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Review/ Giveaway “Life of Fred” Beginning Readers

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[The following is a Sponsored Post from Educents.]

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

For the last couple of years, I’ve been teaching my 7th child to read. If you have ever taught a child to read, you know that it is a systematic and sometimes long process. Teaching them first to learn their letters, then say the various sounds of each, then learn the sounds of all phonograms (“or”, “eigh”, etc.) takes daily practice and can occasionally be frustrating for both student and mom/teacher. What you sometimes need is a little Fun! And we have definitely found more than a little fun in the Life of Fred Beginning Readers! Read our review today and then enter to win the first book of the series called Blue.

Life of Fred Beginning Readers

The Life of Fred Beginning Readers are written by Stanley F. Schmidt, Ph.D. He has also written the extremely popular Life of Fred math curricula, which goes from elementary through college level.

Review and Giveaway of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

Now, he has written some books for beginning readers. I got the first set to review with my son (there are 3 sets). Each set has 6 books in it.

Set 1 includes the books Blue, Bus, Lake, Potato Dreams, Ducks, and Rain.

Each book is study hardback and contains 32 pages.

To see sample pages, click here.

The Stories:

Life of Fred: Blue:
We have never read any of the Life of Fred math books, so we didn’t know the characters Fred and Kingie. No problem, we meet them in this first book. The color is “blue.” (Each book has a color that is talked about so kids learn to read it.)

Life of Fred Bus:
Fred and Kingie pack and get on a bus to go to the lake. The color is “orange.”

Life of Fred Lake:
Fred and Kingie have adventures at the lake. The color is “red.”

Life of Fred Potato Dreams:
Kingie wears different hats and you’ll learn why in this book. The color is “brown.”

Life of Fred Ducks:
Fred and Kingie meet some ducks and draw them. We also learn more about the author. The color is “pink.”

Life of Fred Rain:
Rain falls at the lake, but Fred and Kingie still have fun. The color is “gray.”

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

My Review:

My initial thoughts were that these books are not the best at fitting the category of “beginning reader.” They aren’t systematic in their phonics approach (such as having a particular book be all about the long “a” sound). Also, although there are many words a new reader can sound out and be reminded of certain rules for (“this is a silent ‘e’ word”), there are also quite a few words that are simply too difficult for him.

So, I decided to take a different approach. I just read the words that were too hard for my son and had him sound out the words he could. I saw these lessons as ones in which he was learning to enjoy reading, rather than learning to read an entire book all by himself.

Review of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Readers

And enjoy them, he did! My son absolutely loved the quirky, random stories! Each page has a graphic or photograph and only a few words or a couple of sentences, so it doesn’t seem overwhelming to a new reader. He got so excited every day when I told him it was time to read!

I like how the books are broken up into chapters. It makes it easy to know where to stop each day.

My final analysis: The Life of Fred Beginning Readers aren’t the best for actually teaching your kids to read, but are so fun that they get your child practicing reading daily. Because the entire set (sort of) tells an entire story, your kids will want to read the next chapter or next book! And, I think I will be forced to get the next two sets now. 🙂

Hear my son reading the sixth book Rain and “see inside” it in our video review:

3 Ways to Use the Books:

  1. Use the color of each book and do something fun with it–eat something that is that color (apple for the red book) or make a craft (pumpkin for the orange book).
  2. Learn to draw with the books. Draw Fred, Kingie, and the ducks.
  3. Read Rain on a day that is raining. Then, go outside and play in the rain!

Other Educents products for beginning readers:

  1. Phonics Collection DVDs from Rock ‘N Learn 
  2. Complete Learn to Read Kit
  3. Phonics Mini Books

Giveaway of the "Life of Fred" Beginning Reader "Blue" ends 10/17

Now, would you like to win the first book of the Life of Fred Beginning Readers set #1 called Blue? Enter on the Rafflecopter app below. You must be age 18+ to enter, and the winner’s address must be in the continental U.S. Contest ends 10/17/16, and the winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Educents. I also received a complimentary set of the Life of Fred Beginning Readers set #1 in order to honestly review them here. I am an affiliate for Educents, and this post contains affiliate links.)

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  1. Homeschool Parenting Summit 2.0 October 16-21, 2023
  2. We are just starting on a new round of a little one who is ready to start reading!

  3. Ashley Miller says:

    I have 6 children. My 13 and 11 year old boys started reading fairly well with little to no tears around the age of 6. Now I have an 8 year old girl who can definitely be considered reading but it still hasn’t completely clicked for her. She does well but can’t read completely on her own just yet. I also have 6 and 4 year old boys that I’m working with. Plus a 2 year old girl waiting on the sidelines. Busy days ahead! ????

  4. My niece and nephew are learning to read. It’s good so far but slow. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  5. Yes, I’m working with my sweet Kindergartener!

  6. Thanks for the honest review!

  7. Trisha Burgess says:

    We are working on reading! My sons name is Freddie so these books would help!

  8. Linda Norden says:

    Love the Life Of Fred High School Language Arts books. Nice to see a set for the younger group.

  9. Brandi Currier says:

    Teaching a new reader and reinforcing good reading habits in a slow to learn reader is going well, but slowly.

  10. Christina Anne says:

    I tutor so that helps kids learn to read. Christina Anne

  11. LeAnn Harbert says:

    I help my granddaughter practice her reading, it’s going good.

  12. Gabrielly says:

    My niece is learning to read.

  13. I’m not teaching anyone to read currently, but will be soon!

  14. Morrighan Crowe Anne Perry says:

    Yes!! My son is learning to read. He is doing well. We read nightly, our homeschool sight words have helped.

  15. We are learning letters and their sounds right now.

  16. Annmarie W. says:

    My young niece is learning how to read, and is quite enthusiastic about it! Her mom has always read to her, and now it’s exciting to see her try to read for herself!

  17. I am teaching my youngest to read he is in Kinder and is loving to be reading all by himself

  18. violet taylor says:

    im teaching my son. hes older than average reading learner, but its coming along. slowly. he loves life of fred though so im hoping this helps!

  19. Angelica Dimeo says:

    I am teaching my son how to read its going ok not to bad

  20. Rachael Kuhaneck says:

    I am not teaching my children to read. They are all old enough to read on their own.

  21. holly lawson says:

    Yes, I am teaching my 4 year old to start reading sight words and my 6 year old is starting to read bigger books.

  22. I have a 3 year old who is eager to learn to read. We are working on letter sounds now. It won’t be long before she will be reading like her older siblings. She is very exited!

  23. Not yet but I am reading books for my son every day 🙂
    Thank You

  24. I’m teaching #6 right now. It’s going a little slow, but steady.

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