Fred’s Home Companion Beginning Algebra is a 128-page supplemental resource for the Life of Fred Beginning Algebra textbook. While it is not necessary to use the Home Companion to complete the textbook, it certainly is a helpful tool for teachers of students going through the Life of Fred Beginning Algebra. In fact, Fred’s Home Companion Beginning Algebra’s creation was a response to requests by users of the curriculum to meet specific needs.
If you are familiar with the Life of Fred curriculum, you know that math concepts are taught in a story format. While the Beginning Algebra text is broken down into twelve chapters, many users wanted a daily reading schedule or lesson plans to follow. The Home Companion breaks the text into 108 easy daily readings and lesson plans to follow.
Many of the problem sets in the text have answers, but answers are not provided for all. For those end-of-the-chapter problem sets which have either half or none of the answers provided in the text, answers are provided in the Home Companion.
Lastly, for those who wanted even more practice, extra problems (usually about 6-11) are provided for each daily lesson.
In addition to the above, “Intermission” text boxes containing relevant information are provided throughout. These might include formulas, a tip on approaching a problem, or some interesting information related to the content of the lesson.
A 14-page Sample is available for a closer look.
Fred’s Home Companion Beginning Algebra is pretty straight-forward and could just be handed to an independent student to use for daily reading and practice assignments in addition to helping the supervising teacher or parent add a bit more structure into the curriculum. While it is not a necessary component of the curriculum, I found having a daily breakdown, extra practice problems, and answers to the problems in the text very helpful and a time-saver for busy homeschool moms.