedom to work with her style, I believe your book may do, with a few experiments from the other book. I read somewhere, from a scientist perspective, that it would make more sense to teach and learn math and science together. I am very pleased to see that you have done just that with this course (along with history, languages, literature, and fine ideas). Thank you for following the inspiration that has come to you and for making learning more interesting and relevant to others.

I guess I didn’t realize the biology was entwined WITH the math. I didn’t take the time to look at your sample pages. I completely agree with your philosophy! I was a school teacher and always tried to apply the math lesson to the “real world.” Now, I home school and enjoy doing even more of that with my own children. My son is using your first book currently…and, can’t wait to see what’s in your next book!

We love Life of Fred in our home! I cannot emphasize enough what an excellent series this is! I had been searching for a math curriculum for my children, and I found myself bombarded by so much material until I found Life of Fred. My son started Life of Fred Fractions on his seventh birthday. He completed the book in 5 weeks, he is currently working on Decimals and percents-he's more than half way through in three weeks. I admit my son may pick up things a little faster than the average child, but still, the way the material is presented in the series is wonderful! My son started with curriculum press and developmental mathematics, it was OK, but after 4 months we decided to switch to Abeka. He completed Arithmetic 2 & 3 in 6 months, he became adept in arithmetic, but he was beginning to hate it. We then switched to Singapore Standards Edition 4th grade. This math was quite advanced, but we soon found Life Of Fred. We have been working with Life of Fred and Singapore (4a, 4b, 5a, 5b). I pick whatever we are working on Life of Fred and assign him the same subject on Singapore. My son loves life of Fred so much, that he doesn't mind working through Singapore.

Anyway, I highly recommend the series, we already ordered Life of Fred Algebra with the Home Companion, and my only problem is which curriculum to supplement it with. Singapore is too different at that level, Abeka too easy, Saxon too tedious....(I'm leaning towards Edhelper at this point).

We love, love, love Life of Fred!! My daughter is definately a reader so we figured we would try this with her and thank god we did! She had done Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 and 2 but about 1/2 through Algebra 2 she was really getting bored with it. She will be continuing on with Life of Fred for the rest of Highschool..

With my son we started using Fractions as he was having a hard time understanding them. We used it in conjunction with BJU math. He really likes it and it has helped him so much! He has decided to go on with Life of Fred Beginning Algebra next year!

They both are doing really well in math with this curriculum!

I have a love affair with Fred, it's true. :) Ok, seriously, we love LOF and both my kids are working through Fractions and Decimals and Percents. I just bought the Beginning Algebra and the Home Companion.

Life of Fred is very amusing and, for the most part, is very fun for the kids.

These books are mostly word problems and really require careful thinking. I have often had make the boys slow down and re-read the lessons. The books are self-teaching, but it won't help if they read them at comic book speeds.

Most lessons have 10 or fewer problems. The children MUST understand these problems before moving to the next lesson. The answers are given right after the problems in the lessons. This has been a real problem at times, but it could be the age of my children too. They know cheating doesn't help them, but they sometimes try anyway. I cover the answers with an index card if they are caught cheating.

This curriculum is enough IF they really absorb the lessons. I think the premise here is quality of problems over quantity.

Each section of five lessons end with a "bridge". They must get one or less wrong on a bridge before moving to the next lesson. The answer key for these are in the back and not by the bridge itself. I usually have them complete all the bridges or until they get them all right.

God's Richest Blessings To You!

By the way, my daughter has really been struggling with math for so long. My heart has been breaking for her. I heard about your math books on a homeschool chat group that I am part of. I almost wept after reading the sample pages for the Fractions book. I absolutely KNOW that the Lord led me to your website, and I cannot wait to see my daughter's math confidence and understanding soar!

What a phenomenal book!
Thank you so much! (We are homeschoolers.)
My daughter has had the book for 2 days now and is choosing to do math first thing in the morning! This is very exciting for me to observe as this is the subject she normally dreads!

I am 14, and live in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada. (thats waaaay up north from where you live!)

I am writing to you in appreciation for saving my life (in terms of Algebra). I have struggled with Algebra for quite some time now, but ever since my Mom bought your "Life Of Fred: Beginning Algebra", I now understand Algebra a lot more. The questions perfectly coincide with what we are learning, and I am also really enjoying the story. So once again,THANK YOU!!.

(P.S) Tell Fred and the rest of his friends I said Hi.

Dear Stan,

Thank you for responding to my question. It has been so exciting to watch the transformation in our son since he's been using LoF. He was in private school through 4th grade and came home (to homeschooling) with a decidedly negative attitude toward math. So sad! He loved math as a young child. You've brought that love back to him!

I've been chatting with a niece, who just started her career as a high school math teacher, and have been telling her how much we love LoF. She visited your website and now says she wants LoF on her bookshelf for her students.

Let me congratulate you on your fun, original math series. I heard about your books last week through the Sonlight homeschool curriculum math forum. As I am a bit of a curriculum junkie, and an English-teacher-turned-math-aficionado, I ordered your Beginning Algebra text.

I was pleased that there was no extra shipping charge. I was tickled that you took PayPal. . . . Sweet!

Finally, I started reading. And grinning. And laughing. It was wonderful!!!! What a hoot-- I knew my 12 year old son would love it. We had some friends over after church on Sunday and they took to reading passages out loud. Who knew math could be so entertaining? You have truly used your gifts in a way that will bless many people.

Hello Stan --

A friend of mine just asked me how we liked "Life of Fred" and here is part of what I wrote:

Here's what I like about LoF:
1. The author takes math seriously, but does not take himself too seriously. Humor is all over this series.
2. The author loves math, and also seems to remember what it is like to be learning math.
3. The author understands the power of narrative in learning.
4. I've read about the author online, and also emailed him once (to which he replied!). The word 'alignment' comes to mind. :-) You can read a little more about his story on his website.
5. His explanations are clear, yet colloquial. This is a skill, to be able to do this.
6. I think I would have loved to learn math this way... although I do like math to start with.

In this season of Hannah's education, I'm looking for authors who really find joy in their subject matter, and who communicate well. LoF fits that description.

I hope that this email finds you well, finding much joy in your family and in your work.
Our family appreciates your work!

I wanted to write and thank you for your series Life of Fred. We ordered just your first two books: Fractions & Decimals and Percents. My son is 7 (grade 2) and has always adored math and numbers. When we started homeschooling, we bought Life of Fred with him in mind…for the math aspect. Well, I did Chapter 1 with his older sister (10) and he fidgeted and complained. I tried letting him do chapter 2 on his own independently, and he procrastinated and complained. So I put Life of Fred in the bookcase with all the other books and left it alone. No need to push on a 7-year-old who loves math when he loves to do multiplication tables for fun.

Four months pass.

Now, my son has been a typical boy in that he hasn’t fallen passionately in love with reading; he finds it difficult to find subjects that interest him, and in general he prefers non-fiction to fiction. He’s also had a few extra strikes against his potential to enjoy reading. He taught himself to read at 4 and naturally fell victim to being “too” different in right away in school. When he read ALL the site words on the wall for the entire semester at orientation, the teacher automatically put him in his own reading “group” of 1. When his peers saw him reading chapter books before they could read, he was labeled “genius” by kids (and parents) who don’t even know what that really means. As is common with this situation, he quickly learned to pretend he wasn’t capable of what he was capable of (how’s that for a sentence!). We knew he could read, but we never saw him read. He didn’t enjoy reading – or so he said. Though we’d “catch” him reading, hiding in his closet or the bathroom as if he didn’t want us to know that he could read and comprehend that college-level anatomy book.

Anyway, I told you that rambling background info to tell you this.

Five months after shelving Life of Fred, my son finally puts down the Captain Underpants books. He had read his new-for-Christmas Diary of a Whimpy Kid books (all 3) in 2 weeks. We were thrilled he’d found a thirst for reading, even if the subject matter was less than classical or enriching. J He’d exhausted two series he’d found interesting and went on the hunt for more; he then remember (for reasons not shared with us) your books Life of Fred.

He read Fractions, Chapters 3 to 30 in 2 days. He’s now started Decimals and Percents. Now he doesn’t do all the work; even rolls his eyes saying, “the bridge, the bridge” as he flips past it. But he does read it; devours it. “Are we going to order ALL his books?” he asks me, “even stat-at-ist-icks” – as he can’t even pronounce Calculus, Trigonometry or Statistics yet but he wants to read about them.

So even though we bought the books to further our budding mathematicians interests in all things numerical, we are so very pleased to have the added blessing of a series of books that make my son’s face light up; that help my son feel “as good as” his miraculously-reading sister; that give my son a sense of completion and accomplishments when he FINISHED an ENTIRE book because it never got boring in the middle.

Oh and I find this all particularly fascinating and wonderful because I have an English Major with a Mathematics Minor. Neither department knew what to do with me, and I ended up a technical writer because I helped two math professors write their math book on an NSF Grant. I adore all things that show how my two favorite subjects weave together; how math is a language and language is logical. And so your series and its impact on my son’s reading is another special example about language and math.

So thank you. Thank you for reading this entire email. Thank you for writing Life of Fred (my son just laughed out loud again…I catch him in bed with the flashlight reading it way too often and occasionally with paper, pencil and a calculator all shoved under a corner blanket).

I wanted to thank you, again, for your incredible books. My son, now 9, has returned to public school and is doing well in his Talented and Gifted math class. I bought him Pre-Algebra 1 and 2 for Christmas. His response, “I was hoping for Calculus.”

He says that he doesn’t do the math, yet, but loves the stories. I’m just happy he is reading books by choice and enjoying them (not always the case). While he is advanced in math academically, he loves it with a passion that surpasses academics. He just “thinks” that way. He uses the logic of math to make sense of the world, that doesn’t always make sense to him. His natural “little professor” way of operating in the world often leaves him confused about human interactions, feelings and such. Yet with math and logic, he finds very unique was to describe “how one should act” in the world in order to get along and make friends. i.e., The notion that being popular is important. When he asked what makes you popular, a friend replied: “You have to have popular friends to be popular.” My son, when telling me, shook his head, “I guess he doesn’t see the paradox of that.”

Anyway, I just wanted to send another little hello. I look forward to purchasing the entire Life of Fred series – as long as my son continues to devour them. (He sneaks them to his top bunk to read at night, after he’s been tucked in.)

Greetings Stan,

Our daughter, who recently finished Algebra II and geometry this past school year, is supposed to start pre-calculus. Math is not something she particularly likes and it is a "tough" subject for her. She started reading through the Algebra book and then asked if she can order your trig and calculus books to use this school year instead of what we have planned. We "were" planning on using Chalk Dust pre-calculus because Teaching Textbooks' pre-calculus program will not be fully released this year and it was, frankly, too expensive for the amount of charter school funding we have left for this coming semester (about 184.00 for a complete set).

The first words out of her mouth after reading your Algebra book during her lunch (apparently it makes good lunch time reading, heheh) was "I want math like this!"
We've asked our charter school to add you as a vendor and plan on ordering through them the rest of your materials through statistics. :-)

Dr. Schmidt,

My kids (11-year-old twins) have been thoroughly enjoying your Life of Fred Beginning Algebra book. My son was compelled to read through the entire book in one sitting because he was so engrossed, and he’s now going back through it slowly to work the problems. My daughter loves algebra, and your book has helped her see that it’s all around her.

I wanted to take a few minutes and say thank you for enriching my child's life!

I have a 6 year old son who is passionate about geometry. Specifically, he adores the Platonic and Archimedean solids. We discovered your "Life of Fred-Geometry" book at our library and you are now Reed's "best friend!" You have replaced his other favorite "Platonic and Archimedean Solids" by Daud Sutton.

We don't actually do the work...yet. We read it as his bedtime story...EVERY night. Lamda is a huge favorite---Reed's second passion is the Greek alphabet.

Thank you so much for writing these books! My child adores you! And he's getting his 3 year old sister hooked as well...

Dear Stan,

Thank you for your timely response. I've been homeschooling for 10 years and have used Saxon Math exclusively. A friend recently introducted me to the Life of Fred books - how refreshing! We started yesterday with the first book and the kids were THRILLED to use such fun curriculum; they wanted to "keep going." I love your approach and thank you for taking the time to write a such a creative and educational math program.

Dear Stanley,

My name is Isaiah, and I am a proud owner of the Life of Fred series. I am only 9 years old and I am almost in highschool thanks to you and fred! I started to love math by the time I was 2! It might seem wierd but while I was at the grocery store when I was two years old, I pointed out the numbers in the different checkout lanes and told my mom which numbers they were. I knew my numbers even though my mom had never taught them to me. I've had many,many math books throughout the years, but this one is clearly the best(: I really wanted to get to know you so I could ask you some questions about Fred.

I have heard so many good things about your program that I am eager to get it. Both boys score 95th percentile in math so I think we will go ahead and try the Fractions and Decimals books for next year. It looks like a fun way to do math and I am almost certain my boys will love it. I also love that your series goes through Calculus (as well as the statistics and new course you're working on). I want them to be able to take Calculus in high school since they are such strong math students and some curriculums do not even have that option. Thanks again.

I just placed an order for your Geometry book. I would just like to say thank you for selling your books at such a reasonable cost. Unfortunately, I did not find out about your books until recently. We have done 3 weeks with Abeka Geometry and needless to say it has not gone well. After reading about your books, I looked at the examples you have on your web site. I was so thrilled! It is very creative and I am looking forward to my son using your material. It is so hard to find a self taught math program that is not super expensive!

Thank you again!

My daughter LOVES this math. It has been such a turn around for us, to go from playing the song "Math Sucks" by Jimmy Buffett everyday to now making up little songs to the same tune about Fred!

. . . PS I have six children - freshman in college down to 2nd grade. We were riding in the van to the kids' swim meet the day that your package of books arrived. I grabbed a few of them on the way out to peruse them. I started chuckling, and by the time we had arrived we were all taking turns reading aloud the funny parts and laughing. I'm sure we've NEVER laughed while doing math before...crying is more like it (even for my naturally-gifted math students!) Thanks for the laughs....and the excitement that has followed about learning math this up-and-coming school year!

Great series! I was panicked over how to teach math past basic arithmetic. I have two “right brained” learners who say they learn things more easily if they can “make a movie of it” in their head, so I thought I’d give it a try in hopes that the story format might help them “picture” the math they were learning. I’m not sure if that’s what has helped them succeed with LOF, but the fact remains we’re thrilled with the results.

I read on several forums that many people had reservations that LOF would be “enough” since there aren’t many problems for practice. I would suggest that those naysayers give it a try first. I have been amazed at the complexity of some of the problems. I know my children would rather be challenged on one problem than have 10 “fill in the blank” formula type questions. My oldest, who has always struggled with math, is moving slowly through Beginning Algebra, but *understands* and retains more than I ever would have thought possible. My youngest, who seems to “get” math finished Fractions, Percents, and both Pre-Algebra books with flying colors in a matter of months. I’m anxious to see what she can do with Beginning Algebra. Best of all, they are doing it all by themselves!

My husband (a mechanical engineer, self professed math geek, lover of physics problems, and math courses I didn’t even know existed) *LOVES* the books. Last night he kept talking about the Beginning Algebra section that compares factoring to playing the piano. He thought it was an excellent analogy. Hopefully, my piano loving children will relate easily. He looks through the books and just nods his head and says “This is awesome. I love this.” Like you, he is a believer that many teachers make math harder than it has to be and that’s why so many people fear it. In fact, when we were dating, he told me he could explain the fundamentals of calculus to me in about 15 minutes. I told him no way. He obviously didn’t understand how math challenged I was. Despite my protests, he started the explanation, and when he was finished I actually understood the principles behind an advanced math topic for the first time in my life.

The format for the LOF problems is such an advantage. Test scores have shown that many of today’s students that can do the computation problems, struggle with story problems. In LOF, you cannot shy away from word problems. Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how to set up the problem and LOF give plenty of practice on that. J

I want to thank you for writing a math program that teaches solid fundamental concepts in a way that students can learn on their own. I love that they are learning on their own and enjoying it. Some of the lessons haven’t been easy for my kids, but struggling and perseverance is sometimes the best way to learn. I am not spoon feeding them which gives them an extra special feeling of accomplishment for finishing a difficult task on their own.

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
Add me, my wife and my students (aka my 12 year old twins) to your list of fans and satisfied customers. I have always enjoyed math and the traditional texts seemed to work okay for me. But your Life of Fred books are simply amazing in the straightforward and meaningful way they teach math. My kids did well in math using another vendors elementary series. But your pre-Algebra books have helped them to truly grasp the math as opposed to just learning how to do some sample problems and performing well on the tests. With LOF they understand why math works and how powerful it can be. Kudos! They are language based learners and Fred is just what they needed to spark a passion for math. They are currently working through Beginning Algebra with Fred and they want to go all the way through Calculus. They love Fred! As a parent I love that they are excited about math. Thank you. Job well done!

P.S. I love the extra information worked into the texts. I love my
12 year old kids explaining The Tragedy of the Commons to others!

Hello Dr. Schmidt,
This is from a devoted "Fredhead" - I'm homeschooled, and my dad has supervised my mathematical education ever since we discovered (and fell in love with) The Life of Fred - i.e. from algebra I and II through geometry and trig. (Seriously, how much fan mail do you get compared to Fred?)

Hi there,

I just wanted to let you know we received our books today. I can't tell you how excited we are to start these. They are supposed to be for fall but we may not make it that far. My school phobic 12 yr. old was hooked on the Fred "story" after reading a couple of pages and can't wait to use these books. I must admit, I sat and read the first five chapters of Fractions and will probably end up reading the whole thing before I know it. :-) I appreciated the enclosed info on the next set of books we will be purchasing. Your customer service is far better than any other company we have ever purchased from. I have a feeling math is going to take on a whole new feel around here. You don't by chance have elementary books in the works do you?? ;-)

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
I have always loved math, especially algebra, but I have struggled to transfer this love to my children, most of whom I homeschool. We got our LOF books about two weeks ago. All of a sudden, my kids have been fighting over whose turn it is to do math. Fred is now a dinner table conversation topic. My 10-year-old son made an animated computer game starring Fred. My 9th grader decided he liked math (at least a little) after reading part of the first book and got 100% on his next geometry test (he wasn't even reading your geometry book). My 16-year-old son who is taking AP Calculus in high school is poring over the books (starting with fractions) and working all the problems on Friday nights for fun! He begged me to order the rest of the books, so I did that today. I can't thank you enough for actually writing and publishing these!
God bless you!

mom of 8 Fred fans

As for my comment, I wish to thank you for rising at 4 a.m. to write two hours before breakfast, and producing a solution to what had become a seemingly unsolvable problem in the math life of our homeschool. Fred has changed *everything* for one of my children, for whom I despaired of ever conquering common denominators...never mind quadratic equations. Things are now possible for her that simply were not six months (and two books) ago. No less wondrous is the fact that I'm relishing working through the series of books myself, now that I've discovered that math is not only something approachable but is actually interesting (my English major's bias against math started way back, before I ever even got to high school. How Fred would have changed the course of things back then!).

May God continue to bless your work, and you and yours as well.

Btw, my daughter sleeps with these books she loves them so much.

Hi Mr.Schmidt!

I am ten years old. Fred is so funny! I can't believe he's 5 1/2 years old and teaches a university! I am doing the fractions one. It's really funny and they are so awesome! I think the book is awesome and you should continue the series! I really hope that you stay a writer! I think you are awesome at the job.

Your Friend,

Dear Dr. Schmidt,
It was with a big interest that I read your book, Life of Fred Fractions (as serious as it needs to be). I find your approach very unique and refreshing. This is the first time I encountered a middle school math textbook that is story based. A math book that not only inspires students, but also makes them laugh.
This is the kind of book which can appeal to a whole spectrum of math students, to those who excel in math, but also to those who struggle and as such it can be a useful tool in math education. I am a math and physics teacher with 5 years of experience teaching middle school math in the Czech Republic, where I taught both regular and gifted math classes. I hold math/physics teacher Master Degree as well as PhD in pedagogy.

My 11-year-old, 6th-grade son, Joshua, LOVES math. He sometimes writes "riddles" that are actually algebra problems and asks people to try to solve them. He takes his older sister's pre-algebra tests for fun and gets better grades than she does (this does not especially endear him to his sister).

He did Teaching Textbooks Math 7 this year and finished it way before the end of the school year... so we decided to fill in the rest of the year with Life of Fred Fractions. When it arrived, he opened it and disappeared into it for two days (aside from sleeping and eating and doing other things he HAD to do)... and it was done. So we ordered Life of Fred Decimals and Percents. He promised to try to "savor" this one so he would not be finished it in two days. He really tried. However, he finished it in under a week, getting 100% correct on the 20 problem bridge at the end. Some of the information in both books was review, but some was new to him. The new stuff, he jabbered away about excitedly at the dinner table, with his older brother discussing it all with him (he loves math, too, but not as much as Joshua).
We are now thinking that we will get Life of Fred Algebra for him, even though we already own Teaching Textbooks Algebra and were planning on him doing that. He says, "With Teaching Textbooks, I've really liked it and said, 'This is my favorite subject.' but I have not been like, 'I WANT TO DO MORE!!!!' With Life of Fred, I've been like, 'How can I stop doing more? I don't want to run out!!!'"

I love the Life of Fred books! The day I got them, I sat on my front porch and read thru chapter 9 in the Fractions one. This is just what we need! . . . Have a great day.

I received the four “Life of Fred” math books today and I must say I couldn’t be happier! My 13-year-old read through “Fractions” during a car trip and I heard him laughing and reading parts of Fred’s story to his 11-year-old sister (for whom the book was purchased.) There was much laughter and interest from the back seat bunch today.

Thank you so very much for making math FUN! I will be recommending these books to all my homeschool friends. I know the moms will enjoy the books just as much as their children will.

Thank you Dr. Schmidt. By the way, I told my daughter about your math program, and she said, "You mean it's math for literary people like me?" Thanks for considering the "literary-minded" people.

We ordered the Algebra 2 and my daughter just began the course this week. She is happy as a lark. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your math courses. Historically my oldest daughter really does not like math. I must say she is a very bright child, and very capable, but the tedium of a traditional math program is anathema to her. She loves to read and is tremendously creative. Your approach engages her mind on a level that is much more appropriate to her personality. I am also impressed with what she is learning. Although math was not my strongest subject, I did pretty well as a student, mostly A's with some A-. But I am learning so much from your books that I realized that my education missed a great deal and I am finally getting the math education I should have had.

Thanks again for your time and effort,

I ordered “Life of Fred: Fractions” from you a couple of months ago for my nine year old son. I just ordered “Decimals and Percents” this week. He absolutely LOVES the books!!! This is a boy who is very good at math, but has never particularly enjoyed it. He now *asks* to do more math! Needless to say, I am THRILLED with the “Fred” books!

I wonder if you know that your books are popular and frequently discussed in groups where parents are homeschooling their gifted children, as in our case.

Thanks for creating Fred. He’s a very funny guy!! We laugh a LOT while doing math!

Thank you for writing these books in such a way that the student is fully engaged in the material, learning to think critically without really knowing it! My previously mentioned 12-year-old is very bright, but she was becoming discouraged with the math program we were using because of all the repetition. She is now completely interested in learning math again and loving this program…so much so that I have to remind her to read her Bible as her priority in the morning before she starts doing her math!

Thank you for your help!!

I just wanted to drop a line and tell you how much we love Fred! My daughter struggled with math for the "normal" reasons and is also mildly dyslexic and really struggled putting math concepts into "real life" perspective. We used Abeka up till 6th grade (but the 5th grade book) and then did Teaching Textbooks 7. This school year I bought TT Pre-Algebra and whereas TT was a bit better than Abeka she really began to drown in the text. I stumbled across a mention of Fred on a blog that I read and thought "well, for $20 I'll buy Fractions and see if that helps her understand TT" after a couple of weeks I sold TT on ebay and she has completed Fractions, Decimals and Percents, and yesterday finished Pre-Algebra with Biology. It was HER choice to do more pre-algebra because: a) she is enjoying the books and b) she wanted to make sure she understood all the concepts before moving up. We agreed together to do Pre-Algebra with Economics for the sake of having some economics and because we just have to see what happens to Fred! I can't thank you enough for books that my daughter loves, doesn't need my help using (is learning to "learn for herself", and that truly makes math understandable for her!

First I want to say that we are LOVING Life of Fred Math. What a breath of fresh air. We were "okay" with our old math program but decided it was a bit boring (aren't they all?) so we thought we'd give Life of Fred a try. The day the first book arrived (I ordered just one at first because I wasn't sure we'd like it -- the samples looked fine but I wanted to see the entire book), my 14 year old daughter took it with her to the pool! And, instead of swimming that day, she plopped down on the big towel, giggling and saying, "Hey Mom, come look at this." She spent about two hours reading a math book. In summer. At the pool. When it was 95 degrees out. Either she's crazy or the book is just that good. So, I ordered three more books for the other kiddos. My youngest (just 7) is a bit jealous because LOF doesn't go that young. "Keep working on your math and one day YOU'LL be able to do LOF." A little incentive goes a long way in this house.

I wanted to write an unsolicited rave review but also wanted to wait until the initial excitement wore off (a review written only 24 hours after receiving a product doesn't carry much weight in my mind). Okay, it's been over a month now. The kids are still lovin' it (we've got one each in Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Fractions -- the Percent book sits on the shelf waiting). And, they're keeping up with math (in past years math was the first subject the kids would "let slide" or "get behind on"). The kids are excited about their math and are understanding it. And, it's the most mom-friendly math out there. My involvement is to (in addition to "come look at this picture" or "come read this story" or "shoud I propose to Fred?") check over their math now and then and then quiz them (verbally) on some of it. They are understanding it. Yippee.

Then, the night before the first day of (public) school here, Ben, our next door neighbor, was dutifully covering his textbooks with stretchy covers or brown paper bags or something and my son (same age, happily doing your Fractions) said, "Oh, what math do you have this year? I'm doing Life of Fred." Ben though that my Brian was just a little nutty.

Anyway, Christmas is fast approaching and I'm sure my three LOF students would love a Fred tee shirt or polo shirt or even a baseball hat or something. I can't find any (guessing they aren't out there). You know, if you made them, they would sell. I'd be first to order. We'd love to have a simple shirt with adorable Fred on it, even if he does resemble a coelacanth.

You know you homeschool when your done-with-pre-algebra teenager asks for HER OWN COPY of Pre-Algebra I.

My daughter received the LOF Decimals and Percents book yesterday. She just finished reading the book! Honestly, I had to drag it out of her hands way past bedtime last night. My daughter wants to know more about Fred so I just ordered the Fractions book. She actually said she can't wait to get to the Calculus book. How I wish I had LOF books when I was in school.

All of my life I've despised math. We are a home educating family,so teaching math to the child who hated math, as much as I did, had become an almost insurmountable obstacle. Then Rainbow Resource suggested LOF. I tried it.

I cannot adequately express my total awe in your presentation, except to say, that after scanning it, I decided to do it with my son. Now it is a pleasant competition between the two of us: who can go further, etc. I, aged 45, am learning fractions in earnest. That's remarkable. I have decided that should your books actually enable me to learn algebra, I plan on going to college. I was accepted once (years ago) even with a perfect zero on the math portion of my entrance exam, but fear of math kept me from going. Perhaps, with your books, that fear can be erased.

My son ( age 13) is no longer skeptical and afraid of math. He is no longer dreading it. For that, I thank you with all my heart.

I wrote to you, once before, with praise for your product. Since then, my feelings have become deeper and more meaningful (lol), and I sing your math praises to all who will listen. I, even I, who hated math ( while trying to pretend I didn't in front of my home educated children) am now a devotee of math. I am doing the course right along with my children, and I may go on to college when I finish. ( For it was primarily math phobia that kept me from going.)

Did I see a new book that includes biology? Am I dilusional, or may I expect to be tickled to death?

I have just purchased my first LoF book (Fractions) and it is funny to see my two kids (10 and 8) pretty much fighting over who gets to do math first. Both made it to the first bridge yesterday, and I just thought I would share a moment with you. My 8 year old son missed the last question (if you had 1M what would you add to get to 1B?), but my daughter missed the very first question (If Fred will be earning $600 a month when he turns 6, how much will he earn in a year?). Her answer was $5382. This really bothered me because she is a smart girl, and I was confused how she had managed to miss that one. I asked her how she managed to get that when $600 x 12 was $7200. Her reply to me was, “I took off his expenses.” I looked at her blankly and asked, “What?”. She showed me where at the end of Chapter 5 you had described what Fred’s expenses were, so she deducted that from his $600 pay a month then multiplied the $486 that was left to get his annual pay. My husband was really amused by that and said that I should share.

I also want to thank you for this series. My daughter was not struggling with math at all, but she so much prefers to read. A good story is worth a little math any day!

I am currently using LOF: Fractions with my 7 year old son; he is really enjoying it and learning a lot! We both are excited when we start a new chapter and see what will happen next with Fred, it's amazing to see him crack up lauging over a *math* book! I think also knowing that Fred is so young and knows so much math, really helps my son feel more normal about learning math usually meant for older students. Before "meeting" Fred, we had quite a few conversations where he questioned if I was really sure that it was okay for him to be doing math meant for 4th or 5th graders.

Hi Stan,
I agree with you about the pitfalls of chopping up learning. This is why I love your pre-algebra/biology course. It makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, we live in a state that is highly regulated and we have to report to our school district with mounds of paperwork every year. I have to be able to have it make sense to them. Then there are those pesky transcripts required by colleges. They force us into boxes. I have to translate what we do into a form they can understand.

Your LOF series is wonderful. I have never been this excited about starting a math course with my kids. I can't wait to finish up this school year so they can start LOF. My husband wants to know where LOF was when he was in school! We have a mathematically gifted 5 year old that I know is going to love LOF when he is old enough to start it. Thank you for creating the series.

After years of mostly dry math curriculum and the feeling that it doesn't have to be this way, we ordered the Life of Fred series for our teenager this year. I am pleased to report from the northwoods of MN that my 13 year-old daughter just gave the Life of Fred Fractions book a rating of "12". This is significant since I gave her the option of rating the Fred books from 1 (worst) to 10 (best). Thanks so much!

I just wanted to thank you for these Life of Fred books. We got them in the mail today and cannot put them down. My son has done A Beka arithmetic since Kindergarten. He has done wonderfully with that curriculum but, learning can be fun as well and we are tackling the fun side of education for seventh grade this year. We've already spent a good amount of time laughing over the story so far.

Did I mention I love this math book? Our whole family is reaching for it the way we used to reach for Calvin and Hobbes. We're learning our math, too. I love that each Bridge gives me plenty of opportunities to review stuff with my kids and keep all their math skills bright and shiny and ready for use. We're talking it up among our homeschooling friends as well as our public school friends (we have 2 kids in each). Our older kids are in Algebra 2 and they have already benefited from the material in these books. I fully expect to see a second edition before long!

I started using Life of Fred this fall with my two daughters and their two friends, whom I'm tutoring in math (all homeschoolers).

We also use Right Start Math - Fred makes his appearance a few times a week. They beg for Fred.

I thought you'd enjoy seeing what I saw when I walked into our "classroom" this morning. They even dragged the dog into it!

God bless, and thank you for your books!

My homeschooled son has been using the Life of Fred Algebra course, and I must say, it is the BEST Algebra curriculum out there. He's tried at least three other courses, but the content failed to connect with him. Life of Fred, however, is phenomenally effective. We'll be using Life of Fred for our other four homeschooled children as well.

I would like to sincerely thank you for making our school year so much more pleasant than the last. My husband is a bi-vocational pastor and because of the many pressures on our family time I felt the Lord convicting me to homeschool my children beginning last year. My daughters were in the 6th and 8th grade and very good students in public school and really enjoyed the work, however, when we began school at home it was not so anymore. My 8th grader, who was doing well in math and didn't mind doing it, stated that she hated math and was quitting. Saxon was just not working for her, therefore, it was not working for me either! I wasn't sure what to do because as far as I knew, math was math. Thankfully at our homeschool group meeting someone mentioned your material which really got my curiosity up. I logged onto your website as soon as I could and was amazed at your approach and honestly thought it was probably cut out better for my 6th grader who really enjoys stories and has a great imagination. However, she was doing fine with the curriculum she was using. I printed all of your samples, thoroughly enjoyed them and showed them to all my friends. To make this long story a little longer, I ordered the Beginning Algebra book for my 8th grader who had declared she was a math dropout and wasn't ever doing math again. She took off full force into Fred and loves it! It was our math salvation! She began this school year without one complaint about math and actually, on her own, sat down for almost 3 hours the other /night/ (after our school day was finished!) just to work on Fred. She was interrupted to eat supper and /willingly/ went back to work on it! She is a real success story and is thoroughly enjoying her studies and learning how to do algebra, in her own words, "a lot better than with those regular math books that are boring". Your approach is greatly entertaining and successful! I'll soon be purchasing the Pre-Algebra books for my 7th grader and we're really looking forward to it. Thanks for your great products.

By the way, we just got to the part in Chapter 10 where the army guys were throwing potatoes at each other. My 8th grader, my other kids, and I were laughing hard for about 5 minutes. Thanks for that, too. Your books are delightful.

It is a perfect curriculum for a gifted little math guy like my son, and just what we need to make math fun as well as challenging. We just received the "Beginning Algebra" book today - thank you for the fast shipping! My son eagerly tore the wrapping off -- "like a present!" he said -- and settled on the couch for a preview. What more could I ask for?

My son Christopher absolutely loves the fractions book. It is vacation rightnow in France and so he has spent maybe 1 to 1.5 hours reading this bookeach day in the past five days. He reads up to the 'bridge' and then I askhim the 'bridge' questions to make sure he has understood everything. He'shad the book 6 days and he is up to chapter 30, so I think tomorrow he willfinish the book. He has learned more math in the past five days then he willat school for the entire year!

My husband and I are so happy to give him some math in a structured format.When he was 4 and insisting to learn multiplication tables it was easy, butnow we have no idea what an appropriate sequence is, so these books arereally helpful.

I will recommend your books to the American Library in Paris because welooked there for some sort of math books and did not find anything very helpful.

I've just been introduced to your Life of Fred series by a friend I deeply respect. She has spent 20 years as a special ed teacher, writes curriculum of her own and manages to teach difficult subjects to children labeled incapable of learning. Needless to say, her opinion holds much weight with me! And, she's raving about your books.

I've borrowed her first few books to see exactly what makes this curriculum so great in her eyes. After working through the Fractions book, I'll have to say, it's the most unorthodox, unusual teaching material I have ever seen!!!!

Bare with me a brief moment and let me explain. From the time I was in 2nd grade, I cried my way through math. In high school, I wrote my best friend's term papers and she did all my algebra. (Worked out great until teachers started talking to each other! haha!)

Now, here I am with your book; this thin, funny little thing that's filled with obscure (and seemingly pointless & unrelated!) information. And yet, I've found myself sitting at the kitchen table, giggling over the story lines, working out problems and actually "getting it" for the first time in my life!!!! :)
And that's a very good thing since I am now a homeschool mother of 5 with my oldest attempting to plod his way through Algebra armed only with a textbook and the teacher's manual. I'm wondering where Fred's been all my life????!!!!! :)
Just so you know, even my 7 and 9 year olds are BEGGING me to read the story of Fred to them!!!! Enough so that they're grabbing paper and pencils attempting to answer the questions with their siblings so I'll read more!!! I've never seen anything like it. It seems too good to be true. I'm still wondering how Fred will manage to teach ME (a rapidly aging "old dog") new tricks like Trig......But after this exposure, I'm certainly willing to let him try!!!! :)

Hi Stan,

Just a quick note to let you know that our box of books got here today. I thought you'd be tickled to hear that all the children (young and younger!) stood jumping up and down around the table as I opened it!

My son, Carson, took his volume and disappeared as expected. But, my 13 yo daughter (who HATES math) quietly slipped in the room a took one as well! I tried to contain my joy when I caught her out of the corner of my eye! :)

As for me, I'm off to finish my algebra book! I'll touch base soon.

I have found already that my oldest son is seeing things in your Alg. book that was NOT in his Saxon one. This just makes me so ANGRY! It's not like we've sat and twittled our thumbs, flippantly disregarding his need for quality math training! We KNOW this is the kid who has the ability to grasp the concepts and go as far as his will power will take him. Yet, it seems I've really given him the short end of the stick when it comes to curriculum choices.

Dear Dr. Schmidt:

My son, an avid fantasy reader who turned eight last November, LOVEs to read Life of Fred series. He even brought Life of Fred: Fractions into Barns & Noble and finished three chapters including a bridge in one sitting. Although I wanted him to do all five bridges each time, he was firm to follow the directions to move on to the next chapter after he passed the bridge in his first attempt. Two days later I introduced him to Life of Fred series, he finished reading Life of Fred: Fractions and Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents as he read Artemis Fowl series. He's looking forward to read more of Life of Fred series. I plan on making him do your turn to play and bridges as the way the books were designed. But I thought it won't hurt him to read the stories of Fred that he enjoys so much. I'd like to let you know how hard to put down Life of Fred series. We greatly admire you created a such a fun story based math series. Thank you!

