Life of Fred
Our son is a visual spatial, gifted learner. In public and private school, he struggled with dull curriculum that did not move at his pace and unnecessary drill. Because I knew my son needed an extraordinary approach to math that was not like traditional school, I researched all options over several months before choosing Life of Fred. All of my research kept pointing back to this series.
At first, it was hard for me to wrap my own brain around how a book that is told in story format about a 5 year old math professor could possibly appeal to my pre-teen son, let alone really teach him anything. However, the author, Stan Schmidt, is very accessible and actually answered questions that I had for him through email. I am happy to report that we have been using the Fractions book for 3 weeks now. My son is almost finished with the first book. Yes, you read that correctly. Our goal is to finish the Decimals book by Christmas, and then to start Beginning Algebra in January.
Not only am I thrilled that this series has appealed to our son, I am a true convert on the quality of the education he is receiving through this curriculum. These books approach math learning with short chapters and full concepts. Each chapter has a small number of problems, called Your Turn to Play, that require real learning and understanding of the concepts just introduced. At the end of every 5 chapters, there is a series of 'bridge tests' that provide a more comprehensive test of what has been learned. And, each bridge test requires ongoing accumulation of the knowledge. This approach should not be unique, but, unfortunately, it is in the United States.
With the very affordable price, I would advise every parent reading this to try Life of Fred. You will be very impressed and wonder why all learning cannot be done this way. You and your child will love Life of Fred!