Math-U-See AIM Review

Mastering Addition and Subtraction With Math-U-See {Review}

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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.

Do you have a struggling little mathematician in your home that is finding a difficult time doing mental math with beginning math concepts like addition and subtraction? If so, then you may want to take a look at this math program that focuses on just that called Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction (or AIM).

This program, that focuses on the sole mastery of addition and subtraction facts, is by a well-known and beloved math curriculum that many homeschoolers use today called Math-U-See. Math-U-See has full math curriculums available, however, they created a specialized supplemental math program specifically geared towards those students who struggle with math facts and that’s when AIM was born.

I had the pleasure of review AIM through both digital online tool as well as their physical books and math manipulatives. AIM is not a full math curriculum but a supplemental math program in which its sole purpose is to help your child build a stronger grasp on their addition and subtraction.

The program is for children who is struggling with math, who doesn’t have their mental math down just yet, and who still counts in their head or on their fingers for simple addition and subtraction problems.

It can become very frustrating for children when learning concepts after the basics, because if they don’t have a solid foundation of counting, they will not flourish in everything else that comes after addition and subtractions, such as multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, and everything else.

That is what AIM is here for: to grow that weak foundation into a pillar strength! With their clever approach to learning math facts, your child will grow in confidence and math skills in just 20 lessons! That’s how long AIM takes to get through it and that’s really all you need with how they’ve structured everything.

math skills with worksheets - learning the block colors

What Comes with the AIM package?

If you think about, math is the number one challenge in homeschool families today. You have to take time to teach your children these math concepts, and unfortunately not everyone likes math, or has a strong foundation in math. Math can be quite intimidating, can’t it?

Well, this is where AIM excels – they take the intimidation and fear out of math and equips you with everything you need for success in fact families, mental math, addition facts, and subtraction facts.

The program has digital access to their online lesson and videos and resources, and it also provides you with physical components to work with. Because AIM is a manipulatives-based supplemental math program that focuses only on the mastery of of the addition and subtraction facts, they provide you with all of the physical items you will use during the 20 lesson program.

  • Math Workbook
  • Manipulatives blocks
  • Fact Cards
  • Math Posters
  • Colored pencils
  • Online digital access to their toolbox

How To Use Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) Program

In summary, you will use the colored blocks to build the fact families as you go through each lesson. Their strategy for success is the Build, Write, Say approach. You will build the fact with the blocks, write the fact vertical and horizontally as well as with colored pencils mirroring the block colors, and then you will say the fact out loud (such as five added to three equals eight).

Before-AIM Assessment

Before you begin, you will have your child take the Before-AIM Assessment to see where the child is at in their struggles. Even so, you will still continue to go through the lessons from beginning to end. Because the lessons build upon each other, you will not want to skip any lessons but go through them in order, such as start with lesson 1, then lesson 2, and so on. No skipping!

To take the assessment, go online into your Digital Toolbox. The first video available is called “How to Administer the Assessment”. You will click on the assessment tab and then take the assessment.

Because we ordered the kit to use in exchange for an honest review, and because I am pretty certain why my child’s struggles lie, I did not have my daughter complete the Before-AIM Assessment. However, if I were a mom that wanted to capitalize on this program to see my daughters success in her mental math and math facts, and if I wasn’t sure exactly where she struggles, I would definitely take the Before-AIM Assessment. After all, it is highly recommended you do so.

The Digital Toolbox

The Digital Toolbox is where everything you need will be accessible from. The toolbox includes video lessons, activities and worksheets, mirrors the worksheet pages that come with the math workbook, and also has resources available, such as generating your own math worksheets.

Every time you begin a lesson, you will watch a lesson video in the toolbox. Then you will print out the worksheets that accompany it.

The toolbox is also where your teaching videos are stored. Before you begin Lesson 1, you will want to watch the video teaching lessons on how to teach with the AIM program, familiarize yourself with the strategies, and ensure you are following the directions in order when teaching the program to see the highest rate of success.

Skipping the teaching videos is a big, fat no no! Don’t purchase the program and then skimp on the teaching videos. Tsk, tsk. You need to know how to teach these methods to your child. They aren’t long videos; they’re no more than about 5 minutes each.

The tabs within the Digital Toolbox are: Lessons, Solutions, Activities, and Resources.

