It’s a shame that children are exposed to numbers merely as quantities instead of qualities and characters with distinct personalities relating to each other in various patterns. If only they could see numbers and shapes as the ancients did, as symbols of principles available to teach us about the natural structure and processes of the universe and to give us perspective on human nature. Instead, “math education” for children demands rote memorization of procedures to get one “right answer” and pass innumerable “skill tests” to prove superficial mastery before moving on to the next isolated topic. Teachers call this the “drill and kill” method. Even its terminology informs us that this approach to math is full of problems. It’s no wonder countless people are innumerate. We’ve lost sight of the spiritual qualities of number and shape by emphasizing brute quantity.