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. When we first started homeschooling, we chose Math-U-See for Bookworm. He loved MUS and used it until he went back to brick and mortar school. PB & J Girl used a different math program, but like Bookworm, she had trouble remembering math facts. For both kids, we spent a lot of time doing math fact drills and using online drill programs. Even now, PB & J Girl has trouble with math facts, so we tried out Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction.
Why Is It Important to Memorize Math Facts?
When I was in school, we spent a lot of time memorizing math facts, but I never knew why. I just knew it was something I was supposed to do.
In Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction, Mr. Demme, creator of Math-U-See, explains why people need to memorize math facts. We all have limited working memory, so for people like my daughter who don’t have their math facts memorized, they use up too much of their working memory just coming up with the math fact. That leaves them less or no working memory available to complete the rest of the problem.
About Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction
Before you even buy the program, Math-U-See encourages parents to administer the Before AIM Assessment to see if the product is a good fit for their kids. A number of addition and subtraction facts are listed. You are to say one of the problems, and if your child can provide the answer in less than three seconds, move on to the next one. Put a slash through every problem they can’t answer in three seconds.
I admit, I had trouble administering this test to my daughter. I’d say, “2+3” and rather than answering or saying, “I don’t know,” she instead said, “hhmm, 2+3” and then would give the answer. I think this lead me to believe that she knew less of the answers than she actually knew, which I’ll discuss later in this review.
This program comes with the following materials:
- Resource Guide
- Integer Blocks
- Colored Pencils
- Fact Check Cards
- Math Facts Strategy Posters
- Digital Pack
A key component of this program are the video lessons. There are two types of video lessons:
AIM for Success
These lessons explain the steps to take in this program. There are six videos that take you step by step through the AIM process.
Basically, you give your child an assessment test. (If the student knows their math facts by heart, they should be able to come up with an answer for each math fact within three seconds.)
Then, you use the integer blocks to create the problems and write them down. This helps your child “see” the math fact and remember it.
Gradually, you eliminate the blocks and instead have the child use colored pencils to make a line representing the blocks. (The eight block is brown, so when a student moves to the colored pencil stage, he uses the brown colored pencil to represent the eight block.)
After this step, the child is asked the math facts without any aids. The ones he knows, he sets aside and marks with a star. The ones he doesn’t know, he practices again using the steps listed. When the student has three stars for each card, those facts are considered mastered.
These lessons are meant to be taken slowly so the child has time to think about and learn the facts organically.
There are 22 lesson videos, half of them featuring Mr. Demme teaching addition, half of them featuring him teaching subtraction.
Most of these videos are two to seven minutes long.
In addition to the resources mentioned above, the program also includes an online drill and worksheet generator to help reinforce the math facts the student is learning.
Our Experience with the Program
It didn’t take me long using this program to realize that PB & J Girl doesn’t have much trouble with her addition and subtraction facts. Her real struggle is with multiplication and division.
I had looked into this product previously, before the review, and a customer service representative said that Math-U-See is also developing a similar program for multiplication and division. I can’t wait for that program to come out because that’s the area where PB & J Girl needs help.
What We Thought of the Program
I love that the kit is complete, so even if you’re not a regular Math-U-See customer, everything you need for this program comes in one package, including the integer blocks.
I also appreciate that Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery for Addition and Subtraction is fairly short to go through and that it is truly good for all ages. The customer service representative I talked to previously told me that even some high school students who are struggling have used this program.
Learn More About Math-U-See
Interested in using Math-U-See in your homeschool? Be sure to read our review of Math-U-See’s Zeta level.
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I was one of 45 people to review Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery for Addition and Subtraction. To read more reviews, click on the link below: