I’ve always loved math. I’ve loved math puzzles, math games, math trivia, math problems—-if it was challenging, I loved it! So it’s been very difficult for me to realize that inasmuch as I loved math, I couldn’t seem to teach my own 6yo son his math lessons! Of course, I blamed it on my own mistake of ordering Singapore Math workbooks WITHOUT the textbooks 😉 Admittedly, the workbooks were on sale and I thought first grade math was so simple anyway that I could just wing it!
Interestingly, though, in my desperation, I ordered two books online: the corresponding textbook and Life of Fred Apples. I’ve read lots of things about Life of Fred as a living math book, teaching math concepts through stories. And while I’ve wanted to try it for some time, I’ve seriously had my doubts on retention and stuff.
BUT… our box arrived yesterday!!! (*doing a giddy dance*) In my excitement at reading Life of Fred, my son got curious and got tricked into letting me read the first chapter to him. Then he took out his pen and paper for the “Your Time to Play” part. And then he wanted to read one more chapter!! But we had guests over, so we had to stop. Then today, I asked if he wanted to read it, and he said yes—and again went ahead with writing down his answers to the questions at the end.
I thought that was that. He laughed at some parts, but it seemed to be the humor part and not the math part. But when my hubby and I came home tonight, this is what he had been working on all evening:
Since when did he ever write down math problems just for fun? And I was amazed that he was having so much fun he didn’t even stop until I had to tell him it was bedtime!
So is Life of Fred a good math curriculum? I don’t know. Will I use it as our main math curriculum? I don’t know yet either. But as a math lover, I’m super happy at how it seemed to have helped my son enjoy math—-even after only two days! Of course I don’t know if the fact that he didn’t even realize we were doing “school” had to do with it, but isn’t learning that way, scattered all through our days? 😉
Who says learning math can’t be fun???