WHY I CHOSE IT
Like I said, I had never considered using Life of Fred math. We were always Saxon loyalists. My son used Saxon math through Calculus (kind of). My daughter made her way through the “Green Book” and declared herself finished with math. Forever. Well, really, who can blame her? Have you completed the “Green Book”? It is hard. So. MUCH. math. Truthfully, I didn’t want to study Calculus, but I also didn’t want her to take the year off from math. I thought Statistics would be a good choice. I didn’t want light statistics. I wanted the “real” stuff. The stuff my husband had done for his MBA. I loved helping him, and I thought it would be fun. Besides, Statistics is applicable to life. It shows how Algebra is used in life. Life of Fred was the only Statistics book I found geared for the high school student. Oh sure, we could have used my husband’s book, but there would have been an all out war at my house. I was not looking for that. I needed something solid but not overwhelming. I am happy to report that Life of Fred was a good fit. She was successful on her own and has a good foundation if she needs to take Statistics in college.
WHAT IT COVERS
It covers descriptive statistics, probability, and conditional probability. These are basic statistics that are covered heavily in Saxon math. These concepts were not new. Then, it moves into sample statistics. This is where it got good. It covers future, past, and present sample tests. The student will learn the distribution tests, the Chi-Squared test, the One-Way ANOVA test, and the Two-Factor ANOVA test. There are too many tests to be listed here.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT
It is written for the student assuming that the student has never had a statistics course. It also teaches all the tests that a student would need in a college statistics course. There is a good foundation here. The book is completely student led which is nice until your student needs help and you have to spend a couple of hours teaching yourself the chapter. (Ask me how I know.)
My favorite part of the book was the Field Guide. If your student is proficient in Algebra, the actual working of statistics is not hard. The most difficult parts of statistics are figuring out what kind of distribution the problems are and what test needs to be used. Once you have that part, you are in there. That is why the Field Guide is gold. It helps you figure out what you need to do, by asking the questions that lead you to the right test. I will be sending this book to school with my son who will be taking Statistics next semester just because that Field Guide is going to come in handy. I would have bought the book for the Field Guide alone back when I was helping my husband with his Statistics had I known about it.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
I wish there had been a few more practice problems. I did give my daughter a full credit for the course even though she was done 2/3 of the of the way through the year. Either she was very diligent or the course needed a little more practice.
The answer key also frustrated me. It wasn’t a solutions manual. You know me, I don’t want to work that hard anymore. Many times I would have to spend time solving the problem myself in order to teach it to her. Such a drag.
WHAT SHE LIKED
She finished 2/3 of the way through the year.
WHAT SHE DIDN’T LIKE
She thought the story was silly.
I would use this again for a high school student who didn’t want to take Calculus. Even though it seems silly, it is a very strong course. I would recommend it. However, if you, the parent, are not strong in Algebra make sure that your student has someone they can ask for help if they need it. With hard work, I think your student has a probability of 100% of being successful with this course. (haha. Just a little statistical humor.)