The Math Workbook

The workbook that comes with the physical kit is a glorious treasure. It, too, has instructions on how to best approach your child using the AIM strategy methods as well as tips on how to use the program. It also has a FAQs page so you will have answers to the most common questions about the program.

After the first few pages of instruction, you will come to Lesson 1. Each lesson is on a 2-page spread. There are 4 parts to each lesson. However, it is recommended that you take a brain break after each part (or section).

You can see an overview of the workbook in this short 2-minute video:

The Colored Blocks and Colored Pencils

The blocks are organized by numerals and color and it is mandatory that your child memorize each color that is represented by a number. This helps them with their mental math and for them to be able to visualize the numbers via colored blocks later on down the road.

The blocks are not your average math manipulatives blocks, These blocks, besides being color-coded, also “more than one”. The best way I can explain it is using a list:

  • one square block = 1
  • two square blocks = 2
  • three square blocks = 3
  • And so on.
  • 1 = green
  • 2 = orange
  • 3 = pink
  • And so on.

Lesson 1 begins with activities, worksheets, and games for your child to memorize which colors represent which numbers. After lesson 1, my child had the colored blocks memorized! And she asked me for days after lesson 1 to play the color-coded block card game with her! She had a ton of fun in all of these lessons.

The colored pencils coincide with the colored blocks. Is the color green representing the number 1? Then you have a green colored pencil! You will use these pencils in every lesson for the Build, Write, and Say methods, along with your various worksheet activities.

Fact Cards and Math Posters

In every lesson, your child will review fact cards that coincide with the lesson at hand. There are 3 stars on each card, and if she masters it in less than 3 seconds, she gets to color in a star. And when all 3 stars are colored in, she has completely mastered that math fact. You will use different cards, sometimes the same ones even if she’s colored in a star, in all the lessons at different times.

The math posters will also be used in various lessons. The posters coincide with all of the lessons and you will know when to pull out the posters to go over them, as it will be indicated in the math workbook. The posters has the Build, Write, and Say methods within them as well as examples and vocabulary for your child to become familiar with , such as addend and sum.

For all activity types, whether it’s fact cards, math posters, pencils, video lessons, and so on, the math workbook will indicate when you will use these activities.

Our Experience Using Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM)

Math-U-See tells you in the AIM workbook that each lesson should not take longer than 15 minutes. There is not a suggested schedule for how to use AIM because each child learns differently at his or her own pace. I found it impossible to complete a math lesson in 15 minutes though. Even so, we enjoyed the 30-40 minutes it realistically took to complete each lesson.

Remember, each lesson has 4 parts (or sections) to it. They recommend to have a brain break between each part. They recommend up to 2 hours between parts so that your child’s brain can rest! I didn’t see the point in dragging out a lesson over the span of 8 hours though… So we took a brain break between Part B and Part C for about 10 minutes between continuing on with the lesson, getting back into it beginning with Part C.

My daughter enjoyed the hands-on approach with the colored pencils and blocks. She will be the first to say that she learns better and has a lot more fun when she’s using her hands during school. I find this to be true with my son as well.

The Build, Write, Say method

The AIM is a manipulatives-based approach to learn basic math concepts. My daughter grew more confident over time, beginning with her memorizing the colored-coded blocks and what number they represent. From there, she enjoyed the Build, Write, Say method. She built the facts with the blocks, wrote the facts vertically and horizontally as well as with the colored pencils, and then she would say the blocks out loud.

The more we went through the lessons, the quicker she became with reciting her mental math facts. I have to give it to Math-U-See’s AIM program, my daughter was a struggling math student. Because she didn’t have her math facts memorized, later math concepts were also a struggle with her.

I knew it was because she didn’t have her mental math memorized, but I was honestly at a loss with how to teach her those. We tried literature-based math curriculums as well as worksheet program curriculums. I tried the blue math blocks for place value, but she didn’t understand it either.

With AIM, she has totally surpassed my expectations! I am so relieved that this program was able to teach her what I could not!

Thank you so much, Math-U-See!

Mastering Addition and Subtraction With Math-U-See {Review}

Wrapping up this review over the Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) program by Math-U-See, I give it a glowing recommendation for all those homeschool moms out there like myself who is struggling to teach their struggling math student with the basic math concepts!

We will continue using the AIM program until we complete it, and we look forward to getting to know more products by Math-U-See, now that I know they mean business!

Other families used the AIM program, just like we did, so read their reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew blog or by clicking on the banner!

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