I teach literature and writing classes for the homeschool program my children will attend - the classes are basically for "enrichment" purposes and most of the time we will be at home. Because the program receives funds from the state (that includes my pay for teaching), I need to prepare a "student learning plan" and then report regularly that my children are making progress on that plan. I agree - yuck! The information that you provided will help with setting up some kind of reasonable timeline.

I have to add, I get such a kick out of answering this question: "What math curriculum are you going to use with your kids this year?"

"Life of Fred."


"Life of Fred."

"Life of "FRED???"

"Yes, it's the only math book in my entire learning/teaching career that has ever made me laugh!"

Thanks for writing these books!

I must confess: Math has traditionally been my daughter's least favorite subject. I have tried countless programs so far on our homeschooling journey. Your book must have intrigued her. She read two chapters today and seems...dare I say it? excited about math for the first time in a long time!

My daughter has recently finished your statistics text (it was good to hear her chuckle while doing math!).

All I can say is THANKS!!! I homeschool my son who has always had a hard time concentrating on math. Last year we found out about the Life of Fred series and ordered Fractions, Decimals, and Beginning Algebra. In one year Jeremy went through the Fractions, Decimals and 3/4 of the way through Beginning Algebra. What a difference! Over the summer he has tried graphing equations from Beginning Algebra and you could see a new light went on about what math can do.
My father was a math educator for years with the State University of New York system for years. I got to be the guinea pig for all sorts of "new" math books, tools and techniques. I wish that he were still alive to see the Fred series. Thanks again!

Thanks for you help and for creating math texts that are fun but not dumbed down. :)

As my children are preparing for bed right now (we are in South Asia, so it is bedtime here!) my youngest child (age 9) has just asked to take his sister's new math book to bed and read it before he goes to sleep! Also, my daughter was laughing out loud as she read through her new book! This doesn't happen everyday! :0)

I just wanted to take a minute to personally thank you for the BEST year we have had in math. We have home schooled for the past 7 yrs using Abeka. Math had become harder than pulling the proverbial "hen's teeth". It was pure drudgery for both my daughters. I have never liked math, as I had never understood it well, so we all just plodded through math on a daily basis, always dreading each new page and all the drama that would come with it.

My girlfriend told me about Life of Fred Math at the end of last year. Being a home school snob (only wanting the BEST for my girls), I told her there was "No way I'm teaching my girls a math curriculum called Life of Fred!" It sounded so juvenile to me. She gave me the website, told me to be quiet and go look at the curriculum. I did. I ordered the first book in the series to try it out. Price was good, so what did I have to lose. My youngest, 5th grade, grabbed the book from my hands after it arrived and took off to her room. After repeatedly telling her I needed to look at the book, she grudgingly gave it to me saying, "Hurry up, I've only got to the third lesson!". This caused my older child, 8th grade, to want to look at it. She could hear her sister laughing at math!!!!! gasp.........

I gave my oldest child the final bridge in the fractions book. She had done Abeka in the past and I knew she's breeze right through it. She bombed. I was devastated. She didn't know her fractions like she should! I gave her the book and told her to read each chapter and take the bridges at the end. By the end of the week, the final bridges in fractions had 100% grades on them. She wanted the next book. When asked which math she preferred, it was hands down, Fred. We have now ordered almost the entire series ( which will be completed in the coming months as finances allow). My daughter is now completing Advanced Algebra. She started with the fractions at the beginning of the year.. Not one complaint about Fred. When asked what she wanted to do next year, she looked at me with a look of "Are you nuts??" "Fred!!" was her answer.

My youngest child begged to be released from Abeka to start Fred this past year. My girlfriend told me to "Give her the book and let her go!". I did. No more grunts and groans. She loves Fred! She started the Fractions book at the beginning of this year and is currently in Beginning Algebra with Biology. She loves science, so this is a double joy for her. She also requested to continue with Fred as her math curriculum in the future!

My greatest thanks for such a wonderful product! I never thought math could be fun and enjoyable for my children. It is perfect for them ( because it's fun) and also perfect for me ( the curriculum "snob" since it's training them in higher math). I have shared your books with a number of other mothers at our local home school co-op. They have voiced interest in starting this curriculum with their children in the coming school year. It feels great to share a quality product with other mothers! Thanks again for this wonderful curriculum. It is truly an answer to my prayers as I seek to guide my daughters.

May God bless you with your endeavors as you have blessed so many in ours.

Dear Stan - First let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for the delightful 45 minutes I just spent with my 2 sons (10 and 13) discussing Fred, Joe, Darlene, Betty, Alexander, and Algebra! I never would have imagined it. My 13 year-old spent many years and tears over math and last year we found Fred. Now we are laughing and discussing and wondering about life, math, the universe, and everything! Even wrong answers are not so painful, because we know a helpful (and quite possibly entertaining) solution will help us understand where we went astray. I remember with frustration the math teacher who always pointed us to the "answers in the back", but never helped us see the "why" of them.

. . . I'm also very amused and intrigued by your bio. My ten year old, Connor, is going to be moving up from cubs to Boy Scouts this winter. He's really excited about it, and hopes to become an eagle scout. Congratulations to you- that's quite an achievement! Will you think less of me if I say that I find your Eagle status more impressive than the PhD?

I see that you were a long term Mensa member. Did you ever go to RGs? I used to be very active in Mensa in my single days, but I haven't been to any eventsin years now. I still pay dues and stay active online with the gifted children's listserve.
Good for you for donating 37 gallons of blood! I used to donate, but I quit soon after I got my 1 gallon pin. My veins are wiggly, so it was hard for the nurses to stick me. I'm also a slow bleeder, so I'd be on the table for a LONG time and they once made me leave because my bag wouldn't fill! I feel guilty about not doing it anymore, but I figure that I do other community minded things (like donating to the food bank, working on the scout committee, helping out with new homeschoolers, and running the Gifted Ed site) and I just resigned from my position as a La Leche League leader, as I was spreading myself too thin.

I received my son's books this afternoon, and he hasn't been able to get his nose out of them since my highschool daughter would like to try some fred books. She is a wiz at math and is currently using Saxon algebra 2. We are already hearing what fred is doing at an hourly interval. Oh dear...

LOVE THE BOOKS! We're are sooo enjoying math....after 7 years with Saxon - you are a refreshing breath of air.

I emailed you at the beginning of the year about your Life of Fred Series after hearing about it from a fellow homeschool mom. Then I spoke with you on the phone and you were really helpful.
I homeschool all four of my kids (ages 7, 11, 13, and 14), and they do quite well in every area - except math. We have tried a new math program every year for the past 6 or 7 years, and each time we have struggled to find the right fit...until now. Since using Life of Fred, my kids have actually been asking to do math. I have had to stop a few times and go over some of the tougher concepts, and they always keep asking when we can get back to Fred. My 13 year- old chose to reread the first book when we finished so he could see the story line again! (He also spent hours writing all of the mistakes he could find like you said to do, but we are currently looking for the sheet!) The way it's written, and the humor are perfect motivators for my very literary children.

Thank you SO much for your books. They are making a difference in our lives. My oldest son will be going to school next year for grade 10, and he is 2-3 grades behind in some math concepts. They just don't seem to stick, while at the same time he has an amazing talent for writing and art. I have been quite worried about next year for his math, but your books are helping him to understand some basic concepts that were missed along the way.

I just wanted to let you know that you are very appreciated.

Thanks again and may God bless you for the impact you are having on childrens' lives.

Dear Fred Inventor,
I was going to get my degree to be a math major...became a married and pregnant and never got to see my dream of helping kids love math. God is good. Got homeschool kids and my own to teach love of math, even if I'm holding a line up because a girl I babysit is learning math skills at a checkout. la huh...over math!
I get curriculums for my kids that teach whatever boring rituals the other kids learn so they can fit in. 13 years later I find Life of Fred online.
It is all I love....crazy, zany, love of math in a book.
Thank you! gets better....
My engineer...proper husband gets a letter that.... Fred is looking forward to spending the summer with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That laugh went on for days. He was confused at first. Who was this Fred and what will people think? Good one.
I love the books already, and thank you so much for rushing them because we got one book first and we all couldn't wait for more.
You are in trouble when the word gets out.
With GREAT admiration for your efforts and the love of math,

Dear Stanley Schmidt,

I am 12 years old and about to start 7th grade. I am also a vividhater of math. I'd like to like it, and I can see it's practicalapplication, but that doesn't exactly comfort me when I'm facing50-some problems that are all the same in my Saxon, or my SOS math.However, this year I was quite fed up with SOS. My mother set out tofind something better. She found the Life with Fred books. She showedme the online samples, and we spendt quite some time at the computerlaughing. As a matter of fact, My sister switched her math program toLife with Fred this year. I've never seen Trig. and Cal. look fun. Iwanted to thank you for coming up with such a great form of math.

7th Grade

Thank you so much for answering! We really love this curriculum. It's working for us and we've tried two others. I have nine children and am only on numbers two and three w/ maths so expect me to buy books from you for many years to come!

Hi Stan.

I want to tell you what a success my son has had with Life of Fred Fractions. I have a very bright, mathematically inclined 9 year old boy who became very discouraged with Math while attending private school up through 3rd grade. It seems he just doesn't really "get it" they way they teach it, and the repetition of work sheets was mind-numbing for him. He literally was thinking he was terrible at Math.

Enter Life of Fred Fractions. I discovered it through a post on the Sonlight Forums this summer, since I decided to start homeschooling him this fall. We spent the first several weeks of the school year going at an easy pace reviewing the multiplication tables and the mechanics of multiple digit multiplication and long division. He was still hating Math. After we'd completed our review, I handed him your book. He grumbled and struggled through the first several chapters, but really enjoyed the story.

By the time he got to the first Bridge, he was really enjoying the story and was eager to move on. He worked on that first try to cross it for an hour and a half! This really surprised me, as he has difficulty focusing on things he doesn't like. Near the end, I could tell he was getting tired and I told him he could put it aside and finish the next day. He was adamant about getting it done. When I checked his work, he had gotten nine of the ten correct, and made only a minor error on the one I marked wrong. He was so pleased with himself! He said "Looks like Life of Fred is the thing I needed to finally get Math."

He has been enjoying the lessons ever since, and is going to start Lesson 10 tomorrow. Thanks so much for creating such a wonderful book!

Today we will tackle Fred again. I thought you might enjoy seeing the place Fred and his friends occupy in our classroom. Our goal for today is to decorate the Fred folder (FUN) and then solve the problems on our own( hopefully fun, as well). Thanks again !

I can't thank you enough for your wonderful curriculum. My 6th grade daughter now does math first thing in the morning, as opposed to putting it off for as long as possible. She laughs at the stories and even has discussions about Fred with her friend, who is also using the curriculum. My daughter is enjoying math and that makes everyone in our home happy!

May God bless your work,

First of all, I want to tell you how impressed I am with the appearance of your books. Actually, I have known about Life of Fred for a couple of years, I believe, but my daughter was too young when I found them (about 7 y/o) and I promptly forgot about them. We have been struggling for the past couple of months through our Abeka 4th grade Arithmetic curriculum and I have been at my wit's end on how to help her understand fractions.

In reviewing the sample pages of the Fractions book on your web site, I thought about the Abeka Arithmetic when you talked about most math books giving a few words and a lot of problems. My daughter (who will be 10 y/o next week) absolutely hates math, and I never wanted her to hate any subject - especially math! (I didn't start hating math until second semester of Algebra 1 ;)!) Needless to say, I didn't become a math major and, a good portion of the time, I feel rather inadequate teaching 4th grade math. I am not confident at all about the prospects of having to help my children learn higher math, and homeschoolers always have critics around to remind them how inadequate they truly are.

Here is our family's experience with the Life of Fred series of math books so far. I have tried them with my oldest child - who is now 11 and entering 6th grade. This is ONE child - who may or may not be as proficient in math as your particular child, so please keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that I'm not an education expert or a mathematics expert (nor do I play one on TV!). I'm a homeschooling parent. Period.

When she was in fourth grade, we were using a popular math curriculum that is known to be rigorous and traditional in it's approach. However, she was not "getting" fractions and she would miss most of these problems. It got to where she would cry when she saw the book come out. She would work for an hour - all to no avail. So, I just thought she needed a break from this particular book.

