Math Supplement for Struggling Students ~ Review

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.

We recently had the privilege of reviewing The Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction from Math-U-See through the Homeschool Review Crew. This program is not a full math curriculum, but a supplement for those who have foundational skill set gaps, specifically single-digit addition and subtraction. The target age is 8-16. 

Whether your child is homeschooled, or attends public or private school, if they are struggling with basic math facts, this is an excellent program to supplement their curriculum. The price is great at just $39 for the entire package, and the lessons can be facilitated by a parent, teacher, or other adult. Be sure to complete a Before-AIM Assessment with the student beforehand to see if this is something they might need. (See note about our student below.) Math-U-See also has a complete math curriculum as well.

The kit for AIM includes a resource guide, a twelve month subscription to the AIM program and digital toolkit, twenty-two lessons, color-coded manipulative blocks with a set of matching colored pencils, fact-check cards, and strategy posters for reinforced learning. 

I love that is comes in a box to keep all the materials together!

You start off offering your student a “Before-AIM Assessment to see where their skills are lacking. I wasn’t sure anyone in our family could benefit from the program, but according to the assessment our third grader would benefit from the materials. While she has mastered the basic concepts of addition and subtraction, even some multiplication, she still uses her fingers for counting a lot and it often takes her longer than three seconds to recall a fact. 

There are video tutorials for the adult/teacher on how to administer the assessment, as well as how to instruct the rest of the course. One of the things they stressed often was to make the atmosphere peaceful and conducive to learning, to make sure the student understands its completely okay to say “I don’t know,” and to empower them with positive reinforcement that they will learn, instead of judging themselves for not knowing. As someone who has struggled with math concepts my entire life, I really appreciated their affirming approach. 

I was also struck by the realization while listening to the instructor in the videos, that one of the reasons math has been so confusing for me is that we often use the approach of memorizing numbers instead of mastering facts. While I’m great a literature-based memorization, I’m not good with numbers. While drills for rote memorization can be helpful in retaining a skill, learning comes from mastering the facts. 

Once you’re set up with your digital toolkit, you log on and have your child watch a video, then complete the lesson associated with that video. Each lesson takes 15-20 minutes. AIM’s approach is to build, write, say, with the expectation that the student builds the fact with the manipulatives, then writes out the fact, then says them out loud. Once the lesson is complete, the fact-check cards are used to see which facts have been mastered and which ones need more work. Review materials and practice drills are available to print once the student has mastered the lesson. 

We had several challenges during this review unrelated to the curriculum. PLEASE NOTE, we think this curriculum is amazing, and actually plan to do a retake now that things have settled down in our household. One of those challenges was no access to a color printer, and since this whole program is built around colors associated with numbers, we ended up with a lot of extra time working on color association. The other challenges were economical and related to the current upheaval regarding COVID-19. My husband is now at home full-time and is taking over all the math instruction for the time being. I can’t wait for him to use this program with our daughter. We also now have color ink! I can’t wait to see the new results! 

AIM:

  • 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. 

Overall, we can confidently say we highly recommend the Accelerated Individualized Mastery for Addition and Subtraction through Math-U-See as an excellent support curriculum for students struggling with basic math facts. 

Other Homeschool Review Crew families also reviewed this product. You can read their experiences by clicking on the image below. 

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