…I was playing with a set of wooden alphabet blocks on the floor with my homeschool group. We were trying to build a pyramid, and in the process of constructing it a little lightbulb went off: each layer is a square, and contains successive square numbers. Duh.

Seventeen years of formal education, and “square numbers” and “square roots” were always some arcane mystery on a worksheet or in a math textbook for me until this afternoon.

I feel like I get much more clearly now the appeal of the Montessori Method, which teaches all math skills with these kind of visual/physical tools. More research ahead, though I don’t see myself introducing any teacher-led academics with my own kids for at least another two years.