I had read about the Life of Fred books online some time before, so I ordered the first book - which happens to be Fractions. She began to love math. I won't say she became a genius overnight, but it seemed to click with her. She was less frustrated and actually wanted to do math. I think a lot of it was she thought she was just not good at math. (It didn't help that a couple of family members told her that it's okay - she's probably just not a "math person" - whatever that is.)

Fred helped her get her "mojo" to speak! ;)

Mr. Schmidt,
I must thank you! I have been homeschooling for 10 years and havenever seen anything like this! My daughter Chelsea normally HATES math! This year she started using Teaching Textbooks prealgebrawith some success. She no longer complains and we are happy with the program but the sample pages on your website intrigued me and I wanted to know more about what happens to Fred. I ordered your fractions book, the price was soooo reasonable I couldn't resist. The book came this morning and Chelsea just kept begging me to let her DO MORE MATH. She crossed 2 bridges before she quit (she really needed a shower!). I am even doing the book too and though I've never gone past trig, this is the first time I've considered calculus for myself (I'm really loving the little guy!). I can't thank you enough! Love and Prayers

Dear Dr. Schmidt:

I wanted to write you and let you know how much I enjoyed reading your LOF Statistics book. Back many years ago when I got my degrees in chemistry (BSc, MSc, and PhD) statistics was never taught, and so the subject remained a bit of a mystery for me; I never progressed beyond teaching myself the simple Student's t-Test. But I had a need to understand ANOVA, but couldn't figure out when to use one-way, two-factor,...! Then I read the adventures of Peggy and Fred and it all made so much sense. I even know what to tell my colleague who thinks he can just keep t-Testing pairs of data instead of learning to use ANOVA (40% error, indeed!). Thank you for making statistics easier to understand and use (despite the scut work).


P.S. A note from my mom.

Hi! I am so glad to have found Fred through a referral in my homeschool group. My husband and I want our kids to learn how to learn and it seems that Math has always been a stickler until now. The book is fun and engaging while making sense out of Math. No more pages of boring rote problems. Thank you!

P.S.S. A note from my other daughter.
Dear Mr. Schmidt,
I am 11 years old, but will be 12 in about 29 days. Most of my schoolwork is at a 5th or 7th grade level. I like your book, Life of Fred: Fractions, and have such a better attitude towards math, although I'm still not much for the Bridge. I consider the Bridge a bunch of boring problems. I used to totally despise math, but now my attitude is far better. The thing I do enjoy is that it is easy to learn new things with Fred. In my old workbooks, they gave no explanation as to how to go about the problem. In Fred, everything is explained simply. I probably have a slightly negative attitude about Fred is because my younger sister is way ahead of me in the book. (Sibling rivalry is a big deal to me!) Well, my mom and sister are getting impatient. Thank you for making this breakthrough series!

Dear Stan,

Thank you for making yourself available for questions via email! I am a fellow lover of math (an engineer by degree) and homeschool mom of 3. We are in our 3rd year of homeschooling after leaving a private, Christian school. I have a 13 yr. old daughter in 7th grade, and 11 yr. old boy/girl twins in 5th grade. I am teaching math to 3 very different "math attitudes". My oldest has some learning challenges due to health complications during her first year of life. She actually says she likes math, but has difficulty with retention, and analytical thinking in general. Her learning challenge makes carrying out multi-step problems independently very difficult. I almost always have to "steer" her through the problem solving process. My 11 yr. old son is a "math kid". He loves to figure things out in his head, and he has a good number sense. My 11 yr old daughter is just the great "all-round" student, but doesn't enjoy math at all. She doesn't find it particularly difficult ... just terribly boring and tedious.
I can't really spend the money to purchase 3 different math curricula to suit everyone's tastes and needs ... and so in my search I found Life of Fred. I am absolutely blown away by your creativity! What a gift you have!

Thanks so much. We have been using Teaching Textbooks but my son's eyes have been glazing over this year. When a friend let me borrow your book, my son loved it. He even took it over a weekend away with friends. However, when I gave him the option of switching over, he decided not to. His reason? Your algebra book was too fun, therefore, he couldn't possibly be learning all that he needed to know!!
Oh gee whiz!
After another couple of weeks of Teaching Textbooks and a 60% on his latest test, I didn't give him the option. I told him I wanted him to use The Life of Fred for his Algebra this year. He didn't argue. )

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

I just have to tell you how much I appreciate your math textbooks. I have an 8 year old who is very gifted in math. He loves reading about Fred, because he thinks just like him. Every evening, when Dad comes home Max regales the whole family with Fred stories. Max is about 2/3 of the way through Fractions and will finish the next book before he's 9. The lessons are just the right about of work for an 8 year old and the approach appealing for everyone. Thanks for thinking "outside the box"

We just got your book in today and we are already loving it!

I've been telling my boys about it for a few weeks now. Of course, they thought I was taking it way overboard. After doing the first 2 chapters, they are huge fans and more enthusiastic about it than I ever was. Just imagine a 12 year old, 5 foot man-boy on his knees begging to do more math, promising things like, "I'll mow the yard without you having to ask!"

He loves to read and totally "gets" your humor. He thinks you're a comedic genius!

I love your unique approach to math! Thank you for the time, heart and talent that you have put into these books!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

I contacted you last spring about using your Life of Fred Math series with my children in our homeschool. I am just writing to thank you and tell you the difference your program has made in our lives. My daughter has gone from struggling with some concepts in math (especially fractions) to absolutely loving the subject...she completed your Fractions course in 2 days because she couldn't put the text down. Since then, she has diligently worked through each book and is now already in Algebra I at the age of 12. When she did LOF Pre-Algebra II with Economics, she came out of her room one day and asked me to buy her "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" to read for fun. She is actually reading that text right now. As well, she has discovered that she loves doing equations and has covered our white board with practice equations. She even tried to make her signature into an equation until I told her that it had to be her legal name!

Your writing has also inspired her in other ways. My daughter was sad that Fractions is the first course you offer, so she decided to write her own series to teach the basic operations (even getting up at 5 in the morning for a week to work on it!). I have enjoyed reading her chapters on "Addy's Adventures" of learning addition. Her grandmother, a grade 2 teacher, was quite impressed at the quality of work she produced.

So thank you, Dr. Schmidt. Between you and Art Robinson of the Robinson Curriculum, I have come to strongly believe that children excel more when their parents just step out of the way and let them develop themselves (with guidance of course). I have seen the results with my own two eyes and am confident that my daughter will reach her full potential if she keeps up in this manner!

I have been so very blessed by your work! My 12 year old daughter absolutely LOVES your books and reads them for pleasure (as she's on a canned curriculum and must use Saxon on her school time). She is sailing through her Saxon as she "gets" the concepts because "Fred taught it".

Anyway, I invested at Christmas and bought the entire set.

What can I say? She likes them!

Thank you for your work, I expect that someday my homeschooled grandchildren will be reading Fred too. I know this is a keeper set for sure!

I am so glad you enjoyed my daughter's joy at your work. Here's a better outcome, she has to do Saxon for her curriculum but she keeps saying, "WHY does it have to be so boring?!" and now she wants to follow in your footsteps and find ways to make math more fun. (If I let her, she'd probably rewrite Saxon's text but we are limited on time... :-)

So, keep writing for sure! I am on many home schooling websites and have heard really good things about kids getting "turned around" from math failure because of Fred. You are doing a great service!!!!

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

Your philosophy on becoming educated is excellent and so needed in our society. I want my daughters to be educated too, not simply to obtain a career, but to live their overall purpose in life by living a life of honor and service.

Dear Mr. Schmidt,

Oh my! What a treasure you are in our home. I am so sad that we discovered you and your books after my big girls were on to their university years. My youngest though? She loves them!

Here is my youngest being patient while I was shopping at a flooring store for my mom. She was perturbed when I was done with my shopping. She didn't want to stop reading; even for the walk to the car!


I have just purchased your 4 new elementary books from Z-Twist. I would love to have a complete Life of Fred library. I envision myself as becoming the Life-of-Fred pusher-lady of the neighborhood!

I just had to write and tell you how much I love your math books. My son is 3/4 of the way through his first book after just a few weeks and told me to order the next so I just did. He LOVES it! And I'm excited to work through your higher level math books myself because I never took calculus or trigonometry. I've been telling everyone I know (even non-homeschoolers) about your books. The price and FREE shipping can NOT be beat! Thank you for your wonderful books and a real ministry.

I just wanted to let you know I received my order of Life of Fred books Fractions and Decimals/Percents on Friday. I showed them to my son (11yrs old) and he expressed some faint interest. He hates math. He is actually quite gifted at understanding new concepts, he just hates all of the repetition and exercises.
We sat down today, Monday, to work on the first chapter. After completing 3 chapters, he begged to do chapter 4! He couldn't believe he was asking it! He loves his math book! He even asked to do more math after lunch! At this rate we will be ready for pre-algebra in February!
We just wanted to thank you for creating such a fresh and fun approach to math...

I recently ordered the first two Life of Fred books for my math-reluctant 10 year old son. All I can say is "WOW" -- we have possibly just witnessed a miracle. Although Marcus is very bright, and has always been very curious about advanced math concepts, he has always struggled with the memorization of the multiplication tables. I have homeschooled him for the last 3 years, and we are still struggling with the multiplication beast. He has an advanced sense of humor and has always rejected those "humorous" math books we have attempted in the past, and I had almost given up on finding something that would engage him.

Well, the day your books arrived my son very reluctantly agreed to read the first chapter. That was around 2:00 p.m.; by 4:00 -- after much giggling and sharing of his favorite parts -- he had read the entire first book (Fractions) and was begging to at least have a peek at the next book. Today we are going back to the beginning of Fractions, to start working on chapter questions & the bridges. (I love how the chapter ends are called "Your Turn to Play" -- absolute genius). When I announced "math time" this morning, there was an eagerness in his attitude that I haven't seen in a long time of working on math. To get a full understanding of the transformation your books have brought, you must envision a child whose face would turn to the picture of dread at the mere mention of math. This has been going on for years. So, I write this to thank you, although with words too inadequate to convey the extent of my gratitude. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I just discovered my son working on his 8th math lesson of the day - at 9.15pm!!! He is most distressed about 'poor Fred' spending his birthday in jail - "he is such a cute little guy". He absolutely adores Fred and if I could video his face during math period - I can't believe anyone seeing the video wouldn't buy your books immediately!

My son has subsequently emailed you about making merchandise with Fred on it .... he is a HUGE fan! Thanks for getting back to him. I just wish you could see him talk about Fred. It is so funny! He told me a while ago that he wished Fred had autographed the book, not you.
I plan to but the Fractions for my youngest to start in a while ... but Daniel is horrified because he feels Fred is his!
I guarantee you that there are plenty of smiles here during math period each day ... I'll try to catch him unawares and take a photo at some point and send it to you.

Dear Stan,

I bought your first two books at a home schooling store this week. I'll have to admit, I am rather glued to them. I bought it for my 12-year-old daughter who is having trouble in math, but will be at home with me next year -- and I am hoping that we can get her all caught up in math. The trouble is that I am not sure she will have the strength to pry the books out of my hands. There are things in here I need to learn! Then my college daughter found it and wouldn't give it back. She kept chuckling and telling me what was happening with Fred, and I had to shush her because I am not there yet! My graduating high school son looked at it and said wistfully, "This looks fun. How come we couldn't do these?" Our other two children (yes, there are five), haven't looked at them yet. I've only had the books two days!

I am really excited about the books, not just for our kids, but for me, too.

I would like to thank you so very much for your Fred books. My son, 15, and daughter, 13, have lived with Fred for a little over a year now and we love them. The moment they say their Fred books, they became hooked. They actually still SLEEP with the books every night and I often find them reading passages to one another in the middle of the night. (How can I fuss at them for that?)
We have incorporated Fred into every aspect of our lives. We have Fred-o-saur, and for Halloween they had night of the living Fred, and then there is Waffle Gauss, Fred kites, and Fred mad-libs. My daughter even had a Fred birthday cake.
In the last year, my daughter gobbled up Fractions and Percents and made a start on Beginning Algebra -- we ordered the Pre-Algebra today, so she will be doing that before going any further with the Algebra.
I personally love the Christina Rosetti (one of my all-time favorite poets) and other extras in the books. And I have enjoyed your entire website, especially the prayers and the remarks on education.
I thank you for your dedication to true teaching and learning. You are a gem.
God bless you and yours

Thanks for your delightful books. I'm still in a state of shock to see
our child actually taking the initiative and learning math on her own.

Thanks you very much Stan!

You are such an inspiration! In 2 days, my daughter has finished 10 chapters already! She said she doesn't want to stop! She even requested me to include LOF in our everyday goals. Every time she reads the story, she will tell the whole family about what happened to friend. Your way of teaching math encourages them to do Math everytime.

I, myself, am too happy with your books! It brings a different flavor to our homeschooling! It makes a lot of sense. It makes the student think outside of the box - the usual, dry way that traditional textbooks provide.

Will highly recommend this in our local homeschool yahoo group!

Can I just say WOW!! I want you to know something ~ We LOOOVVEE Life of Fred!
A bit of background ~
My kids are 17, 16, 14, 12, & 11. They are bright, beautiful, intelligent children. They love to read & reason, they excell at strategy, music, & the arts, & they have a firm foundation of faith in God.
BUT.....(And this is a tremendously LARRGGEE BUT...) Math peeps we ain't. Well.... Until now, anyway. Hold onto your seat, because this is a stunner... my kids actually wake up, run downstairs & , get this, ( & I am not lying, or even stretching the truth a teeny bit) actually EXCITEDLY TEAR OPEN the Life of Fred books!!! (without any actual harm to the books, it might be noted.)

Mr. Schmidt, even I enjoy these books and Fred's adventures!!! And more importantly, even I UNDERSTAND them. (And I am a 38 yr old confirmed non-mathmatic, excessively right-brained, creative, crafty, musical and, may I stress it once again ~ VERY non-mathmatic mama.)

May I congratulate you on the very best bit of crazy wild, unconventional & yet HIGHLY AWESOME & EFFECTIVE bit of comprehensive tutorial math texts EVER written!!! Because if you can bring MY brain, and my kids' brains to not only understand ( & I mean TRULY GRASP COMPLETELY) but ENJOY math..... well, my friend, you have accomplished a literal miracle.

Do you know, just today, ( & actually every day since we started the series, which has been about a week now) my son was laughing & comparing something in his daily shedule to LOF. I mean actual math concepts, which he now understands to such a degree that he is able to apply the concepts AWAY from the math books. In real, everyday life.
They were so thrilled about it, that they wanted to read ahead in LOF, just to find out more of the story & read the humour. But I said "No Fred unless you are doing the math as well." So they sat down, and zipped through 5 lessons in one day. My kids. Who are the biggest math deny-ers ever. And me. WANTING to do math. Honestly, that IS a miracle!

Mr Schmidt, thank you! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Your books are a God-send. My 12 year old has recently recovered from Autism (Asperger's) and he has a brilliant mind...I could not find anything to engage that mind until your I never have to ask him to do his math!
Bless you!

I purchased the Decimals, %, and Fractions as well as the Pre-Algebra with Biology book Fred math books about eighteen months ago. My 10 year old daughter going on 14 just craves every math book to the point where she is rolling on the floor laughing with the genius creative writing to the solving every unique problems.

She is always disappointed when she has to stop after doing about 3- 4 hours of math and I have to encourage her to work on her other supplemented home school curriculum. I usually hear, “Please?” can I just do the next section and take the Bridge?” Finally, I let her continue on in the math book since I don’t want to squelch her desire to learn.

I have never seen a child desire to do mathematics the way your math books are designed. Last month she started the Pre-Algebra with Biology and completed the book in 25 days! She was disappointed that she was finished and was wondering if I had any more? No. I checked out your web site and was elated to learn about the Pre-Algebra 2 book; I have just ordered this book and the next set. She has a goal to complete the next book before school begins August 17. She promised me that she won’t be to burned out. “Mom, the books are too funny to have me be bored.”

After Mikey opened the Fractions book, he read the page intended for the student and was very impressed at what you wrote at the bottom of the page (after all the books, he could be a junior in college!). Because he has always HATED math, this was a breakthrough for both Mikey and his very happy mom!

I just had to share, it made my day as a homeschool mom. My 10 year old son just said, "I just can't go a day without math!" He is working through Fractions and did more than assigned yesterday hoping to get ahead and get a day off of math!! But he just couldn't do it, Fred is just too interesting of a kid...he had to know what was going to happen next.

Thanks for making learning fun...not only is the story great, the concepts are clicking, he gets it!

This is a note of praise.
My son was struggling with completing math lessons, spending hours at his lessons doing repetitive problems over and over (usually with his mind in day dreams instead of in the math problems). It cause so much trouble, many tears and upsets in our house.
He is currently on chapter 7 of Life of Fred Fractions and I don't hear a peep out of him until he comes out of his room with a completed lesson and a smile on his face. If I peek in on him to make sure he is working, I see him with his head down concentrating instead of looking out the window! If I ask how he is doing, he asks me to not bother him as he is concentrating! He is totally engrossed in the whole lesson.
He is actually enjoying math! Which is exactly what I was hoping for, I just never actually believed it would happen. It used to be that he would welcome any distraction that took him away from his math book. I don't know what to do with myself anymore now that I am not reminding him every 10 minutes to get back to work. It is a dream come true.

Thank you so much. You have blessed our house with peace.
May God richly bless you,

Good Day!
I wanted to say thank you for your hard work in creating Fred and his wonderfully adventurous life.

My neighbor purchased the Fractions book and showed it to me. I really enjoyed what I read. I read more about Fred on your website and really liked what I saw. Your writing style and sense of humor made my children quip, “Hey! He’s just as silly as you are!” Your math series is just what I had been looking for to complete our homeschool experience. I’m so sure Fred will be a great fit that I bought the entire series.

Since then, I have shown the books to at least 3 other families.

At least one other family has placed an order and the other two have taken note and will be perusing your website soon.

So if you notice a tiny increase in sales from Montgomery and Prattville, AL, a handful of those would be because of me. I wish my sphere of influence were greater (subjunctive mood) so that I could share your delightful texts more widely.

Thanks again for your delightfully successful endeavor.

Have a wonderful day!

If you don’t mind, I’ll venture to share more details on the delightful anecdotes associated with your books.

1. My neighbor had just received her Fractions book. My children stopped over and she was compelled to read to them from the book. My kids enjoyed it so much they came home and told me about it. When she had read the first chapter to her 11 y.o., he begged for another. Then another. They got to chapter 3. Within a week, I had ordered and received our books (thanks to your prompt service!). I started reading it to my 11 y.o. daughter. We sat on the couch, with notebook and pencil in hand, and read/played through 11 chapters. The next night, she begged for more and we went through to chapter 16. When our friend’s son came over, my daughter was chortling about what she had read. Our friend’s son was so disappointed that he’d only gotten to Chapter 3. (Did I mention that this is summer and our kids, delightful as they are, don’t usually beg for more math in the summer ;-)

2. Your books solved a looming concern for me. My son is very at home with math. Traditional books with just numbers and few words are just fine for him ;-) At age 10, he’s well into pre-algebra and I already knew what books I’d be using for him through algebra and geometry. However, my daughter, who is going into 6th grade math, was going to be a bit more problematic. She likes colorful, playful math and the series we’ve been using only goes through 6th grade. She is an extremely literary child and so your references to grammar and history, etc., have made her laugh out loud. (And we sampled the first chapter of Trigonmetry. She was delighted to realize she could define the sine function just because she could picture little Fred in his balloon.)

3. Finally, I lent some of the books to another homeschool family. The Dad in the family is not usually involved in their homeschool endeavors. But he took such a liking to the series that he was leading the read-a-louds with his girls. Mom was so pleased that she ordered the titles she needed right away.

I don’t know whether it was intentional on your part, but knowing that the ‘rest of the story’ will only come clear in the more advanced titles lends a video-game-quest feel to the study of math. The children now are curious to get through the math just to learn more about the Life of Fred.

You have turned what was a threatening progression (at least to my daughter) upside down; it’s now a literary challenge.

And, as to the dedication in the front of every book, my daughter’s amused first reaction to that was something akin to: “Of course Bach’s English wasn’t very good, he was German.” ;-)

I am so grateful that I found your site! A person on a homeschooling make math fun list wrote about your books.

I just bought the first two and can't wait!! You are JUST what I have been looking for.

And then to read your poems. I am a snob there, and hats off!! Then your sermon. I'm tempted to send it to my minister, somewhere between wanting to share something I found profoundly beautiful and "Here, take a hint..." lol

But, what got me typing here is what you wrote about education. So deeply true!!! I love how it is all swirling and resounding in my head as the new year comes in. The trees applauding, and a quote that ran through my head reading about your views on education...

You have a beautiful mind, and I am grateful to you for sharing it with us.

I can't wait to journey with Fred with my two mensches. It was just how I wanted to teach them, but I couldn't give what I didn't have.

Thank you!!!

Stan, New Friend,

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart!!!!!

First, your prayers and writing are just beautiful.

Loved the thought of a tombstone being a wipe board. lol

Thank you SO much for your Fred books!!!! I wish I could have taped the boys talking about it. I have been searching and searching for ways to teach them math. You are spot on with what is out there, and I am usually a creative being, but I couldn't come up with anything creative there.

You did it!!!! Just what I was looking and praying for!!

The boys were talking, not knowing I was listening..."I used to feel just stupid with math and I didn't like it. Now I know I just have to slow down and that's okay." sniff
"This is so much fun, and not like it's work at all." "I like math now and I want to do all of the books."

This after one day!!!! PHEW!!!!!!!

Thank you times a gazillion trillion septamilling billion!!!

Hello Dr. Schmidt,

First off, I'd like to thank you for the Life of Fred books. I'm a math tutor and a homeschooling dad. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that most math curriculum books out there make me crazy. Most are better suited for firewood than learning. Your books are a breath of fresh air. I'm working my way through Fractions right now and plan to go right through the whole series.

I finished the book. [Life of Fred: Statistics] Less than two months…

It has been very, very helpful. We had a Minitab course a couple of weeks ago, and it certainly helped that I had been through most of the book already.

The great thing about the book is that there were lots of real-life examples and lots and lots of problems for practice. Fred is endearing, besides. One of my team members keeps saying “I like Fred a lot!”. I literally had to be stern with myself so that I wouldn’t pick it up on the weekends.

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

We so appreciate your considerable talent in the LoF books. We finally have a program that will go "all the way" (through high school) with our children, and we couldn't be happier. When we hear of a family struggling with mathematics for their children, we rave about your courses, they buy them (every time, so far), and thank us for the recommendation. We say, it's not us you need to thank! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Many blessings upon you and yours

Dear Dr. Schmidt,

Thank you for a wonderful math book! My 13-year-old ADD kid loves it, and for the first time, I have hope that we can make it through algebra next year! I think the fact that it gets straight to the point without all the lengthy explanations about “why” we do everything really appeals to him. No “mumbo-jumbo,” just what is necessary. He doesn’t have the patience to sit through 20 minutes of manipulatives and four different methods for doing the same thing. Multiply, move the decimal and be done with it. Love it! The amazing thing is, despite the lack of hundreds of practice problems, he’s actually RETAINING what he is learning! And what they say is true….he actually brings it to me every day and says, “I’m ready to do math, Mom!” I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with my own eyes.

We just wanted to tell you that we ordered our books tonight. We live in Buffalo, NY (home of Buffalo Wings); and homeschool three kids (ages 13, 12, and 7).

We have done tons of research on Algebra programs.

We have looked at various algebra samples online.

No other sample:
a). made us howl with "pee your pants" laughter (that's what we call the really funny stuff at our house! Mom and Dad laughed as hard as the kids).
b). had cool pictures
c). makes real life sense

ALL with (apparently) loads of depth and challenge.

So . . . we say a hearty, "Thanks!" from the Courlas Family of South Buffalo.
p.s. we're looking forward to getting to know Fred. Blessings!

You're Great!
Hi! I am 5.68 years old. (I rounded off.) You are my favorite author. I love your books!!!!!!! Fred is a magnificent six-year-old teacher. I have learned so much about math from Fred. Unfortunately, I only have six of the Life of Fred books: Fractions, Decimals and Percents, Beginning Algebra, Fred's Home Companion for Beginning Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Geometry. They are absolutely great!!!!!!!!!! I have read each of them a million times. That's not hyperbole :-) But I need more. I want Fred's Home Companion for Advanced Algebra, Trig, Fred's Home Companion for Trig, Calculus, and Statistics. My parents say we can't afford them all right now.

I know that I can read these books. I am great at math. I go to Stanford's EPGY Math Program. I am almost in eighth grade at EPGY. I am the youngest person to start EPGY. I started when I was two. I love EPGY, but I love Fred the most!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I already know a lot about trig, statistics, and even some calculus. (I knew about factorials when I was two!!)

