[T]here is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get [in] touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things[...]
Consider, too, what an unequaled mental training the child-naturalist is getting for any study or calling under the sun -- the powers of attention, of discrimination, of patient pursuit, growing with his growth, what will they not fit him for? Besides, life is so interesting to him, that he has no time for the faults of temper which generally have their source in ennui; there is no reason why he should be peevish or sulky or obstinate when he is always kept well amused.
Charlotte Mason in Home Education