Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
If there has been one math program that we’ve used this year that I could say has impressed me the most so far, I would have to say it is the Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction program. When I saw that Math-U-See offered AIM, I knew I had to try it with my son!
About Math-U-See AIM for Addition and Subtraction
Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction was developed for older students who are struggling with math because they have gaps in their foundational skill set, specifically with single-digit addition and subtraction facts. The program involves three core strategies.
- Accelerated – The opportunity for students to move quickly through a skill set they have not yet mastered, without extra distractions.
- Individualized – Each student is different, as are their learning preferences. Using as many approaches as possible, the program creates an environment for a student to master the skills they still need at their own pace.
- Mastery – In this program, mastery means that a student can recall all the math facts using as little mental energy as possible to remain engaged in the process of problem-solving.
At first, my son was a little embarrassed about doing this program and using the manipulatives because he felt this was baby stuff and he already “knew” all this. Unfortunately, even though he can add and subtract by using touch-points and/or counting in his head, he really didn’t have a mastery of adding and subtracting. So after I convinced him that what we were doing was building a foundation to make math easier for him, he gave it a shot and has taken to this program really well.
This program is laid out very nicely with both a physical book (resource guide), integer blocks, colored pencils, fact check cards, math facts strategy posters, and online access to videos that walk you through the key components of the program. There are also downloadable resources online.
Getting Started with AIM
The first thing that you should do before beginning this program is to give your student the Before AIM Assessment. I gave this to my son, and it truly was eye-opening to see how much he still relied on counting to figure out addition problems. Subtraction was even more difficult for him because he does not seem to be able to do the reverse of addition quite as easily. After you have completed the program you can give an after assessment to show how far your student has come.
Once the assessment has been given, the next thing you need to work on with your student is identifying and remembering which color block stands for which number. Since this is integral to the program you will want to spend as much time as you need until your child has the color/block system down.
Utilizing AIM in Our Homeschool
After giving the assessment and working on We recently started doing one AIM lesson every day in place of our regular math curriculum. I’ve decided that I would like my son to focus only on these foundational skills, and once he has mastered these we’ll go back to our regular curriculum.
There are twenty-two lessons in the AIM program. Students can watch a short video before each lesson, or you can watch the video as the parent and then teach the skill to your child. I have been watching the lesson videos myself and then teaching that skill to my son just as was done in the video. I find this is easier for us because I don’t have to have a computer near our workspace and we can just focus on our task at hand.
This has been working out well for us as my son has done really well with the first few lessons so far. As we get into math facts that he has a harder time with, I’m curious to see if we will need to slow down. We have not done any subtraction as of yet, but I imagine those will take us a longer time to master.
Even after only a week or so of utilizing the program, I can clearly see results. My son has quickly recalled math facts when presented with the fact check cards (flashcards). He has gone from taking up to ten seconds to count out and solve a problem to instantly giving me an answer. The program really does work and works well if you follow the strategies as given, even if your older child thinks they are doing ‘childish’ things.
To read other parents’ experience with the Math-U-See AIM (Accelerated Individualized Mastery) program, click the image below.