You know what arithmetic books look like. They are all pretty much alike. Using very few words, they give a couple of examples and then have the students do a hundred identical problems. Then they give another couple of examples and another hundred problems. And for students, arithmetic becomes as much fun as cleaning up their rooms, eating yams, or going to the dentist.

The books in the Life of Fred series take a different approach. Veteran math teacher, Stan Schmidt, has brought to life a character who will make math fun, relevant, and understandable. Don’t be surprised if your child who dreads math asks to do more at the end of a lesson. Each of the books tells a story—a story of one day in the life of a five-and-a-half-year-old boy. All of the math arises out of Fred’s life. Never again will students have to ask their perennial question: “When are we ever gonna use this stuff?”

Don’t let the nontraditional method of teaching fool you. Each of these books contains more math than is normally taught in a traditional program. These are not skimpy, just effective. One of the reasons is that very few arithmetic books tell you the why of various math rules—they just say that “it’s a rule”. Fred will give you the reasoning behind the rules making the math much more meaningful and memorable.

These books are gloss-film laminated hardcovers with Smyth sewn binding. Fully indexed and illustrated. They are not workbooks to write in, and each book will be enjoyed by all your children (and grandchildren!)

Kidneys, Liver and Mineshaft are considered the Intermediate Series and go between Jelly Beans and Fractions. They are not essential. When a student finishes Jelly Beans, they have all the arithmetic they need to start Fractions, but because of how quickly students can progress in the elementary books, a student might not be old enough to really be ready for Fractions (author recommends 5th grade). Kidneys, Liver and Mineshaft allow for more practice of arithmetic while the student gets older.

In Kidneys you’ll find:Three Keys to Success, Charles Demuth’s “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold,” Milliliters, Teachers’ Salaries, How to Carry Money on the Street, Writing Numerals in Checks ($4000 and Not $40.00), Idioms, Semibreves, Libraries State that Mccoy Comes Before Macdonald, Word Problems in Arithmetic, 100%, the Result of Years of Piano Practice, the Great Depression, Na + Cl → NaCl, Grams Vs. Ounces, Functions, Images of Elements of the Domain, Volumes, 115 Ounces = 7 Pounds and 3 Ounces, the Biggest Error in Thinking, What to Do in Life When You Hit a Wall, Perimeters, Definition of an Acre, How to Make a Million Dollars in Four Years, the Calculus Definition of Limit, the Economics of Free Things, Scores, Dozens, and Braces, Polar Form of Complex Numbers, Exponents, the Five Different Solutions to X5 = 32, Salaries of University Presidents, a Quarter after Two, Toiletries for Kids and Older People, Physical Exams, Ketones and Glucose, the Best Use of Leisure Time, Why We Have Two Kidneys, the Chief Use of Kidneys Is Not to Make Urine, Point-Segment-Square-Cube-Tesseract, Twelve Kinds of Set Theory, the Best Time in History to Become a Mathematician, Adumbration in Literature, Arithmetic Sequences and Series, the Difference Between the United Kingdom and Great Britain, the Four Different Reasons We Speak, Preview of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, Sigma Notation, Descartes’ Analytic Geometry, Why it Is Called a Solstice.