This morning, the kids were not showing ANY motivation to do school or chores. I try to let the older kids decide when they are going to do what chores and school they wish as long as they are doing SOMETHING I ask them to do (with the exception of breaks in between sets of chores.) This morning, it just wasn’t happening. So, it was time for a little coaxing. “Okay, guys, we need to get some things done… and school is most important. Who would like me to help them first?” I hear the whines begin, “No, NOT school….” So, I reply, “Who would like me to read “Life with Fred” with them?” And the mood completely changed. I’m not kidding! One of the children raised her hand jumping up and down, “Oooh, me!” and the other sunk down, “Aww, man!” because he wasn’t first. I just started “Life with Fred” the last couple of weeks. One could point out that it’s just a new thing and that’s why the kids are excited about it. I had taken all of this into consideration when picking a curriculum.
Number one: I wanted a curriculum that could help someone with math anxiety feel at ease. I asked around on my board of homeschooling moms. Many had recommended Life with Fred.
Number two: I consulted my friends that homeschool their kids. One of them had Life with Fred and was excited to share it with me. I read over a couple of chapters and I was impressed with how it included different types of math (geometry, algebra, addition, time, and measurement) all in one cute little story that held your attention… and made you wonder what happened next.
Number three: I wanted to know where my oldest would start if he were having a hard time with math and hadn’t learned the algebra part from the beginning that another child would learn. Did they start from the beginning? How many of these cute little books would I need to purchase to catch my son up? The answer is that they would start back a couple of books. (However, I did purchase the ones prior and he likes reading them on his own.)
Number four: I wondered if it would capture their interest and for how long. Now these books go all the way through high school, so I wanted to make sure that I would use these books for ALL the kids and not just buy them and have to switch to something else later. While visiting my friend, I started talking to her and noticed her daughter reading a Life with Fred book for fun! I looked a little confused and motioned to her. My friend said, “Yeah, she likes to read.” Yeah, but a Math Curriculum book?! That sold it right there for me. I want my kids to have fun; to be excited to learn. That’s when they will learn the most!
Before I started the curriculum, I wanted to try it out…. So, during a moment when I needed to calm down before addressing a problem, I grabbed a Life with Fred Apples and started reading. I thought that it was interesting and wanted to read more, but I realized that I didn’t want to read all the story before I read it with my 1st grader. Later on, I chose a different book and found myself resting after dishes and picking it up to read more of the story and trying to solve the answers fast in my head. After trying it out the last couple of weeks with my children, I realized that we’re all having a LOT of fun learning math and other things added into it with the story. I love it! They love it! It’s perfect. So, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, I would like to quote my oldest son who has math anxiety, but solved the practice sections without any…
“This is so fun! I love how the stories talk about animals and other stuff, too.”