Homework Help > Math Curriculum > Life of Fred


"Prevent Reading Struggles!"
TEACH Letter Names
Letter Sounds
A Word to Associate with Each Letter.
30 Days or Less.

Math in Daily Life

If you are looking to teach your child how to use math in daily life, you'll find great enjoyment in introducing your child to a little guy named Fred Gauss.

Professor Gauss is a tiny professor at KITTENS University and the main character in the Life of Fred series.

It is a delightful Math Curriculum as a review I've decided to post my initial reaction to it the day we first received it back in 2011. 


So today I allowed my daughter to do Life of Fred Fractions. 

WOW!  What a wonderful buy. 

Now, you must know that my oldest daughter reads, reads, reads.

Her dream job is to read books to younger children.  She calls the library, “A castle with wonderful books to enjoy!”

Until recently she wanted to be a children's librarian but after visiting and volunteering she realized the children's librarian doesn’t get to read the books nearly enough and it would be too much of a temptation for her.

She reads so much that we have to find her when there is work to be done—school work, house work, any work.

It is so bad! (Or is it good?)

Anyhow, I even had to ban her from books for a while because she just wouldn’t do any thing else. 

It was hard but it was a decision that needed to be made.

Needless to say, she says Math is not her ‘thing’.  She doesn’t want to do numbers.  They are not filled with the whimsy and excitement that she craves.


Enter in Fred Gauss. 

Mr. Gauss is a 5 year old fictional character who was created by Mr. Stanley Schmidt, PhD in order to teach students Math in his The Life of Fred series.

Basically, 5 year old Professor, Fred Gauss, who teaches at a university, is living life and incorporating Math into it.  Your child is to see Math in daily life by following Fred on his journey.

Simple yet Purposeful.

As an added benefit: Mr. Schmidt not only teaches Math through Fred’s experiences, he teaches other subjects as well.

It has only been this day and she is already on Chapter 11.  (I had to take Fred away too.  An eleven year old needs to go to bed at a decent hour.)

I had intended to give her the book ONLY after she finished her current math book.  However, my poor baby was sick today and I wanted to give her a treat.

Boy! What a treat it was.  A treat for both of us!


I know you may be asking,  “Is she going too fast?”  I was concerned about that  as well. 

However, as I pondered further I realized two things.

  1. She is mostly familiar with the material in the Fractions book.  I really like when my kids review and if they review with an enthused heart it is even better.
  2. Mr. Schmidt set the program up in a perfect way for my daughter because she likes to read some of her favorites over, and over, and over again.  He has these sections in the book called Bridges.  
    The Bridges are designed to test the walk away knowledge after a few chapters.  He is so thorough that he places several Bridge attempts side by side.  For example, she takes the first Bridge to pass to the next section and fails.  There is another Bridge that she can take after a little review.  He calls them ‘tries’. 

          There is a 1st try, 2nd try, 3rd try, 4th try, and even a 5th try!

My daughter and I have agreed that if she passes all of Bridges on the first try she can move as fast as she likes and since Fred is a ‘story’ that she would definitely read again, she would do the 2nd attempt the next time she reads the ‘story’.

Again, it has only been a day, but I THINK THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!

A practical way to teach practical Math.

It’s better than Math story problems, it’s a Math story.

If all of the other books are as beneficial as Fractions, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE entire LIFE OF FRED SERIES!!!!


Well, there you have it.  That’s the review I wrote back in 2011.  We still use "Fred".  I will share a lengthier 'update' review.

In the meantime, tell me if you think the Life of Fred series will provide enough whimsy and uniqueness to gain enough interest from your language smart learner!

Back to Top

Has Fred Humored Your Child Into A Better Relationship With Math?

Maybe you consider Fred a new friend.

Maybe not so much.

Help other parents out by posting your thoughts and reviews!

[ ? ]

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

 submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

Back to Top

Homework Help > Math Curriculum > Life of Fred

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.