I'm likely to get Life of Fred Trig for Christmas, but I'm not sure. I hope so.

Fred and you are the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have what might seem like an unusual request. A friend is planning to go back to school, and has learned that since her math classes were all taken more than five years ago, she will have to take the entrance exam and perhaps repeat her math classes. I offered to tutor her so that she will do well on the placement test. Then I loaned her the Life of Fred books - which means that I’m not doing much tutoring since she’s understanding most of the material (and having a great time!)

When she takes a break, her cat takes over:

Thank you so much for sharing Fred with the world! My boys have been learning math at home, first from me, and then with Fred and his friends. My 11-yr old just finished the trigonometry book and the looking forward chapter has him excited about learning calculus. My point in writing is not to say that Fred accelerates the learning curve, or that my son won't need to come back to review the material he has learned, but rather that he is excited about continuing well into the future. He can see the practical applications of upper level math and knows he is capable of learning anything one chapter at a time.

At the same time we are having so much fun learning on our own, the high school students in this area are being told they cannot have their choice of electives anymore because state standards will require 4 years of math and 4 years of science just to make sure students are college-ready. I see so many opportunities for my boys to expand their talents in every area of life because they will not have their entire high school career dictated by the push to pass proficiency standards. Thank you for this gift!

Hi, I just wanted to thank you for writing the "Life of Fred" series. We bought the first 4 books and all of our older kids are going back through them . I myself am learning about fractions all over again in a better way. I recently found out about the younger elementary series due to come out soon and am so excited that the curriculum will be a complete package A-Z. We have tried several including Math U which quickly exited our home . It is the only one I did not make our children finish. Teaching textbooks has been good but extremely expensive and heaven forbid computer problems. Thank you so much for writing this curriculum. You truly are a blessing to home educators everywhere. Randi Sanders

Dear Stan,

I just want to thank you for your Algebra books! I got my son (11th grade) started in them right away. . . . After awhile, he started discussing different equations with us at the dinner table! Just tonight, he informed me of his intro to the quadratic equation, that it is recommended one memorize this "formula", and then proceeded to share the equation. I am SO thankful this program has worked for us and we did not have to take you up on your money-back guarantee.

Fred Rocks.

It is possibly the best math book I have ever done. It's funny and ingaging. I have only had it 3 days but I am on lesson 20 and I am not RUSHING at all just going at my comfort level, spending about 1 1/2 to two hours. It's like seeing something in a whole new paradigm. I was exclaiming to my mother the other day that I actually see math! I went all the way through Saxon and I thought this would just be an easy-peasy review, but I was actually getting 1 or 2 wrong sometimes. I was not used to thinking outside of the box and your books are so creative. I can do negative and positive number just fine when presented in the normal way but sometimes I need to read over the wording in your book to make sure I know what your asking for. Sometimes I get the signs wrong, but that's okay I know I'll get better and math is nothing to be afraid of it's just another way of thinking like physics and English.

I just ordered three more of your Life of Fred books.

We've also used Saxon, which the kids don't like, and Art of Problem Solving, which is excellent, but dry.

I think that Saxon's continuous review is very useful, if tedious. I find his explanations sometimes difficult or lacking, and there seems to be a lack of development of theory. AOPS, on the other hand, has fantastic explications, lots of rigor, and great problems. I'm not sure if it has enough problems though.

I would just like to let you know that I really enjoy reading, learning, and laughing at your books! I have been doing Fred since geometry, and am now ready to move on to calculus(At age 14. No joke.)
Keep up the good writing,

My daughter has zoomed through the Fractions book and I just ordered
Decimals. Don't be surprised if you start to get a few orders from
Gulf Breeze and Navarre Florida. We had a moms meeting tonight and
math for our older kids came up so I couldn't help telling them how
much we like Life of Fred.

. . . He has always hated Saxon math but the alternatives haven't worked either. He had many graduate math class where "reading was the only way to learn" what was needed. Anyway, he thinks you must be "a God inspired genius" and Life of Fred is just the thing for our daughter and other little ones. So, per his suggestion we will begin at the beginning. I am glad you concur. I look forward to sending you a glowing report and another order for the next book soon.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to view them much, because, as I opened the front cover of the first book, and started reading aloud, two of my math-disliking children came and took them, and have not put them down since! I can tell you that they are laughingly sharing math lessons from the other room, as they read aloud to one another from both of the books. That alone inspires me to want to see more.

Your program is one that I and my advisors have recommended numerous times. Every family that has purchased your program has loved it. Thank you for creating such a wonderfully fun series that has brought math to life in a non-threatening manner, and has allowed students who thought they were not good in math, to succeed and gain confidence.

First, I want to say that my boys are loving your books!

My 13-year-old loves math but got turned off to geometry when he was in school (we started homeschooling when he started 4th grade). I haven't been able to get him to look at geometry since then, but he is gobbling up your geometry book. My 10-year-old keeps me hopping trying to find a way to study math that is interesting to him - well, he has already finished the fractions book! He even asked me to get the decimals/percents book right away.

I just wanted to thank you for your math curriculum. My son is finishing up Fractions, and has really enjoyed it. We are so looking forward to the release of Life of Fred Language Arts, Life of Fred Science, and Life of Fred Social Studies (just kidding, but that scenario would make my son really happy.)

You have blessed me so abundantly … and blessed my son who loves your math books (he even chooses to do them on vacation, when no “school” is required! How awesome is that??)

I eagerly received your first two math books (fractions & decimals/percents) at the end of last week. I laughed as I read the first few chapters. I ordered these for my thirteen year old granddaughter who I raise and homeschool. We have taken a slow approach to math. We tried Saxon and Bob Jones math along the way, but they were both too boring for us. She basically began math in the sixth grade when she did two years of Math U See (multiplication & division). Last year it took her a year to do the fractions curriculum. She did fine with those although she was completely bored and couldn't bear to do Math U See again. This year we tried Bob Jones again, but it was a struggle for me to get her to do her math.

I saw a blurb on something about Life With Fred and decided to check it out. It immediately appealed to me. Due to the very reasonable price and story line, I decided to let her do your Fractions book first before beginning the D/P (working whatever problems she wants since it's a review). Let me tell you. In two days of school, she has finished 10 chapters and worked all the problems in each chapter and one Bridge in each of the first two sections. Of course, it's pretty easy for her since she had a base already in fractions, but she never wanted to do them last year.

Thanks and God bless!

. . . We've used A Beka, Calvert and Saxon 7/6 (briefly....more banging of the heads, good thing that the new editions are softcover! ha!) in those two years. I'd been desperately pursuing a Math book that would truly meet her needs.
Soooooo, I just wanted to THANK you for writing such a unique set of books that cater to the multi-faceted personalities and learning styles of us all! Also, thanks for the free shipping!! I'm sure we'll love these books so much, we'll buy the rest next year!!

By the way, your website is awesome! After I sent you an email, my son spent over an hour reading your prayers, poems, and essays and especially enjoyed your prayers and wants to commit some to memory. He said that if the Life of Fred writing style is anything like the other items you’ve posted on your website, he will thoroughly enjoy it.

My 11-year-old daughter is now on Chapter 14 in your Fractions book and loves it so far. Previously, all math books were pure torture to her. She enjoys the wacko stories and said, "I can actually remember how to do the math because I remember the stories!"

Good morning Stan,

My daughter Elsie came home yesterday asking to read the book Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. She had read about Tulipomania in your PreAlgebra Economics book.

I was pleased that you have created interest in such subjects. Since I also teach history to our high school, I keep that book on hand at all times. Now Elsie plans to read the whole book and give a persuasive speech on why we should stand for what is right and not just follow the crowd.

My homeschooled daughter would be in 6th grade and has for years had a mental block with math. She has struggled every step of the way. Another parent showed me your books and I thought why not? My daughter is an avid reader with an amazing sense of humor and I figured if nothing else she'd enjoy the story. I showed her the sample page on the website and she was hooked. She couldn't wait for the book to arrive, this is the same child who would say, "I can't stand math".

When the book arrived my "I hate math" child was jumping up and down excitedly. This child, who would struggled and take an hour to finish two pages in a math workbook finished chapters 1 through 5 and passed the first bridge in "Fractions" in one evening. She accomplished this with only a word or two of help from me. I am simply amazed and grateful. I was afraid I would never find the way to help her understand that math can be fun! So thank you for this wonderful series-we are looking forward to working through them and reading about all of Fred's adventures!

I'm a homeschool mom to four awesome kiddos, a 14-year old son and three daughters ages 12, 9, and just turning 4.

I first heard about Life of Fred last year when I was trying to find a better curriculum for my son, but was reluctant to look further into it because from the descriptions I heard, I didn't think that it could possibly be a complete curriculum. We had tried two algebra programs over two years, and while they are both excellent, I couldn't make them work. We only got through half of one and two-thirds of the next. My son is a brilliant, brilliant kid. However, he struggles to focus (he has been "diagnosed" as ADHD, but we are not using the medication route) and though he is capable of comprehending the information presented, keeping focused long enough to retain that information as well as complete alllll.....of....thoooosse....problemmmsss..... Well, you know where I'm going with this. He was stressed and frustrated, and I was truly beginning to feel hopeless about ever getting through any high school math. Here is my super-smart boy who has the brains to be a quantum physicist if he so chooses, and we can't even get through Algebra 1.

A few months ago, Fred was again brought to my attention by a good friend. She had been using Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology with her boys, and loved it. She had that book, as well as a copy of Beginning Algebra that she was soon to use. I borrowed both to look at and kept doing research on the books. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found and I ordered some of my own. I handed Beginning Algebra to my son and Fractions to my 12-year old daughter.

And now my problems are over.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you. I wish I could begin to tell what a blessing your books are to my family. The Lord gives gifts to all of us, and you have certainly used yours to be a blessing to many who need what you have. My math-despising, but avid-reading 12-year old now has a math book that she doesn't dread picking up. My son no longer fights me on picking up his math book; he now has lessons that are short enough to get through without us both losing our minds, but still meaty and challenging enough to make him think in ways that the other math books did not. And as for me, my gray hair count is going back down and I no longer worry about whether we'll get through the next four years of math. In fact, I think he'll manage some college-level Fred before it's all said and done....and I think I'll do the same. I'm really loving Fred myself and looking forward to the rest of my math education.

I’m recommending you to everyone I know. My mom, a very smart woman, sat down and read Fractions from cover to cover. She then proceeded to take it to work with her to show all her co-workers. They read it and all said they wish they’d been taught math this way!

Thanks so much for making my son love math as much as I do!

First, Your Life of Fred series is truly a work of art / genius. My 15 year old daughter is reading through the Pre-algebra with Biology, and it was cool finding biology, math, vocabulary, etc. within one book.

Fred has made my math hater son declare math as his favorite subject. He is devouring the books and remembering the information. I am amazed. My son is 12 and starting 7th grade.

We received the Decimals and Percents book today. Thank you so much! I have begun reading the Fractions book, and am really enjoying it! You truly have used your gifts from God (teaching poor, struggling but bright, right-brained learners in a lovely, witty way!!) very well, indeed. Your painstaking writings will be a source of painless learning for many a child, I am certain! May your reward be eternal!
We shall order the rest of your books as soon as our finances will allow!

. . . Life of Fred has an added benefit. Since Fred is an extremely
gifted 5.5- year old, my young 7-year is learning through funny
stories that Fred doesn’t know everything because he doesn’t
have experience.

We just gave her the decimal one and she hugged the book. We
will be getting the rest of the series as she moves along in

I just wanted to tell you how much I am learning from your books (okay. . . so I'm 50 years old - better late than never). I never liked math as a youngster and have felt handicapped by my inability all of my life. I'm re-learning with my daughter and I'm actually enjoying it! We do them side-by-side.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write the Life of Fred books. I heard about them on an Internet list for gifted students. My daughter loves to read, write, draw, sing, dance, act, but unfortunately we moved to an area where the school used “Everyday Mathematics”, and she began to hate Mathematics. When she was 8, she asked to be homeschooled, and I have tried many different ways (Saxon, Math-U-See,, card games, computer games, songs) to try to help her at least tolerate it, including not doing any formal math for a year. She is now 11 and realizes that she does need to learn Math to get into a University, but to put it mildly, it is not her favorite subject even though she is good at it. We have been doing Pre-Algebra.

On Saturday, my friend lent me her copy of “Life of Fred: Fractions”. That evening after supper, I started to read it and giggled so much my daughter came and sat beside me to see what I was reading. When I showed her the book I said: “You have to read it page by page, or you will miss something and it won’t make any sense.” We got a piece of paper and a pencil, and she wouldn’t stop until we had read five lessons, including “Your Turn to Play”. She said: “This is the funniest math book I have ever seen.”

It was her bedtime, and I hid the book because I knew if she found it she would read the story without working out the questions or the Bridge. Indeed, she told her father that she couldn’t find the book and why I had probably hidden it.

Tonight, she asked to do some more. I kept saying “OK, that’s enough for today; we can continue tomorrow.” and she kept saying “Just one more page.” and we’re at p. 74 after two sessions. Incredible.

Thank you! We will have Professor Fred Gauss teach us math from now on.

A while back I ordered the Life of Fred: Calculus book. I have been reading through it in preparation for teaching it to my daughter next year in homeschool. The book is wonderful and entertaining! (My son asked me why I'm always laughing while reading the book. :o) )

Just a note to let you know that Fractions and Decimals and Percents arrived here today, and that I have a happy boy! He tore open the package, ran off to his "reading spot" (third step up from the bottom), from whence many guffaws and chortles brightened our late afternoon, as he read passages to his little brothers! You have a wonderful sense of humour!

Dear Stan,

Just a note to let you know that the two boxes of Fred books arrived safe and sound in the mail today--I feel like I have two treasure chests! What riches! I foresee many years of fun ahead, for all of us.

I really love the Life of Fred books, and they are a lot more interesting than a 100 boring homework problems.

I hardly know how to address you…you feel like a member of my family, and a celebrity all at the same time.

I feel like such a groupie, but I just had to write. I bought your entire set of Fred books 3 years ago (after trying the first one I knew I just had to own them all…I’m convinced that, even though I did well in High school calculus, when I go through your book I’ll FINALLY understand it.) Anyway, I’ve been singing your praises (and lending out your books) for years and we (my 11yo daughter and I) love, love, love your stuff. So, imagine my surprise when I went to a homeschool bookstore last night and saw your Pre-Algebra1 with Biology…I could hardly contain my shock/surprise/excitement…if the friend I was with hadn’t already known how much I love your books she probably would have seriously wondered about my sanity. (Sadly, instead of rendering me speechless, it rather turned me into a babbling fool…probably not the best advertisement for you…lol) It had never occurred to me to check back on your site…I thought I had everything and never thought there would be more…it was the most perfect example of serendipity. Though I had planned on starting Beginning Algebra with my daughter this year, I’m certain this will be a much better fit…that little extra after arithmetic before the full-fledged algebra…(really looking forward to the economics…I’ve never understood that) absolutely perfect!! You should have seen my daughter’s face when I brought it out of the bag this morning…she actually asked me if it was an early Christmas present.

Sorry for the long-winded message…I suppose I could have summed it all up by saying…Thank you so much, we love you (and Fred, and Joe, and Darlene…), God bless!!

To Dr. Shmidt,

I have just finished Life of Fred Decimals and Percents. Mum is always telling me I can't do more maths, because I always want to keep reading Fred's story instead of my other school work.
Anyway, I like the robot story the best in this book. I love all the stories actually, and my older sister always wants to know what I'm laughing at.

Just a quick note to thank you for your wonderful, wonderful math books. I recommend them widely.

My son worked his way through LOF Algebra and is now charging through Advanced Algebra. He has never been a math-loving kid, but your Fred books make the concepts come alive for him. Now he "loves" the quadratic formula, and he is making his own functions game.

Our heartfelt thanks.

I wanted to let you know your books are helping yet another child who was struggling before! My 11yo/6th grader and I are just finishing up Fred Fractions and everything we've done in the book is sticking - the first time that has been true! He is one of those children who tests off the charts in math and yet was floundering in math. He had gotten bored by how slowly math was taught in school that he'd tuned out years ago, and math wasn't being taught with any discernible method either :) We returned to homeschooling this year because of this specific issue (no math genius kid of mine was going to fall through the cracks, by golly!) and a friend suggested Fred as a good fit for us.

Well the whimsy of Fred captured him (the first week he actually just read the whole book cause he enjoyed the story so much), the bite sized lessons didn't overwhelm or bore him and the word problem approach kept him thinking rather than waiting to be passively fed the data.

Dear Stan,

My son HATES math. He LOVES video games. He would rather be grounded from video games than learn math. We have been working on fractions, percents and decimals for over a year.

He began the book on fractions February 1. He finished and aced the first final bridge on February 16
He began the book on decimals and percents February 17 and aced the first final bridge March 4.
He's ready to start beginning algebra as soon as it arrives.

You are a marvel.

Bless You and your Fred.

Just joking, but I think you need to publish your books (Life of Fred Fractions and Decimals) on loose leaf paper so I can give the lessons to the child one lesson at a time. When given the book they read the WHOLE BOOK during the first lesson!
Having fun with math and the interesting life of Fred,

It's been 30 years since high school Algebra and I find myself relearning things as I teach my daughter. Your books are really helpful and we love Fred. In fact, for her birthday last year (9 years old) she wanted a Fred cake (it was in the shape of his head).

My son fell in love with your books very early in his life. He just turned six this month and has read all but two of your books. They have inspired him to pursue his math interest and have taught him so much more than just math. He really is a very special child. Because of your inspiration he finished high school math - your books, Stanford's EPGY program, and several online courses - all when he was five years old. He just gets math. He read a pretty basic calculus book and took a basic calculus course when he was five. He is a Davidson Young Scholar and the good folks there have never seen anyone like him. They have looked for peers for him, as have I for years, and it seems none are to be found. He identifies himself with "the Gauss." I really think this isn't off the mark.

Anyway, I just ordered your Calculus book for him. (That just leaves Statistics.) When he sees his new book he will go bonkers. He really adores you. I would really appreciate it if you would write something special for him in the book. It would mean so much to him.

I so much appreciate what you have done for my son. You have intrigued, inspired, and led him through an incredible mathematical (and more) journey. He won't forget you. I sure he will be something special in the fields in mathematics. You have had a great deal to do with that. Please feel some pride in this. You deserve it.

My husband is sitting on the couch supposedly helping one of our daughter with her math - but all I hear from over there is laughing as he reads Life of Fred - Fractions. He just said - "I'd like to meet that man."

I am having great fun reading The Life of Fred - My wife just rolls her eyes at me. (Although she was laughing her socks off when she finally started reading it herself!)

. . . Another thing I like is that it avoids making math into the "giant green monster". It isn't so super-serious and hefty as so many math curricula are. Were you ever introduced to your mom's great-uncle Hector, whose wardrobe and figure were reminiscent of J. Edgar Hoover? Serious, hefty, cigar-chewing in that sort of big-man-of-small-town-government way? And when told to go give him a kiss, your knees shook, right? The idea of getting to know Uncle Hector was just too overwhelming. In reality he was a sweetheart who loved stories, apple pie and raising peonies, but he just looked so much like an old fogey with a stogey.

Then there was Uncle Scott, who looked like he was always ready to throw a baseball around or go fishing. He gave piggyback rides. Not scary at all.

Most U.S. math curricula approach the subject as if it were Uncle Hector, and as a result, the majority of people never even try going much beyond geometry (if you're my age--I know kids now are expected to go through calculus for college admission, but most dread it). And in many other countries, math is Uncle Scott.

One of the best things about Life of Fred is that it approaches math like it were Uncle Scott. Not scary, not something to be approached slowly and with trembling. The assumption is that it's not hard; it's even fun. Therefore the slogan is "as serious as it needs to be." The books aren't hefty and serious. However, they get the job done, and done well, because they don't kill the student's curiosity and drive in their approach. And because everything is approached from a practical use standpoint, they also keep it from seeing useless.

Some would say they're not rigorous enough, but I believe these people are again looking for pages of equations with lots of arrows and "i.e.s" and step-by-step numerated formulas. LoF explains not just how, but why, so a lot of the book is verbal rather than numeric. It's actually rather advanced for each subject, teaching kids things that normally aren't approached until college. But this can be done because the kids understand the "why" part right from the start. This also makes lots and lots of step-by-step formulas unnecessary. Explain the how and why once, in words, with practical application, and deal with exceptions. Do an example, in context of the story. Give the student a chance to test their understanding, and then if they do, move on. If they don't, there are more chances, plus Dr. Schmidt.

Another con is that if you show this as your child's math book to family who don't support homeschooling, they will simply see the lack of loads of problems and assume it's not very difficult. It does cover the same difficulty of problems as any other textbook (like LoF geometry vs. any other one) and even more advanced concepts. But it doesn't look conventional.

We are enjoying Fractions and Decimals and Percents. In fact, "enjoying" is an understatement. My 11 year old was in tears over math and was struggling terribly. One day after Co-op, we found a stray bag and tried to identify the owner by looking through the contents. We found no name, but found two brand new Life of Fred books instead. Our lives changed that day---no exaggeration. We eventually found the owner of the books and ordered a pair for ourselves. Math has never been the same. Thank you!

My kids have worked so hard the past few weeks and made it all the way through the Fractions book from The Life of Fred series. They both did so well and passed their “Final Bridge”. They loved every minute of it and can tell me all about it word for word! It’s really hard to believe this IS A MATH book! The stories are so memorable and you are learning life lessons and other “school” things like grammar! (Fireman told me this yesterday and gave me examples! I was impressed!)

Then he went on to ask me if, I could talk to Mr. Steve Demme and see if he knew about this series?!

I laughed so hard it hurt!

First of all, even though I have met Mr. Demme, creator of Math U See a couple of times at the CHEO Homeschool Convention, I can’t just call him up. AND don’t think he would appreciate it me asking about another math series. {LOL! I for one loved the MUS series and re-learned math with my kids, but sometimes change is necessary!}

He went on to say how much he disliked MUS and how much he loves LOF! Math is fun now and he thanked me AGAIN, for buying it for him! He is excited to start the next book, Decimals & Percents, on Monday and then on to Algebra! I seriously need to ask Mr. Stan to create T-shirts for Fred…my kids would wear them! “Fred for President!’

Thank you for the quick arrival of our math books for our two eldest children. We thought you might enjoy some of the comments we overheard during the first 20 minutes after they opened their packages.

1. This looks really fun.

2. I actually get this!

3. That's the longest footnote I've ever read. Awesome!

4. I think I can understand this and that's good.

5. This book talks about English, but it's not an English book. I love that!

6. I want to start school now.

7. Has she ever wanted to start school early before?

8. This guy is obsessed with pizza.

We can't thank you enough for making this series happen!

I home school. My incoming fifth-grade, ten-year-old son has struggled with Math for the last couple years. . . .

This morning Marc called me downstairs. I came; and to my surprise I found my ten-year-old son still in his jammies, sitting on the couch with "Fred" a pad of paper and pencil in hand. His breakfast was partially eaten on the table. Marc told me he couldn't wait to finish breakfast to get back to "Fred."

Thank you for giving my son the joy of math.

We are using your Life of Fred:Fractions book this year and we love it! My daughter doesn't argue or complain when it's math time now, and often gets it out before we even have to ask. She struggled with the first couple chapters because she was so used to seeing the problem and just doing it, rather than figuring out WHAT she needed to do to figure out the problem. Once she got a hold of that concept, she has been doing great - better than I expected, even! I absolutely love the way that math is presented - real life situations. Even if it's basic adding or subtracting, it's included because sometimes that's all that needs to be done. She would try to make it harder than it was. Now she is realizing that figuring out problems isn't generally a hard thing to do and she can do it. It is a confidence booster!

I am 14 years old and LOVE your books. Not only are they easy to understand but there funny. You should write a fictional book about Fred or other characters. You are one of my favorite authors. I love to read and sometimes I just could NOT put the book down. Thanks for the GREAT book.

This is my first year of using your Life of Fred books. I'm working with your Life of Fred Algebra 1 with Biology, and I can honestly say I've never had a funner math book in my entire life.

Today I willingly did four lessons, mostly because I just wanted to keep reading the story. It's mostly the humor that's put into it that makes it so much easier to work with, for example, in one of the some-teenth chapters (I want to say 13 or 14), from the part of the story where Fred gets the check for $75,000 and faints, “Suppose someone is feeling faint or has fainted. Which is the better position for them to be in? Alternative A: Standing up. Alternative B: Lying down with legs raised. ANSWER: It all depends on where the person's brain is located.” I found this absolutely HYSTERICAL and spent about a minute laughing before I could continue.

Thank you for all the work you've put into these books. Your style of teaching math and great sense of humor that go along with it have made my least favorite subject the subject I look forward to most every morning and try my best at.






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